Tectonic and climatic controls on Quaternary fluvial processes and river terrace formation in a Mediterranean setting, the Goksu River, southern Turkey

Avşin N., Vandenberghe J., van Balen R., Kiyak N. G., Ozturk T.

QUATERNARY RESEARCH, vol.91, no.2, pp.533-547, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 91 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/qua.2018.129
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.533-547
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Climate and tectonics effect the fluvial evolution of the Mediterranean Mut basin. The basin contains a river terrace staircase of 16 levels (T16-T1) ranging from 365 to 10m above the current Goksu River in its middle and lower sections. These river terraces records tectonic uplift in the Mut basin. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of the fluvial sediments of the youngest terrace (T16) provides a chronology for the assessment of the important impacts of climatic changes. The ages from the youngest river terrace deposits in T16 may be subdivided into two intervals: (1) 239-194.7 ka during the later part of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 7, implying that the aggradation of T16 started in (the final phase of) this warm period; and (2) 187.9-171 ka during much of MIS 6. Thus, it appears that the Goksu River continued depositing sediment from an interglacial into a glacial time. The differences in climate-driven fluvial evolution between this Mediterranean fluvial system and the classical, well-studied temperate-periglacial river systems in Europe may be the result of different vegetation cover and greater thaw of more intense snowfalls.