[ISSYK] ISSYK - Climate evolution in Central Asia during the past few million years: A case study from Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan

Climate & Ecosystems

Year of Application: 2009

Expedition ID: 5051

Current Status: done

lake drilling
lake issyk-kul
late tertiary
local tectonics
Master Data

Dr. Catalina Gebhardt (PI)
Dr. Frank Niessen (PI)
Dr. Hedi Oberhänsli (PI)
Prof. Dr. Roland Oberhänsli (PI)

Prof. Dr. Andreas Mulch (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Anna Reusch (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Jörg Pross (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Alexander Prokopenko (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Jens Kallmeyer (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Volkhard Spieß (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Angela Landgraf (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Edward Sobel (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Michael Strasser (Scientific Participant)

Geologisches Alter: miocene to quartenary

Latitude: 42°30'0''N


Regionen & Städte:

Lake Issyk Kul

Longitude: 77°30'0''E



soft sediment

Drilling Data

Drilling Depth:
Core Yield:
Core Length:
Amount of Drill Holes:
Amount of Drill Locations:

Core Length-Drill Depth-Ratio:
Core Yield-Core Length-Ratio:


The sedimentary record of the Lake Issyk-kul in the NW Tien Shan holds a long climatic history for this environmentally sensitive region. We plan to examine the sediment records of the lake, focusing on the time frame through the Pliocene and into the late (and maybe middle) Miocene. The sediment archive provides insight into - glacial history in the hinterland (i) 2-3 Ma, (ii) 150 -10 ka - vegetation history, diversity patterns as a reaction on specific climate states, - dust mobilisation as a reaction on changed atmospheric patterns - erosional history for different time windows, like (i) since 10 Ma, (ii) 4 Ma, (iii) 150 ka The erosional history will be a focus of interest as an expression both of regional and global climate manifested by prevailing westerly winds, the Arctic vortex, and the Siberian High Pressure System, and of local tectonic development. Accordingly, we consider local changes in the catchment area due to orographic changes. The data base gathered for the Issyk-Kul archive, not just alone but especially when compared with other regional and global paleoclimatic records, will lead towards a better understanding of the connection between regional climatic change holding information on the development, contribution and integration of the Central Asian climate system with its specific components contributing the evolution of global climate. A workshop is essential to design a full ICDP proposal for deep drilling in Issyk-Kul, because an effective exchange of information, data, and ideas among more than 30 scientists from at least 10 countries (see enclosure) can be achieved only by direct communication during a joint meeting.

Related Publications

M. M. Lenz, R. Scheuer, X. Zhang, A. Jaeschke, S. Opitz, N. Leicher, M. Pöllen, X. Xu, J. Rethemeyer, E. Rahmedinov, K. Abdrakhmatov, V. Wennrich, B. Wagner (2023). "Modern Sedimentation Patterns in Lake Issyk Kul (Kyrgyzstan), Derived From Surface Sediment and Inlet Stream Samples" Earth and Space Science 10 p1-22

Gebhardt, A. C., Naudts, L., De Mol, L., Klerkx, J., Abdrakhmatov, K., Sobel, E. R., De Batist, M. (2017). "High-amplitude lake-level changes in tectonically active Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan) revealed by high-resolution seismic reflection data" Clim. Past 13 p73-92

Rosenwinkel, Swenja, Landgraf, Angela, Schwanghart, Wolfgang, Volkmer, Friedrich, Dzhumabaeva, Atyrgul, Merchel, Silke, Rugel, Georg, Preusser, Frank, Korup, Oliver (2017). "Late Pleistocene outburst floods from Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan?" Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42 p1535-1548

Oberhänsli, H., Molnar, P. (2012). "Climate Evolution in Central Asia during the Past Few Million Years: A Case Study from Issyk Kul" Sci. Dril. p51-57