Department of Geography

Long continental sequences

Lake PamvotisSediments from Lake Pamvotis at Ioannina in north-western Greece have recorded remarkably detailed changes in regional climate over the past 400,000 years

The study of the Quaternary is a multidisciplinary endeavour largely concerned with piecing together the evidence for ancient climatic change that has become preserved in oceanic, continental and ice core sequences. Recently however, attention has refocused on continental sequences, especially those that have accumulated in lake basins beyond the reach of the ice sheets, such as those in southern Europe. Under favourable geological conditions, a limited number of thick sedimentary sequences have accumulated at far faster rates than those operating in the oceans, so preserving the palaeoclimatic record in much greater detail. In addition, these lacustrine sequences cover much longer periods of time than most of the fragmentary continental records from northern Europe. One of the fundamental challenges now facing Quaternary researchers is the detailed analyses of these long, continuous sequences.

Research at Sussex has concentrated on sites located in the Balkans, an area rich in biodiversity and topographical variability; the region is also host to some of the very longest of these continental lake sequences. Collaboration is ongoing with researchers at Leeds, Cambridge, Brighton, Hull, Sheffield Hallam and the NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory (Nottingham).

Coring Coring Coring

Members of the research team coring at Ioannina, earning their ice creams

Current projects

Ioannina, Greece: the diatom record from the last three glacial-interglacial transitions. Collaboration with project leaders Jane Reid (Hull) and Graham Wilson (Sheffield Hallam).


Wilson, G.P., Frogley, M.R., Roucoux, K.H., Jones, T.D., Leng, M.J., Lawson, I.T. & Hughes, P.D. (2013). Limnetic and terrestrial responses to climate change during the onset of the penultimate glacial stage in NW Greece. Global & Planetary Change 107, 213-225.

Leng, M.J., Jones, M.D., Frogley, M.R., Eastwood, W.J., Kendrick, C.P. & Roberts, C.N. (2010). Detrital carbonate influences on bulk oxygen and carbon isotope composition of lacustrine sediments from the Mediterranean. Global and Planetary Change 71, 175-182.

Roberts, N., Jones, M.D., Benkaddour, A., Eastwood, W.J., Filippi, M.L., Frogley, M.R., Lamb, H.F., Leng, M.J., Reed, J.M., Stein, M., Stevens, L., Valero-Garcés, B. & Zanchetta, G. (2008). Stable isotope records of Late Quaternary climate and hydrology from Mediterranean lakes: the ISOMED synthesis. Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 2426-2441.

Roucoux K.H., Tzedakis P.C., Frogley M.R., Lawson I.T. & Preece R.C. (2008). Vegetation history of the marine isotope stage 7 interglacial complex at Ioannina, NW Greece. Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 1378-1395.

Wilson, G.P., Reed, J.M., Lawson, I.T., Frogley, M.R., Preece, R.C. & Tzedakis, P.C. (2008). Diatom response to the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition in the Ioannina basin, northwest Greece: implications for Mediterranean palaeoclimate reconstruction. Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 428-440.

Lawson, I.T., Frogley, M.R., Tzedakis, P.C., Preece, R.C. & Bryant, C. (2004). Late Glacial and Holocene environmental history of the Ioannina basin, north-west Greece. Quaternary Science Reviews 23, 1599-1625.

Tzedakis, P.C., Frogley, M.R., Lawson, I.T., Preece, R.C., Cacho, I. & de Abreu, L. (2004). Ecological thresholds and patterns of millennial-scale climate variability: the response of vegetation in Greece during the last glacial period. Geology 32 (2), 109-112.

Tzedakis, P.C., Frogley, M.R. & Heaton, T.H.E. (2003). Last interglacial conditions in southern Europe: evidence from Ioannina, northwest Greece. Global & Planetary Change 36, 157-170.

Tzedakis, P.C., Lawson, I.T., Frogley, M.R., Hewitt, G.M. and Preece, R.C. (2002). Response to comment on 'Buffered tree population changes in a Quaternary refugium: evolutionary implications'. Science 299, 825.

Tzedakis, P.C., Lawson, I.T., Frogley, M.R., Hewitt, G.M. & Preece, R.C. (2002). Buffered tree population changes in a Quaternary refugium: evolutionary implications. Science 297, 2044-2047.

Tzedakis, P.C., Frogley, M.R. & Heaton, T.H.E. (2002). Duration of last interglacial conditions in northwestern Greece. Quaternary Research 58 (1), 53-55.

Frogley, M.R., Griffiths, H.I. & Heaton, T.H.E. (2001). Historical biogeography and Late Quaternary environmental change of Lake Pamvotis, Ioannina (north-western Greece): evidence from ostracods. Journal of Biogeography 28, 745-756.

Galanidou, N., Tzedakis, P.C., Lawson, I.T. & Frogley, M.R. (2000). A revised chronological and palaeoenvironmental framework for the Kastritsa rockshelter, northwest Greece. Antiquity 74, 349-355.

Frogley, M.R., Tzedakis, P.C. & Heaton, T.H.E. (1999). Climate variability in northwest Greece during the last interglacial. Science 285, 1886-1889.