Chronology and stratigraphy of Late Quaternary sediments in the Konya basin, Turkey: Results from the KOPAL project

N. Roberts*, S. Black, P. Boyer, W. J. Eastwood, H. I. Griffiths, H. F. Lamb, M. J. Leng, R. Parish, J. M. Reed, D. Twigg, H. Yiǧitbaşioǧlu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (SciVal)


The Late Quaternary environmental history of the Konya plain, in south central Turkey, is used to examine sediment facies changes in a shallow non-outlet basin which has experienced major climatically driven changes in lake extent. Two principal types of sedimentary archive are used to reconstruct a palaeoenvironmental record, namely alluvial sequences on the Carsamba alluvial fan and sediments from residual lakes. The latter have been used to investigate broader climatic and vegetational histories via palaeolimnological techniques including pollen, diatom and stable isotope analysis. These changes are dated here by radiometric techniques including radiocarbon (AMS and conventional), OSL, and U-Th. Chronological agreement is generally good between the different dating techniques, although typically there is greatly reduced precision beyond ca. 25 ka. Lake sediment cores investigated have basal ages beyond the range of 14C dating, but contain hiatuses as a result of subsequent alternation between phases of lacustrine sedimentation and aeolian deflation. In contrast to most deepwater non-outlet lake systems, the Konya basin may have been occupied by a single extensive lake for as little as 10% of Late Quaternary time, mainly around the time of the LGM. This lake highstand was followed by an important arid interval. In the absence of unbroken chronostratigraphic sequences, palaeohydrological investigation of shallow non-outlet lakes may require analysis of basin-wide changes in sedimentation rather than reliance on single core records. Stratigraphic continuity in such sedimentary environments cannot be assumed, and requires independent chronological control through radiometric dating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-630
Number of pages20
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 1999


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