Last glacial-Holocene temperatures and hydrology of the Sea of Galilee and Hula Valley from clumped isotopes in Melanopsis shells

Shikma Zaarur, Hagit P. Affek*, Mordechai Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The carbonate clumped isotope (δ47) thermometer was applied to fresh water snails (Melanopsis spp.) grown in the waters of the Sea of Galilee and Hula Valley, in the north of Israel. Modern shells, grown at known temperatures agree with the δ47-T calibration of Zaarur et al. (2013). Fossil Melanopsis shells from 2 locations, Gesher Bnot Ya'aqov (at the southern tip of the Hula Valley) and the Sea of Galilee provide a temperature record for the region during the time interval of the past 20 kyrs. Glacial temperatures are ~5 °C cooler than mid-Holocene and ~3 °C cooler than modern, similar to other records in the region. These δ47-derived temperatures are combined with δ18O of the shell carbonate to calculate the oxygen isotopic composition of the habitat waters. Contrary to global trends and other regional records, reconstructed δ18Owater values increase from the late glacial through the Holocene. This reversed signal reflects a decrease in the relative contribution of snowmelt to the watershed post-LGM and a transition to a more rain dominated inflow. A fairly constant difference in δ18Owater values between the Hula Valley and Sea of Galilee waters, suggests that the hydrological relationship of the two water bodies had remained constant, with the temperature changes playing only a minor role in the extent of evaporation of the Sea of Galilee relative to the Hula.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)142-155
Number of pages14
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Einot Tzukim and Ein Gedi Israel National Parks for providing water and shell materials; Eric Lazo-Wasem and Lourdes Rojas from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Henk Mienes from Steinhardt National Collections of Natural History Department of Zoology Tel Aviv University and Adam Baldinger from the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology for assistance in snail species identification. We thank Gerard Olack, Dominic Colosi, Glendon Husinger of the Earth System Center for Stable Isotope Studies for technical support. We thank Miriam Bar-Matthews and Françoise Gasse for sharing their data. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant NSF-EAR-0842482 to Hagit Affek.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Dive into the research topics of 'Last glacial-Holocene temperatures and hydrology of the Sea of Galilee and Hula Valley from clumped isotopes in Melanopsis shells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this