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SPELEOTOLIA

Holocene climate reconstructions from western Anatolia based on speleothem data
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 842403 Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
Funded under: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-RI Overall Budget: 157,356 EURFunder Contribution: 157,356 EUR

SPELEOTOLIA

Description

Speleothems (calcareous cave deposits) are among the most useful archives that are utilized to reconstruct past environmental conditions, including palaeotemperature and moisture conditions, on decadal to millennial timescales. Highquality (high-resolution, precisely dated, complete, and robust) regional speleothem-based palaeoclimate records, specifically revealing the past variability of rainfall regimes, is of great importance for human water, and hence for the future estimations pertaining the human-climate-environment relationship. Research suggests that decreases in rainfall-driven water availability during the late Holocene in the Eastern Mediterranean region was one of the main reasons for the decline and/or collapse of some former civilizations (e.g., decline of Ottoman Empire in the preindustrial era, collapse of Uruk society in Mesopotamia during the transition from chalcolithic to the early Bronze Age, societal collapse of the Late Bronze Age). This project will generate an extensive dataset through a multi-proxy approach of isotope and trace element geochemistry using Holocene-aged stalagmites from several cave sites located in western and southwestern Anatolia (Turkey). The main objectives of the proposed action are: (1) to produce precisely-dated (U-series dating) and high temporal resolution paleorecords concerning the Holocene climate dynamics that affected the living patterns of ancient Aegean civilizations (e.g., Classical Greek and Roman), (2) to trace possible impacts of human-induced environmental and atmospheric pollution through a suite of high resolution stalagmite records, including stable isotope and trace element variations (e.g., changes in carbon and sulphur isotope ratios), and (3) to explore whether the speleothems reflect Holocene volcanic activities that occurred in the Aegean region, and if so, to distinguish these effects from anthropogenic activities.

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