2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:25 PM


BARTOV, Yuval, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew Univ of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 91904, Israel, GOLDSTEIN, Steve, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, University, Palisades, 61 Route 9W, New York , USA, Palisades, 10964, ENZEL, Yehouda, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew Univ of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 91904 and STEIN, Mordechai, Hebrew Univ and Geol Survey of Israel, Jerusalem, 91904, yuval@vms.huji.ac.il

The response of continental climate to the well-documented climate oscillations during the last glacial period has been a subject of intense interest, yet much less is known about the influence on regional continental climates than in the marine or polar realms of the Earth. The detailed lake-level history of the terminal Lake Lisan (late Pleistocene Dead Sea) in the Middle East has been reconstructed from shoreline indications and high-resolution U-Th and 14C ages, thus providing data on the response of the lake’s catchment area to regional and global climate changes during the corresponding period. We present a close correlation between this newly developed lake level curve for the past 55,000 yr and the North Atlantic Heinrich events. The correlation indicates a closely connected climate response between these North Atlantic events and the hydrologic conditions that prevailed in the Eastern Mediterranean. Our findings show that although the generally cooler conditions that prevailed during the last glaciation favored high levels of the lake, “catastrophic” events in the North Atlantic, which are associated with maximum cooling, have been responsible for droughts in the Eastern Mediterranean. We infer that cold-water input to the Mediterranean originating in the collapse of the North Atlantic Deep Water circulation reduced evaporation and possibly changed storm tracks, and, in turn, provided less precipitation in the Eastern Mediterranean.