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CRP El Niño member - Ms. Elisabetta Boaretto

Ms. Elisabetta Boaretto

Weizmann Institute of Science
Rehovot, Israel

Scientific Background

Long climate record for the Eastern-Mediterranean region has been produced based on deep sea core, lake sediments and speleothems. Is has been concluded that climate in the Eastern-Mediterranean region is strongly influenced from the North Atlantic and the Monsoon regime.

Teleconnection with ENSO have been investigated using tree-rings width, rainfall amount, d18O in rain and ENSO intensity between 1975 and 1995. It has been found that in relation to El Niño index and rainfall is higher in Israel (Yakir et al., 1996). The frequency of these events has been determined as 5 years. A record of flood events and wet periods has been detected in sediment cores from the Lake Kinneret (Israel) (Dubowsky et al., 2003). Decrease in carbonate content in the sediments and in the d13C of the carbonate fraction has been detected in relation to floods and high precipitation. The relation to ENSO events and the Kinneret sediments record has not been made.

A long record of laminated sediments, Lisan sequence, exists in the Dead Sea area. A section of this record has been U-Th dated between 70 to 14 ky BP (Haase-Schramm et al., 2004). This could be a terrestrial record that might be possible to investigate for flood events and high precipitation before the Holocene. During the Holocene the lake was separated in two water bodies: the Dead Sea in the south and the lake Kinneret in the North.

The Radiocarbon laboratory at the Weizmann Institute is equipped for decay counting radiocarbon measurements, tritium measurements, infrared spectroscopy and stable carbon isotopes analysis.

Current Research Topics

  • Tritium and radiocarbon are measured in water in the unsaturated zone in Judean hills and in the Soreq cave (Judean Hills).
  • Use of the stable carbon isotopes and 14C to study the CO2 budget in a 40 years old forest near Bersheva.
  • Reservoir age of the shells living in shallow sea water. This will be important for the determination of the reservoir age for the organic and inorganic fraction of sediments deposited in a sea/fresh water mixing zone.
  • ENSO terrestrial record: recent record of ENSO event recorded in the lake Kinneret sediments. Correlation with tree rings and rainfall record.