Holocene and late glacial palaeoceanography and palaeolimnology of the Black Sea: Changing sediment provenance and basin hydrography over the past 20,000 years

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
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Abstract

The elemental geochemistry of Late Pleistocene and Holocene sediments of the Black Sea, recovered in box cores from the basin margins and a 5-m gravity core from the central abyssal region of the basin, identifies two terrigenous sediment sources over the last 20 kyrs. One source region includes Anatolia and the southern Caucasus; the second region is the area drained by rivers entering the Black Sea from Eastern Europe. Alkali metal:Al and heavy:light rare-earth element ratios reveal that the relative contribution of the two sources shifted abruptly every few thousand years during the late glacial and early Holocene lacustrine phase of the basin. The shifts in source were coeval with changes in the lake level as determined from the distribution of quartz and the heavy mineral-hosted trace elements Ti and Zr.

The geochemistry of the abyssal sediments further recorded a sequence of changes to the geochemistry of the water column following the lacustrine phase, when high salinity Mediterranean water entered the basin beginning 9.3 kyrs BP. Bottom water that had been oxic throughout the lake phase became anoxic at approximately 8.4 kyrs BP, as recorded by the accumulation from the water column of several redox-sensitive trace metals (Mo, Re, U). The accumulation of organic carbon and several trace nutrients (Cd, Cu, Ni, Zn) increased sharply ca. 0.4 kyrs later, at 8.0 kyrs BP, reflecting an increase of primary productivity. Its increase was coeval with a shift in the dinoflagellate ecology from stenohaline to euryhaline assemblages. During this profound environmental change from the lacustrine to the marine phase, the accumulation rate of the lithogenous sediment fraction decreased as much as 10-fold in response to the rise of the water level in the basin from a low stand ca. 9.3 ka to its current level.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Holocene and late glacial palaeoceanography and palaeolimnology of the Black Sea: Changing sediment provenance and basin hydrography over the past 20,000 years
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2011.07.016
Volume 75
Issue 19
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 28 p.
First page 5597
Last page 5624
Other Geospatial The Black Sea
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