Science.gov

Sample records for african rift lake

  1. Climate Change Affects the East African Rift Valley Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, C. M.; Plisnier, P.; Cohen, A. S.

    2004-12-01

    Over the last 100 years, air temperatures in eastern African have been warming consistent with the global average temperature increase. This has led to warmer water temperatures in the East African Rift Valley lakes, increasing the stability of the water column. Subsequently, there has been a reduction in the upwelling of deep nutrient-rich waters that are the primary source of nutrients for most of these lakes. There were decreases in surface water N and P and increases in the Si:P ratio over the past 70 years for Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika, Edward, and Albert. The lower nutrient concentrations in the surface waters were associated with reduced algal biomass and increased water clarity. The consistent, regional-scale changes among these lakes provide strong evidence that climate warming may be having a large negative affect on these unique tropical lakes. A decrease in primary productivity of 20% has been indicated for Lake Tanganyika, which would be associated with a 30% decrease in fisheries yields. The human implications of such subtle, but progressive, environmental changes are potentially dire in this densely populated region of the world, where these large lakes are an important nutritional and economic resource.

  2. Hydrothermal vents is Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Tiercelin, J.J.; Pflumio, C.; Castrec, M.

    1993-06-01

    Sublacustrine hydrothermal vents with associated massive sulfides were discovered during April 1987 at Pemba and Cape Banza on the Zaire side of the northern basin of Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system. New investigations by a team of ten scuba divers during the multinational (France, Zaire, Germany, and Burundi) TANGANYDRO expedition (August-October 1991) found hydrothermal vents down to a depth of 46 m along north-trending active faults bounding the Tanganyika rift on the western side. Temperatures from 53 to 103 {degrees}C were measured in hydrothermal fluids and sediments. Veins of massive sulfides 1-10 cm thick (pyrite and marcasite banding) were found associated with vents at the Pemba site. At Cape Banza, active vents are characterized by 1-70-cm-high aragonite chimneys, and there are microcrystalline pyrite coatings on the walls of hydrothermal pipes. Hydrothermal fluid end members show distinctive compositions at the two sites. The Pemba end member is a NaHCO{sub 3}-enriched fluid similar to the NaHCO{sub 3} thermal fluids form lakes Magadi and Bogoria in the eastern branch of the rift. The Cape Banza end member is a solution enriched in NaCl. Such brines may have a deep-seated basement origin, as do the Uvinza NaCl brines on the eastern flank of the Tanganyika basin. Geothermometric calculations have yielded temperatures of fluid-rock interaction of 219 and 179 {degrees}C in the Pemba and Cape Banza systems, respectively. Abundant white or reddish-brown microbial colonies resembling Beggiatoa mats were found surrounding the active vents. Thermal fluid circulation is permitted by opening of cracks related to 130{degrees}N normal-dextral faults that intersect the north-south major rift trend. The sources of heat for such hydrothermal systems may relate to the existence of magmatic bodies under the rift, which is suggested by the isotopic composition of carbon dioxide released at Pemba and Cape Banza. 21 refs., 2 figs.

  3. Littoral sedimentation of rift lakes: an illustrated overview from the modern to Pliocene Lake Turkana (East African Rift System, Kenya)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Mathieu; Nutz, Alexis

    2015-04-01

    Existing depositional models for rift lakes can be summarized as clastics transported by axial and lateral rivers, then distributed by fan-deltas and/or deltas into a standing water body which is dominated by settling of fine particles, and experiencing occasional coarser underflows. Even if known from paleolakes and modern lakes, reworking of clastics by alongshore drift, waves and storms are rarely considered in depositional models. However, if we consider the lake Turkana Basin (East African Rift System, Kenya) it is obvious that this vision is incomplete. Three representative time slices are considered here: the modern Lake Turkana, the Megalake Turkana which developed thanks to the African Humid Period (Holocene), and the Plio-Pleistocene highstand episodes of paleolake Turkana (Nachukui, Shungura and Koobi Fora Formations, Omo Group). First, remarkable clastic morphosedimentary structures such as beach ridges, spits, washover fans, lagoons, or wave-dominated deltas are very well developed along the shoreline of modern lake Turkana, suggesting strong hydrodynamics responsible for a major reworking of the fluvial-derived clastics all along the littoral zone (longshore and cross-shore transport) of the lake. Similarly, past hydrodynamics are recorded from prominent raised beach ridges and spits, well-preserved all around the lake, above its present water-level (~360 m asl) and up to ~455 m. These large-scale clastic morphosedimentary structures also record the maximum extent of Megalake Turkana during the African Humid Period, as well as its subsequent regression forced by the end of the Holocene climatic optimum. Several hundreds of meters of fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine deposits spanning the Pliocene-Pleistocene are exposed in the Turkana basin thanks to tectonic faulting. These deposits are world famous for their paleontological and archeological content that documents the very early story of Mankind. They also preserve several paleolake highstand episodes with

  4. Estimating the age of formation of lakes: An example from Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, A.; Soreghan, M.J.; Scholz, C.A.

    1993-06-01

    Age estimates for ancient lakes are important for determining their histories and their rates of biotic and tectonic evolution. In the absence of dated core material from the lake`s sedimentary basement, several techniques have been used to generate such age estimates. The most common of these, herein called the reflection seismic-radiocarbon method (RSRM), combines estimates of short-term sediment-accumulation rates derived from radiocarbon-dated cores and depth-to-basement estimates derived from reflection-seismic data at or near the same locality to estimate an age to basement. Age estimates form the RSRM suggest that the structural basins of central Lake Tanganyika began to form between 9 and 12 Ma. Estimates for the northern and southern basins are younger (7 to 8 Ma and 2 to 4 Ma, respectively). The diachroneity of estimates for different segments of the lake is equivocal, and may be due to erosional loss of record in the northern and southern structural basins or to progressive opening of the rift. The RSRM age estimates for Lake Tanganyika are considerably younger than most prior estimates and clarify the extensional history of the western branch of the East African Rift system. 31 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  5. The Lake Albert Rift (uganda, East African Rift System): Deformation, Basin and Relief Evolution Since 17 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brendan, Simon; François, Guillocheau; Cécile, Robin; Olivier, Dauteuil; Thierry, Nalpas; Martin, Pickford; Brigitte, Senut; Philippe, Lays; Philippe, Bourges; Martine, Bez

    2016-04-01

    This study is based on a coupled basin infilling study and a landforms analysis of the Lake Albert Rift located at the northern part of the western branch of the East African Rift. The basin infilling study is based on both subsurface data and outcrops analysis. The objective was to (1) obtain an age model based on onshore mammals biozones, (2) to reconstruct the 3D architecture of the rift using sequence stratigraphy correlations and seismic data interpretation, (3) to characterize the deformation and its changes through times and (4) to quantify the accommodation for several time intervals. The infilling essentially consists of isopach fault-bounded units composed of lacustrine deposits wherein were characterized two major unconformities dated at 6.2 Ma (Uppermost Miocene) and 2.7 Ma (Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary), coeval with major subsidence and climatic changes. The landforms analysis is based on the characterization and relative dating (geometrical relationships with volcanism) of Ugandan landforms which consist of stepped planation surfaces (etchplains and peplians) and incised valleys. We here proposed a seven-steps reconstruction of the deformation-erosion-sedimentation relationships of the Lake Albert Basin and its catchments: - 55-45 Ma: formation of laterites corresponding to the African Surface during the very humid period of the Lower-Middle Eocene; - 45-22: stripping of the African Surface in response of the beginning of the East-African Dome uplift and formation of a pediplain which associated base level is the Atlantic Ocean; - 17-2.5 Ma: Initiation of the Lake Albert Basin around 17 Ma and creation of local base levels (Lake Albert, Edward and George) on which three pediplains tend to adapt; - 18 - 16 Ma to 6.2 Ma: "Flexural" stage (subsidence rate: 150-200 m/Ma; sedimentation rate 1.3 km3/Ma between 17 and 12 Ma and 0.6 km3/Ma from 12 to 6 Ma) - depocenters location (southern part of Lake Albert Basin) poorly controlled by fault; - 6.2 Ma to 2

  6. East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Places where the earth's crust has formed deep fissures and the plates have begun to move apart develop rift structures in which elongate blocks have subsided relative to the blocks on either side. The East African Rift is a world-famous example of such rifting. It is characterized by 1) topographic deep valleys in the rift zone, 2) sheer escarpments along the faulted walls of the rift zone, 3) a chain of lakes within the rift, most of the lakes highly saline due to evaporation in the hot temperatures characteristic of climates near the equator, 4) voluminous amounts of volcanic rocks that have flowed from faults along the sides of the rift, and 5) volcanic cones where magma flow was most intense. This example in Kenya displays most of these features near Lake Begoria.

    The image was acquired December 18, 2002, covers an area of 40.5 x 32 km, and is located at 0.1 degrees north latitude, 36.1 degrees east longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  7. Molecular genetic analyses of historical lake sediments from the East African Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epp, L. S.; Stoof, K.; Trauth, M. H.; Tiedemann, R.

    2009-04-01

    Ancient DNA research, especially that of environmental samples, has to date focussed mainly on samples obtained from colder regions, owing to better DNA preservation. We explored the potential of using ancient DNA from sediments and sediment cores of shallow lakes in Kenya. These lakes, located in the eastern branch of the East African Rift Valley, are in close proximity, yet display strikingly different hydrological and geological features. Present day lakes range in alkalinity from pH 11 (Lake Elmenteita) to pH 8 (Lake Naivasha), and in depth from less than one meter to 15 meters. Historically they have undergone a number of drastic changes in lake level and environmental conditions, both on geological timescales and during the last centuries. Within this setting we employed molecular genetic methods to study DNA from recent and historic lake sediments, focussing on rotifers and diatoms. We analyzed population and species succession in the alkaline-saline crater lake Sonachi since the beginning of the 19th century, as well as distributions in recent and historic sediments of other lakes of the East African Rift System. To specifically detect diatoms, we developed a protocol using taxon-specific polymerase chain reactions and separation of products by denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC). Employing this protocol we retrieved "ancient" DNA from a number of taxonomically diverse organisms, but found diatoms only in sediments younger than approximately 90 years. Using higly specific reactions for rotifers of the genus Brachionus, we tracked species and population succession in Lake Sonachi during the last 200 years. Populations were dominated by a single mitochondrial haplotype for a period of 150 years, and two putatively intraspecific turnovers in dominance occurred. They were both correlated to major environmental changes documented by profound visible changes in sediment composition of the core: the deposition of a volcanic ash and a

  8. The palaeo-lake Suguta and its importance for understanding lake level fluctuations in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Junginger, A.; Olago, D. O.; Trauth, M. H.

    2010-12-01

    We studied the most recent dry-wet-dry cycle in the presently arid Suguta Valley in the Northern Kenya Rift where a 300-m-deep lake has formed during the so-called African Humid Period (AHP, 14.8-5.5 ka BP). Hydromodeling suggests that a relatively moderate 25% increase in precipitation was responsible for this dramatic lake level rise, which demonstrates the character of the Suguta Valley as an amplifier lake system. To detect the response of this lake system to climate fluctuations and their possible driving mechanisms with a focus on abrupt vs. gradual changes, we reconstructed a palaeo-lake level record for the time between 14 and 5 ka BP from up to 40 m thick lake-sediment sequences at three locations in the ~2,500 km2 palaeo-lake Suguta area. The sediments have been investigated for sediment characteristics such as grain size distributions, detrital and authigenic mineral phases, geochemical properties and microfossil assemblages. The stratigraphy for the sequences is based on 38 AMS 14C ages of biogenic carbonate and charcoal samples. Parallel dating of charcoal and snail-shell samples show age differences between 1,570-2,240 years suggesting a remarkably high, but well-defined reservoir age for palaeo-Lake Suguta most likely due to aged groundwater or 14C depleted CO2 degassing from active volcanoes. The observed reservoir effect highlights the potential problems while correlating East African lake level records with chronologies based on 14C datings of aquatic materials. The new chronology of water level fluctuations in the amplifier-lake Suguta indicates a general dry-wet-dry cycle synchronous with other lake chronologies during the AHP and multiple short-term fluctuations with abrupt lake level drops between 100 to 300 m within 100 to 200 years at 12.8-11.6 (during Younger Dryas time), 11.1-10.9; 10.4-10.2; 9.5-9.1; 9.0-8.8; 8.5-8.1 (during the 8.2 ka event) cal ka BP that seem to be linked with changes in the coupling between atmosphere and ocean

  9. Early-stage rifting in the southwest East African Rift: Insights from new reflection seismic data from Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi (Nyasa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Wood, D. A.; Shillington, D. J.; McCartney, T.; Accardo, N. J.

    2015-12-01

    The western branch of the East African Rift is characterized by modest amounts of mainly amagmatic extension; deeply-subsided, fault-controlled basins; and large-magnitude, deep seismicity. Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi are two of the world's largest lakes, with maximum water depths of 1450 and 700 m respectively. Newly acquired seismic reflection data, along with newly reprocessed legacy data reveal thick sedimentary sections, in excess of 5 km in some localities. The 1980's vintage legacy data from Project PROBE have been reprocessed through pre-stack depth migration in Lake Tanganyika, and similar reprocessing of legacy data from Lake Malawi is forthcoming. New high-fold and large-source commercial and academic data have recently been collected in southern Lake Tanganyika, and in the northern and central basins of Lake Malawi as part of the 2015 SEGMeNT project. In the case of Lake Tanganyika, new data indicate the presence of older sediment packages that underlie previously identified "pre-rift" basement (the "Nyanja Event"). These episodes of sedimentation and extension may substantially predate the modern lake. These deep stratal reflections are absent in many localites, possibly on account of attenuation of the acoustic signal. However in one area of southern Lake Tanganyika, the newly-observed deep strata extend axially for ~70 km, likely representing deposits from a discrete paleolake. The high-amplitude Nyanja Event is interpreted as the onset of late-Cenozoic rifting, and the changing character of the overlying depositional sequences reflects increasing relief in the rift valley, as well as the variability of fluvial inputs, and the intermittent connectivity of upstream lake catchments. Earlier Tanganyika sequences are dominated by shallow lake and fluvial-lacustrine facies, whereas later sequences are characterized by extensive gravity flow deposition in deep water, and pronounced erosion and incision in shallow water depths and on littoral platforms. The

  10. East African mid-Holocene wet-dry transition recorded in palaeo-shorelines of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcin, Yannick; Melnick, Daniel; Strecker, Manfred R.; Olago, Daniel; Tiercelin, Jean-Jacques

    2012-05-01

    The 'wet' early to mid-Holocene of tropical Africa, with its enhanced monsoon, ended with an abrupt shift toward drier conditions and was ultimately replaced by a drier climate that has persisted until the present day. The forcing mechanisms, the timing, and the spatial extent of this major climatic transition are not well understood and remain the subject of ongoing research. We have used a detailed palaeo-shoreline record from Lake Turkana (Kenya) to decipher and characterise this marked climatic transition in East Africa. We present a high-precision survey of well-preserved palaeo-shorelines, new radiocarbon ages from shoreline deposits, and oxygen-isotope measurements on freshwater mollusk shells to elucidate the Holocene moisture history from former lake water-levels in this climatically sensitive region. In combination with previously published data our study shows that during the early Holocene the water-level in Lake Turkana was high and the lake overflowed temporarily into the White Nile drainage system. During the mid-Holocene (~ 5270 ± 300 cal. yr BP), however, the lake water-level fell by ~ 50 m, coeval with major episodes of aridity on the African continent. A comparison between palaeo-hydrological and archaeological data from the Turkana Basin suggests that the mid-Holocene climatic transition was associated with fundamental changes in prehistoric cultures, highlighting the significance of natural climate variability and associated periods of protracted drought as major environmental stress factors affecting human occupation in the East African Rift System.

  11. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This rare, cloud free view of the East African Rift Valley, Kenya (1.5N, 35.5E) shows a clear view of the Turkwell River Valley, an offshoot of the African REift System. The East African Rift is part of a vast plate fracture which extends from southern Turkey, through the Red Sea, East Africa and into Mozambique. Dark green patches of forests are seen along the rift margin and tea plantations occupy the cooler higher ground.

  12. Regional assessment of lake ecological states using Landsat: A classification scheme for alkaline-saline, flamingo lakes in the East African Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tebbs, E. J.; Remedios, J. J.; Avery, S. T.; Rowland, C. S.; Harper, D. M.

    2015-08-01

    In situ reflectance measurements and Landsat satellite imagery were combined to develop an optical classification scheme for alkaline-saline lakes in the Eastern Rift Valley. The classification allows the ecological state and consequent value, in this case to Lesser Flamingos, to be determined using Landsat satellite imagery. Lesser Flamingos depend on a network of 15 alkaline-saline lakes in East African Rift Valley, where they feed by filtering cyanobacteria and benthic diatoms from the lakes' waters. The classification developed here was based on a decision tree which used the reflectance in Landsat ETM+ bands 2-4 to assign one of six classes: low phytoplankton biomass; suspended sediment-dominated; microphytobenthos; high cyanobacterial biomass; cyanobacterial scum and bleached cyanobacterial scum. The classification accuracy was 77% when verified against in situ measurements. Classified imagery and timeseries were produced for selected lakes, which show the different ecological behaviours of these complex systems. The results have highlighted the importance to flamingos of the food resources offered by the extremely remote Lake Logipi. This study has demonstrated the potential of high spatial resolution, low spectral resolution sensors for providing ecologically valuable information at a regional scale, for alkaline-saline lakes and similar hypereutrophic inland waters.

