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2016 - Issyk-Kul II

Long term tectonic and paleoclimatic history of Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan - results from an ICDP-related deep seismic pre-site survey campaign

Volkhard Spieß - University of Bremen, € 244'100, DFG Sp296/38 (38-1: € 85'600; 38-3: € 158'500)

Duration: 2016 - (ongoing)

Funding Program: DFG SPP 1006 International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP)

Partners: Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov, Institute of Seismology, Bishkek, Kyrgystan; Catalina Gebhardt, AWI, Bernd Wagner, Universitä#t Köln.


Preliminary Results


Lake Issyk-Kul, located in the Kyrgyz Republic, is one of the deepest and largest lakes in the world. It occupies a deep basin within the Tien Shan mountain belt in Central Asia, which is presently one of the Earth's tectonically most active intra-continental mountain belts, as a result of a compressional regime developing out of the India-Eurasia collision. Lake sediments can act as important "recorders" of the regional processes active during and after their deposition. Lake Issyk-Kul's sediments likely comprise a promising record of tectonic events and past climate changes in the region, potentially ranging back to Miocene times.This record is the base of a planned investigation of the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP), with the aim to investigate the past climate conditions and the tectonic history of the region. An ICDP workshop was held in 2011 in Baet/Kyrgyzstan. As a result of the workshop considerations, a lack of deeper seismic imaging from the lake interior was acknowledged, which would allow to tackle some of the major scientific questions regarding the long term history of the lake filling, tectonic deformation and paleoseismology, and which would be required for planning a marine drilling. A multichannel seismic data set with deeper airgun penetration was acquired in April 2013 in a cooperative initiative between different institutes. We intend to process and interpret this dataset to re-initiate the discussion on ICDP drilling at the lake and to identify a new group of PI's to develop a final drilling plan and ICDP funding proposal.Spatial mapping of major horizons, thickness of depositional units and reconstruction of tectonic movements shall give insight into the history of sediment delivery, continuity of deposition, major earthquake activity, basin evolution, regional tilting and development of a major fold structure. By developing a seismostratigraphic framework, the evolution of this basin shall be reconstructed, supporting and improving ICDP drilling strategies.

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