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The Quaternary History of the River Nile
Convener: Jamie Woodward  | Co-Convener: Eduardo Garzanti 
 / Tue, 29 Apr, 10:30–12:00
 / Attendance Tue, 29 Apr, 17:30–19:00

This session will examine recent advances in our understanding of the history of the River Nile during the Quaternary. A key aim is to bring together researchers from a range of backgrounds to advance our understanding of how the Nile catchment sediment system has responded to global climate change over a range of timescales. The Nile’s flow regime integrates two parts of the global climate system: the summer monsoon in the Northern Hemisphere and equatorial rainfall in the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Records of long-term river behaviour are preserved in a variety of contexts. The sedimentary records from the delta and offshore zone offer some of the most finely resolved histories of river behaviour. Cosmogenic nuclides and strontium (Sr) and neodymium (Nd) isotopes are providing important insights into the factors controlling water and sediment fluxes and long-term landscape evolution. We welcome papers on the following broad themes: Nile catchment geomorphology and geochronology (using OSL, radiocarbon, tephra, and other methods); sediment geochemistry (including provenance studies) and its application to understanding big river dynamics and environmental change; interactions between the fluvial and aeolian regimes; the record of river processes from Nile catchment lakes; meta-analysis of radiocarbon and OSL databases; the long-term history of the Nile and its people, including prehistoric cultures and sites (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic to Neolithic) in riverine contexts and new contributions to the on-going debate about societal collapse and Holocene environmental change. We hope to include work from all of the major sectors of the catchment including the Blue and White Nile and Atbara catchments, the desert river, and the delta and off-shore. This session will present the latest research that enhances our understanding of the response of the River Nile to global climate change over Quaternary (including Holocene) timescales.