Reconstruction of climatic changes during the Late Pleistocene, based on sediment records from the Konya Basin (Central Anatolia, Turkey)

Catherine Kuzucuoǧlu, Jacques Bertaux, Stuart Black, Michele Denefle, Michel Fontugne, Mustafa Karabiyikoǧlu, Kaoru Kashima, Nicole Limondin-Lozouet, Damase Mouralis, Paul Orth

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58 Citations (Scopus)


Climatic changes during the last climatic cycle have been studied using three sediment cores from the Konya plain, a now dry, closed and semi-arid lacustrine basin at 1000 m altitude in central Anatolia, Turkey. The reconstruction of regional climatic characteristics and evolution is based on mineral, diatom, pollen and molluscan content of sediments. Correlations are made between cores using 14C and U-Th ages, stratigraphy and drought levels shown by changes in mineral contents. Environmental responses to local and regional climatic changes are traced by trends in authigenic carbonates, evaporites, detrital mineral content and by diatom-inferred salinity levels. Our data have shown that, during the period covering the end of the previous Glacial (Termination II) and the last Interglacial (between c. 150 and 117 ka), peat and freshwater shallow lakes expanded. From 117 to 66 ka, the plain was occupied by lakes, the salinity and existence of which varied in time and space. Specific events are marked by mineralogic and stratigraphic signals at (i) c. 101 ka and (ii) 66 ka. From 66 ka to 30 ka, desiccation of the lake is marked by a hiatus. At c. 27 ka, milder climatic conditions led to the extension of freshwater marshes and lakes in the central depressions while palaeosols developed on the emerged parts of the plain. From 25 to 20.5 ka 14C cal., the sediments of a freshwater to brackish lake are present in one core only. From 20.5 ka 14C cal. onwards, strong evaporitic conditions occurred, the lake edges being transformed into playas. Upper parts of the sequences registered other lacustrine short phases, both before the Younger Dryas and during the Holocene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-198
Number of pages24
JournalGeological Journal
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


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