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Journal Articles Quaternary Science Reviews Year : 2022

Chronology of the Late Pleistocene Caspian Sea hydrologic changes: A review of dates and proposed climate-induced driving mechanisms

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Abstract

This paper provides a review of the dates used to define major hydrologic changes in the Caspian Sea during the Late Pleistocene that includes the Early Khvalynian and Hyrcanian highstands and the Atelian lowstand, and it discusses their driving mechanisms. Dates obtained by 14C (that are the most numerous), by OSL and by U/Th for samples that are well identified in the literature through their geographic location and their laboratory number, are considered. Samples derive from sediments both in the current Caspian Sea coast and in its Middle and Northern basins. Most of dates concern the Early Khvalynian highstand while less abundant ones correspond to the Hyrcanian highstand and Atelian lowstand that preceded the Early Khvalynian. The review of these Late Pleistocene dates provides an overall revision of the hydrologic changes that the Caspian Sea experienced. Accordingly, the Early Khvalynian highstand presents two major phases. The first Early Khvalynian phase (hv1-1) took place between 36.0 and 22.0 cal kyr, and water level reached ca 0 m a.s.l. Its second phase (hv1-2) is characterised by the deposition of the so-called Chocolate Clays especially in the Northern Peri-Caspian and took place between ca 22.0 and 12.5 cal kyr BP with a water level rise until at least 40 m a.s.l. between ca 17 and 13 cal kyr BP. Before the Early Khvalynian highstand, the Caspian water level underwent a lowstand between at least 70.0 and 36.0 kyr, i.e. the Atelian lowstand, which was interrupted by the Hyrcanian highstand. During the late stage of the Atelian lowstand, between 43.5 and 42.9 and 36.0 cal kyr BP, the water level decreased between more than -60 m a.s.l. and less than - 90 m a.s.l. at 42.0 cal kyr BP. The importance of the water level drop in the early stage of the Atelian regression between ca 70 and 55.2 kyr could not be estimated but according to seismic profiles, it was much less pronounced than later. The dates for the Hyrcanian highstand range from 55.2 (or even before) to 43.5-42.9 cal kyr BP and the water level reached at least 0 m a.s.l. in its late phase. Through this synthesis, the origins of water inflows into the Caspian Sea could be suggested for the upper part of the Early Khvalynian transgression: it matches with a very large inflow of meltwater from the southern front of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet; the fluvio-glacial waters from the ice cap discharging to the Caspian Sea via the Volga River. Concerning the Hyrcanian transgression, meltwater inputs from the glaciers of western High Asia can be proposed, the fluvio-glacial waters being transported into the Caspian Sea by the Syr Darya and Amu Darya (via the Aral Sea or bypassing it).
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Dates and versions

insu-03846930 , version 1 (10-11-2022)

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Alina Tudryn, Elisabeth Gibert-Brunet, Piotr Tucholka, Mikhail P. Antipov, Suzanne A. G. Leroy. Chronology of the Late Pleistocene Caspian Sea hydrologic changes: A review of dates and proposed climate-induced driving mechanisms. Quaternary Science Reviews, 2022, 293, ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107672⟩. ⟨insu-03846930⟩
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