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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Quaternary Science Reviews
Volume (Issue) 225
Page(s) 105997 - 105997
Title of proceedings Quaternary Science Reviews
DOI 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.105997

Open Access

Type of Open Access Green OA Embargo (Freely available via Repository after an embargo)


Paleoclimatic changes during MIS7 and MIS6 remain poorly described in the Near East. We quantified source-specific biomarkers in Lake Van sediments during the interglacial/glacial cycle MIS7/MIS6. Longchain n-alkanes produced by land-derived vegetation, as well as long-chain alkenones and sterols (namely brassicasterol and dinosterol) produced by aquatic algae were investigated. Stable hydrogen isotopic measurements (d2H) on n-C29 alkanes were used as a proxy for aridity and revealed three wetter periods interrupted by two drier intervals during MIS7. In contrast, during the MIS6 glaciation, a generally drier climate was predominant. During the warmer and wetter periods of MIS7, a higher input of aquatic organic matter to Lake Van sediments was recorded by higher concentrations of long-chain alkenones, dinosterol and brassicasterol. Long-chain alkane abundances do not show a pattern related to aridity and were observed in higher concentrations in wetter as well as drier periods. Generally, in the Eastern Mediterranean, a wetter interglacial interrupted by drier episodes followed by a dry glacial period was the common feature observed during the MIS7/MIS6 interglacial/glacial cycle. However, in comparison to the last interglacial/glacial cycle the extreme dry glacial period registered around Lake Van from MIS5d to MIS2 was apparently unique and not equaled by a similar event within the last 250 ka.