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Dr. Hendrik Vogel

1. Preis des Jahres 2012

A paleoclimate record with tephrochronological age control for the last glacial-interglacial cycle from Lake Ohrid, Albania and Macedonia

Institut für Geologie und Mineralogie der Universität zu Köln

Dr. Hendrik VogelDr. Hendrik Vogel

Lake Ohrid is probably of Pliocene age, and the oldest extant lake in Europe. In this study climatic and environmental changes during the last glacial-interglacial cycle are reconstructed using lithological, sedimentological, geochemical and physical proxy analysis of a 15-m-long sediment succession from Lake Ohrid. A chronological framework is derived from tephrochronology and radiocarbon dating, which yields a basal age of ca. 136 ka. The succession is not continuous, however, with a hiatus between ca. 97.6 and 81.7 ka. Sediment accumulation in course of the last climatic cycle is controlled by the complex interaction of a variety of climate-controlled parameters and their impact on catchment dynamics, limnology, and hydrology of the lake. Warm interglacial and cold glacial climate conditions can be clearly distinguished from organic matter, calcite, clastic detritus and lithostratigraphic data. During interglacial periods, short-term fluctuations are recorded by abrupt variations in organic matter and calcite content, indicating climatically-induced changes in lake productivity and hydrology. During glacial periods, high variability in the contents of coarse silt to fine sand sized clastic matter is probably a function of climatically-induced changes in catchment dynamics and wind activity. In some instances tephra layers provide potential stratigraphic markers for short-lived climate perturbations. Given their widespread distribution in sites across the region, tephra analysis has the potential to provide insight into variation in the impact of climate and environmental change across the Mediterranean.