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A major hydrobiological change in Dasht-e Arjan Wetland (SW Iran) during the late glacial-early Holocene transition revealed by subfossil chironomids

Aubert, Cyril; Djamali, Morteza; Jones, Matthew; Lahijani, Hamid; Marriner, Nick; Naderi-Beni, Abdolmajid; Sharifi, Arash; Ponel, Philippe; Gandouin, Emmanuel


Cyril Aubert

Morteza Djamali

Professor of Quaternary Science

Hamid Lahijani

Nick Marriner

Abdolmajid Naderi-Beni

Arash Sharifi

Philippe Ponel

Emmanuel Gandouin


The late glacial-early Holocene transition is a key period in the Earth’s history. However, although this transition is well studied in Europe, it is not well constrained in the Middle East and palaeohydrological records with robust chronologies remain scarce from this region. Here we present an interesting hydrobiological record showing a major environmental change occurring in the Dasht-e Arjan Wetland (SW Iran, near to Persepolis) during the late glacial-early Holocene transition (ca. 11,650 years cal BP). We use subfossil chironomids (Insecta: Diptera) as a proxy for hydrological changes and to reconstruct lake-level fluctuations. The Arjan wetland was a deep lake during the Younger Dryas (YD) marked by a dominance of Chironomus plumosus/anthracinus-type, taxa adapted to anoxic conditions of deep waters. At the beginning of the Holocene a drastic decrease (more than 80% to less than 10%) of Chironomus plumosus/anthracinus-type, combined with diversification of littoral taxa such as Polypedilum nubeculosum-type, Dicrotendipes nervosus-type and Glyptotendipes pallens-type suggest a lake-level decrease and a more vegetalized aquatic environment. We compare and contrast the chironomid record of Arjan with a similar record from northwestern Iran. The palaeoclimatic significance of the record, at a local and regional scale, is subsequently discussed. The increase in northern hemisphere temperatures, inferred by geochemical data from NGRIP, at the beginning of the Holocene best explains the change from the YD highstand to early Holocene lowstand conditions in the Dasht-e Arjan wetland. However, a contribution of the melt-water inflow from small local glaciers in the catchment basin is not excluded.


Aubert, C., Djamali, M., Jones, M., Lahijani, H., Marriner, N., Naderi-Beni, A., …Gandouin, E. (2019). A major hydrobiological change in Dasht-e Arjan Wetland (SW Iran) during the late glacial-early Holocene transition revealed by subfossil chironomids. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 56(8), 848-856.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 20, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 24, 2019
Publication Date 2019-08
Deposit Date Jan 21, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 22, 2019
Journal Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Print ISSN 0008-4077
Electronic ISSN 1480-3313
Publisher NRC Research Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue 8
Pages 848-856
Keywords General Earth and Planetary Sciences
Public URL
Publisher URL


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