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Title: Using palynology to re-assess the Dead Sea laminated sediments – indeed varves?
Authors: López-Merino, L
Leroy, SAG
Eshel, A
Epshtein, V
Belmaker, R
Bookman, R
Keywords: Dead Sea;Laminated sediments;Aragonite;Air-borne pollen;Reworked pollen;Flash-flood events
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Quaternary Science Reviews, 140: pp. 49 - 66, (2016)
Abstract: Lacustrine laminated sediments are often varves representing annual rhythmic deposition. The Dead Sea high-stand laminated sections consist of mm-scale alternating detrital and authigenic aragonite laminae. Previous studies assumed these laminae were varves deposited seasonally. However, this assumption has never been robustly validated. Here we report an examination of the seasonal deposition of detrital-aragonite couplets from two well-known Late Holocene laminated sections at the Ze’elim fan-delta using palynology and grain-size distribution analyses. These analyses are complemented by the study of contemporary flash-flood samples and multivariate statistical analysis. Because transport affects the pollen preservation state, well–preserved (mostly) air-borne transported pollen was analysed separately from badly-preserved pollen and fungal spores, which are more indicative of water transport and reworking from soils. Our results indicate that (i) both detrital and aragonite laminae were deposited during the rainy season; (ii) aragonite laminae have significantly lower reworked and fungal spore concentrations than detrital and flash-flood samples; and (iii) detrital laminae are composed of recycling of local and distal sources, with coarser particles that were initially deposited in the Dead Sea watershed and later transported via run-off to the lake. This is in line with previous carbon balance studies that showed that aragonite precipitation occurs after the massive input of TCO2 associated with run-off episodes. Consequently, at least for the Holocene Ze’elim Formation, laminated sediments cannot be considered as varves. Older Quaternary laminated sequences should be re-evaluated.
ISSN: 1873-457X
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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