Seminar Details

Mediterranean environmental history of the last millennium from vermetid trace element records




Dr. Yitzhak Jacobson - Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Marine calcifying organisms record in their shells environmental conditions, such as sea surface temperature, productivity, precipitation and dust fluxes. The reef builder vermetid, Dendropoma petraeum is a sessile gastropod, secreting its aragonite shell in the tidal zones of the warm belt of the Mediterranean Sea. Millennial scale trace element (TE) records from vermetid reefs across the Mediterranean Sea (Israel, Crete, Sicily, Tunisia and Spain) provide the opportunity to reconstruct past environmental conditions and decouple anthropogenic effects from natural environment conditions and climate variability. TE/Ca records from vermetid shells will be presented in their proposed environmental contexts. The variability of U/Ca pronounces climate anomalies such as the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the Anthropocene. Pb/Ca records document natural and anthropogenic pollution events, including volcanic eruptions, Medieval mining and Anthropocene transportation related Pb emissions. Fe/Al and Rb/Al record variability between riverine and aerial fluxes of terrigenous matter and fluctuations between dust sources. An integration of these records discloses a unique story of the environmental history of the Mediterranean basin during the last millennium.

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