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Late glacial to Holocene climate change and human impact in the Mediterranean: the last ca. 17 ka diatom record of Lake Prespa (Macedonia/Albania/Greece)

Abstract

Lake Prespa (Macedonia/Albania/Greece) occupies an important location between Mediterranean and central European climate zones. Although previous multi-proxy research on the Late Glacial to Holocene sequence, core Co1215 (320 cm ca. 17 cal ka BP to present), has demonstrated its great value as an archive of Quaternary palaeoclimate data, some uncertainty remains in the interpretation of climate change. With the exception of oxygen stable isotope data, previous palaeolimnological interpretation has relied largely on proxies for productivity. Here, existing interpretation is strengthened by the addition of diatom data. Results demonstrate that shifts in diatom assemblage composition are driven primarily by lake-level changes and thus permit more confident interpretation of shifts in moisture availability over time, while corroborating previous interpretation of catchment- and climate-induced productivity shifts. An inferred cold, arid shallow lake phase between ca. 17.1 and 15.7 cal ka BP is not only followed by a high-productivity phase from ca. 15.7 cal ka BP with Late Glacial warming, but also is the first evidence for a gradual increase in lake level, in line with other regional records. Clear evidence for a Younger Dryas climate reversal between ca. 13.1 and 12.3 cal ka BP is followed by an unusually gradual transition to the Holocene and deeper, oligotrophic–mesotrophic lake conditions are reached by ca. 11.0 cal ka BP. In contrast to the arid episode from ca. 10.0 to 8.0 ka inferred from positive 18δOcalcite values, rapid diatom-inferred lake-level increase after the start of the Holocene suggests high moisture availability, in line with palynological evidence, but with only very subtle evidence for the impact of an 8.2 ka cold event. The maintenance of high lake levels until 1.9 cal ka BP, and the peak of inferred humidity from ca. 7.9 to 6.0 cal ka BP, matches the oxygen stable isotope profile and confirms that the latter is driven primarily by evaporative concentration rather than reflecting regional shifts in precipitation sources over time. During the Late Holocene progressive eutrophication is inferred between 1.9 and present. Two shallow phases at ca. 1.0 cal ka BP and at ca. 100 years ago probably represent an aridity response which is added to increase human impact in the catchment. Overall, the study is important in confirming previous tentative inferences that Late Glacial to Holocene moisture availability has strong affinity with other sites in the Eastern Mediterranean. It also tracks the pattern of North Atlantic forcing.

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url ScienceDirect Accessed 160 times | Last updated 03.11.2014

Bibliography

Cvetkoska, A., Levkov, Z., Reed, J. M., Wagner, B. (2014): Late glacial to Holocene climate change and human impact in the Mediterranean: the last ca. 17 ka diatom record of Lake Prespa (Macedonia/Albania/Greece). – In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 406, p: 22-32, DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.04.010

Authors Aleksandra Cvetkoska and Zlatko Levkov and Jane M. Reed and Bernd Wagner
Type article
Title Late glacial to Holocene climate change and human impact in the Mediterranean: the last ca. 17 ka diatom record of Lake Prespa (Macedonia/Albania/Greece)
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003101821400193X
DOI 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.04.010
Journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Year 2014
Volume 406
Pages 22-32
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