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The last millenia history of detrital sedimentation in the Lower Seine Valley (Normandy, NW France): review

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Abstract

During the last millennia, climate changes and sea level raises strongly influenced N-W Europe environments. In the transition of the last glacial period to the present time, to these forcing factors, anthropogenic impacts were added. All of these factors are responsible for erosional crises and subsequently sedimentations. Several studies in the Lower Seine Valley were done to understand depositional environments during the Holocene infilling. In all of these studies, archaeological works were added on the Seine River tributies to have a better comprehension of the sedimentary response for every forcing factor in all of the Seine River system. Based on these studies, carried in different sections of the Lower Seine Valley, we made a first summary in order to understand the evolution of erosion/sedimentation couple. This couple, triggered by several forcing, is differently expressed in all the sectors of the Seine River and can be correlated to the most important climatic events at the global scale and to the important stages of Human development activities at the local scale.

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The Marais Vernier, located in the upper reaches of the Seine River Estuary (northern France), preserves a thick Holocene succession of laminated detrital deposits and peats. The spectral analysis of one laminated deposit suggests that tidal processes were largely responsible for supplying sediments to this system. Two periods (16 and 32 laminae per cycle) were identified. These cycles can be related to either both the synodic neap–spring cycle (the so-called “fortnightly cycle”) and the anomalistic monthly cycle or both the semiannual and annual tidal cycles. The recognition of tidal influence on these deposits provides insight into the likelihood of some relative sea-level fluctuations previously inferred from these sediments. The depositional rates calculated for the laminated deposits, based on the recognition of these tidal cycles, suggest that the time interval required to deposit the sediments was far shorter than is implied by considering rates based on regional sea-level rise alone.
Article
The Seine and the Somme are the two main rivers flowing from northwestern France into the Channel. During the Pleistocene cold stages both rivers were tributaries of the River Manche which was exporting sediments into the central deeps of the Channel. The River Seine has a very well developed terrace system recording incision that began at around 1 Ma. The same age is proposed for the beginning of the main incision in the Somme Valley on the basis of morphostratigraphy, pedostratigraphy, palaeontology, palaeomagnetism and ESR datings. The uplift rate deduced from analysis of the Seine and Somme terrace systems is of 55 to 60 m/Ma since the end of the Lower Pleistocene. The response of the two rivers to climatic variations, uplift and sea-level changes is complex and variable in the different parts of the river courses. For example, the evolution of the lower Seine system is influenced by uplift and climate changes but dominated by sea-level changes. In the middle Seine the system is beyond the impact of sea-level variations and shows a very detailed response to climatic variations during the Middle and Upper Pleistocene in a context of uplift. The Somme Valley response appears to be more homogeneous, especially in the middle valley, where the terrace system shows a regular pattern in which incision occurs at the beginning of each glacial period against a general background of uplift. Nevertheless, the lower Somme Valley and the Palaeo-Somme in the Channel area indicate some strong differences compared with the middle valley: influence of sea-level variations and probably differences in rates of tectonic uplift between the Channel and the present continent. The differences in the responses of the two river valleys during the Pleistocene are related to differences in the size of the fluvial basins, to the local tectonic characteristics, to the geometry of the platform connected to the lower parts of the valleys and to the hydrodynamic characteristics of each river. Finally, it is shown from these examples that the multidisciplinary study of Pleistocene rivers is a very efficient tool for the investigation of neotectonic activity.
Article
Rock-Eval pyrolysis was designed for petroleum exploration to determine the type and quality of organic matter in rock samples. Nevertheless, this technique can be used for bulk characterization of the immature organic matter in soil samples and recent sediments. We studied 76 samples from seven soil classes and showed that their pyrograms can be described by a combination of four elementary Gaussian components: F1, F2, F3 and F4. These four components are related to major classes of organic constituents differing in origin and their resistance to pyrolysis: labile biological constituents (F1), resistant biological constituents (F2), immature non-biotic constituents (F3) and a mature refractory fraction (F4). We discriminated the relative contributions of these components and used them to derive two indices: (i) to quantify the relative contributions of labile and resistant biological constituents and (ii) to quantify the degradation stage of the soil organic matter. The practical applications are illustrated via the influence of vegetal cover on soil organic matter dynamics and peat development in a Holocene sedimentary sequence, but we suggest that the approach is of much wider application.
