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Journal Articles Journal of Quaternary Science Year : 2010

Formation of the Upper Pleistocene terraces of Lake Van (Turkey)

Halil Zorer
  • Function : Author


Sedimentological and geomorphological studies of terraces around Lake Van (1647 m) provided a preliminary framework for lake-level variations. The elevations of terraces and past lake level were measured with a differential global positioning system. A chronology is developed using 234U/230Th dating of travertines, 39Ar/40Ar dating of pyroclastites and 14C dating of organic matter. Facies and stratigraphic correlations identify four transgressions (C10, C100, C20 and C200), each followed by a regression which ended with low lake levels that caused river incision and terrace formation. Evidence of the oldest transgression (C10) is found in the uppermost reaches of valleys up to 1755 m, an altitude higher than the present lake threshold (1736 m). This C10 transgression may be related to pyroclastic flows which dammed an outlet located in the western part of the lake basin and which is dated to before 105 ka. After 100 ka, a second transgression (C100) reached 1730/1735 m, possibly related to a younger ignimbrite flow, in association with high water inflow (warm and/or wetter conditions). The two younger transgressions reached 1700–1705 m. The first one (C20) is dated to 26–24.5 cal. ka BP and the second one (C200) to 21–20 cal. ka BP. Available data suggest that the long-termlake-level changes responded mainly to climate oscillations. Additional events such as river captures caused by volcanic falls filling valleys, tectonism, erosion and karstic diversion may have impacted these long-term lake-level changes.

Dates and versions

hal-01333091 , version 1 (16-06-2016)



Catherine Kuzucuoğlu, Aurelien Christol, Damase Mouralis, Michel Fontugne, Monique Fort, et al.. Formation of the Upper Pleistocene terraces of Lake Van (Turkey). Journal of Quaternary Science, 2010, 25 (7), ⟨10.1002/jqs.1431⟩. ⟨hal-01333091⟩
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