Tenaghi Philippon, Greece

The archive of Tenaghi Philippon was explored in 2005 and 2009 as part of an international collaboration to shed light on environmental and climate dynamics.

photos: © archive J. Pross, Uni Heidelberg

project description

A 1.3 million year long, continuous archive of the eastern Mediterranean

photos: © archive J. Pross, Uni Heidelberg

Because of its location in the border area between the climatic systems of the higher and lower latitudes, the Mediterranean is particularly sensitive to abrupt climate fluctuations. The current IPCC report lists the mediterranean region as a region most affected by anthropogenic climate change. In addition, the mediterranean region is particularly suited for the reconstruction of the quaternary climate variability, as the terrestrial climate archives provide highly diverse biotic signals even for colder sections of the quaternary in contrast to central european areas. This makes it possible to analyze in detail the impact of short-term climate variability on terrestrial ecosystems over the entire spectrum of the quaternary circumstances. Against this background, the 200 m thick climate and vegetation archive of the fen of Tenaghi Philippon (NE-Greece) plays an outstanding role. Its position as one of the best climate archives for the Quaternary of Europe is based on its length and completeness. It continually comprises at least 19 consecutive glacial interglacial cycles of the past 1.35 million years. On the other hand, Tenaghi Philippon is located in the close proximity of the glacial retreat areas of thermophilic plants in SE-Europe. This minimizes the phase shift between the atmospheric signal and the response of terrestrial ecosystems, as documented in poll data. Further, the dating of activated volcanic ash allows the development of an independent chronology also beyond the scope of the radio-carbon analysis, which is indispensable for the global comparability of the results to be gained.



photos: © archive J. Pross, Uni Heidelberg

The archive of Tenaghi Philippon was re-drilled in 2005 and 2009 as part of an international collaboration under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Jörg Pross. At the moment it is analyzed in a high-resolution palyno-logical manner as well as on microtephren.

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