Cave formations record Black Sea deluges | Science News

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Cave formations record Black Sea deluges

Stalagmites in Turkish grotto document 670,000 years of flooding

5:39pm, March 16, 2011

Noah, better get more arks. Over hundreds of millennia large floods drowned the Black Sea and its environs over and over again, a new study shows.

Using chemical cues stuck in cave stalagmites, an international team of researchers has drawn up the most complete record to date of Black Sea flooding. And the sea’s history is stormy indeed, researchers report online March 13 in Nature Geoscience. The Mediterranean may have rushed over Turkey and into the Black Sea at least 12 times over the past 670,000 years.

“It’s a very dynamic region,” says study coauthor Dominik Fleitmann.

Dynamic, but until recently not well studied. Fossils and mineral samples from deep-sea cores hinted at the Black Se

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