Data for: Pre-vegetation, Single-threaded Rivers Sustained by Cohesive, Fine-grained Bank Sediments: Mesoproterozoic Stoer Group, NW Scotland
Valenza, Jeffery; Ganti, Vamsi; Whittaker, Alexander; Lamb, Michael (2023), Data for: Pre-vegetation, Single-threaded Rivers Sustained by Cohesive, Fine-grained Bank Sediments: Mesoproterozoic Stoer Group, NW Scotland, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.25349/D9762J
The Silurian-age shift in fluvial stratigraphic architecture is associated with the predominance of shallow pancontinental braidplains in the vegetation-free, pre-Silurian period. Recognition of deep, single-threaded channels in pre-Silurian strata challenge this paradigm; however, it is unclear how these rivers sustained stable banks. Here, we combine measurements of fluvial cross-strata from the 1.2 Ga Stoer Group with quantitative paleohydraulic tools to reconstruct river geometry and planform. We show that the deposits are consistent with deep (4-7 m), low-sloping rivers (5.6x10-4 to 4.5x10-5), similar in morphometry to modern single-threaded rivers. We show that mud in floodplain sediments provides sufficient resistance to erosion to withstand the reconstructed bank shear stress, indicating that sediment cohesion from mud alone can foster deep pre-Silurian rivers. We suggest that the apparent stratigraphic shift coeval with the greening of continents marks a kinematic change in channel migration rates rather than a geometric shift in river planform.
Data was collected by authors at outcrops of Stoer Group across NW Scotland. Hydraulic reconstructions were conducted using Matlab and figures were produced in Matlab and Affinity Designer.
Code files require Matlab, although they can be viewed as text files as well.
National Science Foundation, Award: EAR-PF 2053029