Possible earthquake trigger for 6th century mass wasting deposit at Lake Ohrid (Macedonia/Albania)

Wagner, B.; Francke, A.; Sulpizio, R.; Zanchetta, G.; Lindhorst, K.; Krastel, S.; Vogel, Hendrik; Rethemeyer, J.; Daut, G.; Grazhdani, A.; Lushaj, B.; Trajanovski, S. (2012). Possible earthquake trigger for 6th century mass wasting deposit at Lake Ohrid (Macedonia/Albania). Climate of the past, 8(6), pp. 2069-2078. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/cp-8-2069-2012

Wagner_etal(2012)Earthquake1Ohrid.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (6MB) | Preview

Abstract. Lake Ohrid shared by the Republics of Albania
and Macedonia is formed by a tectonically active graben
within the south Balkans and suggested to be the oldest lake
in Europe. Several studies have shown that the lake provides
a valuable record of climatic and environmental changes and
a distal tephrostratigraphic record of volcanic eruptions from
Italy. Fault structures identified in seismic data demonstrate
that sediments have also the potential to record tectonic activity
in the region. Here, we provide an example of linking seismic
and sedimentological information with tectonic activity
and historical documents. Historical documents indicate that
a major earthquake destroyed the city of Lychnidus (today:
city of Ohrid) in the early 6th century AD. Multichannel
seismic profiles, parametric sediment echosounder profiles,
and a 10.08m long sediment record from the western part of
the lake indicate a 2m thick mass wasting deposit, which is
tentatively correlated with this earthquake. The mass wasting
deposit is chronologically well constrained, as it directly
overlays the AD472/AD 512 tephra. Moreover, radiocarbon
dates and cross correlation with other sediment sequences
with similar geochemical characteristics of the Holocene indicate
that the mass wasting event took place prior to the onset
of the Medieval Warm Period, and is attributed it to one
of the known earthquakes in the region in the early 6th century

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Quaternary Geology

UniBE Contributor:

Vogel, Hendrik


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Copernicus Publications




Hendrik Vogel

Date Deposited:

20 Jun 2014 10:58

Last Modified:

25 Dec 2014 07:05

Publisher DOI:






Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback