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Quantifying climatic change through the last glacial–interglacial transition based on lake isotope palaeohydrology from central Turkey

  • Matthew D. Jones (a1) (a2), C. Neil Roberts (a2) and Melanie J. Leng (a1) (a3)

Questions remain as to the nature of climatic change through the last glacial–interglacial transition in the eastern Mediterranean region, particularly the relative contribution of evaporation and precipitation to regional water balance. Here changes in oxygen isotope values through this time period from Eski Acıgöl, a crater lake in central Turkey, are investigated using hydrological and isotope mass balance models. These allow changes in evaporation and precipitation to be quantified and their relative importance evaluated. We show that it is the volumetric flux rate of water passing through the lake system and not the precipitation-to-evaporation ratio per se which controlled the stable isotope record in Eski Acıgöl. Early Holocene precipitation is shown to be much greater than that during both the latter part of the last glaciation and the present day. We test these calculated values against other records in the same region, firstly with other lake records in Anatolia, the Konya basin and Lake Van, and secondly with isotope-inferred palaeo-precipitation data from Soreq cave in Israel. This reveals a contrast between pre- and post-LGM precipitation values in Turkey (wetter and drier, respectively) and also suggests that during the last glacial–interglacial transition there was a more marked precipitation gradient than at present between northern/interior and southern/coastal parts of the eastern Mediterranean region.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. School of Geography, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK. Fax: +44 115 9514249. E-mail address: (M.D. Jones).
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Quaternary Research
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