Mean, variance, and trends of Levant precipitation over the past 4500 years from reconstructed Dead Sea levels and stochastic modeling

Efrat Morin*, Tamar Ryb, Ittai Gavrieli, Yehouda Enzel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

A novel quantitative assessment of late Holocene precipitation in the Levant is presented, including mean and variance of annual precipitation and their trends. A stochastic framework was utilized and allowed, possibly for the first time, linking high-quality, reconstructed rises/declines in Dead Sea levels with precipitation trends in its watershed. We determined the change in mean annual precipitation for 12 specific intervals over the past 4500 yr, concluding that: (1) the twentieth century was substantially wetter than most of the late Holocene; (2) a representative reference value of mean annual precipitation is 75% of the present-day parameter; (3) during the late Holocene, mean annual precipitation ranged between-17 and +66% of the reference value (-37 to +25% of present-day conditions); (4) the driest intervals were 1500-1200 BC and AD 755-890, and the wettest intervals were 2500-2460 BC, 130-40 BC, AD 350-490, and AD 1770-1940; (5) lake-level rises and declines probably occurred in response to trends in precipitation means and are less likely to occur when precipitation mean is constant; (6) average trends in mean annual precipitation during intervals of ≥200 yr did not exceed 15 mm per decade. The precipitation trends probably reflect shifts in eastern Mediterranean cyclone tracks.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)751-767
Number of pages17
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press.

Keywords

  • Dead Sea level
  • Late Holocene
  • Levant paleoclimate
  • Precipitation regime
  • Precipitation trend
  • Stochastic modeling

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