ABSTRACT

Cho, A.; Cheong, D.; Kim, J.C.; Shin, S.; Park, Y.-H., and Katsuki, K., 2017. Delta formation in the Nakdong River, Korea, during the Holocene as inferred from the diatom assemblage.

The causes and succession of the Nakdong River delta formation related to sea-level change and precipitation in the early–middle Holocene were discussed based on diatom analysis. On the basis of ecology, stratigraphic changes of diatom flora were divided into five divisions, labeled zones I–V. According to the diatom assemblage, the first marine transgression occurred at about 10.5 ka at this research site. At that time, marine species gradually increased, and freshwater species had their highest values. This site was an estuary influenced by inputs of fresh and marine water until 9.8 ka (zone I). Zone II is dominated by bay and offshore species, meaning that sea level rose continuously after about 9.8 ka (zone II) when the Nakdong River mouth region was an inner bay. Then, the environment of this site changed to an outer bay after 8 ka (zone III) because of sea-level rise, which is supported by increasing numbers of oceanic species. At the end of this zone, at 6–7 ka, sea level highstand occurred. A prodelta began forming just after the highstand under slow sea-level rise (zone IV), and the delta front arrived at its present location at 5 ka by voluminous sediment input from the Nakdong River related to high precipitation during the Holocene Climate Optimum (zone V). After 5 ka, the delta front remained around its present site because of stable or decreasing sea level. Compared with other Asia deltas (Yangtze and Mekong), the initiation of the Nakdong River delta was delayed by about 1000–2000 years because of differences in relative sea-level changes.

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