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Evolution of Rivers Transcript


Dr. Neil Davies, Department of Geology, University of Ghent, Belgium

The work that I am working on, and some other people are working on is looking at the effects plants had on the evolution of rivers. So in the Cambrian, before the evolution of plants most rivers were just big sheets of sand washing across the Earth’s surface. By the Devonian, by the time you’ve got the first forests, rivers had become more complex and you are getting more meandering systems that are snaking their way down. And by the Pennsylvanian when the Tynemouth Creek Formation was deposited, this is when we start seeing truly modern river systems. So the work we have been doing out at Tynemouth Creek has been looking at how large plants such as Calamites and so on, may have colonized riversides and affected the flow of rivers, and at the same time engineered those rivers to allow the colonization of alluvial habitats by other plants and organisms.