Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics

, Volume 55, Issue 8, pp 860–869 | Cite as

Lake Sevan (Armenia) Deposits as Indicator of Paleoclimate and Neotectonic Processes

  • E. S. GorbatovEmail author
  • A. A. Vardanyan
  • A. M. Korzhenkov
  • S. D. Razumniy


The history of lacustrine sedimentation in the Sevan depression is traced. The potential of using lacustrine sediments for the analysis of paleoclimate and neotectonic development of the region is shown. The long-term preservation of the lacustrine regime in the Sevan depression is mainly due to large lava flows that repeatedly create dams in the northwestern part of the depression. A coupled analysis of three dated sections of sediments near the coast of Lake Sevan (Dzknaget, Norashen, and Argichi) shows that the main factor determining the lake level fluctuations in the Holocene is the climate: the alternation of eras with varying moisture amounts. Transgression periods are characterized by the accumulation of shallow–lake and beach facies and regression periods are characterized by alluvial and subaerial technogenic (cultural layers) facies. Holocene sediments of Lake Sevan contain synchronous transgressions of the Subarctic, Atlantic and Sub-Atlantic periods and regressions of the Boreal and Subboreal periods. The transgression periods are associated with climate moistening and the development of tree–shrub vegetation in its watershed area, and the regressions correspond to epochs of a decrease in humidity and a reduction of this type of vegetation. The minimum lacustrine sedimentation rates are typical for beach facies that are remote from river mouths (0.1–0.3 mm/year), and the maximum values are typical for delta facies (0.7–1.5 mm/year). The results can be used to analyze and forecast long-term trends in the development of the natural environment in the watershed area of Lake Sevan and changes in its level.


Holocene lacustrine sediments sedimentation rate Blytt–Sernander climatic system transgressions and regressions seismites Lake Sevan Armenia 



This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 18-35-00296.


