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  • Cited by 5
  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: May 2017

13 - Dead Sea Lake Level Changes and Levant Palaeoclimate

from Part II: - Palaeoclimates

Summary

The Dead Sea basin (DSB) is relatively deep with steep basin margins, its lacustrine bodies have high sedimentation rates, and the climate of its watershed ranges from sub-humid Mediterranean climate in the north to hyperarid in the south. This climate-sensitive lake basin is considered a regional-scale rain gauge for the Levant. Lake-level indicators are widely exposed allowing the detailed reconstruction of its lake levels that are characterized by vertical oscillations of tens to hundreds of meters. The chronology of these past lake level changes provides a high-resolution record of the Levant’s palaeohydrology. Here we evaluate the quality of the reconstructed DSB late Quaternary lake level chronology and discuss their palaeoclimatic importance. In particular, we discuss the synoptic-scale patterns that potentially affected the precipitation that is considered the primary modulator of the rise and fall of the lake levels at orbital (glacial-interglacial), millennial, and centennial temporal scales. These patterns are evaluated in light of modern climatic controls.
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