Seismic stratigraphy of Lake Van, eastern Turkey

Cukur D., KRASTEL S., SCHMINCKE H., SUMITA M., Cagatay M. N., Meydan A. F., ...More

QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, vol.104, pp.63-84, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 104
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.07.016
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.63-84
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


More than 1500 km of multi-channel seismic reflection profiles combined with ICDP (International Continental Scientific Drilling Program) drilling data, provide important insights into the stratigraphic evolution of Lake Van, eastern Turkey. Three major basins (Tatvan, Northern and the Deveboynu basins) comprise the main lake basin and are separated by morphological highs (Ahlat ridge and Northern ridge). Moreover, NE SW faults, parallel to the general tectonic lineament of the area, dominate the entire basin and are in charge of creating graben and half-graben structures. Well-developed prograding deltaic sequences on top of the basement were recognized by seismic stratigraphy analysis. Most likely, they formed during the initial flooding of Lake Van similar to 600 ka. The Tatvan basin sediments are dominated by mass-flow deposits of various origins alternating with undisturbed lacustrine sediments including distinct tephra layers. Faulting along the Tatvan basin margins may have triggered margin-wide slope failures. Ahlat ridge started to form between ca 340 ka-290 ka. Since then, Ahlat ridge was sheltered from major mass-flows due to its elevation. Hence, slow lacustrine sedimentation has prevailed throughout lake history on Ahlat ridge, which was the location of the main drill site during the ICDP. Several lake level fluctuations are evident on the eastern slope area but the deep basins were permanently covered by water. A significant lake-level low stand (ca 600 ka BP) was found at similar to 610 m below present lake level. The setting of the lake changed at about 30 ka. Tectonic activity appears to have waned significantly as the mass-transport deposition decreased across the Tatvan basin while normal undisturbed lacustrine sedimentation prevailed. A different setting is found in the Northern basin from ca 90 ka to Present, especially due to the strong influx of mostly volcaniclastic turbidites causing sedimentation rates to be about 3.5 times higher (drill Site 1), than at Site 2 (Ahlat ridge). (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.