Palaeoflood records of the last three centuries from the Pyeongchang and Dong rivers, South Korea

Song Hyun Kim, Yukiya Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Slackwater deposits are paleostage indicators in paleoflood hydrology that have commonly been used in numerous studies to estimate the magnitude and frequency of flood events and to reconstruct paleoenvironments and paleohydrology. In this study, individual flood events along the Pyeongchang (PC) and Dong (D) rivers of South Korea were differentiated on the basis of changes in deposit color, grain size, organic content, and the existence of laminations. Based on 137Cs and 14C chronological data, 19 flood events have occurred at site PC since 1720, while 17 flood events have occurred at site D since 1815. At the PC study site, the average time interval between the flood events is 15.4 years and the average sediment accumulation rate is 9.7 mm/y. At study site D, the average time interval is 15 years and the average sediment accumulation rate is 11.6 mm/y. These high sediment accumulation rates are consistent with those in humid areas (e.g., Japan) and explain how slackwater deposits can be preserved despite erosion, bioturbation, and pedogenic processes. Based on the results, the study area was divided into three periods: (1) a relatively wet period (1720–1810 CE), (2) a dry period (1810–1960 CE), and (3) a wet period (1960 CE–present). The flood time intervals and average sediment accumulation rates of the eighteenth century were shorter and higher than those of the nineteenth century. This suggests that on the Korean Peninsula, the paleoclimate of the Little Ice Age (LIA) was wetter than that from the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-221
Number of pages11
JournalGeomorphology
Volume290
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Flood time interval
  • Little Ice Age
  • Sediment accumulation rate
  • Slackwater deposits

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