PRO-HYDRO - Sediment provenance and paleo hydrology in the Dead Sea region during the Early Holocene

The lacustrine, and partly laminated, sediments of the Dead Sea are unique archives of variations in sediment input and paleo-precipitation regimes in the Levant region (Middle East). Long-term paleo-hydrological changes in the Dead Sea catchment are reflected by changes in relative sediment input from different tributaries and could be deciphered by measuring the radiogenic isotopes of neodymium (Nd) and strontium (Sr).

The PRO-HYDRO-I project (2018-2020) will compare sediments from the western shoreline and the middle of the lake to determine the contribution of different sediment sources. Besides, sources of inflowing waters are traced by analyzing the chemical and isotopic composition of primary aragonite.

In the follow-up project PRO-HYDRO-II (2020-2021), the tributaries on the Jordanian eastern shore of the Dead Sea will be extended. This synoptic reconstruction will provide key insights into the interplay between northern and southern precipitation regimes, at a near-annual resolution.

The reconstructions of the PRO-HYDRO projects focus on:

  • Contributions of extreme events by short-term hydroclimatic variability and local floods.
  • Rapid Holocene climate changes such as the 8.2 ka event and the Bronze Age centennial droughts.
  • Detailed and accurate dating of laminated sediments using varve-counting, (crypto) tephrochronology, and radiocarbon dating.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI), Institute of Earth Sciences, Israel
Geological Survey of Israel (GSI), Israel
German-Jordanian University GJU, School of Natural Resources Engineering and Management, Jordan
Ministry of energy and mineral resources (MEMR), Jordan
International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)

German Research Foundation (DFG) - SPP 1006: Infrastructure Priority Program
International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) - TJ66/2-1; TJ66/2-2

Laminated lacustrine sediments of the western Dead Sea margin at Ein Feshkha.
Sampling laminated lacustrine sediments of Late and mid-Holocene age at Ein Feshkha in 2018.
Holocene sequence of laminated lacustrine sediment at the eastern Dead Sea margin (Wadi Ibn Hammad, Jordan).
Flash flood at Wadi Mujib


Cecile Blanchet
Dr. Cecile Blanchet
Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution
Building C, Room 328
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1355


Rik Tjallingii
Dr. Rik Tjallingii
Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution
Building C, Room 326
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1438