The Paleo-Climatic Record and its Significance

These studies attempt to answer questions related to the climatic-hydrological systems, and developing tools for paleo-climatic reconstruction. It focuses on understanding the connection between climatic factors and the composition, amount of precipitates, and the water in the unsaturated zone. The mineralogical, chemical and isotopic compositions of cave and lake deposits are also being measured, as is the marine record in cores sampled along the margins of the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

- The unsaturated zone system and cave deposits. The study centers on understanding the ties between climatic factors and the composition, amount of precipitates and the water in the unsaturated zone. Measurements are made of rainfall, and the isotopic (C, O, H, Sr, U), chemical and mineralogical compositions of dust and water that infiltrates to the unsaturated zone, are measured. On the basis of these data, regional climatic reconstruction is made from the isotopic and chemical record that is "preserved" in the cave deposits.

- Continental shelf and deep sea deposits. A series of projects is being carried out to reconstruc the marine record in cores sampled along the margins of the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. These reconstructions focus on examining the isotopic record in micro-fossils and comparing it to the global record which is attributed to paleo-climatic events.

- Relationship between the marine and continental environments. This focuses on quantifying the precipitates in the Holocene in the mountainous backbone of the center and north of the country. The study is based on reconstructing changes in water temperatures and isotopic compositions from sediments penetrated in exploratory marine drillholes. .

- Lake Lisan deposits in the Kinneret basin and the Dead Sea areas. Detailed studies are being made of the mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic compositions of the lacustrine sediments. These data enable the determination of initial water compositions and by the use of mopdels, the development of the hydrological-limnological system and the accompanying climatic conditions.

- Geochemical and isotopic nature of the Mediterranean Sea. The studies in this realm focus on understanding the seas geochemical system and its present circulation. This information is integrated in an analysis of the results of the paleo-climatic studies and aid in evaluating its significance.

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