Caspian Sea levels over the last 2200 years, with new data from the S-E corner

Type Article
Date 2022-04
Language English
Author(s) Leroy S.A.G.1, 2, Reimer P.J.3, Lahijani H.K.4, Naderi Beni A.4, Sauer E.5, Chalié F.6, Arpe K.7, Demory F.6, Mertens KennethORCID8, Belkacem D.9, Kakroodi A.A.10, Omrani Rekavandi H.11, Nokandeh J.12, Amini A.13
Affiliation(s) 1 : Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Minist Culture, LAMPEA, UMR 7269, 5 rue du Château de l'Horloge, 13094 Aix-en-Provence, France
2 : School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, L69 3GP Liverpool, UK
3 : 14CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment and Chronology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
4 : Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS), No.3, Etemadzadeh Street, West Fatemi Avenue, Tehran, Iran
5 : School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, UK
6 : Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, IRD, INRAE, CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France
7 : Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
8 : Ifremer, LITTORAL, Concarneau, France
9 : Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d'Ecologie Marine et Continentale (IMBE), Aix Marseille Univ, Avignon Université, CNRS, IRD, IMBE, Aix-en-Provence, France, Technopôle de l'Environnement Arbois-Méditerranée, BP 80, 13545 Aix-en-Provence Cedex 4, France
10 : Faculty of Geography, Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, University of Tehran, Iran
11 : Great Gorgan Wall Cultural Heritage Base, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Gorgan, Iran
12 : National Museum of Iran, Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Tehran 113665-4364, Iran
13 : Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, Golestan University, P.O. Box 155, Gorgan 49138-15759, Iran
Source Geomorphology (0169-555X) (Elsevier BV), 2022-04 , Vol. 403 , P. 108136 (23p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.geomorph.2022.108136
WOS© Times Cited 4
Keyword(s) Caspian Sea level, Radiocarbon date calibration, Climatic change, River diversion, Human intervention, Palynology

A revision of the data used to build the Caspian Sea level curve over the last 2200 years BP has been made based on a combination of geological and archaeo-historical data, using only those for which sufficient metadata were available. This compilation is completed by new sedimentological and palynological data from the south-east corner of the Caspian Sea, especially close to the known termini of the Sasanian Gorgan and Tammisheh Walls. A new calibration of the radiocarbon dates was used, i.e. with a freshwater offset reservoir of 351 ± 33 years. A literature survey of the Derbent lowstand indicated that this term has different definitions, depending on authors; it is thus to be used with caution. Here we therefore prefer to distinguish the mid-Sasanian lowstand and the later Medieval moderate lowstand. The “2600 years BP highstand” has not been found, mostly due to the calibration or recalibration of the datapoints used; data are indeed lacking at that time. Instead, a younger Parthian highstand (around 50 BCE–50 CE) is clearly defined. The maximal amplitude and speed of change of the Caspian Sea level were respectively of >15 m and 14 cm per year. Compared to last century, the latter rate is 25% higher, but the amplitude is more than five times larger. The climatic causes of the Caspian Sea level changes are discussed. It is far from a simple case of temperature forcing; temperature forcing may result in several effects, that may impact the Caspian Sea level variations in opposite ways. Moreover, human intervention on river diversion and natural hazards were likely, for several time periods.

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Leroy S.A.G., Reimer P.J., Lahijani H.K., Naderi Beni A., Sauer E., Chalié F., Arpe K., Demory F., Mertens Kenneth, Belkacem D., Kakroodi A.A., Omrani Rekavandi H., Nokandeh J., Amini A. (2022). Caspian Sea levels over the last 2200 years, with new data from the S-E corner. Geomorphology, 403, 108136 (23p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :