Quaternary colluvium in west-central Anatolia: sedimentary facies and palaeoclimatic significance

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Abstract

The Quaternary colluvial aprons in Lake Eğirdir area, Taurus Mountains, consist of steep coalescent fans, up to 17–20 m thick and 350–450 m in plan-view radius, and the sedimentary succession comprises four lithostratigraphic divisions. The basal red–brown colluvium consists of a chaotic, bouldery fan-core rubble covered with bedded, openwork to matrix-rich gravel, whose deposition is attributed to rockfalls and cohesive debrisflows, with minor grainflows and sheetwash processes. The middle part of this division contains interbeds of early Pleistocene tephra. The overlying light-grey colluvium consists of bedded gravel with numerous palaeogullies and its deposition is attributed to waterflow, rockfalls and cohesive debrisflows. The younger, medium-grey colluvium consists of stratified pebbly sand interspersed with cobble/boulder gravel and its deposition is attributed to sheetwash processes accompanied by rockfalls and wet snowflows/slushflows. A bulk-pollen radiocarbon date indicates Late Würm age. The youngest, yellow–grey colluvium consists of bedded, mainly pebbly and openwork gravel, whose deposition is attributed to dry grainflows, rockfalls and minor cohesive debrisflows. Based on the sedimentary facies assemblages and available isotopic dates, the four colluvial divisions are correlated with the following stages of the region’s climatic history: (1) the latest Pliocene to Early Pleistocene stage of warm–humid climate with pronounced phases of drier conditions; (2) the Late Pleistocene stage of colder climate, with alternating phases of higher and lower humidity; (3) the last glacial (Würm) stage of coldest climate; and (4) the Holocene stage of warm semi-arid climate. It is concluded that colluvial depositional systems bear a valuable proxy record of climatic changes and regional geoclimatic differences.

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