Project properties

Title Landscape development of a swampy meadow and drowning of ancient oaks in the Binnenveld area (Wageningen)
Group Soil Geography and Landscape
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Jasper Candel (SGL) and Cindy Quik (SGL)
Examiner(s) Jasper Candel
Contact info;
Begin date 2022/01/03
End date
Description The fluvial landscape of the Netherlands is characterised by low-energy rivers, often with a meandering or laterally stable channel pattern. However, it is unknown whether streams have always had a clear channel, or that waterflow was dispersed through the landscape without a distinguishable channel (through a swampy meadow, or in Dutch: "doorstroommoeras"). In this MSc topic the former presence and development of a swampy meadow in the Binnenveld area (located west of Wageningen) will be investigated. During the past decades several stems and trunks of ancient oaks were found in peat deposits in the Binnenveld, including a recent discovery in October 2019 during excavation activities. The trees are dendrochronologically dated at the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed). Initial results indicate that the oaks are around 7000 years old. Their well-preserved state and presence of broken stems near rooted trunks point towards a relatively rapid landscape change and swift burial of the trees in organic deposits. These peat layers probably developed during the formation of a swampy meadow in the Binnenveld area, which caused the trees to cease. Aims are to analyse under which conditions swampy meadows can form, when these conditions were present in the Binnenveld area, and when changing conditions lead to the formation of a distinct river channel. Based on the student's interests the focus of the thesis topic can be placed on different elements. There are many approaches that the student can take, varying from fieldwork to modelling. Options for dating (radiocarbon dating or optically stimulated luminescence) can be explored.
Used skills Literature study, field work/coring, modelling, data analysis, reporting of project results.
Requirements - Keen interest in stratigraphy, geomorphology, palaeogeography;
- Recommended course SGL-22306 Geology, Soils and Landscapes of the Rhine-Meuse Delta.