Project A4

Project A4 – A geochemical reconstruction of the connectivity history of the Pontocaspian lakes (Caspian Sea, Black Sea Basin) – >Bristol UniversityESR >Diksha Bista – Supervisor >Dr Rachel Flecker.

Description ‐ The Sr isotope ratio of water is a powerful indicator of intrabasinal connectivity and has been used effectively in isolated and semi‐isolated basins like the Pontocaspian lakes. Lake organisms incorporate the Sr isotope ratio of the water into their biogenic carbonate (e.g. ostracods). Fossil specimens, dated as part of the new age‐model work (project A1, B2), can therefore be analyzed to reconstruct the connectivity history of the Pontocaspian region. The geochemical records produced in parallel with detailed sedimentological analysis will complement biological records and model simulations of connectivity and salinity (A3 and A5). This three‐way combination allows the reconstruction and testing of a robust hydrologic budget for the region, leading to a much better understanding of the climatic controls on connectivity and its impact on Quaternary biodiversity change.