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Climate in the eastern Mediterranean during the Holocene and beyond – A Peloponnesian perspective
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis contributes increased knowledge about climate variability during the late Quaternary in the eastern Mediterranean. Results from a paleoclimate review reveal that regional wetter conditions from 6000 to 5400 years BP were replaced by a less wet period from 5400 to 4600 years BP and to fully arid conditions around 4600 years BP. The data available, however, show that there is not enough evidence to support the notion of a widespread climate event with rapidly drying conditions in the region around 4200 years ago. The review further highlights the lack of paleoclimate data from the archaeologically rich Peloponnese Peninsula. This gap is addressed in this thesis by the provision of new paleoclimate records from the Peloponnese. One stalagmite from Kapsia Cave and two stalagmites from Glyfada Cave were dated and analyzed for stable oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotopes. The Glyfada record covers a period from ~78 ka to ~37 ka and shows that the climate in this region responded rapidly to changes in temperatures over Greenland. During Greenland stadial (interstadial) conditions colder (warmer) and drier (wetter) conditions are reflected by depleted (enriched) δ13C-values in the speleothems. The Kapsia record covers a period from ~2900 to ~1100 years BP. A comparison between the modern stalagmite top isotopes and meteorological data shows that a main control on stalagmite δ18O is wet season precipitation amount. The δ18O record from Kapsia indicates cyclical humidity changes of close to 500 years, with rapid shifts toward wetter conditions followed by slowly developing aridity. Superimposed on this signal is a centennial signal of precipitation variability. A second speleothem from Kapsia with multiple horizons of fine sediments from past flood events intercalated with the calcite is used to develop a new, quick and non-destructive method for tracing flood events in speleothems by analyzing a thick section with an XRF core scanner.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University , 2014. , 52 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 45
Keyword [en]
Stable isotopes, U-Th dating, stalagmites, climate variability, flooding history, eastern Mediterranean, southern Greece, Holocene, Pleistocene
National Category
Climate Research
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108046ISBN: 978-91-7447-995-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108046DiVA: diva2:753390
Public defence
2014-11-14, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Accepted.

Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-07 Last updated: 2015-10-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Climate in the eastern Mediterranean, and adjacent regions, during the past 6000 years - A review
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate in the eastern Mediterranean, and adjacent regions, during the past 6000 years - A review
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2011 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 38, no 12, 3153-3173 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The eastern Mediterranean, with its long archaeological and historical records, provides a unique opportunity to study human responses to climate variability. We review paleoclimate data and reconstructions from the region with a focus on the last 6000 years. We aim to provide an up-to-date source of information on climate variability and to outline present limitations and future opportunities. The review work is threefold: (1) literature review, (2) spatial and temporal analysis of proxy records, and (3) statistical estimation of uncertainties in present paleoclimate reconstructions (temperature, C). On a regional scale the review reveals a wetter situation from 6000 to 5400 yrs BP (note: all ages in this paper are in calibrated years before present (i.e. before 1950), abbreviated yrs BP, unless otherwise stated). This is followed by a less wet period leading up to one of fully-developed aridity from c. 4600 yrs BP. There is a need for more high-resolution paleoclimate records, in order to (i) better understand regional patterns and trends versus local climate variability and to (ii) fill the gap of data from some regions, such as the Near East, Greece and Egypt. Further, we evaluate the regional occurrence of a proposed widespread climate event at 4200 yrs BP. This proposed climate anomaly has been used to explain profound changes in human societies at different locations in the region around this time. We suggest that although aridity was widespread around 4200 yrs BP in the eastern Mediterranean region, there is not enough evidence to support the notion of a climate event with rapidly drying conditions in this region.

Keyword
Climate variability, Late Holocene, Climate event, Eastern Mediterranean, Climate reconstructions
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74055 (URN)10.1016/j.jas.2011.05.007 (DOI)000297384300001 ()
Note

authorCount :5

Available from: 2012-02-28 Created: 2012-02-28 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Speleothem evidence for late Holocene climate variability and floods in Southern Greece
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Speleothem evidence for late Holocene climate variability and floods in Southern Greece
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2014 (English)In: Quaternary Research, ISSN 0033-5894, E-ISSN 1096-0287, Vol. 81, no 2, 213-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present stable isotope data (delta O-18, delta C-13) from a detrital rich stalagmite from Kapsia Cave, the Peloponnese, Greece. The cave is rich in archeological remains and there are reasons to believe that flooding of the cave has directly affected humans using the cave. Using a combination of U-Th and C-14 dating to constrain a site-specific correction factor for (Th-232/U-238) detrital molar ratio, a linear age model was constructed. The age model shows that the stalagmite grew during the period from ca. 950 BC to ca. AD 830. The stable oxygen record from Kapsia indicates cyclical changes of close to 500 yr in precipitation amount, with rapid shifts towards wetter conditions followed by slowly developing aridity. Superimposed on this signal, wetter conditions are inferred around 850, 700, 500 and 400-100 BC, and around AD 160-300 and AD 770; and driest conditions are inferred to have occurred around 450 BC, AD 100-150 and AD 650. Detrital horizons in the stalagmite indicate that three major floods took place in the cave at 500 BC, 70 BC and AD 450. The stable carbon isotope record reflects changes in biological activity being a result of both climate and human activities. (c) 2014 University of Washington.

Keyword
Mediterranean, Southern Greece, late Holocene, Stalagmite, Stable isotopes, Climate variability, Flooding history, Hellenistic period
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103998 (URN)10.1016/j.yqres.2013.12.009 (DOI)000334154300005 ()
Note

AuthorCount:6;

Available from: 2014-06-02 Created: 2014-05-27 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Rapid climatic shifts in southern Greece during Marine Isotope Stages 5a-3
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rapid climatic shifts in southern Greece during Marine Isotope Stages 5a-3
(English)In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616XArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

We present a speleothem based stable isotope (δ13C, δ18O) record from southern Greece covering a period from 79±5.8 ka to 37±3 ka, i.e. the end of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5a and large parts of MIS 4 and MIS 3. The record from Glyfada Cave provides a U-Th dated proxy paleoclimate record from Greece, covering this time period, and shows that the climate over the Peloponnese rapidly responded to interstadial and stadial conditions over Greenland. During stadial (interstadial) conditions colder (warmer) and drier (wetter) conditions are reflected by depleted (enriched) δ13C-values in the speleothems from Glyfada Cave. Depositional hiatuses in Glyfada Cave correspond to periods of severe cold conditions in the northern Hemisphere and reduced precipitation over the Peloponnese most likely due to a southward displacement of Mediterranean cyclone tracks due to expanding northern ice sheets and increased snow cover over the European continent. By comparing our independently dated record with previously published pollen studies from Greece a time lag between the records from Ioannina and Megali Limni and Glyfada is evident. The match in time between the Glyfada speleothem record and the Tenaghi Philippon pollen record, when tuned to NGRIP, is rather precise.

Keyword
Paleoclimate, Speleothems, Stable isotopes, Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles, Eastern Mediterranean, Peloponnese, Southern Greece
National Category
Climate Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108042 (URN)
Available from: 2014-10-07 Created: 2014-10-07 Last updated: 2017-12-05
4. Can XRF scanning of speleothems be used as a non-destructive method to identify paleoflood events in caves?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can XRF scanning of speleothems be used as a non-destructive method to identify paleoflood events in caves?
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2015 (English)In: International Journal of Speleology, ISSN 0392-6672, E-ISSN 1827-806X, Vol. 44, no 1, 17-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We have developed a novel, quick and non-destructive method for tracing flood events in caves through the analysis of a stalagmite thick section with an XRF core scanner. The analyzed stalagmite has multiple horizons of fine sediments from past flood events intercalated with areas of cleaner calcite. Flood events detected from the elemental XRF core scanning data show good agreement with the position of flood horizons identified in petrographic thin sections. The geochemical composition of the individual flood layers shows that in certain cases the clay horizons had a distinct geochemical fingerprint suggesting that it may be possible to distinguish individual flood layers based on their geochemistry. This presents the possibility for using flood events as marker horizons to chronologically tie different speleothems in a cave to each other.

Keyword
stalagmite, floods, XRF core scanning, elemental data, Southern Greece
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113956 (URN)10.5038/1827-806X.44.1.2 (DOI)000347922000002 ()
Note

AuthorCount:5;

Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-16 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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