Glaciations and paleoclimate of Mount Erciyes, central Turkey, since the Last Glacial Maximum, inferred from 36Cl cosmogenic dating and glacier modeling

Mehmet Akif Sarikaya*, Marek Zreda, Attila Çiner

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114 Atıf (Scopus)


Forty-four boulders from moraines in two glacial valleys of Mount Erciyes (38.53°N, 35.45°E, 3917 m), central Turkey, dated with cosmogenic chlorine-36 (36Cl), indicate four periods of glacial activity in the past 22 ka (1 ka = 1000 calendar years). Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) glaciers were the most extensive, reaching 6 km in length and descending to an altitude of 2150 m above sea level. These glaciers started retreating 21.3 ± 0.9 ka (1σ) ago. They readvanced and retreated by 14.6 ± 1.2 ka ago (Lateglacial), and again by 9.3 ± 0.5 ka ago (Early Holocene). The latest advance took place 3.8 ± 0.4 ka ago (Late Holocene). Using glacier modeling together with paleoclimate proxy data from the region, we reconstructed the paleoclimate at these four discrete times. The results show that LGM climate was 8-11 °C colder than today and moisture levels were somewhat similar to modern values, with a range between 20% more and 25% less than today. The analysis of Lateglacial advance suggests that the climate was colder by 4.5-6.4 °C based on up to 1.5 times wetter conditions. The Early Holocene was 2.1-4.9 °C colder and up to twice as wet as today, while the Late Holocene was 2.4-3 °C colder and its precipitation amounts approached to similar conditions as today. Our paleoclimate reconstructions show a general trend of warming for the last 22 ka, and an increase of moisture until Early Holocene, and a decrease after that time. The recent glacier terminates at 3450 m on the northwest side of the mountain. It is a remnant from the last advance (possibly during the Little Ice Age). Repeated measurements of glacier length between 1902 and 2008 reveal a retreat rate of 4.2 m per year, which corresponds to a warming rate of 0.9-1.2 °C per century.

Orijinal dilİngilizce
Sayfa (başlangıç-bitiş)2326-2341
Sayfa sayısı16
DergiQuaternary Science Reviews
Basın numarası23-24
Yayın durumuYayınlandı - Kas 2009
Harici olarak yayınlandıEvet


This research was supported by the US National Science Foundation (Grant 0115298) and by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) (Grant 101Y002 for field works and Grant 107Y069 for cosmogenic dating). We are grateful to Chris Zweck (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ) for his help in glacier modeling. We thank Kemal Akpınar and Bülent Akıl (General Directorate of İller Bankası, Ankara, Turkey) for field assistance, and Erdal Şen (Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey) for sharing his knowledge of the volcanology of Mount Erciyes and for field assistance. We also thank Tim Corley (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ) for his help in the preparation of ion exchange columns. We thank editor Neil Roberts and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

FinansörlerFinansör numarası
TÜBİTAK107Y069, 101Y002
National Science Foundation0115298
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu

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