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Caspian Sea Level Fluctuations in the Neopleistocene (Was There an Atelian Regression?)

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The article deals with deposits exposed in sections along the rivers of the Caspian lowland and on the eastern slope of the Ergenei. The conclusion is made about the lagoonal origin of chocolate clays lying on high-capacity subaerial and alluvial–deltaic deposits. The impact of the Caspian Sea level rise on coastal processes is examined. Taking into account the regularities in the behavior of the coastal zone during sea level rise, subaerial deposits with such thickness in the outcrops could not have been preserved during the early Khvalynian transgression from –100 m. Another curve of Caspian Sea level fluctuations is proposed, where there is no deep Atelian regression between the Khazarian and Khvalynian transgressions. It is concluded that the Khazarian transgression was one of the largest in the history of the Caspian Sea. Its level was slightly less than that of the Khvalynian transgression. The rise of the level of the latter began not from –100 m, but from about 5–15 m; i.e., this transgression was in fact an oscillation of the Caspian Sea against its gradual regression after the Khazarian transgression. Sea level oscillations contributed to the formation of lagoonal-transgressive terraces, in which chocolate clays accumulated.

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The study was supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (project no. 16-17-10103).

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Correspondence to E. N. Badyukova.

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Badyukova, E.N. Caspian Sea Level Fluctuations in the Neopleistocene (Was There an Atelian Regression?). Oceanology 61, 283–291 (2021).

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