Stratigraphic record reveals contrasting roles of overflows and underflows over glacial cycles in a hypersaline lake (Dead Sea)

Yin Lu, Ed L. Pope, Jasper Moernaut, Revital Bookman, Nicolas Waldmann, Amotz Agnon, Shmuel Marco, Michael Strasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In lakes and oceans, links between modern sediment density flow processes and deposits preserved in long-term geological records are poorly understood. Consequently, it is unclear whether, and if so how, long-term climate changes affect the magnitude/frequency of sediment density flows. One approach to answering this question is to analyze a comprehensive geological record that comprises deposits that can be reliably linked to modern sediment flow processes. To address this question, we investigated the unique ICDP Core 5017-1 from the Dead Sea (the largest and deepest hypersaline lake on the Earth) depocenter covering MIS 7-1. Based on an understanding of modern sediment density flow processes in the lake, we link homogeneous muds in the core to overflows (surface flood plumes, ρflowwater), and link graded turbidites and debrites to underflows (ρflowwater). Our dataset reveals (1) overflows are more prominent during interglacials, while underflows are more prominent during glacials; (2) orbital-scale climate changes affected the flow magnitude/frequency via changing salinity and density profile of lake brine, lake-level, and source materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117723
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


  • flash-floods
  • flood plume
  • geological record
  • sediment density flows
  • sediment transport processes
  • turbidites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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