New evidences of Holocene tectonic and volcanic activity of the western part of Lake Sevan (Armenia)

Ara Avagyan, Lilit Sahakyan, Khachatur Meliksetian, Arkadi Karakhanyan, Vasily Lavrushin, Tatul Atalyan, Hayk Hovakimyan, Seda Avagyan, Petros Tozalakyan, Evgenia Shalaeva, Christine Chatainger, Sergey Sokolov, Arkadi Sahakov, Gagik Alaverdyan


The purpose of this paper is to present new data on active geological processes in the Lake Sevan Basin and to show its multidisciplinary aspects. The investigations of its structures, recent lake sediments, and lake floor gas emission allow a better understanding of the history of geological development and the recent tectonic and volcanic activity of the basin. This paper summarizes underwater investigations of active geological features of Lake Sevan, undertaken for the first time in Armenia. More than 30 aligned underwater-source related gas emission points were discovered. The gas contains carbon dioxide of volcanic or volcanogenic-metamorphogenic origin and can be related to unloading of deep fluid systems. This allows defining the Noratus-Kanagegh Fault segment trace below the recent Lake Sevan floor sediments. The discovery of the subaqueous segment of active fault shows the presence of another natural hazard of lake tsunami related to possible future co-seismic rupture. The recent sediments of the northwestern Lake Sevan coastline are sandwiched between two blocky lava flows. The radiocarbon dating of bones of bovine mammals (with entire skull), found ~15 cm from the cover of the lake sediments, suggests that the upper blocky basaltic-andesite layer can be a result of eruption younger than ~3400 years BP. About 80 m of the Noratus sequence sediments have been sampled for palaeomagnetic study and the age of 3.1–2.3 Ma for the lower part (42 m) is obtained. The upper and post-Gelasian activity of the Noratus-Kanagegh Fault is proven by a cross-cutscoria layer of 2.30 ±0.15 Ma K/Ar age


active fault; gas emission; lake sediments; palaeomagnetism; lake tsunami

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