  13. TDRS satellite over African Rift Valley, Kenya, Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    This post deploy view of a TDRS satellite shows a segment of the African Rift Valley near Lake Baringo, Kenya, Africa (3.0S, 36.0E). The African Rift Valley system is a geologic fault having its origins in southern Turkey, through the near east forming the bed of the Jordan River, Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea and down through east Africa. The line of lakes and valleys of east Africa are the result of the faulting activity.

  14. Planation surfaces as a record of medium to large wavelength deformation: the example of the Lake Albert Rift (Uganda) on the East African Dome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brendan, Simon; François, Guillocheau; Cécile, Robin; Jean, Braun; Olivier, Dauteuil; Massimo, Dall'Asta

    2016-04-01

    African relief is characterized by planation surfaces, some of them of continental scale. These surfaces are slightly deformed according to different wavelengths (x10 km; x100 km, x1000 km) which record both mantle dynamics (very long wavelength, x 1000 km) and lithosphere deformation (long wavelength deformation, x 100 km). Different types of these planation surfaces are recognized: - Etchplains capped by iron-duricrust which correspond to erosional nearly flat weathered surfaces resulting from the growth of laterites under warm and humid conditions. - Pediments which define mechanical erosional surfaces with concave or rectilinear profiles delimited by upslope scarps connected upstream with the upper landforms. We here focused on the Lake Albert Rift at the northern termination of the western branch of the East African Rift System of which the two branches are surimposed on the East-African Dome. Different wavelengths of deformation were characterized based on the 3D mapping of stepped planation surfaces: (1) very long wavelength deformations resulting from the uplift of the East African Dome; (2) long wavelength deformations resulting from the opening of the eastern branch and (3) medium wavelength deformations represented by the uplift of rift shoulders like the Rwenzori Mountains. The paleo-landscape reconstruction of Uganda shows the existence of four generations of landforms dated according to their geometrical relationships with volcanic rocks. A four stepped evolution of the Ugandan landforms is proposed: • 70 - 22 Ma: generation of two weathered planation surfaces (etchplain Uw and Iw). The upper one (Uw) records a very humid period culminating at time of the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (70-45 Ma). It corresponds to the African Surface. A first uplift of the East African Dome generates a second lower planation surface (Iw) connected to the Atlantic Ocean base level; • 17-2.7 Ma: planation of large pediplains connected to the local base level induced

  15. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: inferring the environmental context of human evolution from eastern African rift lake deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, A.; Campisano, C.; Arrowsmith, R.; Asrat, A.; Behrensmeyer, A. K.; Deino, A.; Feibel, C.; Hill, A.; Johnson, R.; Kingston, J.; Lamb, H.; Lowenstein, T.; Noren, A.; Olago, D.; Owen, R. B.; Potts, R.; Reed, K.; Renaut, R.; Schäbitz, F.; Tiercelin, J.-J.; Trauth, M. H.; Wynn, J.; Ivory, S.; Brady, K.; O'Grady, R.; Rodysill, J.; Githiri, J.; Russell, J.; Foerster, V.; Dommain, R.; Rucina, S.; Deocampo, D.; Russell, J.; Billingsley, A.; Beck, C.; Dorenbeck, G.; Dullo, L.; Feary, D.; Garello, D.; Gromig, R.; Johnson, T.; Junginger, A.; Karanja, M.; Kimburi, E.; Mbuthia, A.; McCartney, T.; McNulty, E.; Muiruri, V.; Nambiro, E.; Negash, E. W.; Njagi, D.; Wilson, J. N.; Rabideaux, N.; Raub, T.; Sier, M. J.; Smith, P.; Urban, J.; Warren, M.; Yadeta, M.; Yost, C.; Zinaye, B.

    2016-02-01

    The role that climate and environmental history may have played in influencing human evolution has been the focus of considerable interest and controversy among paleoanthropologists for decades. Prior attempts to understand the environmental history side of this equation have centered around the study of outcrop sediments and fossils adjacent to where fossil hominins (ancestors or close relatives of modern humans) are found, or from the study of deep sea drill cores. However, outcrop sediments are often highly weathered and thus are unsuitable for some types of paleoclimatic records, and deep sea core records come from long distances away from the actual fossil and stone tool remains. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) was developed to address these issues. The project has focused its efforts on the eastern African Rift Valley, where much of the evidence for early hominins has been recovered. We have collected about 2 km of sediment drill core from six basins in Kenya and Ethiopia, in lake deposits immediately adjacent to important fossil hominin and archaeological sites. Collectively these cores cover in time many of the key transitions and critical intervals in human evolutionary history over the last 4 Ma, such as the earliest stone tools, the origin of our own genus Homo, and the earliest anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Here we document the initial field, physical property, and core description results of the 2012-2014 HSPDP coring campaign.

  16. Lake-groundwater relationships and fluid-rock interaction in the East African Rift Valley: isotopic evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darling, W. George; Gizaw, Berhanu; Arusei, Musa K.

    1996-05-01

    The assessment of water resources in the Rift Valley environment is important for population, agriculture and energy-related issues and depends on a good understanding of the relationship between freshwater lakes and regional groundwater. This can be hampered by the amount of fluid-rock interaction which occurs throughout the rift, obscuring original hydrochemical signatures. However, O and H stable isotope ratios can be used as tracers of infiltration over sometimes considerable distances, while showing that the volcanic edifices of the rift floor have varying effects on groundwater flow patterns. Specific cases from Kenya and Ethiopia are considered, including Lakes Naivasha, Baringo, Awasa and Zwai. In addition to their physical tracing role, stable isotopes can reveal information about processes of fluid-rock interaction. The general lack of O isotope shifting in rift hydrothermal systems suggests a high water:rock ratio, with the implication that these systems are mature. Carbon isotope studies on the predominantly bicarbonate waters of the rift show how they evolve from dilute meteoric recharge to highly alkaline waters, via the widespread silicate hydrolysis promoted by the flux of mantle carbon dioxide which occurs in most parts of the rift. There appears to be only minor differences in the C cycle between Kenya and Ethiopia.

  17. Initial Results of Scientific Drilling on Lake Malawi, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Johnson, T. C.; King, J.; Cohen, A. S.; Lyons, R. P.; Kalindekafe, L.; Forman, S. L.; McHargue, L. R.; Singer, B. S.

    2005-12-01

    Lake Malawi is one of the largest and oldest lakes in the southern hemisphere and in the tropical latitudes, measuring more than 580 km in length, with a maximum depth of 700 m, and with an estimated age of more than 7 Ma. The lake water column is anoxic below 200 m, thus preserving an extensive record of laminated (varved) sediments. The lake's hydrologic budget is hypersensitive to minor changes in precipitation:evaporation, and signals of lake level and limnologic change respond markedly to regional climate variations. During February-March 2005 a scientific drilling program was conducted on the deep, open waters of Lake Malawi, using a converted local fuel barge outfitted with a deep-water-capable geotechnical drilling rig, a portable dynamic positioning system, and a suite of sampling tools designed for deep lake coring. A total of 623 m of core was recovered in seven holes at two sites on the lake. The high-resolution North Basin site (water depth 359 m) was triple-cored, providing redundant sampling of the sedimentary section representing the past ~75-100 kyr; the Central Basin deep site (592 m water depth) was double cored over the period of the past ~200 kyr, and single-cored to 380 m, covering perhaps 1.5 million years. The North Basin high-resolution site targeted a hemipelagic sequence, which in core samples consists of alternating zones of laminated and homogenous silty mud. At the base of these cores we observe well-sorted medium-grained shoreface sand deposits, that we interpret to be a transgressive surface deposited following a severe (500 m) lake lowstand. Density, magnetic susceptibility, TOC, and C/N profiles closely follow lithologic changes, and correspond to periods of enhanced or diminished productivity and dramatically varying lake level. Initial dating of the North Basin site (total core length 38 m) is underway using a combination of Radiocarbon, Tephra Ar-Ar, and Optically-Stimulated Luminescence methods, and initial results indicate a

  18. Bentho-Pelagic Divergence of Cichlid Feeding Architecture Was Prodigious and Consistent during Multiple Adaptive Radiations within African Rift-Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, W. James; Parsons, Kevin; McIntyre, Alyssa; Kern, Brittany; McGee-Moore, Alana; Albertson, R. Craig

    2010-01-01

    Background How particular changes in functional morphology can repeatedly promote ecological diversification is an active area of evolutionary investigation. The African rift-lake cichlids offer a calibrated time series of the most dramatic adaptive radiations of vertebrate trophic morphology yet described, and the replicate nature of these events provides a unique opportunity to test whether common changes in functional morphology have repeatedly facilitated their ecological success. Methodology/Principal Findings Specimens from 87 genera of cichlid fishes endemic to Lakes Tanganyka, Malawi and Victoria were dissected in order to examine the functional morphology of cichlid feeding. We quantified shape using geometric morphometrics and compared patterns of morphological diversity using a series of analytical tests. The primary axes of divergence were conserved among all three radiations, and the most prevalent changes involved the size of the preorbital region of the skull. Even the fishes from the youngest of these lakes (Victoria), which exhibit the lowest amount of skull shape disparity, have undergone extensive preorbital evolution relative to other craniofacial traits. Such changes have large effects on feeding biomechanics, and can promote expansion into a wide array of niches along a bentho-pelagic ecomorphological axis. Conclusions/Significance Here we show that specific changes in trophic anatomy have evolved repeatedly in the African rift lakes, and our results suggest that simple morphological alterations that have large ecological consequences are likely to constitute critical components of adaptive radiations in functional morphology. Such shifts may precede more complex shape changes as lineages diversify into unoccupied niches. The data presented here, combined with observations of other fish lineages, suggest that the preorbital region represents an evolutionary module that can respond quickly to natural selection when fishes colonize new lakes

  19. The Lava sequence of the East African Rift escarpment in the Oldoinyo Lengai - Lake Natron sector, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neukirchen, Florian; Finkenbein, Thomas; Keller, Jörg

    2010-12-01

    A 500 m sequence of horizontal lava flows forms the Gregory rift escarpment of the western rift shoulder between Lake Natron and Oldoinyo Lengai. A detailed volcanic stratigraphy of this >1.2 Ma evolution of the EAR in Northern Tanzania is presented. The sequence is formed by several distinct rock suites, with increasing alkalinity from base to top. Alkali olivine basalts of the Waterfall Sequence at the base are followed by a basanite series, and by a range of evolved nephelinites forming the upper part of the escarpment. Numerous dykes and Strombolian scoria deposits indicate local fissure eruptions as opposed to or in addition to more distant sources. Primitive compositions within each of the series indicate variable candidates for primary magmas. The composition of the basanite suite ranges from primitive mantle melts (high Mg#, Cr, Ni) to more evolved rocks, in particular hawaiites, generated by fractionation of olivine, pyroxene and magnetite. Inter-bedded within the basanite suite, one single olivine melilitite flow with high Mg# and abundant olivine and pyroxene megacrysts is the only primitive candidate for the nephelinite suite. However, in view of the large compositional gap and marked differences in incompatible element ratios, a relation between this flow and the nephelinites remains hypothetical. The variation within the evolved nephelinite series can be partly explained by fractionation of pyroxene, apatite, perovskite (and some nepheline), while magma mixing is indicated by zonation patterns of pyroxene. The most evolved nephelinite, however, differs significantly from all other nephelinites in major and trace elements. Thus the entire sequence is petrologically not a coherent evolution, rather the result of different mantle melts fractionating under variable conditions. Carved into the rift scarp of the study area west of Engare Sero is a young explosion crater, the Sekenge Crater. Sekenge Tuffs are olivine melilitites, similar to other craters and

  20. 13C/Palynological evidence of differential residence times of organic carbon prior to its sedimentation in East African Rift Lakes and peat bogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillaire-Marcel, Claude; Aucour, Anne-Marie; Bonnefille, Raymonde; Riollet, Guy; Vincens, Annie; Williamson, David

    Most terrestrial plants producing large amounts of organic matter in the East African Rift follow the Calvin (C3) photosynthetic pathway. Their end products have δ13C values of ca. -27 ± 2‰ (vs. PDB). On the contrary, most Cyperaceae (notably Cyperus papyrus and C. latifolius) are characterized by higher 13C contents ° 13C = -10.5 ± 1‰ ) in relation to their Hatch and Slack (C4) photosynthetic cycle. In consequence, δ13C values in total organic matter (TOM) from peat bog or lake cores essentially responded to the proportion of detritus from C4-Cyperaceae. Immediate evidence of the development or disappearance of Cyperaceae around lake margins or in peat bogs can be found in pollen assemblages. Lag times between pollen signals and correlative ° 13C shifts in TOM from cores are therefore indicative of the residence time of organic matter prior to its sedimentation. Delayed sedimentation of TOM will result in 14C anomalies which depend on several parameters, most of them being site specific as shown by examples from a peat bog in Burundi and from southern Lake Tanganyika. An independent assessment of the chronology by high resolution paleomagnetic correlations indicates a ca. 1.5 ka apparent 14C age of TOM in Lake Tanganyika at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

  1. Depositional and tectonic framework of the rift basins of Lake Baikal from multichannel seismic data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hutchinson, D.R.; Golmshtok, A.J.; Zonenshain, L.P.; Moore, T.C.; Scholz, C.A.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1992-01-01

    Recent multichannel seismic reflection data from Lake Baikal, located in a large, active, continental rift in central Asia, image three major stratigraphic units totalling 3.5 to 7.5 km thick in four subbasins. A major change in rift deposition and faulting between the oldest and middle-rift units probably corresponds to the change from slow to fast rifting. A brief comparison of the basins of Lake Baikal with those of the East African rift system highlights differences in structural style that can be explained by differences in age and evolution of the surrounding basement rocks. -from Authors

  2. The Offshore East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, D.; Klimke, J.; Jokat, W.; Stollhofen, H.; Mahanjane, S.

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies have addressed various aspects of the East African Rift system but surprisingly few on the offshore continuation of the south-eastern branch of the rift into the Mozambique Channel. The most prominent article has been published almost 30 years ago by Mougenot et al. (1986) and is based on vintage seismic data. Several studies investigating earthquakes and plate motions from GPS measurements reveal recent deformation along the offshore branch of the East African Rift system. Slip vectors from earthquakes data in Mozambique's offshore basins show a consistent NE direction. Fault plane solutions reveal ~ E-W extensional failure with focal depth clustering around 19 km and 40 km, respectively. Here, we present new evidence for neotectonic deformation derived from modern seismic reflection data and supported by additional geophysical data. The modern rift system obviously reactivates structures from the disintegration of eastern Gondwana. During the Jurassic/Cretaceous opening of the Somali and Mozambique Basins, Madagascar moved southwards along a major shear zone, to its present position. Since the Miocene, parts of the shear zone became reactivated and structurally overprinted by the East African rift system. The Kerimbas Graben offshore northern Mozambique is the most prominent manifestation of recent extensional deformation. Bathymetry data shows that it deepens northwards, with approximately 700 m downthrown on the eastern shoulder. The graben can be subdivided into four subbasins by crosscutting structural lineaments with a NW-SE trend. Together with the N-S striking graben-bounding faults, this resembles a conjugate fault system. In seismic reflection data normal faulting is distinct not only at the earthquake epicenters. The faults cut through the sedimentary successions and typically reach the seafloor, indicating ongoing recent deformation. Reference: Mougenot, D., Recq, M., Virlogeux, P., and Lepvrier, C., 1986, Seaward extension of the East

  3. Hydrological constraints of paleo-Lake Suguta in the Northern Kenya Rift during the African Humid Period (15-5 ka BP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Junginger, Annett; Trauth, Martin H.

    2013-12-01

    During the African Humid Period (AHP, 15-5 ka BP) an almost 300 m deep paleo-lake covering 2200 km2 developed in the Suguta Valley, in the Northern Kenya Rift. Data from lacustrine sediments and paleo-shorelines indicate that a large paleo-lake already existed by 13.9 ka BP, and record rapid water level fluctuations of up to 100 m within periods of 100 years or less, and a final lowstand at the end of the AHP (5 ka BP). We used a hydro-balance model to assess the abruptness of these water level fluctuations and identify their causes. We observed that fluctuations within the AHP were caused by abrupt changes in precipitation of 26-40%. Despite the absence of continuous lacustrine data documenting the onset of the AHP in the Suguta Valley, we conclude from the hydro-balance model that only an abrupt onset to the AHP, prior to 14.8 ka BP, could have led to high water levels recorded. The modeling results suggest that the sudden increase in rainfall was the direct consequence of an eastward migration of the Congo Air Boundary (CAB), caused by an enhanced atmospheric pressure gradient between East Africa and southern Asia during a northern hemisphere (NH) summer insolation maximum. In contrast, the end of the AHP must have been gradual despite an abrupt change in the source of precipitation when a decreasing pressure gradient between Asia and Africa prevented the CAB from reaching the study area. This abruptness was probably buffered by a contemporaneous change in precession producing an insolation maximum at the equator during September-October. This change would have meant that the only rain source was the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which would have carried a greater amount of moisture during the short rainy season thus slowing the fall in water level over a period of about 1000 years in association with the reduction in insolation. The results of this study provide an indication of the amount of time available for humans in north-eastern Africa to adapt

  4. Combining detrital geochronology and sedimentology to assess basin development in the Rukwa Rift of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah; Roberts, Eric; Mtelela, Cassy; Downie, Bob

    2015-04-01

    We have employed a multifaceted approach to sedimentary provenance analysis in order to assess the timing and magnitude of tectonic events, sedimentation, and landscape development in the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Our approach, termed 'Sedimentary Triple Dating', integrates: (1) U-Pb dating via LA-ICPMS; (2) fission track; and (3) (U-Th)/He thermochronology of detrital zircon and apatite. We integrate geochronology, thermochronology, and provenance analysis to relate the initiation of rifting events to regional dynamic uplift, sedimentation patterns, and interpret the far-reaching climatic and evolutionary effects of fluctuating rift flank topography in the Rukwa Rift, a segment of the Western Branch. This work provides additional data to support the recent concept of synchronous development of the Western and Eastern branches of the East African Rift System ~25 Ma, and better constrains the age, location and provenance of subsequent rifting and sedimentation events in the Rukwa Rift Basin. Investigation of well cuttings and outcrop samples from the Neogene-Recent Lake Beds Succession in the Rukwa Rift Basin revealed a suite of previously unrecognized tuffaceous deposits at the base of the succession. A population of euhedral, magmatic zircons from a basal Lake Beds tuff and Miocene-Pliocene detrital zircons from well cuttings suggest that Neogene rift reactivation and volcanism began ~9-10 Ma. This timing is consistent with demonstrated rifting in Uganda and Malawi, as well as with the initiation of volcanism in the Rungwe Volcanic Province at the southern end of the Rukwa Rift, and the estimated development of Lake Tanganyika to the north. Moreover, there appear to be a suite of unconformity bounded stratigraphic units that make up the Lower Lake Beds succession, and detrital zircon maximum depositional ages from these units suggests episodic sedimentation in the rift, punctuated by long hiatuses or uplift, rather than steady subsidence and

  5. Stratified tephra records from lake sediment archives: Holocene eruptions of the Virunga Volcanic Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Christine; Scholz, Christopher; Poppe, Sam; Schmid, Martin; Ross, Kelly Ann

    2016-04-01

    Lake sediments preserve rare stratified records of explosive volcanism, often with accompanying chronological controls or climatostratigraphic detail. In proximal areas where outcrop stratigraphies are complex, exposures isolated and sediments frequently eroded, the lacustrine archive provides a means to check the order of events and identify additional eruptions not preserved on land. The visible volcanic ash (tephra) record within lake sediments may be limited by eruption volume, distance from source and high sedimentation rates. A more complete eruption history can be detected through the study of non-visible tephra layers. Such "cryptotephra" records may be revealed through non-destructive core-scanning methods, such as XRF-scanning or magnetic susceptibility measurements, or by more thorough laboratory processes and microscopic analysis. Compositional analysis of tephra glass shards using WDS-EPMA and LA-ICP-MS provide a means to provenance eruptions, to cross-correlate between multiple sediment cores, and to establish connections between the lacustrine record and proximal outcrops. Here we present the results of such a "tephrostratigraphic" approach applied to the Holocene volcanic record of the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP). More than 10 explosive volcanic eruptions, attributed to multiple volcanic centres, are evidenced over the last 12,000 years. This unique insight into the frequency of explosive eruptions from the VVP, demonstrates the potential of visible and cryptotephra investigations in lacustrine sediment archives as a means of studying past, present and future volcanic hazards.

  6. Structural geology of the African rift system: Summary of new data from ERTS-1 imagery. [Precambrian influence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.

    1974-01-01

    ERTS imagery reveals for the first time the structural pattern of the African rift system as a whole. The strong influence of Precambrian structures on this pattern is clearly evident, especially along zones of cataclastic deformation, but the rift pattern is seen to be ultimately independent in origin and nature from Precambrian tectonism. Continuity of rift structures from one swell to another is noted. The widening of the Gregory rift as its northern end reflects an underlying Precambrian structural divergence, and is not a consequence of reaching the swell margin. Although the Western Rift is now proven to terminate at the Aswa Mylonite Zone, in southern Sudan, lineaments extend northeastwards from Lake Albert to the Eastern Rift at Lake Stefanie. The importance of en-echelon structures in the African rifts is seen to have been exaggerated.

  7. Lake-level rise in the late Pleistocene and active subaquatic volcanism since the Holocene in Lake Kivu, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Kelly Ann; Smets, Benoît; De Batist, Marc; Hilbe, Michael; Schmid, Martin; Anselmetti, Flavio S.

    2014-09-01

    The history of Lake Kivu is strongly linked to the activity of the Virunga volcanoes. Subaerial and subaquatic volcanoes, in addition to lake-level changes, shape the subaquatic morphologic and structural features in Lake Kivu's Main Basin. Previous studies revealed that volcanic eruptions blocked the former outlet of the lake to the north in the late Pleistocene, leading to a substantial rise in the lake level and subsequently the present-day thermohaline stratification. Additional studies have speculated that volcanic and seismic activities threaten to trigger a catastrophic release of the large amount of gases dissolved in the lake. The current study presents a bathymetric mapping and seismic profiling survey that covers the volcanically active area of the Main Basin at a resolution that is unprecedented for Lake Kivu. New geomorphologic features identified on the lake floor can accurately describe related lake-floor processes for the first time. The late Pleistocene lowstand is observed at 425 m depth, and volcanic cones, tuff rings, and lava flows observed above this level indicate both subaerial and subaquatic volcanic activities during the Holocene. The geomorphologic analysis yields new implications on the geologic processes that have shaped Lake Kivu's basin, and the presence of young volcanic features can be linked to the possibility of a lake overturn.

  8. Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2013 East African Rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Rifting in East Africa is not all coeval; volcanism and faulting have been an ongoing phenomenon on the continent since the Eocene (~45 Ma). The rifting began in northern East Africa, and led to the separation of the Nubia (Africa) and Arabia plates in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and in the Lake Turkana area at the Kenya-Ethiopia border. A Paleogene mantle superplume beneath East Africa caused extension within the Nubia plate, as well as a first order topographic high known as the African superswell which now includes most of the eastern and southern sectors of the Nubia plate. Widespread volcanism erupted onto much of the rising plateau in Ethiopia during the Eocene-Oligocene (45–29 Ma), with chains of volcanoes forming along the rift separating Africa and Arabia. Since the initiation of rifting in northeastern Africa, the system has propagated over 3,000 km to the south and southwest, and it experiences seismicity as a direct result of the extension and active magmatism.

  9. Initiation of the western branch of the East African Rift coeval with the eastern branch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, E. M.; Stevens, N. J.; O'Connor, P. M.; Dirks, P. H. G. M.; Gottfried, M. D.; Clyde, W. C.; Armstrong, R. A.; Kemp, A. I. S.; Hemming, S.

    2012-04-01

    The East African Rift System transects the anomalously high-elevation Ethiopian and East African plateaux that together form part of the 6,000-km-long African superswell structure. Rifting putatively developed as a result of mantle plume activity that initiated under eastern Africa. The mantle activity has caused topographic uplift that has been connected to African Cenozoic climate change and faunal evolution. The rift is traditionally interpreted to be composed of two distinct segments: an older, volcanically active eastern branch and a younger, less volcanic western branch. Here, we show that initiation of rifting in the western branch began more than 14 million years earlier than previously thought, contemporaneously with the eastern branch. We use a combination of detrital zircon geochronology, tephro- and magnetostratigraphy, along with analyses of past river flow recorded in sedimentary rocks from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, to constrain the timing of rifting, magmatism and drainage development in this part of the western branch. We find that rift-related volcanism and lake development had begun by about 25million years ago. These events were preceded by pediment development and a fluvial drainage reversal that we suggest records the onset of topographic uplift caused by the African superswell. We conclude that uplift of eastern Africa was more widespread and synchronous than previously recognized.

  10. Magmatic Versus Amagmatic Rifting in the East African Rift System from Pn and Sn Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donnell, J. P.; Nyblade, A.

    2014-12-01

    Geodynamic models of rifting currently rely on the mechanism of hot mantle upwelling and decompressional melting to weaken lithospheric rock to the degree that rifting can initiate. However, many rift segments worldwide are apparently amagmatic. The East African Rift System is a prime example, with large sections of the system subaerially amagmatic. We seek to address the question of whether these apparently amagmatic rift segments merely lack a surficial expression of magmatism which exists at depth, or whether rifting is genuinely amagmatic. Based on regional earthquakes recorded by the Tanzania Broadband Seismic Experiment, the Kenya Broadband Seismic Experiment, the AfricaArray East African Seismic Experiment and several permanent GSN stations, we probe for uppermost mantle melt signatures along the East African Rift System using P- and S-wave speed ratios derived from Pn and Sn tomography. Pn- and Sn-velocity models, and their ratio which can be diagnostic of the presence of fluids, will be presented.

  11. Halomonas magadii sp. nov., a new member of the genus Halomonas, isolated from a soda lake of the East African Rift Valley.

    PubMed

    Duckworth, A W; Grant, W D; Jones, B E; Meijer, D; Márquez, M C; Ventosa, A

    2000-02-01

    A number of novel alkaliphilic organotrophic bacteria have been isolated from several saline and alkaline East African soda lakes. The new isolates grow at pH values between 7.0 and 11.0, with pH optima for growth between 9.0 and 10.0. Growth occurs at total salts concentration between 0% and 20% (w/v) with optimum at 0%-7% (w/v). Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rDNA sequence comparison indicate that these isolates are related (>96% similarity) to members of the Halomonadaceae within the gamma-3 subdivision of the Proteobacteria. These analyses indicate that existing species within the Halomonadaceae fell within three main groups, one group comprising the type species of Halomonas, Halomonas elongata, and a number of other known species including one soda lake isolate. A second group constituting most of the remaining known species of Halomonas and related Chromohalobacter spp. includes 3 soda lake isolates with high DNA-DNA homologies. The third group included Halomonas halodenitrificans, Halomonas desiderata, Halomonas cupida, and 13 soda lake isolates. Phenotypic comparisons indicated that the majority of soda lake strains shared similar morphological, phenotypic, and chemotaxonomic properties to known strains of Halomonas but grew under alkaline conditions. The 3 soda lake isolates with high DNA-DNA homologies were, however, significantly different in antibiotic sensitivity pattern and in the utilization of several substrates, were unable to reduce nitrite, and showed low DNA-DNA homologies with known halomonads in the same group. We propose that these isolates comprise a new species of the genus Halomonas that we name Halomonas magadii sp. nov. The type strain is strain 21 MI (NCIMB 13595).

  12. Using Lake Superior Parks to Present the Midcontinent Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Blavascunas, E.

    2014-12-01

    Some of the Midwest's most spectacular scenery occurs near Lake Superior, in places like Pictured Rocks and Apostle Islands National Lakeshores, Isle Royale National Park, Interstate Park, and Porcupine Mountains State Park. These landscapes provide an enormous, but underutilized opportunity for park interpreters and educators to explain some of the most exciting concepts of modern geology. A crucial aspect of doing this is recognizing that many of the rocks and landforms in individual parks are pieces of a huge regional structure. This structure, called the Midcontinent Rift System (MCRS), is a 1.1 billion year old 3000 km (2000 mile) long scar along which the North American continent started to tear apart, just as Africa is splitting today along the East African Rift, but for some reason failed to form a new ocean. Drawing on our experience as researchers and teachers studying the MCRS (Steins) and as an interpreter at Isle Royale National Park (Blavascunas), we seek to give interpreters a brief introduction to MCRS to help them present information about what geologists know already and what they are learning from continuing research. Our goal is to help interpreters visualize how what they see at a specific site fits into an exciting regional picture spanning much of the Midwest.

  13. The role of inherited crustal structures and magmatism in the development of rift segments: Insights from the Kivu basin, western branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, Benoît; Delvaux, Damien; Ross, Kelly Ann; Poppe, Sam; Kervyn, Matthieu; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, François

    2016-06-01

    The study of rift basin's morphology can provide good insights into geological features influencing the development of rift valleys and the distribution of volcanism. The Kivu rift segment represents the central section of the western branch of the East African Rift and displays morphological characteristics contrasting with other rift segments. Differences and contradictions between several structural maps of the Kivu rift make it difficult to interpret the local geodynamic setting. In the present work, we use topographic and bathymetric data to map active fault networks and study the geomorphology of the Kivu basin. This relief-based fault lineament mapping appears as a good complement for field mapping or mapping using seismic reflection profiles. Results suggest that rifting reactivated NE-SW oriented structures probably related to the Precambrian basement, creating transfer zones and influencing the location and distribution of volcanism. Both volcanic provinces, north and south of the Kivu basin, extend into Lake Kivu and are connected to each other with a series of eruptive vents along the western rift escarpment. The complex morphology of this rift basin, characterized by a double synthetic half-graben structure, might result from the combined action of normal faulting, magmatic underplating, volcanism and erosion processes.

  14. Early Pleistocene lake formation and hominin origins in the Turkana-Omo rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepre, Christopher J.

    2014-10-01

    Prior research has correlated the formation of Plio-Pleistocene lakes in East Africa to global/regional climate changes and interpreted the lacustrine basins as significant settings of hominin evolution. Paleo-Lake Lorenyang from the Turkana-Omo rift is important to these issues, as its marginal deposits contain some of, if not the earliest currently known specimens of Acheulian stone tools and African Homo erectus. Magnetostratigraphic and sedimentological evidence indicates that the oldest preserved paleo-Lake Lorenyang deposits are dated at 2.148-2.128 Ma and derive from the NW Turkana basin, predating those from the Omo basin by ˜100 kyr and the NE Turkana basin by ˜190 kyr. Apparently, the lake expanded asynchronously in the rift, potentially due to a volcano-tectonic influence on the location of drainage networks, depositional slopes, or topographic elevation differences within and between the basins at the time of flooding. The onset of the lake temporally coincides with the eruption of basalt lava flows dated to 2.2-2.0 Ma that blocked the southeast outlet of the Turkana basin. This provides a plausible mechanism for hydrologic closure and lacustrine basin formation through volcano-tectonic impounding. It also points to a non-climatic cause for the initial formation of paleo-Lake Lorenyang at ˜2.14 Ma. First appearances for African H. erectus (˜1.87 Ma) and Acheulian tools (˜1.76 Ma) in the Turkana-Omo rift postdate the lake's initial formation by about 270 kyr and 380 kyr, respectively. Such timing differences contrast with studies that correlate all three to the 400-kyr-eccentricity maximum at 1.8 Ma. Although the Turkana-Omo rift is just one example, it does provide alternative insights to views that link climate, hominin evolution, and lake formation in East Africa.

  15. Martian canyons and African rifts: Structural comparisons and implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H. V.

    1978-01-01

    The resistant parts of the canyon walls of the Martian rift complex Valled Marineris were used to infer an earlier, less eroded reconstruction of the major roughs. The individual canyons were then compared with individual rifts of East Africa. When measured in units of planetary radius, Martian canyons show a distribution of lengths nearly identical to those in Africa, both for individual rifts and for compound rift systems. A common mechanism which scales with planetary radius is suggested. Martian canyons are significantly wider than African rifts. The overall pattern of the rift systems of Africa and Mars are quite different in that the African systems are composed of numerous small faults with highly variable trend. On Mars the trends are less variable; individual scarps are straighter for longer than on earth. This is probably due to the difference in tectonic histories of the two planets: the complex history of the earth and the resulting complicated basement structures influence the development of new rifts. The basement and lithosphere of Mars are inferred to be simple, reflecting a relatively inactive tectonic history prior to the formation of the canyonlands.

  16. Martian canyons and African rifts - Structural comparisons and implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H.

    1979-01-01

    The resistant parts of the canyon walls of the Martian rift complex Valles Marineris have been used to infer an earlier, less eroded reconstruction of the major troughs. The individual canyons are compared with individual rifts of East Africa. When measured in units of planetary radius, Martian canyons show a distribution of lengths nearly identical to those in Africa, both for individual rifts and for compound rift systems. A common mechanism which scales with planetary radius is suggested. Martian canyons are significantly wider than African rifts. This is consistent with the longstanding idea that rift width is related to crustal thickness: most evidence favors a crust on Mars at least 50% thicker than that of Africa. The overall patterns of the rift systems of Africa and Mars are quite different in that the African systems are composed of numerous small faults with highly variable trend. On Mars the trends are less variable; individual scraps are straighter for longer than on earth. The basement and lithosphere of Mars are inferred to be simple, reflecting a relatively inactive tectonic history prior to the formation of the canyonlands.

  17. Innovative tephra studies in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K.; Heiken, Grant

    Geosciences investigations form the foundation for paleoanthropological research in the East African Rift System. However, innovative applications of tephra studies for constraining spatial and temporal relations of diverse geological processes, biostratigraphic records, and paleoenvironmental conditions within the East African Rift System were fueled by paleoanthropological investigations into the origin and evolution of hominids and material culture. Tephra is a collective, size-independent term used for any material ejected during an explosive volcanic eruption.The East African Rift System has become a magnet for paleoanthropological research ever since the discovery of the first hominids at Olduvai Gorge, in Tanzania, in the 1950s [Leakey et al., 1961]. Currently, numerous multidisciplinary scientific teams from academic institutions in the United States and Western Europe make annual pilgrimages for a couple of months to conduct paleoanthropological field research in the fossil-rich sedimentary deposits of the East African Rift System in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. The field expedition consists of geological, paleontological, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental investigations.

  18. The mesoproterozoic midcontinent rift system, Lake Superior region, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ojakangas, R.W.; Morey, G.B.; Green, J.C.

    2001-01-01

    Exposures in the Lake Superior region, and associated geophysical evidence, show that a 2000 km-long rift system developed within the North American craton ??? 1109-1087 Ma, the age span of the most of the volcanic rocks. This system is characterized by immense volumes of mafic igneous rocks, mostly subaerial plateau basalts, generated in two major pulses largely by a hot mantle plume. A new ocean basin was nearly formed before rifting ceased, perhaps due to the remote effect of the Grenville continental collision to the east. Broad sagging/subsidence, combined with a system of axial half-grabens separated along the length of the rift by accommodation zones, provided conditions for the accumulation of as much as 20 km of volcanic rocks and as much as 10 km of post-rift clastic sediments, both along the rift axis and in basins flanking a central, post-volcanic horst. Pre-rift mature, quartzose sandstones imply little or no uplift prior to the onset of rift volcanism. Early post-rift red-bed sediments consist almost entirely of intrabasinally derived volcanic sediment deposited in alluvial fan to fluvial settings; the exception is one gray to black carbon-bearing lacustrine(?) unit. This early sedimentation phase was followed by broad crustal sagging and deposition of progressively more mature red-bed, fluvial sediments with an extra-basinal provenance. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. The Mesoproterozoic Midcontinent Rift System, Lake Superior Region, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojakangas, R. W.; Morey, G. B.; Green, J. C.

    2001-06-01

    Exposures in the Lake Superior region, and associated geophysical evidence, show that a 2000 km-long rift system developed within the North American craton ∽1109-1087 Ma, the age span of most of the volcanic rocks. This system is characterized by immense volumes of mafic igneous rocks, mostly subaerial plateau basalts, generated in two major pulses largely by a hot mantle plume. A new ocean basin was nearly formed before rifting ceased, perhaps due to the remote effect of the Grenville continental collision to the east. Broad sagging/subsidence, combined with a system of axial half-grabens separated along the length of the rift by accommodation zones, provided conditions for the accumulation of as much as 20 km of volcanic rocks and as much as 10 km of post-rift clastic sediments, both along the rift axis and in basins flanking a central, post-volcanic horst. Pre-rift mature, quartzose sandstones imply little or no uplift prior to the onset of rift volcanism. Early post-rift red-bed sediments consist almost entirely of intrabasinally derived volcanic sediment deposited in alluvial fan to fluvial settings; the exception is one gray to black carbon-bearing lacustrine(?) unit. This early sedimentation phase was followed by broad crustal sagging and deposition of progressively more mature red-bed, fluvial sediments with an extra-basinal provenance.

  20. The evolving contribution of border faults and intra-rift faults in early-stage East African rifts: insights from the Natron (Tanzania) and Magadi (Kenya) basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Dindi, E.; Gama, R.

    2013-12-01

    In the early stages of continental rifting, East African Rift (EAR) basins are conventionally depicted as asymmetric basins bounded on one side by a ~100 km-long border fault. As rifting progresses, strain concentrates into the rift center, producing intra-rift faults. The timing and nature of the transition from border fault to intra-rift-dominated strain accommodation is unclear. Our study focuses on this transitional phase of continental rifting by exploring the spatial and temporal evolution of faulting in the Natron (border fault initiation at ~3 Ma) and Magadi (~7 Ma) basins of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, respectively. We compare the morphologies and activity histories of faults in each basin using field observations and remote sensing in order to address the relative contributions of border faults and intra-rift faults to crustal strain accommodation as rifting progresses. The ~500 m-high border fault along the western margin of the Natron basin is steep compared to many border faults in the eastern branch of the EAR, indicating limited scarp degradation by mass wasting. Locally, the escarpment shows open fissures and young scarps 10s of meters high and a few kilometers long, implying ongoing border fault activity in this young rift. However, intra-rift faults within ~1 Ma lavas are greatly eroded and fresh scarps are typically absent, implying long recurrence intervals between slip events. Rift-normal topographic profiles across the Natron basin show the lowest elevations in the lake-filled basin adjacent to the border fault, where a number of hydrothermal springs along the border fault system expel water into the lake. In contrast to Natron, a ~1600 m high, densely vegetated, border fault escarpment along the western edge of the Magadi basin is highly degraded; we were unable to identify evidence of recent rupturing. Rift-normal elevation profiles indicate the focus of strain has migrated away from the border fault into the rift center, where

  1. At the tip of a propagating rift - The offshore East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, Dieter; Jokat, Wilfried; Ladage, Stefan; Stollhofen, Harald; Klimke, Jennifer; Lutz, Ruediger; Mahanjane, Stefane; Ehrhardt, Axel; Schreckenberger, Bernd

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies have addressed various aspects of the East African Rift system (EARS) but surprisingly few the offshore continuation of the south-eastern branch of the rift into the Mozambique Channel. Here, we present new evidence for neotectonic deformation derived from modern seismic reflection data and supported by additional geophysical data. The Kerimbas Graben offshore northern Mozambique is the most prominent manifestation of sub-recent extensional deformation. The seismic reflection data reveals that recent normal faulting often utilizes preexisting, deeply buried half-graben structures which likely are related to the formation of the Somali Basin. The ~30 km wide and ~150 km long symmetric graben is in a stage where the linkage of scattered normal faults already did happen, resulting in increased displacement and accommodation of most of the extension across the basin. However, deep earthquakes below the rift indicate a strong and still preserved lithospheric mantle. Extension is becoming diffuse where an onshore suture, subdividing the northern from the southern metamorphic basement onshore Mozambique, is closest to the offshore rift. It appears likely that this suture is the origin for the variation in rifting style, indicating that mantle fabric resulting from a Cambrian collision has been preserved as mechanical anisotropy of the lithospheric mantle. Further south the rift focuses in an about 30 km wide half-graben. An important finding is that the entire offshore branch of the EARS lacks significant volcanism. Along the offshore EARS there are only negligible indications for recent volcanism in the reflection seismic data such as sills and dikes. Apparently the "Comoros mantle plume" (French and Romanowicz, 2015) has a very minor influence on the progressive extensional deformation along the northern Mozambique continental margin, leading eventually to breakup sometimes in the future. Combining structural with earthquake data reveals that the magma

  2. Latitudinal Hydrologic Variability Along the East African Rift, Over the Past 200 Kyr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    Within the deep sediments of the large lakes of Africa's Great Rift Valley are continuous environmental records of remarkable antiquity and fidelity. Not only do stratigraphic sections from these basins extend back millions of years, many of the intervals represented contain high-resolution material of decadal resolution or better. East African lake basins remain sparsely sampled however, with only a few long and continuous records available. Our ability to image the lakes using seismic reflection methods greatly exceeds our opportunities for coring and drilling however; assessing stratal relationships observed in the geophysical data permits powerful inferences about past hydrologic changes. With intensive hydrocarbon exploration work underway in East Africa, industry well data can also help constrain and ground truth basin histories. Substantial spatio-temporal hydrologic variability is observed in East African basins over the past 200 kyr. Paleohydrological changes in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene are now well constrained in the northern hemisphere East African topics, with widespread aridity and in some cases lake desiccation observed during Heinrich Event 1. A climate recovery followed in the northern hemisphere East African tropics, with the early Holocene African Humid Period a time of positive water balance across most of the rift valley. The paleohydrology of southern hemisphere tropical East Africa is more equivocal, for instance with negligible draw-down of Lake Malawi at HE1. Whereas these late Pleistocene events represent substantial climate reorganizations, severe droughts during the middle-late Pleistocene (150-65 kyr BP) were far more intense, and produced much more severe drawdowns of Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. Scientific drill cores, kullenberg cores, and extensive seismic reflection data sets from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika provide indisputable evidence for lowstands of -500m and -600 m respectively. Climate changes that lowered the

  3. Tectonic and climatic control on evolution of rift lakes in the Central Kenya Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergner, A. G. N.; Strecker, M. R.; Trauth, M. H.; Deino, A.; Gasse, F.; Blisniuk, P.; Dühnforth, M.

    2009-12-01

    The long-term histories of the neighboring Nakuru-Elmenteita and Naivasha lake basins in the Central Kenya Rift illustrate the relative importance of tectonic versus climatic effects on rift-lake evolution and the formation of disparate sedimentary environments. Although modern climate conditions in the Central Kenya Rift are very similar for these basins, hydrology and hydrochemistry of present-day lakes Nakuru, Elmenteita and Naivasha contrast dramatically due to tectonically controlled differences in basin geometries, catchment size, and fluvial processes. In this study, we use eighteen 14C and 40Ar/ 39Ar dated fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary sections to unravel the spatiotemporal evolution of the lake basins in response to tectonic and climatic influences. We reconstruct paleoclimatic and ecological trends recorded in these basins based on fossil diatom assemblages and geologic field mapping. Our study shows a tendency towards increasing alkalinity and shrinkage of water bodies in both lake basins during the last million years. Ongoing volcano-tectonic segmentation of the lake basins, as well as reorganization of upstream drainage networks have led to contrasting hydrologic regimes with adjacent alkaline and freshwater conditions. During extreme wet periods in the past, such as during the early Holocene climate optimum, lake levels were high and all basins evolved toward freshwater systems. During drier periods some of these lakes revert back to alkaline conditions, while others maintain freshwater characteristics. Our results have important implications for the use and interpretation of lake sediment as climate archives in tectonically active regions and emphasize the need to deconvolve lacustrine records with respect to tectonics versus climatic forcing mechanisms.

  4. Complete genome sequence of the halophilic bacterium Spirochaeta africana type strain (Z-7692T) from the alkaline Lake Magadi in the East African Rift

    SciTech Connect

    Liolios, Konstantinos; Abt, Birte; Scheuner, Carmen; Teshima, Hazuki; Held, Brittany; Lapidus, Alla L.; Nolan, Matt; Lucas, Susan; Deshpande, Shweta; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Tapia, Roxanne; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Pitluck, Sam; Pagani, Ioanna; Ivanova, N; Mavromatis, K; Mikhailova, Natalia; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Chen, Amy; Palaniappan, Krishna; Land, Miriam L; Rohde, Manfred; Tindall, Brian; Detter, J. Chris; Goker, Markus; Bristow, James; Eisen, Jonathan; Markowitz, Victor; Hugenholtz, Philip; Woyke, Tanja; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Kyrpides, Nikos C

    2013-01-01

    Spirochaeta africana Zhilina et al. 1996 is an anaerobic, aerotolerant, spiral-shaped bacte- rium that is motile via periplasmic flagella. The type strain of the species, Z-7692T, was iso- lated in 1993 or earlier from a bacterial bloom in the brine under the trona layer in a shallow lagoon of the alkaline equatorial Lake Magadi in Kenya. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence, and annotation. Considering the pending reclassification of S. caldaria to the genus Treponema, S. africana is only the second 'true' member of the genus Spirochaeta with a genome-sequenced type strain to be pub- lished. The 3,285,855 bp long genome of strain Z-7692T with its 2,817 protein-coding and 57 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea project.

  5. Complete genome sequence of the halophilic bacterium Spirochaeta africana type strain (Z-7692(T)) from the alkaline Lake Magadi in the East African Rift.

    PubMed

    Liolos, Konstantinos; Abt, Birte; Scheuner, Carmen; Teshima, Hazuki; Held, Brittany; Lapidus, Alla; Nolan, Matt; Lucas, Susan; Deshpande, Shweta; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Tapia, Roxanne; Goodwin, Lynne A; Pitluck, Sam; Pagani, Ioanna; Ivanova, Natalia; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Mikhailova, Natalia; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Chen, Amy; Palaniappan, Krishna; Land, Miriam; Rohde, Manfred; Tindall, Brian J; Detter, John C; Göker, Markus; Bristow, James; Eisen, Jonathan A; Markowitz, Victor; Hugenholtz, Philip; Woyke, Tanja; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Kyrpides, Nikos C

    2013-01-01

    Spirochaeta africana Zhilina et al. 1996 is an anaerobic, aerotolerant, spiral-shaped bacterium that is motile via periplasmic flagella. The type strain of the species, Z-7692(T), was isolated in 1993 or earlier from a bacterial bloom in the brine under the trona layer in a shallow lagoon of the alkaline equatorial Lake Magadi in Kenya. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence, and annotation. Considering the pending reclassification of S. caldaria to the genus Treponema, S. africana is only the second 'true' member of the genus Spirochaeta with a genome-sequenced type strain to be published. The 3,285,855 bp long genome of strain Z-7692(T) with its 2,817 protein-coding and 57 RNA genes is a part of the G enomic E ncyclopedia of B acteria and A rchaea project.

  6. Spirochaeta alkalica sp. nov., Spirochaeta africana sp. nov., and Spirochaeta asiatica sp. nov., alkaliphilic anaerobes from the Continental Soda Lakes in Central Asia and the East African Rift.

    PubMed

    Zhilina, T N; Zavarzin, G A; Rainey, F; Kevbrin, V V; Kostrikina, N A; Lysenko, A M

    1996-01-01

    During a study of microbial communities in athalassic bodies of water, three new species within the genus Spirochaeta were described. These are alkaliphilic Spirochaeta alkalica sp. nov. Z-7491 (DSM 8900) and halophilic S. africana sp. nov. Z-7692 (DSM 8902) from the soda-depositing Lake Magadi in Central Africa and haloalkaliphilic S. asiatica sp. nov. Z-7591 (DSM 8901) from Lake Khatyn, Central Asia. These mesophilic spirochetes develop at pHs of > 9 as anaerobic saccharolytic dissipotrophs. The DNA base compositions (moles percent G+C) of the strains were as follows: S. alkalica Z-7491, 57.1; S. africana Z-7692, 56.1; and S. asiatica Z-7591, 49.2. The optimum growth parameters (temperature, pH, and NaCl concentration [percent, wt/vol], respectively) were as follows: for S. alkalica Z-7491, 35 degrees C, 9.2, and 5 to 7%; for S. africana Z-7692, 35 degrees C, 9.3, and 5 to 7%; and for S. asiatica Z-7591, 35 degrees C, 8.9, and 3 to 6%. The products of glucose fermentation were acetate, hydrogen, ethanol, and lactate, in different proportions, for S. alkalica and S. africana; for S. asiatica, they were acetate, ethanol, and lactate. S. asiatica is strictly anaerobic, while S. alkalica and S. africana are rather aerotolerant. All three species group within the radiation of the majority of the species of the genus Spirochaeta. Studies of the genes encoding 16S rRNA indicate a possible fanning out of the phylogenetic tree of spirochetes.

  7. Human Dispersals Along the African Rift Valley in the Late Quaternary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tryon, C. A.; Faith, J. T.; Peppe, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate- and tectonic-driven environmental dynamics of the East African Rift System (EARS) during the Quaternary played an important role in the demographic history of early Homo sapiens, including expansions of modern humans across and out of Africa. Human forager population size, geographic range, and behaviors such as hunting strategies and residential mobility likely varied in response to changes in the local and regional environment. Throughout the Quaternary, floral and faunal change was linked at least in part to variations in moisture availability, temperature, and atmospheric CO2, which in addition to uplift and faulting, contributed to the expansion and contraction of a number of large lakes that served as biogeographic barriers to many taxa. This is particularly clear for the Lake Victoria basin, where biogeographic, geological, and paleontological evidence documents repeated expansion and contraction of the ranges of species in response to lake level and vegetation change. Across much of eastern Africa, the topography of the rift facilitated north-south dispersals, the timing of which may have depended in part on the expansion and contraction of the equatorial forest belt. Dispersal potential likely increased during the more arid periods of the late Quaternary, when the roles of lakes and forests as dispersal barriers was reduced and the extent of low net primary productivity dry grasslands increased, the latter requiring large home ranges for human foragers, conditions suitable for range expansions within H. sapiens.

  8. Ancient origin and recent divergence of a haplochromine cichlid lineage from isolated water bodies in the East African Rift system.

    PubMed

    Hermann, C M; Sefc, K M; Koblmüller, S

    2011-11-01

    Phylogenetic analysis identified haplochromine cichlids from isolated water bodies in the eastern branch of the East African Rift system as an ancient lineage separated from their western sister group in the course of the South Kenyan-North Tanzanian rift system formation. Within this lineage, the close phylogenetic relatedness among taxa indicates a recent common ancestry and historical connections between now separated water bodies. In connection with a total lack of local genetic diversity attributable to population bottlenecks, the data suggest cycles of extinction and colonization in the unstable habitat provided by the small lakes and rivers in this geologically highly active area.

  9. Numerical modeling of continental rifting: Implications for the East African Rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koptev, Alexander; Burov, Evgueni; Calais, Eric; Leroy, Sylvie; Gerya, Taras; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift system (EARS) provides a unique system with juxtaposition of two contrasting yet simultaneously formed rift branches, the eastern, magma-rich, and the western, magma-poor, on either side of the old thick Tanzanian craton embedded into younger lithosphere. Here we take advantage of the improvements in our understanding of deep structures, geological evolution and recent kinematics, together with new cutting edge numerical modeling techniques to design a three-dimensional ultra-high resolution viscous plastic thermo-mechanical numerical model that accounts for thermo-rheological structure of the lithosphere and hence captures the essential geophysical features of the central EARS. Based on our experiments, we show that in case of the mantle plume seeded slightly to the northeast of the craton center, the ascending plume material is deflected by the cratonic keel and preferentially channeled along the eastern side of the craton, leading to formation of a large rift zone characterized by important magmatic activity with substantial amounts of melts derived from mantle plume material. This model is in good agreement with the observations in the EARS, as it reproduces the magmatic eastern branch and at the same time, anticlockwise rotation of the craton. However, this experiment does not reproduce the observed strain localization along the western margin of the cratonic bloc. To explain the formation of contrasting magmatic and amagmatic rift branches initiating simultaneously on either side of a non-deforming block as observed in the central EARS, we experimentally explored several scenarios of which three can be retained as specifically pertaining to the EARS: (1) The most trivial first scenario assumes rheologically weak vertical interface simulating the suture zone observed in the geological structure along the western border of the craton; (2) The second scenario involves a second smaller plume initially shifted in SW direction; (3) Finally, a

  10. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. ERTS-1 imagery of the African rift system has already proved of great value in structural geological studies. One of the interesting megastructures expressed on the imagery occurs some 40 km east of the eastern margin of the main Ethiopian rift, in Arussi province, and extending between latitude 71/2 and 81/4 deg N. The Badda-Encuolo ridge proves to have been a line of major Tertiary volcanism and probably supplied the thick Trap Series flood basalt sequence exposed farther east in the canyons of the Webi Shebeli drainage system. The ridge itself was built up by the waning activity of the Sagatu line of volcanism. Serendipitious has been the discovery on Mt. Badda of several deeply glaciated valleys, many of which show clearly on the ERTS-1 imagery. It seems that Mt. Badda was one of the most important glacial centers in eastern Africa during the Pleistocene. Three major late-Tertiary trachytic centers lie between the Badda-Encuolo ridge and the rift valley. The relationships of these three volcanoes to each other and to the rift faulting is revealed for the first time by the ERTS-1 imagery, as is the form of the cladera of Baltata and the crater of Chilalo.

  11. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The new fault map of the main Ethiopian rift, based on aerial photo compilations, generally agrees well with the maps produced from ERTS-1 imagery. Characteristically, the ERTS-1 imagery shows some of the major faults to be more extensive than realized from ground studies, though due to the angle of sun illumination some east-facing fault scarps are not easily discernible on the imagery. The Corbetti caldera, shows up surprisingly poor on the imagery, and is shown to be an adjunct to an older, larger caldera now occupied by Lakes Awassa and Shallo. The lithological boundaries mapped by De Paola in the rift are difficult to discern on the ERTS-1 imagery. On the Somalian plateau, east of the rift, a denuded caldera has been identified as the source of much of the lavas of the Batu Mountains. Further south, ERTS-1 imagery amplifies the structural and lithological mapping of the Precambrian rocks of the Shakisso-Arero area, and of the Kenya-Ethiopia border region. For the first time with some certainty, it is now possible to say that on the evidence of the ERTS-1 imagery, the Western Rift does not continue northeast beyond the Sudan-Uganda border, and is thus not to be sought in western Ethiopia.

  12. Analogies Between the East African Rift Around the Tanzania Craton and the Southwest Indian Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesi, L. G.

    2013-12-01

    Continental rifts and oceanic spreading centers both accommodate plate divergence but their morphologies are often quite different. Yet, ultraslow spreading centers, especially the Southwest Indian ridge at the 9 to 16°E area (SWIR), present good analogies for the East African Rift (EAR), including localized volcanism, avolcanic segments, and a continuous but not straight rift axis. The archetypal oceanic spreading center features transform offsets. Volcanism is continuous along the ridge axis and is most vigorous at the center of spreading segments. By contrast, continental rifts do not feature transform offsets. The orientation of the rift can change along strike. Several rift segments are purely tectonic, with relatively isolated volcanic centers. The EAR around the Tanzania Craton clearly shows this kind of morphology. Ultraslow spreading centers share many of these features. The SWIR, in particular, displays dramatic changes in orientation, with volcanism localized at the junction between segments of different obliquity. Melt production and transport are controlled by the effective spreading rate, a combination of plate divergence velocity and rift obliquity. Ultraslow spreading center all have an effective spreading rate less than 13 mm/yr. At that speed the thickness of the thermal boundary layer is similar to the depth from which magma can be effectively extracted, opening the possibility for long-distance transport of magma along axis without extraction. Volcanic centers correspond to the location where the magma transport system first encounters a tectonically damaged zone that enables extraction to the surface. The effective velocity of the EAR in the Kenya dome is less than 4mm/yr firmly on par with ultraslow ridges. In fact, to generate magma by mantle upwelling at such a slow opening rate requires a higher mantle temperature or fertility than in the oceanic domain. Both opening rate and effective velocity increase northward along the Eastern branch

  13. Present-day kinematics of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saria, E.; Calais, E.; Stamps, D. S.; Delvaux, D.; Hartnady, C. J. H.

    2014-04-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is a type locale for investigating the processes that drive continental rifting and breakup. The current kinematics of this ~5000 km long divergent plate boundary between the Nubia and Somalia plates is starting to be unraveled thanks to a recent augmentation of space geodetic data in Africa. Here we use a new data set combining episodic GPS measurements with continuous measurements on the Nubian, Somalian, and Antarctic plates, together with earthquake slip vector directions and geologic indicators along the Southwest Indian Ridge to update the present-day kinematics of the EAR. We use geological and seismological data to determine the main rift faults and solve for rigid block rotations while accounting for elastic strain accumulation on locked active faults. We find that the data are best fit with a model that includes three microplates embedded within the EAR, between Nubia and Somalia (Victoria, Rovuma, and Lwandle), consistent with previous findings but with slower extension rates. We find that earthquake slip vectors provide information that is consistent with the GPS velocities and helps to significantly reduce uncertainties of plate angular velocity estimates. We also find that 3.16 Myr MORVEL average spreading rates along the Southwest Indian Ridge are systematically faster than prediction from GPS data alone. This likely indicates that outward displacement along the SWIR is larger than the default value used in the MORVEL plate motion model.

  14. Environmental health impacts of East African Rift volcanism.

    PubMed

    Davies, T C

    2008-08-01

    The East African Rift Valley (EARV) is a structure of a major order in the Earth's crust. Accompanying volcanic activity has influenced greatly the nature of the soils and the geochemistry of ground and surface waters, an influence that is reflected in water and food quality. Direct volcanic impacts result from the up-welling of volatile, potentially harmful elements (PHE), such as F, As, and Hg, that dissolve directly into groundwaters. Intense tropical weathering results in clear redistribution of all but the most refractory elements to form distinct zones of micronutrient deficiencies and PHE excesses. Of concern, too, is human exposure to volcanic materials such as dust and clay-enriched soil fractions. Further alteration of the landscape geochemistry is being brought about by pollution from human activities, with increasing health concerns in many ecosystems of the region. This review shows that the unique distribution pattern of trace elements, imprinted by the East African Rift volcanism and modified by weathering and anthropogenic factors, correlates with a number of geochemical diseases in man and animals. It is submitted that accurate diagnoses of these diseases and associated health conditions, and prescription of appropriate remedies, must be founded upon a fundamental understanding of how the elements were naturally distributed in the first place. This can only be realised through the construction of complete geochemical databases for the region.

  15. Deltas of the Lake Malawi rift, east Africa: Seismic expression and exploration implications

    SciTech Connect

    Scholz, C.A.

    1995-11-01

    High-resolution, air-gun-sourced seismic reflection surveys over the offshore regions of five river deltas in Lake Malawi in the East African rift system reveal considerable variability in acoustic facies and stratigraphic architecture. This variability can largely be attributed to the influences of different structural settings, and to a lesser degree to high-amplitude (100-400 m) and high-frequency (1000 to 100,000 yr) fluctuations in lake level. Deltas on flexural and axial margins in the rift lake show well-developed progradational geometries. In contrast, a delta on a steep, accommodation zone margin distributes coarse sediments over a broad depositional apron, rather than concentrating sediment in discrete progradational lobes as on the other deltas. A large border fault margin river delta displays the most complex tectonic and stratigraphic architecture of all the deltas studied. It contains several delta-associated facies, including prograding clinoform packages, fan deltas stacked against a boundary fault, and extensive subaqueous fans. Flexural margin lowstand deltas may be the most prospective for hydrocarbon exploration due to their large, internally well-organized, progradational lobes and their close proximity to deep-water, high total organic carbon lacustrine source facies.

  16. The East African Rift System and the impact of orographic changes on regional climate and the resulting aridification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sommerfeld, Anja; Prömmel, Kerstin; Cubasch, Ulrich

    2016-09-01

    Several proxy data indicate an aridification of the East African climate during the Neogene, which might be influenced by the orographic changes of the East African Rift System (EARS) induced by tectonic forcing during the last 20 million years. To investigate the impact of the orography and especially of the rifts, the regional climate model CCLM is used, covering the EARS with Lake Victoria in the centre of the model domain. CCLM is driven by the ERA-Interim reanalysis and applied with a double-nesting method resulting in a very high spatial resolution of 7 km. The resolution clearly shows the shoulders and rifts of the western and eastern branch of the EARS and the Rwenzoris within the western branch. To analyse the orographic influence on climate, a new technique of modifying the orography is used in this sensitivity study. The shoulders of the branches are lowered and the rifts are elevated, resulting in a smoothed orography structure with less altitude difference between the shoulders and rifts. The changes in 2 m-temperature are very local and associated with the changes in the orography. The vertically integrated moisture transport is characterised by less vortices, and its zonal component is increased over the branches. The resulting amount of precipitation is mainly decreased west of the western branch and increased in the rift of the western branch. In the eastern branch, however, the changes in the amount of precipitation are not significant. The changes in the precipitation and temperature patterns lead to a shift of biomes towards a vegetation coverage characterised by more humid conditions in the northern part of the model domain and more arid conditions in the South. Thus, the aridification found in the proxy data can be attributed to the orographic changes of the rifts only in the northern model domain.

  17. Ambient noise tomography of the East African Rift in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, Ana; Silveira, Graça; Ferreira, Ana M. G.; Chang, Sung-Joon; Custódio, Susana; Fonseca, João F. B. D.

    2016-03-01

    Seismic ambient noise tomography is applied to central and southern Mozambique, located in the tip of the East African Rift (EAR). The deployment of MOZART seismic network, with a total of 30 broad-band stations continuously recording for 26 months, allowed us to carry out the first tomographic study of the crust under this region, which until now remained largely unexplored at this scale. From cross-correlations extracted from coherent noise we obtained Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves for the period range 5-40 s. These dispersion relations were inverted to produce group velocity maps, and 1-D shear wave velocity profiles at selected points. High group velocities are observed at all periods on the eastern edge of the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons, in agreement with the findings of previous studies. Further east, a pronounced slow anomaly is observed in central and southern Mozambique, where the rifting between southern Africa and Antarctica created a passive margin in the Mesozoic, and further rifting is currently happening as a result of the southward propagation of the EAR. In this study, we also addressed the question concerning the nature of the crust (continental versus oceanic) in the Mozambique Coastal Plains (MCP), still in debate. Our data do not support previous suggestions that the MCP are floored by oceanic crust since a shallow Moho could not be detected, and we discuss an alternative explanation for its ocean-like magnetic signature. Our velocity maps suggest that the crystalline basement of the Zimbabwe craton may extend further east well into Mozambique underneath the sediment cover, contrary to what is usually assumed, while further south the Kaapval craton passes into slow rifted crust at the Lebombo monocline as expected. The sharp passage from fast crust to slow crust on the northern part of the study area coincides with the seismically active NNE-SSW Urema rift, while further south the Mazenga graben adopts an N-S direction

  18. Radiocarbon dating of East african lake levels.

    PubMed

    Butzer, K W; Isaac, G L; Richardson, J L; Washbourn-Kamau, C

    1972-03-10

    The fluctuations of the key East African lakes discussed are summarized in Fig. 4 which also includes the available evidence from Lake Rukwa (42) and Lake Chad (43) Exceot for Lake Victoria, all of these now lack surface outlets and are situated in much drier climates than the major lakes of the Western Rift Valley, which remain filled to their overflow levels. The apparent differendes among the fluctuations of the lakes are partly due to differendes in the nature of the evidence or the intensity of research or both, although there must also have been important local differences in the histories of the lakes Yet the consistencies are far more striking, most notably the coincidence of early Holocene high stands. Between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, it seems that lakes in many parts of tropical Africa were greatly enlarged. Where evidence for the previous span of time is well resolved, it appears that transgressions leading to this high stand began about 12,000 years ago, and evidende from three basins (Victoria, Nakuru, and Chad) indicates a pause or minor recession just at or before 10,000 years ago. Wherever information is available for the period preceding 12,000 years ago, it can consistentlybe shown that lakes were much small-er . Several basins (Rudolf, Nakuru, and Chad) also show traces of much earlier phases of lake expansion. which are not yet well dated but which all occurred more then 20,000 years ago. The Holocene record subsequent to the maximum of 10,00 to 8,000 years ago is more complex. Three basins (Rudolf, Nakuru, and Chad) show an apparently concordant, positive oscillation at some point between 6000 and 4000 years ago, but it is uncertain how widely this episode is represented. Although many of these lakes that are now closed filled to overflowing at least once during the late Quaternary, it is evident from Fig. 4 that the periods of expansion were short-lived compared with phases of contraction to levels near those of today. This pattern may be

  19. Radiocarbon dating of East african lake levels.

    PubMed

    Butzer, K W; Isaac, G L; Richardson, J L; Washbourn-Kamau, C

    1972-03-10

    The fluctuations of the key East African lakes discussed are summarized in Fig. 4 which also includes the available evidence from Lake Rukwa (42) and Lake Chad (43) Exceot for Lake Victoria, all of these now lack surface outlets and are situated in much drier climates than the major lakes of the Western Rift Valley, which remain filled to their overflow levels. The apparent differendes among the fluctuations of the lakes are partly due to differendes in the nature of the evidence or the intensity of research or both, although there must also have been important local differences in the histories of the lakes Yet the consistencies are far more striking, most notably the coincidence of early Holocene high stands. Between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, it seems that lakes in many parts of tropical Africa were greatly enlarged. Where evidence for the previous span of time is well resolved, it appears that transgressions leading to this high stand began about 12,000 years ago, and evidende from three basins (Victoria, Nakuru, and Chad) indicates a pause or minor recession just at or before 10,000 years ago. Wherever information is available for the period preceding 12,000 years ago, it can consistentlybe shown that lakes were much small-er . Several basins (Rudolf, Nakuru, and Chad) also show traces of much earlier phases of lake expansion. which are not yet well dated but which all occurred more then 20,000 years ago. The Holocene record subsequent to the maximum of 10,00 to 8,000 years ago is more complex. Three basins (Rudolf, Nakuru, and Chad) show an apparently concordant, positive oscillation at some point between 6000 and 4000 years ago, but it is uncertain how widely this episode is represented. Although many of these lakes that are now closed filled to overflowing at least once during the late Quaternary, it is evident from Fig. 4 that the periods of expansion were short-lived compared with phases of contraction to levels near those of today. This pattern may be

  20. Recent seismicity of the East African Rift system and its implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kebede, Fekadu; Kulhánek, Ota

    1991-09-01

    The seismicity of the East African Rift system and southern Red Sea is studied here. Location of earthquake epicenters in East Africa shows that there is a seismicity gap in space and time between the Main Ethiopian Rift system and the eastern rift. However, distribution of earthquake epicenters together with the energy mapping suggest a continuity of seismic activity or stress field from the Main Ethiopian Rift system to the western rift system via the southernmost rifts of Ethiopia. In general (except for some earthquakes which occurred at different complex tectonics regions) mechanisms of earthquakes studied here show dominantly normal faulting suggesting that the rift system is an extensional zone on the continent. The presence of greater focal depth earthquakes to the southern part of the rift system may indicate that softer materials at a shallower depth are present in Afar and neighboring regions than in the remaining part of the East African Rift system. This interpretation is supported by other geophysical studies (low electrical resistivity and gravity data) performed in Afar. It is also supported by low and high stress drops found for the northern part (Afar depression) and southern part of the East African Rift system, respectively.

  1. Analysis of the Junction of the East African Rift and the Cretaceous-Paleogene Rifts in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariita, N. O.; Tadesse, K.; Keller, G. R.

    2003-12-01

    The East African rift (EAR) is a Tertiary-Miocene system that extends from the Middle East, through East Africa, to Mozambique in southern Africa. Much of the present information is from the Ethiopian and Kenyan parts of the rift. Several characteristics of the EAR such as rift-related volcanism, faulting and topographic relief being exposed make it attractive for studying continental rift processes. Structural complexities reflected in the geometries of grabens and half-grabens, the existence of transverse fault zones and accommodation zones, and the influence of pre-existing geologic structures have been documented. In particular, the EAR traverses the Anza graben and related structures near the Kenya/Ethiopian border. The Anza graben is one in a series of Cretaceous-Paleogene failed rifts that trend across Central Africa from Nigeria through Chad to Sudan and Kenya with an overall northwest-southeast trend. In spite of a number of recent studies, we do not understand the interaction of these two rift systems. In both Ethiopia and Kenya, the rift segments share some broad similarities in timing and are related in a geographic sense. For example, volcanism appears to have generally preceded or in some cases have been contemporaneous with major rift faulting. Although, these segments are distinct entities, each with its own tectonic and magmatic evolution, and they do connect in the region crossed by the Anza graben and related structures. In our present study, we are using a combination of recently collected seismic, gravity and remote sensing data to increase our understanding of these two segments of the EAR. We hope that by analysing the satellite data, the variety and differences in the volume of magmatic products extruded along in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya will be identified. The geometry of structures (in particular, those causing the gravity axial high) will be modelled to study the impact of the older Anza graben structural trends with the

  2. The 1990 to 1991 Sudan earthquake sequence and the extent of the East african rift system.

    PubMed

    Girdler, R W; McConnell, D A

    1994-04-01

    One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Africa (surface wave magnitude M(s) = 7.2) occurred about 50 kilometers east of the Upper River Nile on 20 May 1990. Four days later, two more large earthquakes (M(s) = 6.4 and 7.0) occurred about 50 kilometers to the northwest in the Nile Valley. In the following months, a further 60 events were recorded by seismic stations worldwide. The earthquakes are associated with two fault systems: one east of the Nile with azimuth southeast and one along the Nile Valley with azimuth north-northeast. The activity alternated between the two fault systems and indicates that the northern extremity of the western branch of the East African Rift System extends at least 350 kilometers north of Lake Albert.

  3. How Closed are Closed Lakes in Rifts? Significance of Hydraulic Gradients for the Budgets of Paleo-Lakes in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olaka, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    The hydrogeology of rift lakes is complex due to the potential influence of faults and porous volcanic and volcanoclastic media on groundwater flow. We conducted a comprehensive study that integrated geological and hydrogeological data as well as the application of a linear decay model to estimate the groundwater flow between the two of the best-studied lake systems in East Africa, the adjacent Lakes Naivasha and Nakuru- Elmenteita in the Central Kenya Rift. Whereas both lake basins host relatively shallow lakes today, paleo-shorelines and sediments suggest >100 m deep lakes during a wetter climate during the Early Holocene during the so-called African Humid Period. Stable isotope data show variations form highly depleted to more enriched d18O waters. The linear-reservoir depletion model simulates the decline of the Early Holocene lakes in both basins to the modern levels. The altitude difference of ca. 100 m of both paleo-lake levels enables us to estimate the duration of the groundwater decline and the connectivity of the two basins via the Eburru/Gilgil barrier. The results suggest a decline of the groundwater levels during ca. 5 kyrs if there is no recharge, and between 2-2.7 kyrs based on the modern recharge of 0.52 m/yr as the end members of the delay time introduced by subsurface water flow to the hydrology of the lake system. The latter value suggests that ca. 40.95 cubic kilometres of water flowed from Lake Naivasha to Nakuru- Elmenteita at maximum lake level in the Early Holocene following the hydraulic gradient concurrent to the topographic slope. The unexpectedly large volume, more than half of the volume of the paleo-Lake Naivasha during the Early Holocene, emphasizes the importance of groundwater in hydrological modelling of paleo-lakes in rifts. Moreover, the subsurface connectivity of rift lakes also causes a significant lag time to the system introducing a nonlinear component to the system that has to be considered while interpreting paleo-lake

  4. Comparative sequence stratigraphy of low-latitude versus high-latitude lacustrine rift basins: Seismic data examples from the East African and Baikal rifts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholz, C.A.; Moore, T.C.; Hutchinson, D.R.; Golmshtok, A. Ja; Klitgord, Kim D.; Kurotchkin, A.G.

    1998-01-01

    Lakes Baikal, Malawi and Tanganyika are the world's three largest rift valley lakes and are the classic modem examples of lacustrine rift basins. All the rift lakes are segmented into half-graben basins, and seismic reflection datasets reveal how this segmentation controls the filling of the rift basins through time. In the early stages of rifting, basins are fed primarily by flexural margin and axial margin drainage systems. At the climax of syn-rift sedimentation, however, when the basins are deeply subsided, almost all the margins are walled off by rift shoulder uplifts, and sediment flux into the basins is concentrated at accommodation zone and axial margin river deltas. Flexural margin unconformities are commonplace in the tropical lakes but less so in high-latitude Lake Baikal. Lake levels are extremely dynamic in the tropical lakes and in low-latitude systems in general because of the predominance of evaporation in the hydrologic cycle in those systems. Evaporation is minimized in relation to inflow in the high-latitude Lake Baikal and in most high-latitude systems, and consequently, major sequence boundaries tend to be tectonically controlled in that type of system. The acoustic stratigraphies of the tropical lakes are dominated by high-frequency and high-amplitude lake level shifts, whereas in high-latitude Lake Baikal, stratigraphic cycles are dominated by tectonism and sediment-supply variations.

  5. The Central Lake Malawi (Nyasa) Rift: single or multiple rift segments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCartney, T.; Scholz, C. A.; Shillington, D. J.; Accardo, N. J.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Kamihanda, G.

    2015-12-01

    Accommodation zones connect rift segments, which are fundamental elements of continental rift architecture. The sedimentary record aids our assessment of the evolution of this linkage. The central basin of Lake Malawi is one of the most structurally complex regions of the Malawi Rift. Border fault margins have been interpreted on both shorelines; three structures within the basin have been interpreted as segments of a corresponding accommodation zone. We investigate these structures by integrating single- and multi-channel reflection seismic data, including new MCS acquired in 2015 for the SEGMeNT project. The stratigraphic record in the central basin, inferred from seismic reflection profiles, provides compelling evidence that most fault-related subsidence is accommodated by the western border fault. Strata on both sides of all three structures dip to the west. The pre-rift basement in the sub-basin west of the central structure is considerably deeper (~ 4 s TWTT sub-bottom) than that in the broader eastern sub-basin (~ 2.5 s TWTT sub-bottom). A syncline in the eastern sub-basin shows little variation in seismic facies, particularly over the last 1.3 m.y. In contrast, the western sub-basin exhibits seismic facies indicative of fluvial input from two major rivers, siliciclastic input from the border fault footwall rising > 1000 m above lake level, and mud diapirs in the deepest part of the sub-basin. Horizons pierced by these diapirs onlap the central structure, suggesting diapir rise postdates relative uplift of the structure. Correlations with the age model from a 2005 scientific drilling project will better constrain this timing. The structural high helps focus siliciclastic sediments into the sub-basin, resulting in the overpressure conditions required for mud diapirism. We hypothesize that the diapirs are the result of sediment loading in the deep main depocenter of the central basin rather than fault mechanisms. The basement highs in the central basin control

  6. Shaded Relief with Height as Color, Virunga and Nyiragongo Volcanoes and the East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Volcanic, tectonic, erosional and sedimentary landforms are all evident in this comparison of two elevation models of a region along the East African Rift at Lake Kivu. The area shown covers parts of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

    These two images show exactly the same area. The image on the left was created using the best global topographic data set previously available, the U.S. Geological Survey's GTOPO30. In contrast, the much more detailed image on the right was generated with data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which collected enough measurements to map 80 percent of Earth's landmass at this level of precision. Elevation is color coded, progressing from green at the lower elevations through yellow to brown at the higher elevations. A false sun in the northwest (upper left) creates topographic shading.

    Lake Kivu is shown as black in the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission version (southwest corner). It lies within the East African Rift, an elongated tectonic pull-apart depression in Earth's crust. The rift extends to the northeast as a smooth lava- and sediment-filled trough. Two volcanic complexes are seen in the rift. The one closer to the lake is the Nyiragongo volcano, which erupted in January 2002, sending lava toward the lake shore and through the city of Goma. East of the rift, even more volcanoes are seen. These are the Virunga volcano chain, which is the home of the endangered mountain gorillas. Note that the terrain surrounding the volcanoes is much smoother than the eroding mountains that cover most of this view, such that topography alone is a good indicator of the extent of the lava flows. But this clear only at the higher spatial resolution of the shuttle mission's data set.

    For some parts of the globe, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission measurements are 30 times more precise than previously available topographical information, according to NASA scientists. Mission data will be a welcome resource for national and local governments

  7. Tectonic and sediment supply control of deep rift lake turbidite systems: Lake Baikal, Russia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Karabanov, E.B.; Colman, Steven M.; Escutia, C.

    1999-01-01

    Tectonically influenced half-graben morphology controls the amount and type of sediment supply and consequent type of late Quaternary turbidite systems developed in the active rift basins of Lake Baikal, Russia. Steep border fault slopes (footwall) on the northwest sides of half-graben basins provide a limited supply of coarser grained clastic material to multiple small fan deltas. These multiple sediment sources in turn laterally feed small (65 km) axially fed elongate mud-rich fans sourced by regional exterior drainage of the Selenga River that supplies large quantities of silt. Basin plain turbidites in the center of the linear basins and axial channels that are controlled by rift-parallel faults are fed from, and interfinger with, aprons and fans. The predictability of the turbidite systems in Lake Baikal provides the best example yet studied of how tectonics and sediment supply interact to control the development of a wide variety of coeval turbidite systems on a single basin floor.

  8. Petroleum geology of Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1993-08-01

    This overview of the petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic (CAR) is based on exploration work by Exxon and partners in the years 1969-1991. The work included 50,000 km of modern reflection seismic, 53 exploration wells, 1,000,000 km[sup 2] of aeromagnetic coverage, and about 10,500 km of gravity profiles. The results outline ten Cretaceous and Tertiary rift basins, which constitute a major part of the West and Central African rift system (WCARS). The rift basins derive from a multiphased geologic history dating from the Pan-African (approximately 750-550 Ma) to the Holocene. WCARS in the study area is divided into the West African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (CAS). WAS basins in Niger and Chad are chiefly extensional, and are filled by up to 13,000 m of Lower Cretaceous to Holocene continental and marine clastics. The basins contain five oil (19-43[degrees]API) and two oil and gas accumulations in Upper Cretaceous and Eocene sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced and sealed by Upper Cretaceous and Eocene marine and lacustrine shales. The most common structural styles and hydrocarbon traps usually are associated with normal fault blocks. CAS rift basins in Chad and CAR are extensional and transtensional, and are filled by up to 7500 m of chiefly Lower Cretaceous continental clastics. The basins contain eight oil (15-39[degrees]API) and one oil and gas discovery in Lower and Upper Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced by Lower Cretaceous shales and sealed by interbedded lacustrine and flood-plain shales. Structural styles range from simple fault blocks through complex flower structures. The main hydrocarbon traps are in contractional anticlines. Geological conditions favor the discovery of potentially commercial volumes of oil in WCARS basins, of Niger, Chad and CAR. 108 refs., 24 figs., 4 tabs.

  9. Sublacustrine precipitation of hydrothermal silica in rift lakes: evidence from Lake Baringo, central Kenya Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renaut, R. W.; Jones, B.; Tiercelin, J.-J.; Tarits, C.

    2002-04-01

    Many lakes in volcanic regions are fed by hot springs that, in some basins, can contribute a large percentage of the annual recharge, especially during times of aridity. It is important to recognize any contemporary hydrothermal contribution in paleoenvironmental reconstruction of lake basins because recharge from thermal waters can potentially confuse paleoclimatic signals preserved in the lacustrine sedimentary record. Hot spring deposits (travertine, sinter) provide the most tangible evidence for thermal recharge to lakes. Although subaerial spring deposits have been widely studied, lacustrine thermal spring deposits, especially sublacustrine siliceous sinters, remain poorly known. Detailed field, petrographic and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies have been made of fossil sublacustrine sinter exposed at Soro hot springs along the northeastern shoreline of Ol Kokwe, a volcanic island in Lake Baringo, Kenya. Modern hot springs at Soro, which discharge Na-HCO 3-Cl waters from a deep reservoir (˜180 °C ), have thin (1-10 mm), friable microbial silica crusts around their subaerial vents, but thicker (>1 cm) sinter deposits are not forming. The fossil sinter, which is present as intergranular cements and crusts in littoral conglomerates and sandstones, is composed mainly of opaline silica (opal-A). Three types of fossil sinter are recognized: (1) massive structureless silica, which fills intergranular pores and forms crusts up to 5 cm thick; (2) pore-lining silica, some of which is isopachous, and (3) laminated silica crusts, which formed mainly on the upper surfaces of detrital particles. All three types contain well-preserved diatoms including lacustrine planktonic forms. Microbial remains, mainly filamentous and coccoid bacteria (including cyanobacteria) and extracellular polymeric gels, are locally abundant in the opaline silica, together with detrital clays and thin laminae composed of authigenic chlorite (?). Most of the hydrothermal silica

  10. Evaporation Estimation of Rift Valley Lakes: Comparison of Models

    PubMed Central

    Melesse, Assefa M.; Abtew, Wossenu; Dessalegne, Tibebe

    2009-01-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) accounts for a substantial amount of the water flux in the arid and semi-arid regions of the World. Accurate estimation of ET has been a challenge for hydrologists, mainly because of the spatiotemporal variability of the environmental and physical parameters governing the latent heat flux. In addition, most available ET models depend on intensive meteorological information for ET estimation. Such data are not available at the desired spatial and temporal scales in less developed and remote parts of the world. This limitation has necessitated the development of simple models that are less data intensive and provide ET estimates with acceptable level of accuracy. Remote sensing approach can also be applied to large areas where meteorological data are not available and field scale data collection is costly, time consuming and difficult. In areas like the Rift Valley regions of Ethiopia, the applicability of the Simple Method (Abtew Method) of lake evaporation estimation and surface energy balance approach using remote sensing was studied. The Simple Method and a remote sensing-based lake evaporation estimates were compared to the Penman, Energy balance, Pan, Radiation and Complementary Relationship Lake Evaporation (CRLE) methods applied in the region. Results indicate a good correspondence of the models outputs to that of the above methods. Comparison of the 1986 and 2000 monthly lake ET from the Landsat images to the Simple and Penman Methods show that the remote sensing and surface energy balance approach is promising for large scale applications to understand the spatial variation of the latent heat flux. PMID:22303142

  11. Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, A.; Silveira, G. M.; Custodio, S.; Chamussa, J.; Lebedev, S.; Chang, S. J.; Ferreira, A. M. G.; Fonseca, J. F. B. D.

    2014-12-01

    Unlike the majority of the East African Rift, the Mozambique region has not been deeply studied, not only due to political instabilities but also because of the difficult access to its most interior regions. An earthquake with M7 occurred in Machaze in 2006, which triggered the investigation of this particular region. The MOZART project (funded by FCT, Lisbon) installed a temporary seismic network, with a total of 30 broadband stations from the SEIS-UK pool, from April 2011 to July 2013. Preliminary locations of the seismicity were estimated with the data recorded from April 2011 to July 2012. A total of 307 earthquakes were located, with ML magnitudes ranging from 0.9 to 3.9. We observe a linear northeast-southwest distribution of the seismicity that seems associated to the Inhaminga fault. The seismicity has an extension of ~300km reaching the Machaze earthquake area. The northeast sector of the seismicity shows a good correlation with the topography, tracing the Urema rift valley. In order to obtain an initial velocity model of the region, the ambient noise method is used. This method is applied to the entire data set available and two additional stations of the AfricaARRAY project. Ambient noise surface wave tomography is possible by computing cross-correlations between all pairs of stations and measuring the group velocities for all interstation paths. With this approach we obtain Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves in the period range from 3 to 50 seconds. Group velocity maps are calculated for several periods and allowing a geological and tectonic interpretation. In order to extend the investigation to longer wave periods and thus probe both the crust and upper mantle, we apply a recent implementation of the surface-wave two-station method (teleseismic interferometry - Meier el al 2004) to augment our dataset with Rayleigh wave phase velocities curves in a broad period range. Using this method we expect to be able to explore the lithosphere

  12. Structural style of the Turkana Rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Dunkelman, T.J.; Karson, J.A.; Rosendahl, B.R.

    1988-03-01

    Multifold seismic reflection and geologic mapping in part of the eastern branch of the East African Rift system of northern Kenya reveal a major rift structure containing at least 3 km of Neogene sediment fill beneath Lake Turkana. This includes a series of half-graben basins, with centrally located quaternary volcanic centers, which are linked end-to-end by structural accommodation zones. Whereas the geometry of rifting is similar to that of the nonvolcanic western branch of the East African Rift system, the Turkana half-grabens are much smaller and may reflect extension of a thinner lithosphere or development of more closely spaced fracture patterns during rift evolution, or both.

  13. Crustal Structure at a Young Continental Rift: A Receiver Function Study from Lake Tanganyika

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, I. D. S.; Illsley-Kemp, F.; Gallacher, R. J.; Keir, D.; Ebinger, C. J.; Drooff, C.; Khalfan, M.

    2015-12-01

    Lake Tanganyika, in western Tanzania, spans a large section of the Western rift yet there are very few constraints on bulk crustal and upper mantle structure. The Western rift system has no surface expression of magmatism, which is in stark contrast to the Eastern branch. This observation is difficult to reconcile with the approximately coeval initiation of rifting of the two branches. The variation in the nature of rifting provides a perfect setting to test current hypotheses for the initiation of continental breakup and early-stage development of continental rifts. The deployment of a seismic network of 13 broadband instruments on the south eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, for 16 months, between 2014 and 2015 provides a unique opportunity to investigate extensional processes in thick continental lithosphere. We present here results from a P to S receiver function study that provides information on bulk crustal Vp/Vs ratio along the rift; a property that is sensitive to the presence of magmatic intrusions in the lower crust. Additionally this method allows us to map variations in crustal thickness both parallel and perpendicular to the rift axis. These results thus provide unprecedented insight into the large-scale mechanics of early-stage continental rifting along the non-volcanic Western rift.

  14. Accumulation of fossil fuels and metallic minerals in active and ancient rift lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, E.I.

    1983-01-01

    A study of active and ancient rift systems around the world suggests that accumulations of fossil fuels and metallic minerals are related to the interactions of processes that form rift valleys with those that take place in and around rift lakes. The deposition of the precursors of petroleum, gas, oil shale, coal, phosphate, barite, Cu-Pb-Zn sulfides, and uranium begins with erosion of uplifted areas, and the consequent input of abundant nutrients and solute loads into swamps and tectonic lakes. Hot springs and volcanism add other nutrients and solutes. The resulting high biological productivity creates oxidized/reduced interfaces, and anoxic and H2S-rich bottom waters which preserves metal-bearing organic tissues and horizons. In the depositional phases, the fine-grained lake deposits are in contact with coarse-grained beach, delta, river, talus, and alluvial fan deposits. Earthquake-induced turbidites also are common coarse-grained deposits of rift lakes. Postdepositional processes in rifts include high heat flow and a resulting concentration of the organic and metallic components that were dispersed throughout the lakebeds. Postdepositional faulting brings organic- and metal-rich sourcebeds in contact with coarse-grained host and reservoir rocks. A suite of potentially economic deposits is therefore a characteristic of rift valleys. ?? 1983.

  15. Evolution of the western East African Rift System reflected in provenance changes of Miocene to Pleistocene synrift sediments (Albertine Rift, Uganda)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Sandra; Hornung, Jens; Hinderer, Matthias

    2016-08-01

    Miocene to Pleistocene synrift sediments in the Albertine Graben reflect the complex geodynamic evolution in the Western branch of the East African Rift System. In this study we focus on the provenance of these siliciclastic deposits to identify sediment sources and supply paths with the ultimate goal to reconstruct the exhumation history of different tectonic blocks during prolonged rifting, with specific focus on the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda. We present framework and heavy mineral petrographic data combined with varietal studies of detrital garnet and rutile, based on logged sediment sections on the Ugandan side of Lake Albert (Kisegi-Nyabusosi area). The analyzed sedimentary units have a feldspatho-quartzose composition and distinct variations in heavy mineral assemblages and mineral chemical composition indicating two provenance changes. The Miocene part of the stratigraphy is dominated by garnet, zircon, tourmaline and rutile, whereas Pliocene to Pleistocene sediment yields high amounts of less stable amphibole and epidote. An abrupt switch in heavy mineral assemblages occurs during the early Pliocene ( 5.5-5.0 Ma) and clearly postdates the formation of Palaeolake Obweruka at 8 Ma. Provenance signatures point to major sediment supply from the northeast and subsequently from the southeast. We interpret this first shift as transition from the pre-rift to the syn-rift stage. In this scenario, formation of Palaeolake Obweruka is due to higher humidity in the upper Miocene, rather than forced rifting. A second change of sediment composition is documented by mineral geochemistry and coincides with fragmentation of Palaeolake Obweruka starting at 2.5 Ma. Detrital garnet in sediment of Miocene to Pliocene age is rich in pyrope and almandine and calculated Zr-in-rutile temperatures range between 550 and 950 °C. In contrast, garnet occurring in Pleistocene sediment (Nyabusosi Formation) has a higher spessartine component and rutile thermometry is

  16. Vector Competence of Selected African Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) Species for Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have indicated the potential for this disease to spread from its enzootic areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Because little is known about the potential for most African mosquito species to transmit RVF virus (RVFV), we conducted stud...

  17. Post-Pan-African tectonic evolution of South Malawi in relation to the Karroo and recent East African rift systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castaing, C.

    1991-05-01

    Structural studies conducted in the Lengwe and Mwabvi Karroo basins and in the basement in South Malawi, using regional maps and published data extended to cover Southeast Africa, serve to propose a series of geodynamic reconstructions which reveal the persistence of an extensional tectonic regime, the minimum stress σ3 of which has varied through time. The period of Karroo rifting and the tholeiitic and alkaline magmatism which terminated it, were controlled by NW-SE extension, which resulted in the creation of roughly NE-SW troughs articulated by the Tanganyika-Malawi and Zambesi pre-transform systems. These were NW-SE sinistral-slip systems with directions of movement dipping slightly to the Southeast, which enabled the Mwanza fault to play an important role in the evolution of the Karroo basins of the Shire Valley. The Cretaceous was a transition period between the Karroo rifting and the formation of the Recent East African Rift System. Extension was NE-SW, with some evidence for a local compressional episode in the Lengwe basin. Beginning in the Cenozoic, the extension once more became NW-SE and controlled the evolution in transtension of the Recent East African Rift System. This history highlights the major role of transverse faults systems dominated by strike-slip motion in the evolution and perpetuation of the continental rift systems. These faults are of a greater geological persistence than the normal faults bounding the grabens, especially when they are located on major basement anisotropies.

  18. Tectonic Evolution of the Northern Malawi rift, East Africa: Structural Controls on Sediment Dispersal in a Large Lake Basin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortimer, E.; Paton, D.; Scholz, C.; Strecker, M.

    2005-12-01

    The Malawi Rift is an integral part of the East African Rift system (EARs), the type example of a rift system in its youthful stages of development. Understanding the spatio-temporal evolution of this rift system provides insights into the past histories and controls on more ancient rift basins. Fundamental questions remain regarding the structural styles, partitioning, and sediment dispersal patterns within large lacustrine basins that are common to young rifts. Such basins are particularly useful recorders of climatic fluctuations. In areas with pronounced climatic variability and high evaporation/precipitation ratios this may lead to, often transient, basin isolation that may dramatically affect sediment and facies distribution. We investigate the structural evolution and sedimentation patterns of the North basin, Malawi Rift. We utilise two seismic reflection data sets: the first, collected by project PROBE, records the entire basin-fill (Sequences 1-3) at medium resolution; the second provides a closely-spaced high-resolution survey of the past ~1 Ma (Sequence 3). These data document the development of the basin-bounding and intra-basin faults. Throughout its history, the basin-bounding fault has accommodated the greatest strain and therefore exerted the fundamental control on the distribution of sediment within the rift. Present-day sediments enter the basin axially, although there is evidence that transverse supply was also important in the past. We identify 11 intra-basin structures that strike parallel or sub-parallel to this border fault. These intra-basin faults, active from the earliest stages, have initial segment lengths of ~30 km, but rapidly reach lengths in excess of 80 km in the north of the basin, and 60 km in the south. Much of the sedimentation along the faults occurred during Sequence 2 (~2.7-1.6 Ma), a period of relative over-filling of the basin. While the basin-bounding fault controls the overall sediment architecture, all 11 intra

  19. Textural and compositional variability across littoral segments of Lake Tanganyika: The effect of asymmetric basin structure on sedimentation in large rift lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Soreghan, M.J.; Cohen, A.S.

    1996-03-01

    Lake Tanganyika, part of the East African rift system, represents one of the most widely cited modern analogs for interpreting ancient rift lakes. To date, few published detailed sedimentologic studies of the modern sediments allow for comparisons to outcrop- and well-bore-scale observations within ancient strata. Four recurrent structural margin types exist along the alternating half-graben structure of the lake: hinged margins, axial margins, accommodation zone margins, and escarpment margins. The hinged margin consists of a series of structurally controlled benches over which long, continuous tracts of bioclastic lag deposits predominate; clastic sands are limited to moderate-size silty deltas and long, narrow shoreface sands. The axial margin is dominated by a wave-dominated, silt-rich delta system. Accommodation zone margins consist of bioclastic lag deposits atop structural highs, whereas carbonate and clastic mud accumulates farther offshore. Escarpment margins contain small fan-delta deposits alternating along shore with talus deposits; offshore carbonate and clastic mud is present away from active gravity-flow deposition. Total organic carbon (TOC) and pyrolysis data from fine-grained samples subtly reflect the contrasts in margin types, but these values are controlled more directly by water depth. Although facies are similar among all margin types, their spatial distribution, in particular the degree to which facies tracts trend parallel to shore, best discriminates among the different margin types. These data suggest that unique but predictable associations of reservoir, seal, and source facies exist along each of the different margin types.

  20. The seismotectonics of Southeastern Tanzania: Implications for the propagation of the eastern branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulibo, Gabriel D.; Nyblade, Andrew A.

    2016-04-01

    Seismicity patterns and focal mechanisms in southeastern Tanzania, determined from data recorded on temporary and permanent AfricaArray seismic stations, have been used to investigate the propagation direction of the Eastern branch of the East African Rift System southward from the Northern Tanzania Divergence Zone (NTDZ). Within the NTDZ, the rift zone is defined by three segments, the Eyasi segment to the west, the Manyara segment in the middle, and the Pangani segment to the east. Results show that most of the seismicity (~ 75%) extends to the south of the Manyara segment along the eastern margin of the Tanzania Craton, and at ~ 6-7° S latitude trends to the SE along the northern boundary of the Ruvuma microplate, connecting with a N-S zone of seismicity offshore southern Tanzania and Mozambique. A lesser amount of seismicity (~ 25%) is found extending from the SE corner of the Tanzania Craton at ~ 6-7° S latitude southwards towards Lake Nyasa. This finding supports a model of rift propagation via the Manyara segment to the southeast of the Tanzania Craton along the northern boundary of the Ruvuma microplate. However, given the limited duration of the seismic recordings used in this study, the possibility of another zone of extension developing to the south towards Lake Nyasa (Malawi) cannot be ruled out. Focal mechanisms along the boundary between the Victoria and the Ruvuma microplates and offshore southeastern Tanzania show a combination of normal and strike slip faulting indicating mainly extension with some sinistral motion, consistent with the mapped geologic faults and a clockwise rotation of the Ruvuma microplate.

  1. Crustal structure of central Lake Baikal: Insights into intracontinental rifting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.S.; Taylor, M.H.

    2002-01-01

    The Cenozoic rift system of Baikal, located in the interior of the largest continental mass on Earth, is thought to represent a potential analog of the early stage of breakup of supercontinents. We present a detailed P wave velocity structure of the crust and sediments beneath the Central Basin, the deepest basin in the Baikal rift system. The structure is characterized by a Moho depth of 39-42.5 km; an 8-km-thick, laterally continuous high-velocity (7.05-7.4 km/s) lower crust, normal upper mantle velocity (8 km/s), a sedimentary section reaching maximum depths of 9 km, and a gradual increase of sediment velocity with depth. We interpret the high-velocity lower crust to be part of the Siberian Platform that was not thinned or altered significantly during rifting. In comparison to published results from the Siberian Platform, Moho under the basin is elevated by <3 km. On the basis of these results we propose that the basin was formed by upper crustal extension, possibly reactivating structures in an ancient fold-and-thrust belt. The extent and location of upper mantle extension are not revealed by our data, and it may be offset from the rift. We believe that the Baikal rift structure is similar in many respects to the Mesozoic Atlantic rift system, the precursor to the formation of the North Atlantic Ocean. We also propose that the Central Baikal rift evolved by episodic fault propagation and basin enlargement, rather than by two-stage rift evolution as is commonly assumed.

  2. 3-D Evolutionary model of the oblique rift basins-the study of Central African Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, I. W.; Yang, K. M.; Wu, J. C.; Hsiuan, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    Because of their tectonostratigraphically high potentials to yield oil and gas, oblique rift basins are a noteworthy type of global petroleum basins. The main purpose of this study is to investigate characteristics of the structural style and basin evolution of the Central Africa rift subsystem (CAS). Establishing the evolutionary model of CAS by the analyses of tectonostratigraphy, geometry, kinematics of structural features and Particle Flow Code 3-Dimensions (PFC 3D). The results can be references for petroleum basin exploration. The study areas are in the CAS, including the Doba, Doseo and Salamat Basins. Basins are separated by a large-scale strike-slip fault zone (Borogop fault zone) across the CAS. The results showed that the Borogop fault zone pass through the CAS until the Late Cretaceous compression and then became a big-scaled strike-slip fault. The structural geometry of oblique rift is changed with the α angle between the rift trend and trend of tensile stress. PFC-3D indicated that 1) The α of the Doba, Doseo and Salamat Basins are 60°, 60° and 75°, respectively; 2) When the α got close to 45°, the density of the echelon faults alone the basin center decreased gradually; 3) The Doba Basin is wide and shallow which should be affected by meso-scaled stresses. The Doseo and Salamat Basins are narrow and deeper which should be affected by mega-scaled stresses. According to the abovementioned results, we suggest that 1) The Borogop fault zone had less influence on basin architecture of CAS, therefore the basins of CAS are not the pull-apart basins but the extensional basins, and 2) Doba and Doseo-Salamat Basins should probably belong to different type of petroleum systems, which have different scales of stress.

  3. Thick lithosphere, deep crustal earthquakes and no melt: a triple challenge to understanding extension in the western branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donnell, J. P.; Selway, K.; Nyblade, A. A.; Brazier, R. A.; Tahir, N. El; Durrheim, R. J.

    2016-02-01

    Geodynamic models predict that rifting of thick, ancient continental lithosphere should not occur unless it is weakened by heating and magmatic intrusion. Therefore, the processes occurring along sections of the western branch of the East African Rift, where ˜150 km thick, Palaeoproterozoic lithosphere is rifting with no surface expression of magmatism, are a significant challenge to understand. In an attempt to understand the apparently amagmatic extension we probed the regional uppermost mantle for signatures of thermal alteration using compressional (Vp) and shear (Vs) wave speeds derived from Pn and Sn tomography. Pervasive thermal alteration of the uppermost mantle and possibly the presence of melt can be inferred beneath the Rungwe volcanic centre, but no signatures on a similar scale were discerned beneath amagmatic portions of the western rift branch encompassing the southern half of the Lake Tanganyika rift and much of the Rukwa rift. In this region, Vp and Vs wave speeds indicate little, if any, heating of the uppermost mantle and no studies have reported dyking. Vp/Vs ratios are consistent with typical, melt-free, olivine-dominated upper mantle. Although our resolution limit precludes us from imaging potential localised magmatic intrusions with dimensions of tens of kilometres, the absence of surface volcanism, the amagmatic upper crustal rupture known to have occurred at disparate locations on the western branch, the presence of lower crustal seismicity and the low temperatures implied by the fast seismic wave speeds in the lower crust and uppermost mantle in this region suggests possible amagmatic extension. Most dynamic models predict that this should not happen. Indeed even with magmatic intrusion, rifting of continental lithosphere >100 km thick is considered improbable under conditions found on Earth. Yield strength envelopes confirm that currently modelled stresses are insufficient to produce the observed deformation along these portions of the

  4. The evolution of the River Nile. The buried saline rift lakes in Sudan—I. Bahr El Arab Rift, the Sudd buried saline lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, Ramsis B.

    The River Nile in Sudan, was during the Tertiary, a series of closed lake basins. Each basin occupying one of the major Sudanese rift systems (Salama, 1985a). In this paper evidence is presented for the presence of the buried saline Sudd Lake in Bahr El Arab rift. The thick Tertiary sediments filling the deep grabens were eroded from the elevated blocks; Jebel Marra, Darfur Dome, Nuba Mountains and the Nile-Congo Divide. The thick carbonate deposits existing at the faulted boundaries of Bahr El Arab defines the possible boundaries between the fresh and saline water bodies. The widespread presence of kanker nodules in the sediments was a result of continuous efflorescence, leaching and evaporative processes. The highly saline zone in the central part of the Sudd was formed through the same processes with additional sulphate being added by the oxidation of the hydrogen sulphide gases emanating from the oil fields.

