The evolution of the rivers of East Devon and South Somerset, UK

Gallois, R.W.. 2007 The evolution of the rivers of East Devon and South Somerset, UK. Geoscience in South-West England : Proceedings of the Ussher Society, 11 (3). 205-213.

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With the exception of the River Tone, which appears to have been separated at an early stage from its neighbours to the south by a major fault, the rivers of south Somerset and east Devon were initiated on a southward dipping Tertiary planation surface. The evolutionary histories of the present-day catchments of the rivers Exe and Otter are complex and inter-related. Those of the adjacent Axe and Teign appear to be less complex and may have evolved relatively independently from the Exe-Otter system. The differences in the histories of the catchments are most clearly demonstrated by their terrace systems. The Exe-Otter catchment has 10 or more terrace levels at heights of up to 140 m above the modern floodplain. In contrast, the Axe, Teign and Tone catchments contain only one or two terrace levels all of which are less than 20 m above the present-day valley floor. The explanation suggested here for the difference involves a sequence of river captures that changed the forerunner of the present-day Otter from a major river capable of producing a 3-km wide gravelly braidplain into a minor stream.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Work on this paper was completed while the author was a member of BGS staff
Date made live: 22 Jan 2010 14:48

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