Friday seminars of Institute of Earth Sciences and Nordic Volcanological Center 12. April at 12:30 in Askja, 3rd floor meeting room


Steffen Mischke, Professor, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

"Lake sediments from Morocco as Holocene and late Pleistocene climate archives of the Northern Atlantic to Saharan region"

Zoom link

List of Friday seminars of Institute of Earth Sciences and Nordic Volcanological Center



I will use the Friday Seminar talk to inform about research work conducted in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco with the aim to reconstruct Holocene and late glacial climate change in the western Mediterraean, a region heavily impacted by current climate change and especially increasing drought conditions. This research was initiated some 13 years ago as joint work between Christoph Zielhofer (University of Leipzig, Germany), William Fletcher (University of Manchester, UK) and me, still in Potsdam during these days. First fieldwork in Morocco was conducted in September 2012 including bathymetric surveys of potential target lakes and obtaining sediment cores from lakes. Dating and XRF scanning of cores, stable O and C isotope analysis of calcareous crustacean valves, and pollen analyses were conducted on a Holocene record of Lake Sidi Ali in the Middle Atlas. This record provided the basis to reconstruct the temperature and precipitation history of in the region with moisture sources represented by the Northern Atlantic and the western Mediterranean, and also the history of dust influx. The stable oxygen isotopes of ostracod valves and the Cedar pollen turned out to represent the key proxies to infer a change in climate-forcing mechanisms in the middle Holocene, emphasizing the value of multiproxy analyses. New fieldwork was conducted in August 2023, and as a result, a relatively long sediment core was drilled from Lake Tislit in the High Atlas. Preliminary age data indicate an age of ca. 25-30 ka for the base of the newly collected core, and currently produced new climate reconstructions will address climate change since at least the Last Glacial Maximum.


All are welcome.