David R. Bridgland's research while affiliated with Durham University and other places

Publications (257)

Article
Northern Europe experienced cycles of hominin habitation and absence during the Middle Pleistocene. Fluvial gravel terrace sites in the east of Britain and north of France provide a majority of the data contributing to this understanding, mostly through the presence or absence of stone-tool artefacts. To date, however, relatively few sites have bee...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an updated geological reconstruction of the Quaternary evolution of the River Thames at its downstream extremities, close to the North Sea coast, based on new data from multi-disciplinary and citizen-science sources. In this area, the interaction of the Thames with the MIS 12 (Anglian) glaciation is an important part of the Quat...
Article
The Kula–Salihli UNESCO Geopark, western Turkey, is a tectonically and volcanically active region in which the most recent eruptions of basaltic lava, associated with scoria cone formation, were during the latest Pleistocene and the Holocene. Much older volcanism within the same volcanic province is also in evidence, with some of the older lavas ca...
Article
Full-text available
Northern Europe experienced cycles of hominin habitation and absence during the Middle Pleistocene. Fluvial gravel terrace sites in the east of Britain and north of France provide a majority of the data contributing to this understanding, mostly through the presence or absence of stone-tool artefacts. To date, however, relatively few sites have bee...
Article
Studies of flake tools in the British Lower Paleolithic are rare owing to lower quantities of flake tools than handaxes and the perception that flake tool technology became more important in the succeeding Middle Paleolithic. In Britain, and Europe more broadly, MIS 9 (328–301 ka) has been characterized as a period of technological transition owing...
Article
Downstream fining of riverbed gravels is generally linked with the processes of hydraulic sorting and abrasion. Hydraulic sorting is when larger gravel clasts stop moving in response to decreasing flow energy, whereas, finer grains will continue to be carried downstream. Furthermore, transportation of gravel clasts causes abrasion, bringing about a...
Article
This study, focused on the well-exposed terrace deposits of the Guadalaviar and Turia rivers and associated slopes, provides a better understanding of the genetic connection between river-terrace sediments and slope accumulations in a setting influenced by temperate to cold (extraglacial) climates: the Sierra de Albarracín and Alfambra–Teruel depre...
Article
Full-text available
The advances in understanding of Quaternary geomorphology in the latter half of the 20th Century were closely linked with the improved knowledge of Quaternary climatic fluctuation, principally derived from isotopic evidence from ocean and ice cores. An important goal was finding terrestrial sedimentary records that can be correlated with the global...
Article
Lower and Middle Paleolithic archaeological sites in England risk falling through the cracks between different types of heritage conservation, since they lack recognisable structures; these sites have often benefitted from protection under geoconservation, particularly through selection as Geological Conservation Review sites, and subsequent design...
Article
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The feasibility of applying optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) techniques to obtain estimates of the burial age of lithic clasts in the form of pebbles of quartzose lithology is investigated in this study. We applied OSL measurement procedures to vein-quartz and quartzite pebbles from contexts at five sites with fluvial and coastal beach conte...
Article
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The lower reaches of the River Ure, on the flanks of the Pennine Hills in northern England, contain sedimentary and erosional landforms that are a record of fluvial activity during deglaciation and valley-glacier retreat at the end of the last (Devensian) glacial period, and in the subsequent post-glacial Holocene. Terraces and channels, most of wh...
Article
The occurrence of endorheic basins on the Tibetan Plateau, both in its Pleistocene history and (fewer in number) at the present day, has been attributed to the ‘basin-and-range’ character of the orogen; the understanding of their conversion to exorheic drainage is key to interpreting the evolution of the Yellow River and other river systems of the...
Chapter
The Beira Baixa is a low-relief region that is transitional between the Portuguese Central Range and the South Portugal Planation Surface. The main regional geomorphological unit is a planation surface cut on the phylites/metagreywackes of the basement, locally with granite inselbergs and quartzite ridges. Tectonic landforms are represented, such a...
Preprint
Full-text available
These guidelines provide advice on best practice for the effective use of scientific dating on English Pleistocene sites. They are primarily intended for: curators and project managers who advise local planning authorities, issue briefs and write specifications or written schemes of investigation and those working on development-led or research pro...
Book
These guidelines provide advice on best practice for the effective use of scientific dating on Pleistocene sites. They are applicable to all archaeological projects, but are aimed primarily at those undertaken as part of the planning process. Pleistocene sites typically produce limited material that is suitable for dating. Some of the methods that...
Poster
Full-text available
The Kula Geopark, located on the northern shoulder of the Alesehir graben in the Aegean Region of Turkey, is a tectonically and volcanically active region in which the most recent eruptions of basaltic lava, associated with volcanic cone formation, was in the latest Pleistocene and Holocene. Much older volcanism within the same volcanic province is...
