[Spieß] Long term tectonic and paleoclimatic history of Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan - results from an ICDP-related deep seismic pre-site survey campaign

German Title: Tektonische und paläoklimatische Geschichte des Lake Issyk-Kul, Kirgistan - Ergebnisse einer tiefen seismischen Vermessung für ICDP

Abbreviation: 358

Current Status: approved

Main Applicant:Prof. Dr. Volkhard Spieß

Resources Recipient

Other Persons

Prof. Dr. Michael Strasser
Dr. Anna Reusch
Dr. Lena Steinmann
Dr. Catalina Gebhardt
Nora Schulze
Dr. Tillmann Schwenk
Prof. Dr. Edward Sobel

Conveyor Begin: 1 February, 2019
Conveyor End: 31 January, 2022
Conveyor Duration:
Year: 2019


Lake Issyk-Kul, located in the Kyrgyz Republic, is one of the deepest and largest lakes in the world. It occupies a deep basin within the Tien Shan mountain belt in Central Asia, which is presently one of the Earth’s tectonically most active intra-continental mountain belts, as a result of a compressional regime developing out of the India-Eurasia collision. Lake sediments can act as important “recorders” of the regional processes active during and after their deposition. Lake Issyk-Kul’s sediments likely comprise a promising record of tectonic events and past climate changes in the region, potentially ranging back to Miocene times.
To further investigate the lake for a potential drilling campaign of the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP), a joint field program is planned by the Universities of Bremen and Cologne to image both the deep lake filling as well as a high-resolution history of deposition in conjunction with geological surface sampling and coring.
This proposal suggests a three weeks geophysical field campaign with multichannel seismic, sediment echosounder and multibeam.
Major scientific questions is the reconstruction of the long term history of the lake filling, tectonic deformation and paleoseismology, and which would be required for planning a marine drilling. Spatial mapping of major horizons, thickness of depositional units and reconstruction of tectonic movements shall give insight into the history of sediment delivery, lake level variations, continuity of deposition, major earthquake activity, basin evolution, regional tilting and development of a major fold structure. By developing a seismostratigraphic framework, the evolution of this basin shall be reconstructed, supporting and improving ICDP drilling strategies.