Modifications des syste`mes fluvials a`la transition Ple´nig-laciaire-Tardiglaciaire et a`lÕHoloce`ne: lÕexemple du Bassin de la Somme
  • P Antoine
Antoine, P., 1997. Modifications des syste`mes fluvials a`la transition Ple´nig-laciaire-Tardiglaciaire et a`lÕHoloce`ne: lÕexemple du Bassin de la Somme (Nord de la France). Ge´og. Phys. Quatern., 51, 1-14.
Modification of fluvial systems in relation to climatic modifica-tions during the Lateglacial and early Holocene in the Somme Basin (Northern France)
  • P Antoine
  • A V Munaut
  • Limondin
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  • J M Duperon
Antoine, P., Munaut, A.V., Limondin-Lozouet, N., Ponel, P. and Duperon, J.M., 2003. Modification of fluvial systems in relation to climatic modifica-tions during the Lateglacial and early Holocene in the Somme Basin (Northern France). Quat. Sci. Rev., 22, 2061–2076
Annexe 1: Ge´ologie du Marais Vernier Etude Hydraulique et Se´dimentologique du Marais Vernier; Bilan et Propositions DÕame´nagements et de Travaux
  • D Lefebvre
Lefebvre, D., 1998. Annexe 1: Ge´ologie du Marais Vernier. Etude Hydraulique et Se´dimentologique du Marais Vernier; Bilan et Propositions DÕame´nagements et de Travaux. Rapport Hydratec, Annexe 1: Geólogie du Marais, 1–21.
Quinze mille ans dÕenvironnement dans le Bassin parisien (France): me´moires se´dimentaires des fonds de valle´es
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  • N Limondin-Lozouet
  • P Antoine
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  • P Orth
Pastre, J.F., Limondin-Lozouet, N., Antoine, P., Gauthier, A., Le Jeune, Y. and Orth, P., 2003. Quinze mille ans dÕenvironnement dans le Bassin parisien (France): me´moires se´dimentaires des fonds de valle´es. In: Des Milieux et des Hommes: Fragments DÕhistoire Croise´es (T. Muxart, F.D. Vivien, B. Villalba and J. Burnouf, eds), pp. 43-55. Londres: Elsevier. Collection Environment.
Evolution Plurimille´-naire a`Pluri-Annuelle du Prisme Se´di-mentaire DÕembouchure de la Seine. Facteurs de Controˆle Naturels et DÕorigine Anthropique
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Delsinne, N., 2005. Evolution Plurimille´-naire a`Pluri-Annuelle du Prisme Se´di-mentaire DÕembouchure de la Seine. Facteurs de Controˆle Naturels et DÕorigine Anthropique. PhD thesis, Universite´de Caen, France, 179 p.
Reflet de lÕoccupation sur le plateau de St Andred e lÕEure (Eure) du 1 er sie`cle avant JC (RN 154 -section nord)
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  • A Boivin
Lepert, T., Paez-Rezende, L., Adrian, Y.M. and Boivin, A., 2002. Reflet de lÕoccupation sur le plateau de St Andred e lÕEure (Eure) du 1 er sie`cle avant JC (RN 154 -section nord). Rev. Arche´o. Ouest, 19, 1-35.
Ame´nagementsAme´nagements portuaires et fluviaux gallo-romains sur la basse valleé de lÕEure a` Incarville (27), in PETIT Ch. (dir.), Occupation et gestion des plaines alluviales dans le Nord de la France de l'Age du Fer a` l'e´poque gallo-romaine
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Lepert, T. and Paez-Rezende, L, 2005. Ame´nagementsAme´nagements portuaires et fluviaux gallo-romains sur la basse valleé de lÕEure a` Incarville (27), in PETIT Ch. (dir.), Occupation et gestion des plaines alluviales dans le Nord de la France de l'Age du Fer a` l'e´poque gallo-romaine, Actes de la table ronde de Molesme (17–18 septembre 1999), Besanc¸onBesanc¸on, Presses Universitaires de Franche- Comte´,Comte´, pp. 157–166.
