A 2300-year record of environmental change from SW Anatolia, Lake Burdur, Turkey


JOURNAL OF PALEOLIMNOLOGY, vol.49, no.4, pp.647-662, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10933-013-9682-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.647-662
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


This work deals with changes recorded by lacustrine sediments from SW Anatolia in Turkey in the context of increasing stress on the Mediterranean environment in relation to human-climate-environmental interactions. Paleolimnological investigations were carried out on Lake Burdur (Lake District geographical subregion of Turkey), which has been subject to rapid changes in its hydrological system that caused a similar to 10-m water-level drop in the last 30 years. Study of a 5-m-long sediment core, taken from the recently dried out part of the lake, shows significant variation in granulometry, clay mineralogy, nitrogen and organic carbon content and its isotopic composition (a,C-13(org)) throughout the sedimentary sequence, which represents the last 2,300 years. Chronology is based on radiocarbon dates obtained from plant fragments. The results provide a record of environmental changes, including biological productivity and erosion intensity, in relation to changes in water level and humidity of the area. The lowest previous water level, which is the same as observed today, occurred at approximately 300 BC, after which time a water-level increase led to a maximum stage between AD 200 and 1200. From AD 1200 to the present, the climate became drier accompanied by an overall lowering of water level, with periods of water-level fluctuations superimposed. The lake never dried out as is observed today at the coring site. The present drop in the lake water level is attributed to human activity rather than to climate change. This record of climate and environmental change in the Lake Burdur area appears to be stratigraphically complete. This study provides rare data for the late Holocene in Anatolia as well as information about rapid climate changes during specific periods. The influence of both the Northern hemisphere atmospheric circulation and Indian monsoon on the east Mediterranean remains unclear. Nevertheless, the North Sea-Caspian atmospheric teleconnection could be an important factor that explains local differences in climatic evolution of Anatolia during the period considered.