Articles | Volume 14
Sci. Dril., 14, 18–29, 2012
Sci. Dril., 14, 18–29, 2012

  01 Sep 2012

01 Sep 2012

500,000 Years of Environmental History in Eastern Anatolia: The PALEOVAN Drilling Project

T. Litt1, F. S. Anselmetti3, H. Baumgarten6, J. Beer3, N. Cagatay5, D. Cukur2, E. Damci5, C. Glombitza7, G. Haug3, G. Heumann1, H. Kallmeyer7, R. Kipfer3, S. Krastel2, O. Kwiecien3, A. F. Meydan4, S. Orcen4, N. Pickarski1, M.-E. Randlett3, H.-U. Schmincke2, C. J. Schubert3, M. Sturm3, M. Sumita2, M. Stockhecke3, Y. Tomonaga3, L. Vigliotti8, T. Wonik6, and the PALEOVAN Scientific Team T. Litt et al.
  • 1Steinmann Institute of Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology, Bonn University, Bonn, Germany
  • 2GEOMAR, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Wischhofstr. 1-3, 24148 Kiel, Germany
  • 3Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf and Kastanienbaum, Switzerland
  • 4Yüzüncü Yıl Üniversitesi, Mühendislik – Mimarlık Fakültesi Jeoloji Mühendislii Bölümü, Van, Turkey
  • 5Department of Geological Engineering and Eastern Mediterranean Centre for Oceanography and Limnology, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 6Leibniz- Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG), Hannover, Germany
  • 7Potsdam University, Institute for Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geomicrobiology Group, Potsdam, Germany
  • 8Istituto di Scienze Marine, ISMAR-CNR, Bologna, Italy

Abstract. International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) drilled a complete succession of the lacustrine sediment sequence deposited during the last ~500,000 years in Lake Van, Eastern Anatolia (Turkey). Based on a detailed seismic site survey, two sites at a water depth of up to 360 m were drilled in summer 2010, and cores were retrieved from sub-lake-floor depths of 140 m (Northern Basin) and 220 m (Ahlat Ridge). To obtain a complete sedimentary section, the two sites were multiple-cored in order to investigate the paleoclimate history of a sensitive semi-arid region between the Black, Caspian, and Mediterranean seas. Further scientific goals of the PALEOVAN project are the reconstruction of earthquake activity, as well as the temporal, spatial, and compositional evolution of volcanism as reflected in the deposition of tephra layers. The sediments host organic matter from different sources and hence composition, which will be unravelled using biomarkers. Pathways for migration of continental and mantle-derived noble gases will be analyzed in pore waters. Preliminary 40Ar/39Ar single crystal dating of tephra layers and pollen analyses suggest that the Ahlat Ridge record encompasses more than half a million years of paleoclimate and volcanic/geodynamic history, providing the longest continental record in the entire Near East to date.