Abstract

Opposing models have been proposed for last glacial paleoclimates in the Mediterranean area. To discriminate between the alternative models, we calculate variations in sediment yield within a high-resolution stratigraphic framework developed for the Alkyonides basin, central Greece. Latest Quaternary highstand deposits are distinguished from lowstand Lake Corinth deposits on the basis of seismic reflection data and micropaleontological and palynological analyses of drop cores. After depth conversion and calculation of solid sediment masses in successive time slices, sediment discharge rates during the last glacial lowstand interval (ca. 70–12 ka) are shown to have exceeded discharge rates during the preceding interglacial highstand interval (ca. 128–70 ka) by ≥ 60%, implying enhanced seasonality during the glacial period, with cool, dry summer and wet winter conditions in the region. Sediment yield calculations can thus provide an empirical test of paleoclimate models and offer input to sequence stratigraphic models.

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