Holocene marginal marine ostracod successions from the Kızılırmak River delta; Implications for depositional environments and sea-level changes at the Southern Black Sea coast

Christopher Berndt*, Peter Frenzel, Attila Çiner, Gülgün Ertunç, Cengiz Yıldırım

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Holocene delta formations are unique records of regional sea-climate interactions. The Kızılırmak Delta is the biggest and richest wetland ecosystem in the Black Sea region of Turkey. The Black Sea was uniquely affected by rising sea levels due to its disconnection from the world oceans during the last glacial period. To understand the palaeoenvironmental impact on the delta plain we analysed a 14.5-m-long sediment core using palaeoecological ostracod analyses accompanied by a palaeo-salinity reconstruction based on sieve pore analysis on the ostracod Cyprideis torosa. This study depicts the interplay of terrestrial and marine settings forming mesohaline, shallow lagoons and deltaic lakes since ca. 7.9 ka cal BP. Lagoons with α-mesohaline to polyhaline salinities and β-mesohaline to oligohaline lake environments were identified. Reconstructed palaeo-sea level estimations depict a remarkable environmental variability. The lagoon habitats at 7.9 to 7.0 and 5.3 to 4 ka cal BP were dominated by Cyprideis torosa. Marine influence led to ostracod associations with Loxoconcha spp. and Tyrrhenocythere amnicola especially between 7.9 and 7.0 ka cal BP. Riverine influence in the same period, but especially at about 7.7 ka cal BP, caused dominating Amnicythere spp. Cyprideis torosa and Candona neglecta that characterise short phases of a mesohaline deltaic lake environment at about 7.7 and 7.0 ka cal BP as well as after 4 ka cal BP. With a subsequent salinity decrease, C. neglecta and (later on) Pseudocandona marchica became dominant with an interruption by another short-term lagoonal phase that might be associated with a ‘megadrought’ between 3.7 and 3.0 ka cal BP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
JournalSedimentary Geology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


This study was funded by the European Union as part of the Marie-Curie-ITN project ALErT (Grant FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN, number 607996 ). We thank Statik Mühendislik for recovering the sediment core. The radiocarbon dating was executed at Beta Analytics Inc. (USA). Several colleagues from İstanbul Technical University helped us during our work. We especially thank Aral Okay and Ercan Özcan for using their laboratories and Kadir Eriş, Burak Yalamaz and Dursun Acar for their help during sample preparations and sediment core studies. We also appreciate comments and suggestions by our editor in charge Jasper Knight (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa), and Ahmet Evren Erginal (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey) and one anonymous reviewer who greatly improved the paper. We further thank Theodore Burlick for the English language editing of the manuscript.

FundersFunder number
European Geosciences Union607996, FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN


    • Brackish water
    • Estuary
    • N Turkey
    • Ostracoda
    • Quaternary
    • İkiztepe


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