Thomas Hoyle, Diksha Bista, Rachel Flecker, Wout Krijgsman and Francesca Sangiorgi have published in Elsevier Sciencedirect: Climate-driven connectivity changes of the Black Sea since 430 ka: Testing a dual palynological and geochemical approach. The article is open access.
- "Black Sea was isolated during glacial periods MIS 10, 8 and 4.
- Black Sea was connected to the Mediterranean during MIS 5 and 9.
- Black Sea received Caspian overflow and/or enhanced runoff during MIS 7 and 6.
- 87Sr/86Sr and dinocysts provide strong tool for connectivity reconstructions
- Dinocysts could be useful to fingerprint late Quaternary interglacial stages."
"The Black Sea experienced multiple episodes of connection with both the Mediterranean and Caspian seas during the Quaternary. Global sea-level variation has been proposed as the main driver of changes in Mediterranean-Black Sea connectivity, while positive water budgets drove Caspian overspill. We present a new, two proxy, low-resolution record from the Black Sea that allows reconstruction of connectivity history from 430 to 50 ka: dinoflagellate cysts (dinocysts) provide direct evidence for properties of surface waters and strontium isotopes constrain the source(s) of water entering the basin. Dinocysts and 87Sr/86Sr suggest that the Black Sea was isolated from the Mediterranean during global sea-level lowstands associated with glacials MIS 4, 8 and 10. Both proxies also strongly suggest that marine (Mediterranean) water flowed into the Black Sea during the eustatic highstands associated with peak interglacials during MIS 5 and 9. However, while the contribution of marine waters during MIS 5e was similar to the present day, lower 87Sr/86Sr during MIS 9 suggests lower than present input. Connectivity during MIS 11, MIS 7 and MIS 6 is more enigmatic. Lower 87Sr/86Sr than those of the isolated Black Sea and dinocyst assemblages dominated by species of Paratethyan lineage are compatible with input from the Caspian Sea. Dinocyst taxa recovered in MIS 11 can be found in both the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea today. All four interglacials studied contain different dinocyst assemblages, suggesting that different conditions may have prevailed during each warm period. However, high-resolution studies are needed to confirm this observation. Further work on the same sequence could be valuable in elucidating the connectivity history of the Black Sea over the glacial-interglacial cycles of the late Quaternary."