The role of people in the Holocene In: Natural Climate Variability and Global Warming
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Oldfield, F., 2008. The role of people in the Holocene. In: Natural Climate Variability and Global Warming: A Holocene Perspective (R.W. Battarbee and H.A. Binney, eds), pp. 58–69. Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell.
Caracterisation et Dynamique E´rosive de Syste`mes Ge´omorphologiques Continentaux sur Substrat Crayeux
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Laignel, B., 2003. Caracterisation et Dynamique E´rosive de Syste`mes Ge´omorphologiques Continentaux sur Substrat Crayeux. Exemple de LÕOuest du Bassin de Paris Dans le Contexte Nord-Ouest Europe´en. Me´moire dÕHabilitation a`Diriger des Recherches, Universite´de Rouen, France, 138 pp.
Apports de la MO Pour la Reconstitution des Pale´oenvironnements Holoce`nes de la Basse Valle´e de la Seine
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Sebag, D., 2002. Apports de la MO Pour la Reconstitution des Pale´oenvironnements Holoce`nes de la Basse Valle´e de la Seine. Fluctuations des Conditions Hydrologiques Locales et Environnements de De´poˆt. PhD thesis, Universite´de Rouen, France, 356 pp.
LÕe´rosion Entre Societe´, Climat et Pale´oenvironnements, Actes de la Table Ronde en lÕhonneur de Rene´Neboit Rene´Neboit-Guilhot
  • Approche Geómorphologique
  • Micromorphologique
Approche geómorphologique et micromorphologique. In (P. Alleé and L. Lespez, eds). LÕe´rosion Entre Societe´, Climat et Pale´oenvironnements, Actes de la Table Ronde en lÕhonneur de Rene´Neboit Rene´Neboit-Guilhot. Collection Nature et Socie´te´,Socie´te´Socie´te´, 3, Presses Universitaires Blaise Pascal, Clermont Ferrand, pp. 281-286.
Homme, Climat, Ve´ge´ta-tion au Tardi-et-Postglaciaire Dans le Bassin Parisien: Apports de LÕe´tude Palynologique des Fonds de Valle´es
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Leroyer, C., 1997. Homme, Climat, Ve´ge´ta-tion au Tardi-et-Postglaciaire Dans le Bassin Parisien: Apports de LÕe´tude Palynologique des Fonds de Valle´es. PhD thesis, Universite´de Paris I, Paris, 2 vol., 786 pp.
Sedimentological characterization and origin of the deposits in a Holocene Marsh
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  • A Durand
Frouin, M., Laignel, B., Sebag, D., Oiger, S. and Durand, A., 2007b. Sedimentological characterization and origin of the deposits in a Holocene Marsh (Vernier Marsh, Seine Estuary, France). Z. Geomorphologie, 51, 1-18.
DynamiqueHolocè ne dÕun fond de valleé normand
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Germain-Valleé, C. and Lespez, L., 2006. DynamiqueHolocè ne dÕun fond de valleé normand (Laizon, Calvados).
Annexe 1: Ge´ologie du Marais Vernier. Etude Hydraulique et Se´dimentologique du Marais Vernier
  • D Lefebvre
Lefebvre, D., 1998. Annexe 1: Ge´ologie du Marais Vernier. Etude Hydraulique et Se´dimentologique du Marais Vernier;
Re´ponse de la Seine et de la Somme aux e´ve´nements climatiques, eustatiques et tectoniques du Ple´istoce`ne moyen et re´cent: rythmes et taux dÕe´rosion
  • D Lefebvre
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Lefebvre, D., Antoine, P., Auffret, J.P., Lautridau, J.P. and Lecolle, F., 1994. Re´ponse de la Seine et de la Somme aux e´ve´nements climatiques, eustatiques et tectoniques du Ple´istoce`ne moyen et re´cent: rythmes et taux dÕe´rosion. Quaternaire, 5, 165-172.
Long-term human impacts as registered in an upland pollen profile from the southern Black Forest
  • N Roberts
  • Blackwell
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Roberts, N., 1998. The Holocene. An Environmental History. Blackwell, Oxford, UK and Cambridge, USA, 227 pp. Roesch, M., 2000. Long-term human impacts as registered in an upland pollen profile from the southern Black Forest, South-Western Germany. Veg. Hist. Archaeobot., 9, 205-218.