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Lake Van, Turkey

Sebastian krastel

Lake Van is the fourth largest of all terminal lakes in the world (surface area of 3,522 km², maximum depth of 451 m). Previous scientific work has shown that annually laminated sediments exist in Lake Van, which made it a target for the European Lake Drilling Program in ICDP. In this framework a seismic pre-site survey at Lake Van was carried out from June 1st to June 15th 2004. In total we collected 50 profiles with a length of ~850 km by means of a high-resolution multichannel seismic system and a GeoChirp system. 

The deepest part of the lake, the Tatvan Basin, is characterized by an alternating succession of well-stratified and chaotically reflecting layers. In contrast, a small secondary basin shows an undisturbed sediment succession, while the separating sedimentary ridge is characterized by a condensed sediment succession. The secondary basin and the sedimentary ridge are both promising locations for ICDP-sites.

After the survey, further research, including a second expedition, was carried out at CAU Kiel, after the lake became target for ICDP drilling, and seismic data were published thereafter.

Cruise Facts

Duration: 02.06.04 - 13.06.04
Vessel: --
MTU Participants:
  Krastel, Gerriets, Demirel
Funding: DFG
Data sets:

  • GeoChirp I
  • MCS, Syntron 100 m, mini GI


Project Web Pages: Sebastian Krastel, Kiel University

ICDP Drilling Campaign Lake Van


Cukur, Deniz, Krastel S., Schmincke HU., Sumita M., Tomonaga, Y., Cagatay MN. (2014) Water level changes in Lake Van, Turkey, during the past ca. 600 ka: climatic, volcanic and tectonic controls. J Paleolimnol., 52, 201–214,

Cukur, Deniz, Krastel S., Demirel-Schlüter, F., Demirbag E., Imren, C., Niessen, F., Mustafa Toker M., PaleoVan-Working Group (2013) Sedimentary evolution of Lake Van (Eastern Turkey) reconstructed from high-resolution seismic investigations. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch), 102, 571–585,

Cukur, D., Krastel, S., Schmincke, H.-U., Sumita, M., Çağatay, M.N., Meydan, A.F., Damcı, E., Stockhecke, M., 2014. Seismic stratigraphy of Lake Van, eastern Turkey. Quaternary Science Reviews 104, 63-84,

Cukur, D., Krastel, S., Tomonaga, Y., Schmincke, H.-U., Sumita, M., Meydan, A.F., Çağatay, M.N., Toker, M., Kim, S.-P., Kong, G.-S., 2016. Structural characteristics of the Lake Van Basin, eastern Turkey, from high-resolution seismic reflection profiles and multibeam echosounder data: geologic and tectonic implications. International Journal of Earth Sciences (Geologische Rundschau) 106, 239-253, .


Mobilization of vessel

Deployment of airgun

Acquisition center

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