Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




Four sapropel layers (S1, S3, S4, and S5) are identified in five 6-10-m-long piston cores collected from the Aegean Sea basins. A chronostratigraphic framework is established for the last ~130 ka using benthic and planktonic foraminiferal oxygen isotope curves, total organic carbon contents, volcanic ash layers, and limited radiocarbon dates. These data show that the onsets of sapropels S3, S4, and S5 in the Aegean Sea basins were not synchronous, highlighting the heterogeneity of the Aegean Sea basins in terms of rapid versus lagged responses to changing ocean-climate boundary conditions. In all cases, however, the development of sapropels S3, S4, and S5 in the Aegean Sea predate their counterparts in the eastern Mediterranean by several hundred to several thousand years. The onsets of sapropel deposition were abrupt, but sapropel terminations were more gradual, controlled both by the amplitude of paleoclimatic changes and the physiography/location of the basins.

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