Stratigraphic evolution of the late Holocene Ganges-Brahmaputra lower delta plain

TitleStratigraphic evolution of the late Holocene Ganges-Brahmaputra lower delta plain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsAllison, MA, Khan, SR, Goodbred, SL, Kuehl, SA
JournalSedimentary Geology
Date PublishedFeb 1
Accession NumberWOS:000180814600007
KeywordsGanges–Brahmaputra, Late Holocene, Stratigraphic evolution

Sediment cores from the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta in Bangladesh were examined for sedimentological character, clay mineralogy, elemental trends (C, N, S), and C-14 geochronology to develop a model for the sedimentary sequence resulting from lower delta plain progradation in the late Holocene. A widespread facies succession from Muddy Sand to Interbedded Mud records progradation of shoal-island complexes and the transition from subtidal to intertidal conditions. Mangrove-vegetated islands and peninsulas represent the final phase of progradation; a Mottled Mud that is deposited by penetration of turbid coastal water into the mangroves during high water events. Organic matter preservation is generally low ( < 1% TOC) in most of these well-drained deposits that are characterized by a permeable, silt-dominated granulometry. Clay mineralogy in the cores records the relative influence of smectite and kaolinite-rich Ganges sediments and illite and chlorite-rich Brahmaputra material. The lower delta plain west of the modem river mouths was deposited as a Ganges-dominated delta in three phases since 5000 cal years BP, with Brahmaputra influence confined to the Meghna estuary area and to the supratidal section of western delta deposits. Evolution of the lower delta plain in the late Holocene was influenced by regional subsidence patterns in the tectonically active Bengal Basin, which controlled distributary channel avulsion and migration, and the creation of accommodation space. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.