Freshwater Lake Ulubat (c. 1.5 m deep and c. 138 km(2)) receives sediment from a 10.414 km(2) area in the seismically active Susurluk Drainage Basin (SDB) of NW Turkey. The B and trace element contents of the lake infill seem to be a link between the fresh landforms of the SDB and the lacustrine sediment. Deposition in Lake Ulubat has been 1.60 cm a(-1) for the last 50 a according to radionucleides; however the sedimentation rate over the last millennium was 0.37 cm a(-1) based on 14 C dating. The B content of the lacustrine infill displays a slight increase at 0.50 m and a drastic increase at 4 m depth occurring c. 31 a and c. 1070 a ago, respectively. Probably the topmost change corresponds to the start of open mining in the SDB and the second one to the natural trenching of borate ore-deposits. These dates also show indirectly a 1.4 cm a(-1) erosion rate during the last millennium as the borate beds were trenched up to 15 m. By extrapolation, it is possible to establish that the formation of some of the present morphological features of the southern Marmara region, especially river incision, began in the late Pleistocene, and developed especially over the last 75 ka. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.