Chronological evolution of some morphological, tectonic and volcanic features in Lake Van, based on correlation of seismic and core data

Damci E., Çağatay M. N.

QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL, vol.486, pp.29-43, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 486
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.quaint.2017.12.047
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.29-43
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Lake Van is the largest Lake in Turkey and the fourth largest soda lake in the World. High resolution (HR) seismic data acquired during 2012 reveals sub-lacustrine terraces, delta clinoforms, channel-networks, active faults and volcanic edifices. The seismic data were correlated with the cores recovered during the 2008 coring and 2010 ICDP PaleoVan drilling campaigns, using synthetic seismograms produced from the MSCL data of the age-modelled cores, thus allowing to date seismic reflector surfaces and to discuss the temporal evolution of the some of the morphological features and structures. Sublacustrine channel-network systems are well developed on the shelf areas connect with the river drainage systems on land and extend to water depths of more than 100 m. These drainage systems developed during the major low-stand periods of Lake Van, the last two of which occurred during 15 ka BP and the Younger Dryas with water levels at -200 m and -70 m, respectively. High lake levels similar to today during the early Holocene were followed by lake level oscillations with some low-stands during the Late Holocene. The low stands are characterized by terraces and berms located at 15 m below lake surface (mbls), 25 mbls, 35 mbls and 60 mbls, 70 mbls and 105 mbls. They were most likely related to the rapid climate change (RCC) events such as the 4.2 ka aridity event, Dark Age Cold Period, Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice. The volcanic features are located along the Southern Boundary Fault (SBF). A significant NW-SE trending active fault in the eastern shelf left-laterally offsets a channel by about 500 m and has a small reverse component in the HR seismic profiles. This fault is considered to be the source of Mw = 5.7 Edremit Earthquake of 9 November 2011. NW-SE trending normal faults with a right-lateral strike slip component north of the Northern Basin provides extension in the area. Normal faults are also dominant in the Ercis Strait. Using ages of reflector surfaces we estimate a vertical slip rate of 0.40 mm/yr to similar to 0.5 mm/yr on the normal faults in the shelf areas over the last 2-3 ka. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights reserved.