Mid and Late Holocene flooding reconstruction based on fluvial archives of the East Carpathian rivers

  • Maria RĂDOANE
  • Francisca CHIRILOAEI
  • Nicolae RĂDOANE
  • Constantin NECHITA
Keywords: fluvial sediments, age dating, channel sedimentation and incision, flooding events chronology


This paper focused on the analysis of the interpretation potential given by fluvial archives, in order to decipher the Mid- to Late Holocene sedimentary history. The database discussed here refers to 65 dated ages (mostly radiocarbon), mappings of the most representative floodplain reaches of Suceava, Moldova and Siret rivers, and 23 outcrops analysed in floodplain deposits (river banks or gravel pits). The study results concentrated on (a) describing the regional features of Eastern Carpathian floodplains, (b) the floodplain morphology and its correlation with the structure of fluvial deposits and (c) identifying the paleoevents of fluvial activity on a centennial timescale. In this way, we were able to identify a general pattern of the dynamic geomorphology history for the rivers situated eastward of the Carpathians, which resulted from combining the Mid- to Late Holocene sedimentation phases, the avulsion and lateral migration processes that occurred during high fluvial activity intervals and the morphological adjustment of the rivers channels, from braiding to wandering and sinuously–meandering. The chronological overlay of the events revealed that the time intervals with the most extensive fluvial processes on the rivers draining the Eastern Carpathians occurred (in years before present) during 6200, 5300, 4100–4080, 3600, 2300–2200 (Iron Age), 1300 (Migrations Period), 950–970 (Medieval Climate Anomaly), 750–520 BP (Little Ice Age)
and that these intervals generally overlap the high precipitation palaeoclimatic episodes documented in Romania. The fluvial activity of the rivers during the Mid- to Late Holocene has been compared as well with several records of paleo–climates variability over the geographical area of Romania. The result showed that many flooding episodes were coincident with the wet and cold intervals which were also identified in the variation of the other proxy
data, especially after 4.7 kcal BP.