The Caspian Sea has experienced dramatic changes in water levels throughout the past 100 years.
The last part was always on foot, 10-20 km away from the navigeable rivers along lines cut by our crew through the forest.
It was my first experience in the tropical rain forest, and I have remained enthralled by it my whole life. Priem at the ZWO Laboratorium voor Isotopengeologie gave ages around 1.8 Ga, ruling out any Archaean age, then a major point of discussion in the geology of the Guiana shield.
At the first stage, we searched for extreme hydro-climatic events through the last 18-20 thousand years, first of all, for most striking ones, such as marine transgressions in the Pontian and Caspian basins; our attention was focussed on possible sources of water for those events, such as overfloods in river valleys and relict permafrost thawing on watersheds.
The second stage included chronocorrelation of the events using stratigraphic and geomorphologic facts, and available radiocarbon dates.
The work has been aimed at the search for events which are not unlike in dimensions and age to the Noahs Deluge retained in human memory.
Long-term field investigations and laboratory works in the Black Sea — Caspian region and its drainage basin within Eastern Europe provided a factual basis for the work.
Finally, on the basis of archeological data, an influence of those events on the ancient human life has been studied, and on the old civilizations in particular.
The final aim of the investigation was to develop a comprehensive concept of the Flood and to link it with the events engraved in human memory.
Today, sea levels are more than 2.6 m higher than the 1978 levels, and, as shown here, water flows freely into the salty waters of the Zaliv Kara-Bogaz-Gol.
Astronauts have also been documenting the coastlines around the Caspian Sea that have been impacted by the large sea level fluctuations.
In 1980, in response to the rapidly dropping sea level, a dam was constructed to prevent water from flowing into the shallow and restricted Kara-Bogaz-Gol basin, resulting in the drying up of the bay.