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Geo-archaeological evidence for a Holocene extreme flooding event within the Arabian Sea (Ras al Hadd, Oman)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Number of Authors: 42015 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 113, p. 123-133Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Arabian Sea is regarded as one of the least studied regions in terms of coastal hazards such as tropical cyclones and tsunamis. Parts of the coastline are developing rapidly, especially in Oman. This calls for a proper understanding of the natural processes that act on and affect it. This can be done by investigating the magnitude and impact of past events, in particular on human settlements. By doing this, future risks may not only be scientifically predicted and evaluated, but the damage caused by future events might even be mitigated. Evidence of past extreme wave events is preserved in the onshore stratigraphic record. In addition to this, the coastal zone of Oman is rich in archaeological remains. Presented here are the results of comprehensive mapping and analysis of extreme wave deposits of an archaeological site near Ras al-Hadd, suggesting that the Early Bronze Age site HD-6 was inundated at 4450 cal. BP. An event layer is identified between two settlement phases within the archaeological excavation. A contemporaneous sand bed with a maximum thickness of 0.4 m was mapped in the vicinity of the settlement. Ground penetrating radar surveys allow measurement of the thickness as well as identification of the internal facies architecture of the deposit. A high resolution digital elevation model reveals the coastal geomorphology. It is concluded that the causative event must have been a tsunami that was most likely generated within the Makran Subduction Zone. This interpretation does however, remain tentative at the moment Archaeological evidence indicates that the site was immediately re-occupied after the event, which attests to a certain resiliences of the Early Bronze Age coastal communities in the region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 113, p. 123-133
Keywords [en]
Tsunami early warning system, Makran Subduction Zone, Ground penetrating radar, Storm surge, Cyclone, Early Bronze Age, High resolution digital elevation model
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159597DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.09.033ISI: 000351795300011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-159597DiVA, id: diva2:1244861
Available from: 2018-09-03 Created: 2018-09-03 Last updated: 2018-09-03Bibliographically approved

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