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The Swiss contribution to the Lake Van Drilling Project: 500000 years of environmental and climate change in Eastern Anatolia (Drilling Costs)

English title The Swiss contribution to the Lake Van Drilling Project: 500000 years of environmental and climate change in Eastern Anatolia (Drilling Costs)
Applicant Kipfer Rolf
Number 124972
Funding scheme Research Infrastructure
Research institution Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG)
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology - EAWAG
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.01.2010 - 31.12.2010
Approved amount 353'000.00
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Keywords (6)

lake sediments and paleoseismology; paleoclimate in the Middle East; biomarkers and paleo-productivity; cosmogenic nuclides and solar activity; noble gases and terrestrial fluids;

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Two related SNF-projects are the Swiss contribution to the Lake Van Drilling Project being carried out by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). This Lake Van Drilling project (PALEOVAN) the key to trigger the newly established SNF-supported Swiss membership in ICDP.One proposal covers the Swiss share of the drilling operations to recover several hundred meters of sediments. The other proposal addresses the scientific activities of the involved Swiss research groups. Lake Van (eastern Anatolia, Turkey), the fourth largest terminal lake on Earth, is surrounded by lively volcanoes within a tectonically active area. Lake Van's annually-laminated sediments are expected to be excellent paleoclimate and paleoenvironment archive because they contain a long and continuous continental sequence that covers several glacial-interglacial cycles (~500 kyr). Therefore, ICDP identified Lake Van is a key site to investigate climatic, environmental, volcanic and tectonic evolution during the last few hundred thousands years of the Near East in the cradle of human civilization.This Swiss initiative embedded in the overarching ICDP Drilling project on Lake Van consist of five complementary research modules:Module A: Sedimentology and stratigraphic framework and implications for lake level changes and paleoseismology.Module B: Geochemical analyses of solid phase (climate proxies) and fluid phase. Module C: Organic geochemistry, biomarkers, 14C dating of single compounds. Module D: 10Be as a tracer of solar and geomagnetic variability and erosion rate. 10Be as well as 14C and 36Cl provide a unique tool to reconstruct the history of solar variability and changes in the geomagnetic field intensity. The large laminated sediment body of Lake Van allows to study the evolution of long-lived radio nuclides at high temporal resolution on much longer time scales than those being assessable by ice-cores. Module E: Noble gases as proxy for vertical fluid transport in the sediment column and lake level fluctuation.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
147145 Swiss Membership in the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) 01.01.2014 Research Infrastructure
132155 Noble-gas and fluid transport processes in lake sediments 01.09.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
143340 The Swiss contribution to the ICDP Lake Van Drilling Project: Linking modern seismic and biogeochemical signatures to 500,000 years of environmental history 01.01.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Two related SNF-proposals seek funds for a Swiss contribution to the Lake Van Drilling Project that will be executed by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). One proposal covers the Swiss share of the drilling operations, necessary to recover several hundred meters of Lake Van sediments. The other proposal addresses the scientific activities of the involved Swiss research groups. Among other previous Swiss ICDP engagements, the Lake Van Drilling project was pivotal in triggering the newly established SNF-supported Swiss membership in ICDP.Lake Van is the fourth largest terminal lake in the world, extending for 130 km WSW-ENE on a high plateau at 1674 a.s.l. in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. The lake is surrounded by active volcanoes within a tectonically active area. The annually-laminated sedimentary record of Lake Van promises to be an excellent paleoclimate and paleoenvironment archive because it potentially yields a long and continuous continental sequence that covers several glacial-interglacial cycles (~500 kyr). Therefore, Lake Van is a key site within the ICDP activities for the investigation of the Quaternary climatic, environmental, volcanic and tectonic evolution in the Near East at the cradle of human civilization.This Swiss initiative embedded in the overarching ICDP Drilling project on Lake Van will encompass 5 research modules:• Module A: Sedimentology and stratigraphic framework and implications for lake level changes and paleoseismology (PIs: Flavio Anselmetti and Michael Sturm, Eawag). As a closed lake basin, Lake Van reacts very sensitively with lake level changes to any alterations of the hydrological regime in response to climate change and tectonic activities. The sedimentology and site-to-site correlation of the drilled sedimentary sections will yield the stratigraphic framework, providing the sedimentological response of the Lake Van as dynamic system to the environmental forcing. High-resolution sediment trap techniques will be applied to define and calibrate the seasonal dynamics of modern varve formation. Comparison with lithologies of ancient varves will provide insights into seasonal cycles for the Holocene and former interglacials. The record of earthquake-induced microdeformation structures will furthermore establish a paleoseismic event catalogue reflecting past tectonic activity in the area.• Module B: Geochemical analyses of solid phase (climate proxies) and fluid phase (PI: Gerald Haug, ETH Zürich). In order to reconstruct the climate history of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, it is of particular importance to understand the variability of large-scale ocean-atmosphere oscillations such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the North Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Arctic Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the Asian and African monsoon systems. High-resolution XRF scanning and high-resolution digital imaging analyses on long sediment cores of Lake Van will be used to reconstruct these climate oscillations in one of the most sensitive regions of the globe during the last five glacial-interglacial cycles.• Module C: Organic geochemistry, biomarkers, 14C dating of single compounds (PI Carsten Schubert, Eawag). The regularly varved sediment core will allow to perform high-resolution organic geochemical investigations that include paleotemperature measurements, phytoplankton community determinations, identification of redox conditions and disentangling of autochthone vs. allochthone contributions. Additionally, the 14C ages of single organic compounds will be determined after separation from the total organic extract. Such analysis have never been performed before on lacustrine sediments. Lake Van, with its exceptional sediment material, will allow age determination by both, 14C and varve-counting, providing an ideal tool for comparison and calibration. We will reveal different preservation patterns, different origins of the organic material, and determine the composition that leads to the bulk 14C age of the sediment.• Module D: Beryllium-10 as a tracer of solar and geomagnetic variability and erosion rate. (PI: Jürg Beer, Eawag). 10Be as well as 14C and 36Cl provide a unique tool to reconstruct the history of solar variability and changes in the geomagnetic field intensity. So far, most work in this field was done on polar ice cores and marine sediments. While marine sediment records are often limited by low temporal resolution, the annual layer thickness in ice cores decreases with increasing depth due to flow characteristics of ice sheets limiting the application to ~200 kyr. The sediments of Lake Van offer the possibility to extend both the temporal range and temporal resolution considerably. However, 10Be in continental sediments does not only reflect the atmospheric production rate of cosmogenic radionuclides. Erosion in the catchment area partly masks the production signal and depending on the role of erosion, emphasis will be on the reconstruction of the production and/or the erosion history. Moreover, if the production signal will be available, it can be used to improve the dating by synchronizing the lake Van record with the polar ice cores.• Module E: Noble gases as proxy for vertical fluid transport in the sediment column and lake level fluctuations (PI: Rolf Kipfer, Eawag). The concentrations of atmospheric noble gases in the pore waters of the cores will be used to geochemically reconstruct - for the first time ever - lake levels and salinity on time scales of 1-100 kyr. In addition, the long cores from Lake Van will allow determination of the in-situ terrestrial He-gradient as a function of depth within a sediment column of several hundred meters, which will yield insights into physical transport mechanisms of terrigenic (and mantle) Helium through the uppermost part of the continental crust.These five independent research modules will complement each other and provide critical components in the multinational and multidisciplinary effort to reconstruct the Quaternary history of Lake Van.
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