Journal article

Late Quaternary biotic and abiotic controls on long-term sediment flux in a northern Australian tropical river system

Annegret Larsen, Jan-Hendrik May, Xavier Carah



The modern distribution of monsoonal rainforest in the Australian tropics is patchy and is mainly associated with river corridors and groundwater springs, which indicates a strong dependence on hydrologic and geomorphic conditions. While their present distribution is well known, very little data exists on past spatial and temporal dynamics of these ecosystems, or their medium- to longer-term controls. Factors such as (i) fire frequency and type, and/or (ii) hydroclimatic conditions (e.g. droughts) have been proposed to control riverine corridor rainforest extent. Recent observations, however, also suggest an additional (iii) geomorphic control induced by alluvial knickpoint migration. Sedime..

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Awarded by ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank Maria Hernandez-Soriano and Thierry Adatte for soil carbon analysis, and Litchfield National Park employees for unbureaucratic access to the sites, accommodation and information. David Sebag provided valuable insights into Rock-Eval data analysis. An ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DP0987819), awarded to Jan-Hendrik May supported travel and dating. The authors thank two anonymous reviewers and the handling editor for their comments which greatly improved the manuscript.