Western Siberia comprises the drainage basin of the major Siberian rivers Irtysh and Ob, both flowing into the Kara Sea of the Arctic Ocean. The annual discharge of both rivers represents more than 20 % of the total Eurasian runoff into the Arctic Ocean. Due to potential freshwater forcing of the Arctic Ocean it is suspected that runoff variations affect ocean circulation and global climate evolution and might have promoted the late Neogene Northern Hemisphere glaciation.
However, proxy data are still missing to corroborate this hypothesis. To study the influence of West Siberian runoff on Arctic paleoceanography and to test existing hypothesis about its role for Northern hemisphere glaciation we propose to develop a high-resolution paleo-precipitation database of the last 20 Myrs for West Siberia based on bio-climatic analysis of fossil herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles).
Using this data-base we are able to calculate Neogene West Siberian continental discharge into the Arctic Ocean. The proposed research will provide extremely valuable proxy-based results for paleoceanography and paleoclimatology. Moreover, by its taxonomic-paleobiologic research it will significantly contribute to the understanding of the evolution and biogeography of cool-temperate amphibians and reptiles of Eurasia.
Ivanov M., Vasilyan D., Böhme M., Zazhigin V.S. 2018: Miocene snakes from northeastern Kazakhstan: new data on the evolution of snake assemblages in Siberia. Historical Biology doi: 10.1080/08912963.2018.1446086
Vasilyan D., Zazhigin V.S., Böhme M., 2017: Neogene amphibians and reptiles (Caudata, Anura, Gekkota, Lacertilia, and Testudines) from the south of Western Siberia, Russia, and Northeastern Kazakhstan. PeerJ 5:e3025, DOI 10.7717/peerj.3025
Viacheslav M. Chkhikvadze, Institute of Paleobiology, Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia
Vladimir S. Zazhigin, Geological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia