Identification of climatic changes and the influence of anthropogenic factors on the pollution of natural environment by studies of bottom sediments in alpine lakes of Armenia

Project Status: 3 Approved without Funding
Duration in months: 36 months


It is proposed to investigate bottom sediments in a number of alpine lakes of Armenia situated at heights of over 3,000 m, and on the basis of laboratory analyses of samples taken from throughout the entire thickness of these sediments to identify what climatic changes have taken place in the vicinity of the lakes over the period of their existence.
The investigations of samples of bottom sediments will allow to elucidate the problem of the character of the air temperature changes in the territory of Armenia and the effects of man’s economic activities upon these changes.
The objective of this Project is to reconstruct the paleogeographic situation throughout the territory of Armenia.
In the world practice, studies of the lake bottom sediments in order to identify changes of air temperature have been applied by Canadian researchers to Lake Ontario, by Chinese experts to Lake Sintso (Tibet Plateau), by Russian researchers to many lakes of Russian Federation etc.
In addition, indirect evidence on changes of air temperature can be obtained through tree annual rings, analyses of air bubbles trapped in polar ice cores, etc.
Here it is proposed to study bottom sediments of high-mountain lakes undisturbed by pollutions resulted of economic activities of man and to attempt at answering the question whether the modern air temperature rise complies with a natural rhythm or is a result of anthropogenic factors. If we succeed in answering quite convincingly this question on the basis of results of various analyses of samples of lake bottom sediments, it will be an essential contribution to the solution of the problem of the climate changes expected in the nearest future.
The participants of the Project are researchers who possess considerable experience of studies of bottom sediments (V.R. Boynagryan – Baltic Sea and Lake Sevan, sampling by means of a vibro-plunger corer and a bottom-sampler; D.D. Kuznetsov – sampling from bottoms of a number of lakes in Russia by means of a special core sampler – Russian corer) and subsequent laboratory analyses.
The Project is oriented to the use of the experience of specialists previously occupied in the sphere of defence for solution of issues of peaceful character which are of global importance, namely, the change of climate and atmospheric pollution.
In the course of studies of bottom sediments in high-mountain lakes of Armenia, it is planned to sample about 10 cores with the length from 2 to 5 m or more and to analyse over 500 samples in order to research pollen data, diatom data, spectral and chemical compositions, paleotemperatures, etc.
Foreign collaborators can help the Project in analyzing the samples of bottom sediments in respective laboratories of Europe and the USA.
In the sampling of bottom sediments, it is planned to use a folding catamaran and a special core-sampler (Russian corer). The depths will be measured by means of a most modern echolocator and the points of sampling will be defined with GPS.

Participating Institutions


Yerevan State University (YSU)