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Lake Van Drilling Project



Lake VanLake Van in Turkey is an excellent paleoclimate archive comprising long high resolution annually laminated sediment records covering several glacial-interglacial cycles. The lake is situated on the high plateau of eastern Anatolia and has a surface area of 3,522 km2. Its maximum depth is 451 m and its length is 130 km. It is the fourth largest of all terminal lakes in the world and contains highly alkaline waters.

(Photo ©:NASA)

Specific goals of the PaleoVan project are to reconstruct:

  1. Paleoclimate development in a sensitive semiarid region based on proxy data and modeling
  2. dynamics of lake level fluctuations and hydrogeological development
  3. formation and age of Lake Van
  4. history of volcanism and volcanic activity based on tephrostratigraphy
  5. variations of the earthmagnetic field
  6. tectonic, paleoseismic and earthquake activity
  7. interaction between man and environment since prehistoric time



Asia, Turkey, Van Province, Eastern Anatolia, Lake Van



38° 38' N, 42° 54' E (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)


Project Start and End
  • drilling operations started: July 2, 2010
  • drilling operations ended: August 26, 2010


Programs and Funding


Principal Investigators
  • Thomas Litt, University of Bonn, Steinmann Institute for Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology, Paleobotany Division
  • Sebastian Krastel-Gudegast, University of Kiel, Institute of Geosciences, Department of Geophysics, Marine Geophysics and Hydroacoustics
  • Michael Sturm, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Department of Surface Waters, Research and Management, Sedimentology Section
  • Rolf Kipfer, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Department of Water Resources and Drinking Water
  • Sefer Örçen, University of Yüzüncü Yil
  • M. Namik Çagatay, Istanbul Technical University, Eastern Mediterranean Centre for Oceanography and Limnology


Partners and Contractors



Anatolia, Climate Change, Global Environment, ICDP-2007/03, Lake Drilling, LAKEVAN, Paleoclimatology, PALEOVAN, Quaternary, Turkey, VAN06, Varved Record


Current State





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