Sedimentary evolution and environmental history of Lake Van (Turkey) over the past 600,000 years

Stockhecke, Mona; Sturm, Michael; Brunner, Irene; Schmincke, Hans-Ulrich; Sumita, Mari; Kipfer, Rolf; Cukur, Deniz; Kwiecien, Ola; Anselmetti, Flavio S. (2014). Sedimentary evolution and environmental history of Lake Van (Turkey) over the past 600,000 years. Sedimentology, 61(6), pp. 1830-1861. Blackwell Science 10.1111/sed.12118

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The lithostratigraphic framework of Lake Van, eastern Turkey, has been systematically analysed to document the sedimentary evolution and the environmental history of the lake during the past ca 600,000 years. The lithostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy of a 219 m long drill core from Lake Van serves to separate global climate oscillations from local factors caused by tectonic and volcanic activity. An age model was established based on the climatostratigraphic alignment of chemical and lithological signatures, validated by 40Ar/39Ar ages. The drilled sequence consists of ca 76% lacustrine carbonaceous clayey silt, ca 2% fluvial deposits, ca 17% volcaniclastic deposits and 5% gaps. Six lacustrine lithotypes were separated from the fluvial and event deposits, such as volcaniclastics (ca 300 layers) and graded beds (ca 375 layers), and their depositional environments are documented. These lithotypes are: (i) graded beds frequently intercalated with varved clayey silts reflect rising lake-levels during the terminations; (ii) varved clayey silts reflect strong seasonality and an intralake oxic–anoxic boundary, for example, lake-level highstands during interglacials/interstadials; (iii) CaCO3-rich banded sediments are representative of a lowering of the oxic-anoxic boundary, for example, lake-level decreases during glacial inceptions; (iv) CaCO3-poor banded and mottled clayey silts reflect an oxic–anoxic boundary close to the sediment-water interface, for example, lake-level low-stands during glacials/stadials; (v) diatomaceous muds were deposited during the early beginning of the lake as a fresh water system; and (vi) fluvial sands and gravels indicate the initial flooding of the lake basin. The recurrence of lithologies (i) to (iv) follows the past five glacial/interglacial cycles. A 20 m thick disturbed unit reflects an interval of major tectonic activity in Lake Van at ca 414 ka BP.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Anselmetti, Flavio


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Blackwell Science




Flavio Anselmetti

Date Deposited:

03 May 2014 23:38

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2015 09:02

Publisher DOI:





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