Poster
Wansunt Pit Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (unit 1, Geological Conservation Review (GCR) number 846; TQ 515738) is a 1.44ha former gravel pit situated on the border of Greater London and Kent, UK. Notified for its Quaternary of the Thames features, the site provides exposures of Dartford Heath Gravel, overlain by the Wansunt Loam silt d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The authors have been undertaking comparison of the scientific records of the two important European rivers, Thames and Tejo, which share lower reaches with important evidence of hominin occupation during the Quaternary. Key differences are that the Thames also has an exemplary palaeontological record (largely lacking in the Tejo) and the Tejo has...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Thames and Tejo terrace stratigraphies have long histories of research, with an enviable profusion of Palaeolithic artefact content in both valleys and copious fossils in interglacial Thames sediments in the valley downstream of London. Thus biostratigraphy is a well-established basis for classification of the lithostratigraphical sequence in t...
Article
Full-text available
A better understood chronological framework for the Middle Pleistocene of Britain has enabled archaeologists to detect a number of temporally-restricted assemblage-types, based not on ‘culture historical’ schemes of typological progression but on independent dating methods and secure stratigraphic frameworks, especially river-terrace sequences. Thi...
Article
The eastern Altun Shan is a crucial part of the Altun orogenic belt within the Tibetan Plateau. Study of the uplift rate and the related features in this area provides important clues for understanding the uplift mechanism of the Tibetan Plateau as a whole. As an important geomorphic element in landscape development, the fluvial system can record t...
Article
Strategic studies of gravel deposits, in particular using heavy-mineral analyses, have thrown light on the important unresolved question as to the timing of the initiation of the Yellow River drainage through the Sanmen Gorge, which linked the headwaters of that system in the Fenwei Basin and further upstream with the North China Plain and the Paci...
Article
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Detailed study of subsurface deposits in the Polish Sudeten Foreland, particularly with reference to provenance data, has revealed that an extensive preglacial drainage system developed there in the Pliocene–Early Pleistocene, with both similarities and differences in comparison with the present-day Odra (Oder) system. This foreland is at the north...
Article
Cobrinhos (Vila Velha do Ródão, central eastern Portugal) is a Mousterian site found during factory construction in 2014. This area is located in the Lower Tejo valley, which is characterized in terms of geomorphology by six river terraces, numbered downwards (T1 to T6), with Palaeolithic industries associated only with T4 to T6. Terrace T4 was rec...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstruction of Pleistocene environments and processes in the sensitive geographical location of westernmost Iberia, facing the North Atlantic Ocean, is crucial for understanding impacts on early human communities. We provide a characterization of the lowest terrace (T6) of the Lower Tejo River, at Vila Velha de Ródão (eastern central Portugal)....
Article
Full-text available
Compilation of empirical data on river-terrace sequences from across Eurasia during successive International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) projects revealed marked contrasts between the records from different crustal provinces, notably between the East European Platform (EEP) and the Caledonian/Variscan/Alpine provinces of western/central Europe. Wel...
Article
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A collection of papers appears under the title “Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution” in the journal, Quaternary. This is a new Special Issue under the aegis of the Fluvial Archives Group (FLAG), illustrating the recent progress made in paleo-fluvial research. These papers highlight the high complexity of the external forcing of flu...
Article
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From 12th to 18th September 2016, the 20th anniversary meeting of FLAG was held in Kielce-Suchedniów, Poland (Figure 1), followed by field visits to the area of Oder-Warthe glaciation and the foothills of the Carpathians, covering a wide range of fluvial archives and timescales (video montage available at: http://flag2016suchedniow.pev.pl/ (accesse...
Article
Full-text available
Unravelling patterns of relative sea-level change during previous interglacials enhances our understanding of ice sheet response to changing climate. Temperate-latitude estuarine environments have the potential to preserve continuous records of relative sea level from previous interglacial (warm) periods. This is important because, currently, we ty...
Article
The Gediz River, one of the principal rivers of Western Anatolia, has an extensive Pleistocene fluvial archive that potentially offers a unique window into fluvial system behaviour on the western margins of Asia during the Quaternary. In this paper we review our work on the Quaternary Gediz River Project (2001e2010) and present new data which leads...
Article
Fluvial sedimentary archives have the potential to preserve a wide variety of palaeontological evidence, ranging from robust bones and teeth found in coarse gravel aggradations to delicate insect remains and plant macrofossils from fine-grained deposits. Over the last decade, advances in Quaternary biostratigraphy based on vertebrate and invertebra...
Article
The use of Acheulean (handaxe) typology as a cultural and temporal marker has been a topic of controversy in recent decades, with many archaeologists continuing to reject such an approach out of hand. Much of the controversy stems, however, from difficulties in reconciling the archaeological record from Quaternary sediments with a flawed and overly...
Article
Fluvial sedimentary archives are important repositories for Lower and Middle Palaeolithic artefacts throughout the 'Old World', especially in Europe, where the beginning of their study coincided with the realisation that early humans were of great antiquity. Now that many river terrace sequences can be reliably dated and correlated with the globall...
Article
The upper–middle Yellow River flows through the Fenwei graben, a structure resulting from extensional tectonism that was formed and repeatedly extended during the Cenozoic. The drainage system within this graben was formerly isolated from the lower reaches of the Yellow River system by the Xiaoshan mountains, an actively growing ∼ NW–SE trending ra...
Article
It is widely recognized that the optimal development of river terraces globally has been in the temperate latitudes, with NW and Central Europe being areas of particular importance for the preservation of such archives of Quaternary environmental change. There is also a growing consensus that the principal drivers of terrace formation have been cli...
Article
The timing and extent of late Middle Pleistocene glaciations in England and the southern North Sea are controversial topics. The recent Trent Valley Palaeolithic Project uncovered evidence for a post-Anglian, pre-Devensian glaciation that affected much of central and eastern England; the Wragby Till of Lincolnshire is associated with this glacial e...
Article
The Trent Valley Palaeolithic Project has recently investigated the Quaternary evolution of the River Trent, the northernmost river system in western Europe with a documented long-timescale terrace staircase. The uppermost and lowermost reaches of the Trent, which drains the English Midlands, were glaciated during Marine oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS)...
Article
An exhaustive review of geological, palaeontological and archaeological data, coupled with selected new research and dating programmes using optically stimulated luminescence and amino acid racemization, has provided new insights into the origin and Quaternary evolution of the Trent river system. An important component of the new research was uplif...
Article
The use of handaxe morphology as a cultural and temporal marker within the Quaternary Lower–Middle Palaeolithic record has had a very chequered history, and abuses in the past have led recent generations of archaeologist to reject it out of hand. In Britain, however, advances in dating Pleistocene sediments, setting their ages within a framework of...
Article
This paper introduces a special issue arising from Session S10A of the 8th International Conference on Geomorphology of the International Association of Geomorphology in Paris (27-31 August 2013), organized jointly by the Fluvial Archives Group (FLAG), the Global Continental Palaeohydrology (GLOCOPH), and the Past Global Changes (PAGES) project-Foc...
Article
During a watching brief related to the construction of the Mil in April 1975 a handaxe in very fresh condition was discovered lying on Pleistocene terrace gravels of the River Roding at Southend Road, South Woodford. Subsequent excavations by Essex County Council revealed that the handaxe formed part of a low density, probably in situ, scatter of E...
Article
Late Cenozoic (and especially Quaternary) fluvial deposits and related landforms provide valuable information about landscape evolution, not just in terms of changing drainage patterns but also documenting changes in topography and relief. Recently compiled records from river systems worldwide have shed much light on this subject, particularly reco...
Article
Fluvial rocks and sediments form an important part of the geological record from the terrestrial environment, from the Archaean to the recent. Precambrian fluvial archives record the change in Earth's atmosphere from anoxic to oxygen-rich, while the absence of land plants led to significant differences between Precambrian and Palaeozoic fluvial reg...
Article
This paper presents evidence of the discovery of a new Middle Pleistocene site in central southern England, with undisturbed evidence of hominin occupation well-dated to an interstadial towards the end of Marine Isotope Stage 8, c. 250,000 BP. The site consists of a preserved remnant of a river terrace and its alluvial floodplain overlain by chalk-...
Article
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Morphosedimentary study of alluvial fans formed by the Wadi Beni Mhammed, on the southern piedmont of the western High-Atlas, has indicated three main generations of deposits. Their ages range from ancient (Plio-Pleistocene) to Holocene and recent formations. The first generation, comprising small boundary fans, was deposited prior to lateral migra...
Article
Central-southern Turkey, NW Syria, and adjacent offshore areas in the NE Mediterranean region form the boundary zone between the Turkish, African and Arabian Plates. A great deal of new information has emerged in recent years regarding senses and rates of active crustal deformation in this region, but this material has not hitherto been well integr...
Article
With the adoption of an ‘expanded chronology’ for the Middle Pleistocene, based on the greater number of warm and cold episodes evident in the marine oxygen isotope record from deep ocean cores, has come the recognition of a meaningful progression of artefact types, something that could not be achieved with reference to the previous ‘compressed chr...
Article
This paper reports on the recovery of Palaeolithic flint artefacts and faunal remains from fluvial gravels at the base of a sequence of Pleistocene sediments revealed during construction works at two sites to the south of Swanscombe village, Kent. Although outside the mapped extent of the Boyn Hill/Orsett Heath Formation, the newly discovered depos...
Article
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Levallois knapping debris is present beneath the sides of a disused tramway cutting connected to Lion Pit, West Thurrock, Essex. This occurrence, first recorded during the early 20th century, is in the basal gravel of the Taplow/Mucking Formation, which dates from the end of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 8. The relatively undisturbed nature of...
Article
Reversals in vertical crustal motion, alternations between uplift and subsidence over time scales of hundreds of thousands of years or more, have been identified in Late Cenozoic fluvial sequences in many regions worldwide. They form a class of fluvial archive that is distinct from the extreme stability observed in Archaean cratons and the monotoni...
Article
The Earth's rich diversity of geological, geomorphological and soil features and processes are an integral part of the natural environment on which we all depend. The conservation and management of these features and processes is essential if we are to maintain the sites needed for research, education and training and the natural systems which prov...
Article
This paper explores the links between the study and conservation of Palaeolithic archaeology and Quaternary geology, using examples from England. In Britain, human occupation is believed to have started approximately 800,000 years ago, thus giving rise to significant overlap between sediments studied by Quaternary geologists and those of interest t...