The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Aslanyan, A.T., On the problem of the origination of Lake Sevan, Izv. AN Arm. SSR: Ser. Estestv. Nauk, 1947, no. 8, pp. 39–44.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aslanyan, A.T., Problems of the origination of Lake Sevan in the light of modern data, Izv. AN Arm. SSR: Ser. Nauki Zemle, 1979, no. 3, pp. 3–10.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Babayan, T., Atlas of Strong Earthquakes of the Republic of Armenia: Artsakh and Adjacent Territories from Ancient Times through 2003, Gyumri, 2006.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bal’yan, S.P. and Boshnagyan, P.S., Paleogeography and hydrology of the Lake Sevan basin, Voprosy geologii Kavkaza (Problems of Caucasian Geology), Yerevan: AN Arm. SSR, 1962, pp. 37–48.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bowman, D., Banet-Davidovich, D., Bruins, H.J., and van der Plicht, J., Dead Sea shorelines facies with seismically-induced soft-sediment deformation structures, Israel, Israel J. Earth Sci., 2000, vol. 49, pp. 197–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bowman, D., Bruins, H.J., and van der Plicht, J., Load structure seismites in the Dead Sea area, Israel: Chronological benchmarking with 14C dating, Radiocarbon, 2001, vol. 43, pp. 1383–1390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bowman, D., Korjenkov, A., and Porat, N., Late-Pleistocene seismites from Lake Issyk-Kul, the Tien Shan range, Kyrgyzstan, Sediment. Geol., 2004, vol. 163, pp. 211–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gabrielyan, A.A., Paleogen i neogen Armyanskoi SSR (Paleogene and Neogene of the Armenian SSR), Yerevan: AN Arm. SSR, 1964.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gladkov, A.S., Lobova, E.U., Deev, E.V., Korzhenkov, A.M., Mazeika, J.V., Abdieva, S.V., Rogozhin, E.A., Rodkin, M.V., Fortuna, A.B., Charimov, T.A., and Yudakhin, A.S., Earthquake-induced soft-sediment deformation structures in late Pleistocene lacustrine deposits of Issy-k-Kul Lake (Kyrgyzstan), Sediment. Geol., 2016, vol. 344, pp. 112–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gorbatov, E.S., Formation and geochemical features of deposits of Shaturskaya Meshchera lakes, Vestn. RUDN, Ser.: Ekol. Bezop. Zhiznedeyat., 2013, no. 1, pp. 80–88.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Karakhanian, A. and Abgaryan, E., Evidence of historical seismicity and volcanism in the Armenian Highland (from Armenian and other sources), Ann. Geophys., 2004, vol. 47, nos. 2–3, pp. 793–810.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Karakhanian, A., Djrbashian, R., Trifonov, V., Philip, H., Arakelian, S., and Avagian, A., Holocene-historical volcanism and active faults as natural risk factors for Armenia and adjacent countries, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 2002, vol. 113, pp. 319–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kazakova, N.M., Ancient deposits in the Lake Sevan basin (petrographical and mineralogical description), Tr. Inst. Geogr. Akad. Nauk SSSR, 1952, no. 51, pp. 81–118.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kazakova, N.M., On the problem of the origination of Lake Sevan, Tr. Inst. Geogr. Akad. Nauk SSSR, 1955, vol. 65, no. 14, pp. 135–146.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Korjenkov, A.M., Seismogenic convolutions in the lacustrine deposits of the Issyk-Kul Lake, the Tien Shan, J. Earthquake Predict. Res., 2000, vol. 8, pp. 514–519.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Korzhenkov, A.M., Avanesyan, M.A., Virgino, A., and Karakhanyan, A.S., Seismic convolutions in the Quaternary deposits of Lake Sevan, Armenia, Russ. Geol. Geophys., 2014, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 46–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Milanovskii, E.E., New data on the structure of Neogene and Quaternary deposits in the Lake Sevan basin, Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Ser. Geol., 1952, no. 4, pp. 110–119.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Milanovskii, E.E., Recent tectonics of the Sevan depression, Byull. MOIP, Otd. Geol., 1960, no. 5, pp. 5–61.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Milanovskii, E.E., The Sevan depression, Geologiya Arm-yanskoi SSR (Geology of the Armenian SSR), vol. 1: Geomorfologiya (Geomorphology), Yerevan: AN Arm. SSR, 1962, pp. 133–135.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Milanovskii, E.E., Origination and formation stages of lacustrine depression, Istoriya ozer Sevan, Issyk-Kul’, Balkhash, Zaisan i Aral (The History of Sevan, Issyk-Kul, Balkhash, Zaisan, and Aral Lakes), Leningrad: Nauka, 1991, pp. 13–20.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nikonov, A.A., Destructive historical earthquakes in Soviet Armenia, Tectonophysics, 1991, vol. 193, pp. 225–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rasskazov, A.A. and Gorbatov, E.S., Limnogeologiya i evolyutsiya ozernogo litogeneza (Limnology and Evolution of Lake Lithogenesis), Moscow: IFZ RAN, 2019.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sarkisyan, O.A., Geological structures and history of the tectonic evolution of the Sevan–Shirak sinclinorium (Lesser Caucasus), Extended Abstract of Dr. Sci. (Geol.–Mineral.) Dissertation, Yerevan, 1973.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sayadyan, Yu.V., Noveishaya geologicheskaya istoriya A-rmenii (Recent Geological History of Armenia), Yerevan: Gitutyun, 2009.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sayadyan, Yu.V., Sevan as a natural “climatographer” of Holocene, Voprosy geologii golotsena (Problems of Holocene Geology), Yerevan: AN Arm. SSR, 1985, pp. 61–67.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sayadyan, Yu.V. and Aleshinskaya, Z.V., Fluctuations of water content in the Lake Sevan basin, Istoriya ozer Sevan, Issyk-Kul’, Balkhash, Zaisan i Aral (The History of Sevan, Issyk-Kul, Balkhash, Zaisan, and Aral Lakes), Leningrad: Nauka, 1991, pp. 38–49.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sayadyan, Yu.V., Aleshinskaya, Z.V., and Khanzadyan, E.V., Late-Glacial deposits and Lake Sevan coastal archeology, Geologiya chetvertichnogo perioda (pleistotsen) (Geology of the Quaternary (Pleistocene)), Yerevan: AN Arm. SSR, 1977, pp. 91–109.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Uner, S., Yeşilova, C., and Yakupoğlu, T., The traces of earthquake (seismites): Examples from Lake Van deposits (Turkey), Earthquake Research and Analysis: Seismology, Seismotectonic and Earthquake Geology, D’Amico, S., Ed., Rijeka, Croatia: Tech. Publ., 2012, pp. 21–32.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Vardanyan, A.A., Kir’yanov, V.V., Kochegura, V.V., Nechaeva, T.B., and Sayadyan, Yu.V., Secular variations in the Earth’s magnetic field according to Holocene deposits of Lake Sevan, Voprosy geologii golotsena (Problems of Holocene Geology), Yerevan: AN Arm. SSR, 1985, pp. 68–86.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Vardanyan, A.A., Korzhenkov, A.M., Sorokin, A.A., and Stakhovskaya R.Yu., Paleogeographic conditions and age of a strong earthquake according to data from studying of the Holocene deposits from Lake Sevan, Armenia, Izv., Atmos. Ocean. Phys., 2018, vol. 54, no. 8, pp. 859–866. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vardanyants, L.A., O proiskhozhdenii ozera Sevan (On the Origin of Lake Sevan), Yerevan: AN Arm. SSR, 1948.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. S. Gorbatov
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. A. Vardanyan
    • 1
  • A. M. Korzhenkov
    • 1
  • S. D. Razumniy
    • 1
  1. 1.Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations