Late-Holocene landscape evolution of a delta from foredune ridges: Seyhan Delta, Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey

Emrah Özpolat*, Eren Şahiner, Orkan Özcan, Tuncer Demir, Lewis A. Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The Çukurova Delta Complex, formed by the Seyhan, Ceyhan, and Berdan rivers, is the second-largest delta system in the Mediterranean. The delta complex is a major depocenter that contains sediments transported from the Taurus Mountain belt since the Miocene. Studies on the Quaternary landscape evolution of the Çukurova Delta Complex are scarce, and in particular, the Holocene evolution of the Seyhan Delta section of the Çukurova Delta Complex has been poorly understood. Sedimentological analysis, high-resolution digital elevation models derived using structure from motion, and optically stimulated luminescence dating of the foredune ridges in the Seyhan Delta help define the lesser-known nature of Late-Holocene paleoenvironmental and landscape evolution of the Seyhan section of the Çukurova Delta Complex. The foredune ridges provide evidence that the Akyatan Lagoon, one of Turkey’s largest lagoon, formed at the beginning of the last millennium. The ridges bordering the north and south of Tuzla Lagoon show that the lagoon completed its formation between the 11th and 14th centuries when the ancient delta was to the east. The Seyhan River flowed 10 km east from its current course until at least the 16th Century, and its ancient delta was active until that time. After the 16th Century, the Seyhan River shifted to its current course in the west and began to build the modern delta and the youngest foredune ridges were formed by a combination of aeolian and littoral processes. The contemporary delta continued to prograde until the construction of the Seyhan Dam in AD 1956. Since the construction of the Seyhan Dam, the delta shoreline at the river mouth retreated drastically and foredune formation stopped. In the past few decades, most of the foredune ridges have been eroded away by coastal processes and agricultural activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-777
Number of pages18
JournalHolocene
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Funding

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported by the TÜBİTAK 1002 Short Term R&D Funding Program (Project No. 120Y091) and the HÜBAK (Project no. 14162). We would like to thank Pedro JM Costa and another anonymous reviewer for helpful comments. We thank Cengiz Y?ld?r?m and Tolga G?r?m for discussions on an earlier version of this manuscript. The first author thanks The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (T?B?TAK), International Research Fellowship Programme for Ph.D. students (B?DEB 2214-A). The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported by the T?B?TAK 1002 Short Term R&D Funding Program (Project No. 120Y091) and the H?BAK (Project no. 14162).

FundersFunder number
TÜBİTAK
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu14162, 120Y091

    Keywords

    • coastal barriers
    • Cukurova
    • optically stimulated luminescence dating
    • river avulsion
    • structure from motion

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