Low, nearly continuous terraces of similar age are present along streams in drainage basins that range in size from Drift Creek (190 km2) to the Umpqua River (11,800 km2) in the Oregon Coast Range. Radiocarbon ages from near the bose of fluvial sediments underlying these terraces are clustered at about 9000-11,000 14C yr B.P. Beveled bedrock surfaces (straths) that underlie the fluvial sediments are 1-8 m above summer stream levels and are present along most of the nontidal reaches of the rivers that we studied. Where exposed, the bedrock straths are overlain by 2-11 m of fluvial sediment that consists of a bottom-stratum (channel) facies of sandy pebble-cobble gravel and a top-stratum (overbank) facies of sandy silt or silt. Eight radiocarbon ages from the fluvial sediments allow correlation of the lowest continuous terrace over a wide area and thus indicate that a regional aggradation episode occurred in Coast Range drainage basins during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The cause of such widespread aggradation is unknown but may be related to climate-induced changes in the frequency of evacuation of colluvium from hollows, which are common in all drainage basins in the region.
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Evidence for Regional Stream Aggradation in the Central Oregon Coast Range during the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition