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Earth Surface Processes and Landforms








Constraining time is of critical importance to evaluating the rates and relative contributions of processes driving landscape change in sedimentary basins. The geomorphic character of the field setting guides the application of geochronologic or instrumental tools to this problem, because the viability of methods can be highly influenced by geomorphic attributes. For example, sediment yield and the linked potential for organic preservation may govern the usefulness of radiocarbon dating. Similarly, the rate of sediment transport from source to sink may determine the maturity and/or light exposure of mineral grains arriving in the delta and thus the feasibility of luminescence dating. Here, we explore the viability and quirks of dating and instrumental methods that have been applied in the Bengal Basin, and review the records that they have yielded. This immense, dynamic, and spatially variable system hosts the world's most inhabited delta. Outlining a framework for successful chronologic applications is thus of value to managing water and sediment resources for humans, here and in other populated deltas worldwide. Our review covers radiocarbon dating, luminescence dating, archaeological records and historical maps, short-lived radioisotopes, horizon markers and rod surface elevation tables, geodetic observations, and surface instrumentation. Combined, these tools can be used to reconstruct the history of the Bengal Basin from Late Pleistocene to present day. The growing variety and scope of Bengal Basin geochronology and instrumentation opens doors for research integrating basin processes across spatial and temporal scales. © 2019 The Authors. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


© 2019 The Authors. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Original Publication Citation

Chamberlain, E. L., Goodbred, S. L., Hale, R., Steckler, M. S., Wallinga, J., & Wilson, C. (2019) Integrating geochronologic and instrumental approaches across the Bengal basin. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 45(1) 46-74.


0000-0002-7670-8959 (Hale)


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