Rock varnish evidence for a Younger Dryas wet period in the Dead Sea basin
Rock varnish from 14.6 to 13.2 ka recessional shorelines of late glacial Lake Lisan and fan delta surfaces between 280 and 365 m bmsl (meters below mean sea level) along the western margins of the Dead Sea contains replicable layering patterns, characterized by a low Mn and Ba orange/yellow surface layer and a high Mn and Ba dark basal layer. The deposition of the dark basal layers immediately after the lake recession represents a wet period coinciding with the Younger Dryas (YD) cooling (12.9–11.6 ka), manifesting the influence of midlatitude westerly winds in the eastern Mediterranean-central Levant (EM-CL). In contrast, varnish from the distal base of fan deltas contains only orange/yellow surface layers, diagnostic of the Holocene relatively dry climate. The absence of the dark basal layers in the varnish further indicates a YD high stand at ~365 m bmsl and a lake level rise of at least 100 m from its Bølling-Ållerød lowstand. This rise stands in contrast to the abrupt drop of the lake level during the Heinrich (H1) cold event, illustrating the opposite response of the EM-CL climate to changes in the North Atlantic climate. The YD wet event most likely reflects a southward shift of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation-modulated midlatitude westerly wind belt in the EM-CL region.
- DeadSeaYDPaper2013.pdf application/pdf 1.4 MB Download File
Also Published In
- Geophysical Research Letters