Ponto-caspian and mediterranean faunal and floral records of upper pleistocene-holocene sediments from the Izmit Gulf (Marmara Sea, Turkey)
AuthorKırcı Elmas, Elmas
Şeker Zor, Emine
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Izmit Gulf is located between Kocaeli and Armutlu peninsulas at east of Marmara Sea and the interaction area of North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ) and Marmara Graben systems. In this study, the faunal and floral contents (ostracod, foraminifer, mollusc and diatom) of the samples belonging to seven drilling cores were studied and obtained the radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) age data in order to establish on the Black Sea -Marmara Sea - Mediterranean water connections and palaeoenvironmental changes. The sediments in this study are Late Pleistocene-Holocene aged and only cover the Marine Isotope Stages MIS-5 (interglacial), MIS-3 (an interstadial period between MIS-4 and MIS-2 glacial epochs) and MIS-1. The determination of ostracod and mollusc fauna of the Mediterranean and Ponto-Caspian origin provide important clues to water exchange between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Although some Mediterranean originated ostracods occur sporadically with low abundance, absence of foraminiferal fauna and existence of Ponto-Caspian ostracods together with fresh water and cosmopolitan diatom flora indicate that the area strongly interacted with the Black Sea waters during MIS-5. The faunal and floral characteristics of the sediments deposited during MIS-3, clearly denote that the Izmit Gulf was connected with the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea at the beginning of MIS-3 (ca. 52.0 - 40.0 ky BP) and the shallow shelf areas were frequently affected by both the Black Sea discharge and Mediterranean input. A thick Holocene sedimentary sequence recovered from the southern Hersek Burnu drilling cores reflects the environmental changes after the latest Black-Mediterranean seas connection. The studied ostracod and mollusc assemblages are mainly characterized by the Mediterranean originated species with a few relict Ponto-Caspian fauna. Also, the benthic foraminiferal assemblages are dominated by normal marine and euryhaline species, reflecting the salinity fluctuations in the Holocene interval.
SourceActa Palaeontologica Romaniae
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