Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic variations around Lake Van (Eastern Turkey) recorded by sedimentary source specific biomarkers 250–130 ka (MIS7 and MIS6)

Typhaine Guillemont, Monika Stockhecke, Achim Bechtel, S.N. Ladd, D.B. Nelson, Carsten J Schubert

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Paleoclimatic changes during MIS7 and MIS6 remain poorly described in the Near East. We quantified source-specific biomarkers in Lake Van sediments during the interglacial/glacial cycle MIS7/MIS6. Long-chain n-alkanes produced by land-derived vegetation, as well as long-chain alkenones and sterols (namely brassicasterol and dinosterol) produced by aquatic algae were investigated. Stable hydrogen isotopic measurements (δ 2H) on n-C 29 alkanes were used as a proxy for aridity and revealed three wetter periods interrupted by two drier intervals during MIS7. In contrast, during the MIS6 glaciation, a generally drier climate was predominant. During the warmer and wetter periods of MIS7, a higher input of aquatic organic matter to Lake Van sediments was recorded by higher concentrations of long-chain alkenones, dinosterol and brassicasterol. Long-chain alkane abundances do not show a pattern related to aridity and were observed in higher concentrations in wetter as well as drier periods. Generally, in the Eastern Mediterranean, a wetter interglacial interrupted by drier episodes followed by a dry glacial period was the common feature observed during the MIS7/MIS6 interglacial/glacial cycle. However, in comparison to the last interglacial/glacial cycle the extreme dry glacial period registered around Lake Van from MIS5d to MIS2 was apparently unique and not equaled by a similar event within the last 250 ka.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105997
Number of pages10
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number1 December
Early online date25 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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