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Benito, G.; Thorndycraft, V. R.; Machado, M. J.; Sancho, C.; Dussaillant, A.; Meier, C. I. (2014)
Publisher: Sociedad Española de Geomorfología
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: GB, TA, GE
The Baker River (Southern Chile) drains a catchment of 27,000 km2 and has a mean annual discharge of 1100 m3s-1. Since last deglaciation, the morpho-sedimentology of the Baker valley has been controlled by Outburst Floods (OFs) of different scales. We apply geomorphic mapping, stratigraphy (including radiocarbon and OSL dating) and palaeoflood hydrology to reconstruct the frequency, timing and magnitude of Holocene OFs. Geomorphic mapping reveals evidence of two Holocene alluvial terraces. The oldest (highest) contains basal gravels capped by a well-developed buried Podzolic Luvisol that was radiocarbon dated to 6160±40 BP. In this alluvial sequence, at least two major floods occurred between then and 5300 BP and at least eight major floods between 5300-2500 BP. At least three Late Holocene (post 610±30 BP) GLOF event(s) inundated upper terrace surfaces along the reach downstream the confluence of the Colonia River into the Baker River. We report on the implications of this palaeoflood research in relation to the proposed HydroAysén hydroelectric scheme.
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