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Find Your Science at GSA
4 January 2011
GSA Release No. 11-02
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
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Clarifying the Black Sea Region

Boulder, CO, USA - The Black Sea is the largest anoxic basin in the world. Research opportunities here are growing, due especially to the presence in the region of newly independent states now faced with population pressure and a variety of environmental issues. This new GSA Special Paper presents the multidisciplinary work of scientists from twelve countries addressing a range of topics, including climatic and hydrologic modeling, paleogeographic reconstruction of Late Quaternary landscapes, palynology and paleoclimatology, and geoarchaeological studies.

More reasons for the surge in research opportunities and interest include (1) the Great Flood hypotheses that tie the Biblical Flood to the Black Sea; (2) the presence of huge methane reserves within gas hydrates beneath the seafloor that may be exploitable as new nontraditional energy sources; (3) the growing tangle of underwater infrastructure (e.g., gas pipelines and communication cables) laid across the Black Sea floor that is increasingly subject to geohazards from landslides, tectonics, and other dynamic forces; and (4) the presence of vast amounts of raw materials (e.g., sapropels) that have economic applications in agriculture.

The process of putting together a volume of this magnitude took time and several international meetings. Senior volume editor Ilya V. Buynevich of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution writes, "No interdisciplinary publication is ever achieved without help from a wide range of contributors whose part in the process deserves a public statement of deep appreciation."

East-west collaboration is growing through the research programs of individual scientists as well as in international multidisciplinary projects, such as International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP) 521, "The Black Sea-Mediterranean Corridor during the last 30 k.y.: Sea-level change and human adaptation," and International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) 501, "The Caspian-Black Sea-Mediterranean Corridor during the last 30 k.y.: Sea-level change and human adaptive strategies" Today, these projects involve the work of ~400 scientists, not only from the Black Sea region, but from around the world

Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store,, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, .

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann, .

Geology and Geoarchaeology of the Black Sea Region: Beyond the Flood Hypothesis
Ilya V. Buynevich, Valentina Yanko-Hombach, Allan S. Gilbert, and Ronald E. Martin (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 473
SPE473, 196 p., $80.00; Member price $56.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2473-7