Freshening of the Marmara Sea prior to its post-glacial reconnection to the Mediterranean Sea.

Aloisi, G., Soulet, G., Henry, P., Wallmann, Klaus J. G., Sauvestre, R., Vallet-Coulomb, C., Lecuyer, C. and Bard, E. (2015) Freshening of the Marmara Sea prior to its post-glacial reconnection to the Mediterranean Sea. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 413 . pp. 176-185. DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.052.

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Abstract

During the last glaciation the Marmara Sea was isolated from the Mediterranean Sea because global sea level was below the depth of the Dardanelles sill. Prior to the postglacial reconnection to the Mediterranean Sea (~14.7 cal kyr BP), the surface waters of the Marmara Sea were brackish (Marmara Lake). Freshening of a previously saline Marmara Sea could have happened via spill-out of brackish to fresh water from the surface water of the Black Sea through the Bosphorus Strait. This hypothesis has not been tested against alternative possibilities (salt flushing by river run-off and precipitation). Here we use the dissolved Cl- and stable isotope composition (δO18 and δD) of Marmara Sea sediment pore water to estimate the salinity and stable isotope composition of Marmara Lake bottom water and to evaluate possible freshening scenarios. We use a transport model to simulate pore water Cl-, δO18 and δD in Marmara Sea sediments in the past 130 kyr, which includes the last interglacial (130-75 cal kyr BP), the last glacial (75-14 cal kyr BP) and the current postglacial period. Our results show that the bottom waters of the Marmara Lake were brackish (~4‰ salinity) and isotopically depleted (δO18~-10.2‰ and δD~-70‰, respectively) compared to modern seawater. Their salinity and stable isotope ratios show that they are a mixture of Mediterranean waters and Danube-like waters implying that the freshening took place via spill-out of freshwater through the Bosphorus. Our modelling approach indicates that the transit of fresh water from glacial Eurasia to the Mediterranean via the Marmara Sea started at least 50 cal kyr BP, was continuous throughout most of the last glaciation and persisted up to the post glacial reconnection to the Mediterranean through the Dardanelles sill (14.7 cal kyr BP). These results are consistent with previously published micropaleontological and geochemical investigations of sediment cores that indicate lacustrine conditions in the Marmara Sea from about 75 to 14.7 cal kyr BP.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000349875300017
Keywords: Black Sea outflow; Last glacial maximum; Marmara Lake; Pore water isotope composition
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.052
ISSN: 0012-821X
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2015 09:09
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 14:10
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/27372

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