Chronostratigraphy of the 600,000 year old continental record of Lake Van

Stockhecke, Mona; Kwiecien, Ola; Vigliotti, Luigi; Anselmetti, Flavio; Beer, Jürg; Cagatay, Namik; Channel, James E T; Kipfer, Rolf; Lachner, Johannes; Litt, Thomas; Pickarski, Nadine; Sturm, Michael (2014). Chronostratigraphy of the 600,000 year old continental record of Lake Van. Quaternary Science Reviews, 104, pp. 8-17. Pergamon 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.04.008

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Lake Van sediment cores from the Ahlat Ridge and Northern Basin drill sites of the ICDP project PALEOVAN contain a wealth of information about past environmental processes. The sedimentary sequence was dated using climatostratigraphic alignment, varve chronology, tephrostratigraphy, argon-argon single-crystal dating, radiocarbon dating, magnetostratigraphy, and cosmogenic nuclides. Based on the lithostratigraphic framework, the different age constraints are compiled and a robust and precise chronology of the 600,000 year-old Lake Van record is constructed. Proxy records of total organic carbon content and sediment color, together with the calcium/potassium-ratios and arboreal pollen percentages of the 174-meter-long Ahlat Ridge record, mimic the Greenland isotope stratotype (NGRIP). Therefore, the proxy records are systematically aligned to the onsets of interstadials reflected in the NGRIP or synthesized Greenland ice-core stratigraphy. The chronology is constructed using 27 age control points derived from visual synchronization with the GICC05 timescale, an absolutely-dated speleothem record (e.g., Hulu, Sanbao, Linzhu cave) and the Epica Dome C timescale. In addition, the uppermost part of the sequence is complemented with four ages from Holocene varve chronology and two calibrated radiocarbon ages. Furthermore, nine argon-argon ages and a comparison of the relative paleointensity record of the magnetic field with reference curve PISO-1500 confirm the accuracy of the age model. Also the identification of the Laschamp event via measurements of 10Be in the sediment confirms the presented age model. The chronology of the Ahlat Ridge record is transferred to the 79-meter-long event-corrected composite record from the Northern Basin and supplemented by additional radiocarbon dating on organic marco-remains. The basal age of the Northern Basin record is estimated at ~90 ka. The variations of the time series of total organic carbon content, the Ca/K ratio, and the arboreal pollen percentages illustrate that the presented chronology and paleoclimate data are suited for reconstructions and modeling of the Quaternary and Pleistocene climate evolution in the Near East at millennial timescales. Furthermore, the chronology of the last 250 kyr can be used to test other dating techniques.

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








Flavio Anselmetti

Date Deposited:

22 Sep 2014 10:15

Last Modified:

10 Oct 2019 11:22

Publisher DOI:





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