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Pliocene and Early Pleistocene paleoenvironments in northeastern Siberia, inferred from palynological analyses of core ICDP 5011-1 from Lake El´gygytgyn


This project (grant nos. ME 1169/24) is carried out jointly with Ulrike Herzschuh from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Research Unit Potsdam, within the scope of the DFG Priority Programme 1006 „ICDP“. It contributes to the ICDP funded „El'gygytgyn Drilling Project“ in northeastern Siberia, specifically to the reconstruction of the vegetation and climate history from palynological analyses on the 318 m long lake sediment record that was recovered in spring 2009.

The investigations are concentrated on high-resolution palynological analysis of the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene part of core ICDP 5011-1 from central Lake El´gygytgyn, thus complementing respective investigations in the Middle and Late Pleistocene core part by collaborating palynologists in Russia and the USA. Specific objectives of the palynological analysis in the lower core part are (i) to reconstruct the re-colonisation of the El´gygytgyn crater by terrestrial plants following the impact event, (ii) to investigate the long-term climate development during the Pliocene/Pleistocene transition, (iii) to contribute to the improvement of the chronostratigraphic frame for the Siberian Arctic, (iv) to identify and characterise the Milankovitch Cycles during Pliocene and Early Pleistocene times, and (v) to contribute to the dating of the permafrost core ICDP 5011-3 by its biostratigraphic correlation with core ICDP 5011-1. The intended research is of great importance for the international drilling project, because it ideally complements the research of other members of the science team and promises important background information needed by many project partners.