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Holocene climate reconstructions from western Anatolia based on speleothem data

Objective

Speleothems (calcareous cave deposits) are among the most useful archives that are utilized to reconstruct past
environmental conditions, including palaeotemperature and moisture conditions, on decadal to millennial timescales. Highquality
(high-resolution, precisely dated, complete, and robust) regional speleothem-based palaeoclimate records,
specifically revealing the past variability of rainfall regimes, is of great importance for human water, and hence for the future
estimations pertaining the human-climate-environment relationship. Research suggests that decreases in rainfall-driven
water availability during the late Holocene in the Eastern Mediterranean region was one of the main reasons for the decline
and/or collapse of some former civilizations (e.g. decline of Ottoman Empire in the preindustrial era, collapse of Uruk society
in Mesopotamia during the transition from chalcolithic to the early Bronze Age, societal collapse of the Late Bronze Age).
This project will generate an extensive dataset through a multi-proxy approach of isotope and trace element geochemistry
using Holocene-aged stalagmites from several cave sites located in western and southwestern Anatolia (Turkey). The main
objectives of the proposed action are: (1) to produce precisely-dated (U-series dating) and high temporal resolution paleorecords
concerning the Holocene climate dynamics that affected the living patterns of ancient Aegean civilizations (e.g.
Classical Greek and Roman), (2) to trace possible impacts of human-induced environmental and atmospheric pollution
through a suite of high resolution stalagmite records, including stable isotope and trace element variations (e.g. changes in
carbon and sulphur isotope ratios), and (3) to explore whether the speleothems reflect Holocene volcanic activities that
occurred in the Aegean region, and if so, to distinguish these effects from anthropogenic activities.

Coordinator

MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
Net EU contribution
€ 157 355,52
Address
Dumlupinar Bulvari 1
06800 Ankara
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00