[Litt] Lake Van Drilling Project 'PALEOVAN', a long continental record in eastern Turkey: Paleoecological investigations on new cores obtained during the ICDP deep drilling operation in 2010
German Title: Lake Van Drilling Project 'PALEOVAN', a long continental record in eastern Turkey: Paleoecological investigations on new cores obtained during the ICDP deep drilling operation in 2010
Current Status: completed
Main Applicant:Prof. Dr. Thomas Litt
Summary of Results (Gepris)
A complete succession of the lacustrine sediment sequence deposited during the last ~600,000 years in Lake Van, Eastern Anatolia (Turkey) was drilled in 2010 supported by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). Based on a detailed seismic site survey, two sites at a water depth of up to 360 m were drilled in summer 2010, and cores were retrieved from sub-lake-floor depths of 140 m (Northern Basin) and 220 m (Ahlat Ridge). To obtain a complete sedimentary section, the two sites were multiple cored in order to investigate the paleoclimate history of a sensitive semi-arid region between the Black, Caspian, and Mediterranean seas. A well-dated suite of Lake Van climate-proxy data including pollen documents environmental changes over 6 glacial/interglacial cycles in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. The picture of cold and dry glacials and warm and wet interglacials emerging from pollen, organic carbon, authigenic carbonate content, elemental profiling by XRF and lithological analyses is inconsistent with classical interpretation of oxygen isotopic composition of carbonates pointing to a more complex pattern in Lake Van region. The sediments of Lake Van are an extraordinary paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental archive allowing us to assess how terrestrial environments respond to global atmospheric, ocean and ice volume changes as well to anthropogenic pressure. The multi-proxy approach provides insights not only into the inter-relation between geo- and biosphere during abrupt climate changes but also into differences in response characteristics of the investigated biotic and abiotic parameters. The long and partly annually laminated sedimentary record of Lake Van is therefore a key archive for reconstructing Quaternary climate evolution in the eastern Mediterranean and Near East. The geochronological precision of the sedimentary record on a millennial or even annual scale allow comparisons with not only astronomical cyclicity, but also at higher resolution than the Milankovitch cycles, such as DO events. The 600,000 year old paleoclimate record retrieved from Lake Van encompasses a much more extended period than any other continental records in the entire Near East.