Pleistocene water intrusions from the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas into the Black Sea

Badertscher, S.; Fleitmann, D.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R. L.; Göktürk, O. M.; Zumbühl, A.; Leuenberger, M.; Tüysüz, O. (2011). Pleistocene water intrusions from the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas into the Black Sea. Nature geoscience, 4(4), pp. 236-239. London: Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/ngeo1106

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The hydrological balance of the Black Sea is governed by riverine input and by the exchange with the Mediterranean Sea through the shallow Bosporus Strait. These sources have distinctly different oxygen isotope (δ18O) signatures. Therefore, the δ18O of Black Sea water directly reflects the presence or absence of a connection with the Mediterranean Sea, as well as hydrological changes in the vast watersheds of the Black and Caspian seas (ref 1,2,3). However, the timing of late to middle Pleistocene water intrusions to the Black Sea is poorly constrained in sedimentary sequences (ref 4,5). Here we present a stacked speleothem δ18O record from Sofular Cave in northern Turkey that tracks the isotopic signature of Black Sea surface water, and thus allows a reconstruction of the precise timing of hydrological shifts of the Black Sea. Our record, which extends discontinuously over the last 670,000 years, suggests that the connection between the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea has been open for a significant period at least twelve times since 670,000 yr ago, more often than previously suggested (ref 4,5). Distinct minima in the Sofular δ18O record indicate at least seven intervals when isotopically depleted freshwater from the Caspian Sea entered the Black Sea. Our data provide precisely dated evidence for a highly dynamic hydrological history of the Black Sea.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Badertscher, Seraina; Fleitmann, Dominik; Göktürk, Ozan Mert and Leuenberger, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1752-0894

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:29

Last Modified:

23 Aug 2021 14:51

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/ngeo1106

Web of Science ID:

000289063900014

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/10612

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/10612 (FactScience: 216515)

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