Principal Investigators: Hermann Behling (University Goettingen), Helge Arz (GFZ Potsdam), Dominik Fleitmann (University of Bern)
Project Scientists: Lyudmila Shumilovskikh (University Goettingen), N.N. (GFZ Potsdam)
Map of the Black Sea showing the working area with the location of the sediment cores retrieved during various Black Sea expeditions and the location of the Sofular Cave in northwestern Anatolia. (lower panel) Image of the stalagmites from Sofular Cave, northwestern Anatolia and a gravity core from the southeastern Black Sea. The yellow boxes show (1) the Holocene and (2) the “Eemian” intervals.
As an isolated marginal sea, the Black Sea reacted particularly sensitive to paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes and on both global and regional scales. In spite of its unique potential for high resolution paleoclimate reconstructions, late Quaternary sediment sequences of the Black Sea have only subordinately been studied with respect to paleoclimatic questions. This is somewhat surprising considering the key-geographic location of the Black Sea, where climate is strongly affected by two major climate systems; the North Atlantic/Siberian pressure system in winter and the Indian monsoon in summer. Highly-resolved and precisely dated paleoclimate records are crucial for reconstructing past regional climate variability, which can then be compared to paleoclimate records from the North Atlantic, Europe and the Indian monsoon domain. Several core sites in the Black Sea along the North-Anatolian rim can provide records of vegetation dynamics and changing precipitation regimes in the Anatolian hinterland as well as paleoceanographic/ paleolimnologic data of environmental changes in the marine/limnic Black Sea system itself. Uranium-series dated stalagmites from Sofular Cave located at the Black Sea coast in north-western Turkey will provide, as terrestrial counterpart, long complementary paleorecords of changes in vegetation and precipitation. When combined, such records will allow us to better quantify the far-field effects of North Atlantic climate and Indian monsoon during the Holocene, Eemian and the last two glacial/interglacial transitions (T1 and T2).
Quantitative and semi-quantitative paleo-temperature and paleo-hydrological reconstructions (including carbon and oxygen isotopes, sedimentology, inorganic geochemistry), vegetation dynamics (palinology)
Marine/limnic sediments of the southern Black Sea, NW Anatolian speleothems