  5. Extension and Basin Evolution of the East Kivu Graben, Rwanda, East African Rift: Results of New Multichannel Seismic Reflection Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Zhang, X.; Wood, D.; Mburu, D.

    2012-12-01

    The East Kivu Graben resides within the eastern part of Lake Kivu, the highest Great Lake in the western branch of the East African Rift. The lake is more than 440 m deep in the East Kivu Basin, with a catchment comprised of Precambrian metasedimentary rocks and late-Cenozoic volcanics. Lake Kivu is renowned for its uniquely stratified water column, which is charged with considerable quantities of dissolved CO2 and methane, the former due to magmatic degassing. In February and March 2012 514 km of single- and multi-channel seismic reflection data were acquired in the Rwandan waters of Lake Kivu. The 24-fold multichannel seismic data were acquired aboard a modular research vessel, using a 600 m-long hydrophone streamer and single 40 cubic inch airgun. Extension in the East Kivu basin is largely accommodated along a major N-S striking, east-dipping boundary fault observed along the eastern edge of Iwawa Island, and extending for ~40 km along the length of the basin. Numerous intrabasinal normal faults occur to the east of the boundary fault, commonly displacing the lake floor and controlling the location of modern sublacustrine channels. The deepest sedimentary reflections observed on the new MCS data are 1.2-1.5 km below lake floor, near the center of the basin and boundary fault. Crystalline basement is not observed in these deepest areas however, suggesting the presence of a substantial sedimentary section below the imaged strata. Stratal surfaces dip steeply to the west over large areas of the half-graben basin. An acoustically transparent seismic sequence up to ~25 m thick is observed at the lake floor, which overlies a pronounced erosional unconformity over much of the basin. Some intrabasinal normal faults are draped by and do not penetrate the upper sequences, indicating several generations of fault activity in the basin. The late-Pleistocene exposure surface likely correlates to the previous lake level low stage that persisted prior to volcanic damming by

  6. Surface-wave Tomography of East African Rift System using Ambient Seismic Noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, S.; Kang, T.; Baag, C.; Nyblade, A. A.

    2008-12-01

    The surface-wave tomography technique for the ambient seismic noise is applied to the east African rift system to investigate shallow crustal structures of the region. Even if the technique has been widely used in many regions to investigate crustal structure in the world, there have been difficulties in application of the technique to the east African region because of unstable data conditions of PASSCAL experiments. A meticulous check of record by record enables us of applying the technique to understand the tectonic environment of the region. The long-period data of one month showing good quality in cross-correlation results are used in this study. They are from the 1994-95 Tanzania Passive-Source Seismic Experiment for the Tanzania craton and its surrounding rift zone, and from the 2000-02 Ethiopia/Kenya Broadband Seismic Experiment and the adjacent permanent stations of the African Array for the Ethiopia rift. The Rayleigh- and Love-wave group-speed maps were inverted using LSQR algorithm for several period bands (5 - 50 s). The preliminary group-speed distribution maps yield results roughly consistent with regional geology. The tomographic images of the Tanzania region show a strong high velocity anomaly at the location corresponding to the Tanzania craton and low velocity anomalies at the surrounding rift regions. For the Ethiopia regions, the features of low velocity anomalies roughly agree with the Tertiary volcanic regions. Combining the Tanzania and Ethiopia broadband arrays, the outline of the east African rift system can be identified as the low velocity anomalies in the surface-wave tomographic results. The structural variation with depth and the feature of the regional shear-wave anisotropy of crust will be explored by converting group- speed dispersion curves into shear-wave velocity structure.

  7. Benue trough and the mid-African rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D.

    1996-01-29

    Large areas of the Anambra and Gongola basins have distinct petroleum exploration problems: a geologically persistent high geothermal gradient that promoted Cretaceous source rock maturation into the gas phase very early on; intrusive lead-zinc mineralization veins attributed to the Senonian igneous and folding event; and meteoric water-flushing along the periphery of the basins. From preliminary analysis, these basins have to be considered high risk for the discovery of commercial oil accumulations. On the other hand, the petroleum potential of the Bornu basins seems favorable. This Nigerian northernmost rift basin continues into the Kanem basin of western Chad, which has proven oil accumulations in Coniacian deltaic sands. Cretaceous paleofacies is considered to be relatively continuous throughout both basins. Paleo-geothermal history is also considered to be similar, although some igneous activity is recorded in the Bornu basin (Senonian?). There is a very real possibility of kerogen-rich non-marine basal Albo-Aptian basin fill lacustrine source rocks, as found in the Doba basin, could be present in the deepest sections of the Nigerian rift basins. Due to the depths involved, no well is expected to penetrate the incipient graben-fill stage sequences; however, possible oil migration from these tectono-stratigraphic units would certainly enhance the petroleum potential of cooler sections of the rift system. As opposed to interpreted thermogenic gas which seems to be prevalent in the Anambra basin.

  8. Rift Valley lake fish and shellfish provided brain-specific nutrition for early Homo.

    PubMed

    Broadhurst, C L; Cunnane, S C; Crawford, M A

    1998-01-01

    An abundant, balanced dietary intake of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids is an absolute requirement for sustaining the very rapid expansion of the hominid cerebral cortex during the last one to two million years. The brain contains 600 g lipid/kg, with a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid profile containing approximately equal proportions of arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency at any stage of fetal and/or infant development can result in irreversible failure to accomplish specific components of brain growth. For the past fifteen million years, the East African Rift Valley has been a unique geological environment which contains many enormous freshwater lakes. Paleoanthropological evidence clearly indicates that hominids evolved in East Africa, and that early Homo inhabited the Rift Valley lake shores. Although earlier hominid species migrated to Eurasia, modern Homo sapiens is believed to have originated in Africa between 100 and 200 thousand years ago, and subsequently migrated throughout the world. A shift in the hominid resource base towards more high-quality foods occurred approximately two million years ago; this was accompanied by an increase in relative brain size and a shift towards modern patterns of fetal and infant development. There is evidence for both meat and fish scavenging, although sophisticated tool industries and organized hunting had not yet developed. The earliest occurrences of modern H. sapiens and sophisticated tool technology are associated with aquatic resource bases. Tropical freshwater fish and shellfish have long-chain polyunsaturated lipid ratios more similar to that of the human brain than any other food source known. Consistent consumption of lacustrine foods could have provided a means of initiating and sustaining cerebral cortex growth without an attendant increase in body mass. A modest intake of fish and shellfish (6-12% total dietary energy intake) can provide more

  9. Water resource management and biodiversity conservation in the Eastern Rift Valley Lakes, Northern Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanda, P. Z.; Madulu, N. F.

    The Eastern Rift Valley Lakes of East Africa and their watersheds have gone through significant anthropogenic changes over years. Several land use pressures and overexploitations of natural resources have eroded the biological and physical systems that support those resources. The principal objective of this study was to undertake a comprehensive water resource management problem analysis in the Eastern Rift Valley Lakes so as to highlight the current state of knowledge on key environmental and biodiversity problems, institutional capacities and needs to conserve biodiversity and water resources in the respective lakes. Two stages were be involved in data collection. The first stage involved literature search in libraries and documentation centres held in various institutions. Second stage involved the main fieldwork, which aimed at collecting secondary information from regional and districts offices situated within the basins in question. Findings from this study show that trends in the growth of human population, expansion of cropland and increase in livestock population in the Eastern Rift Valley Lakes zone indicate rapid increase over the next few decades. The pressure of this rapidly increasing population on the available resources will be too great to sustain desirable livelihood in the area. Even at the current rate of population increase, water resource utilisation in and around most Rift Valley Lakes is not sustainable. The intensification of agriculture through the application of fertilisers and pesticides will lead to the soil and water pollution, as is already happening in Mang’ola and Mto wa Mbu where irrigated farming is practised. Although a number of studies have been conducted in the Eastern Rift Valley Lakes and Wetlands in the Northern Tanzania, there are still a lot of issues which have not studied adequately.

  10. Imaging the midcontinent rift beneath Lake Superior using large aperture seismic data

    SciTech Connect

    Trehu, A.; Shay, J. ); Morel-a-l'Huissier, P.; Milkereit, B. ); Meyer, R.; Jefferson, T.; Shih, X.R. ); Karl, J. ); Mereu, R.; Epili, D. ); Sexton, J.; Wendling, S. ); Hajnal, Z.; Chan, W.K. ); Hutchison, D. )

    1991-04-01

    The authors present a detailed velocity model across the 1.1 billion year old Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) in central Lake Superior. The model was derived primarily from onshore-offshore large-aperture seismic and gravity data. High velocities obtained within a highly reflective half-graben that was imaged on coincident seismic reflection data demonstrate the dominantly magic composition of the graben fill and constrain its total thickness to be at least 30 km. Strong wide-angle reflections are observed from the lower crust and Moho, indicating that the crust is thickest (55-60 km) beneath the axis of the graben. The total crustal thickness decreases rapidly to about 40 km beneath the south shore of the lake and decreases more gradually to the north. Above the Moho is a high-velocity lower crust interpreted to result from syn-rift basaltic intrusion into and/or underplating beneath the Archean lower crust. The lower crust is thickest beneath the axis of the main rift half-graben. A second region of thick lower crust is found approximately 100 km north of the axis of the rift beneath a smaller half graben that is interpreted to reflect an earlier stage of rifting. The crustal model presented here resembles recent models of some passive continental margins and is in marked contrast to many models of both active and extinct Phanerozoic continental rift zones. It demonstrates that the Moho is a dynamic feature, since the pre-rift Moho is probably within or above the high-velocity lower crust, whereas the post-rift Moho is defined as the base of this layer. In the absence of major tectonic activity, however, the Moho is very stable, since the large, abrupt variations in crustal thickness beneath the MRS have been preserved for at least a billion years.

  11. Imaging the midcontinent rift beneath Lake Superior using large aperture seismic data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trehu, Anne M.; Morel-a-l'Huissier, Patrick; Meyer, R.; Hajnal, Z.; Karl, J.; Mereu, R. F.; Sexton, J.; Shay, J.; Chan, W. K.; Epili, D.; Jefferson, T.; Shih, X. R.; Wendling, S.; Milkereit, B.; Green, A.; Hutchinson, Deborah R.

    1991-01-01

    We present a detailed velocity model across the 1.1 billion year old Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) in central Lake Superior. The model was derived primarily from onshore-offshore large-aperture seismic and gravity data. High velocities obtained within a highly reflective half-graben that was imaged on coincident seismic reflection data demonstrate the dominantly mafic composition of the graben fill and constrain its total thickness to be at least 30km. Strong wide-angle reflections are observed from the lower crust and Moho, indicating that the crust is thickest (55–60km) beneath the axis of the graben. The total crustal thickness decreases rapidly to about 40 km beneath the south shore of the lake and decreases more gradually to the north. Above the Moho is a high-velocity lower crust interpreted to result from syn-rift basaltic intrusion into and/or underplating beneath the Archean lower crust. The lower crust is thickest beneath the axis of the main rift half-graben. A second region of thick lower crust is found approximately 100km north of the axis of the rift beneath a smaller half graben that is interpreted to reflect an earlier stage of rifting. The crustal model presented here resembles recent models of some passive continental margins and is in marked contrast to many models of both active and extinct Phanerozoic continental rift zones. It demonstrates that the Moho is a dynamic feature, since the pre-rift Moho is probably within or above the high-velocity lower crust, whereas the post-rift Moho is defined as the base of this layer. In the absence of major tectonic activity, however, the Moho is very stable, since the large, abrupt variations in crustal thickness beneath the MRS have been preserved for at least a billion years.

  12. Analogy between natural gas found in lakes of rift valley system of east Africa and its allied gas in Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Fukuta, O.

    1984-09-01

    The Afar triangle in northeastern Ethiopia is where the Red Sea rift, the Carlsberg Ridge of the Indian Ocean, and the Rift Valley system of east Africa meet. In 1979, J. Welhan and H. Craig reported that hydrothermal vents at 21/sup 0/N, on the East Pacific Rise, are discharging turbid waters. Mixtures of the plumes with ambient seawater contain significant amounts of dissolved H/sub 2/ and CH/sub 4/ as well as mantel-derived /sup 3/He-rich helium. The /sup 3/He//sup 4/He ratios of rock samples obtained earlier by J. Lupton and H. Craig from the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the east Pacific Rise, are extremely high at an almost constant value of (1.3 +/- 0.2) x 10/sup -5/, which they defined as the MOR-type helium. However, the deep brines of the Red Sea contain about 1,000 times more methane than normal seawater does, according to Gold and Soter in 1980. Much evidence leads us to believe that large amounts of /sup 3/He-rich helium-bearing natural gas have been gushing out in many places of the Rift Valley of east Africa for a long time. In 1980, Gold and Soter stated that Lake Kivu, which occupies part of the East African rift valley, contains 50 million tons of dissolved methane for which there is no adequate microbial source. The Japanese Islands began to separate from the Asian continent during the early Miocene. The early Miocene was characterized by intensive volcanic activity that produced large amounts of pyroclastics and other volcanic rocks, generally called green tuff in Japan. It has been suggested that oil and gas in green tuff is derived from the upper mantle.

  13. Current kinematics and dynamics of Africa and the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D. S.; Flesch, L. M.; Calais, E.; Ghosh, A.

    2014-06-01

    Although the East African Rift System (EARS) is an archetype continental rift, the forces driving its evolution remain debated. Some contend buoyancy forces arising from gravitational potential energy (GPE) gradients within the lithosphere drive rifting. Others argue for a major role of the diverging mantle flow associated with the African Superplume. Here we quantify the forces driving present-day continental rifting in East Africa by (1) solving the depth averaged 3-D force balance equations for 3-D deviatoric stress associated with GPE, (2) inverting for a stress field boundary condition that we interpret as originating from large-scale mantle tractions, (3) calculating dynamic velocities due to lithospheric buoyancy forces, lateral viscosity variations, and velocity boundary conditions, and (4) calculating dynamic velocities that result from the stress response of horizontal mantle tractions acting on a viscous lithosphere in Africa and surroundings. We find deviatoric stress associated with lithospheric GPE gradients are ˜8-20 MPa in EARS, and the minimum deviatoric stress resulting from basal shear is ˜1.6 MPa along the EARS. Our dynamic velocity calculations confirm that a force contribution from GPE gradients alone is sufficient to drive Nubia-Somalia divergence and that additional forcing from horizontal mantle tractions overestimates surface kinematics. Stresses from GPE gradients appear sufficient to sustain present-day rifting in East Africa; however, they are lower than the vertically integrated strength of the lithosphere along most of the EARS. This indicates additional processes are required to initiate rupture of continental lithosphere, but once it is initiated, lithospheric buoyancy forces are enough to maintain rifting.

  14. Petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1991-03-01

    Ten Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) are defined and the petroleum geology is overviewed. This paper is based on proprietary exploration results derived from more than 1 million km{sup 2} of aeromagnetics, 10,520 line km of gravity profiles, 49,721 km of reflection seismic, and 50 exploration wells. The data were acquired by Exxon with partners Shell, Chevron, Elf, Conoco, Texaco, and Amax Oil Gas, Inc., during the years 1969-1989. In Niger and Chad, the West African rift subsystem includes the extensional basins of Termit, Tefidet, Tenere, Grein/Kafra, N'Djel Edji, and Bongor. These rift basins contain up to 15,000 m of Cretaceous to Cenozoic continental and marine clastics. Key exploration elements are Tertiary and Cretaceous fluvial to tidal sandstone reservoirs, Tertiary and Cretaceous marine to lacustrine shale source rocks, and seals, with traps in normal fault blocks and anticlinal closures. There are six oil discoveries in the Termit basin. In Chad and the C.A.R., the Central African rift subsystem incorporates the extensional Doba and transtensional Doseo and Salamat basins flanking the Borogop dextral wrench fault. These basins contain up to 7,500 m of chiefly Cretaceous continental clastics. Key exploration elements are Lower and Upper Cretaceous fluvial to lacustrine sandstone reservoirs, Lower Cretaceous lacustrine shale source rocks, lacustrine to flood plain shale and mudstone seals, with traps in mainly faulted anticlinal closures. There are six oil discoveries in the Doba basin and three in the Doseo basin. The studied petroleum geology in the rifts of Niger, Chad, and the C.A.R. indicates that potentially commercial volumes of oil remain to be discovered.

  15. Petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1991-08-01

    Ten Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) are defined and the petroleum geology is overviewed based on proprietary exploration results derived from more than one million km{sup 2} of aeromagnetics, 10,520 line-km of gravity profiles, 49,721 km of reflection seismic, and 50 exploration wells. The data were acquired by Exxon with partners Shell, Chevron, Elf, Conoco, Texaco, and Amax Oil Gas During 1969-1989. In Niger and Chad, the West African rift subsystem includes the extensional basins of Termit, Tefidet, Tenere, Grein/Kafra, N'Djel Edji, and Bongor. These rift basins contain up to 15,000 m of Cretaceous to Cenozoic continental and marine clastics. Key exploration elements are Tertiary and Cretaceous fluvial to tidal sandstone reservoirs, Tertiary and Cretaceous marine to lacustrine shale source rocks and seals, with traps in normal fault blocks and anticlinal closures. There have been six oil discoveries in the Termit basin. In C.A.R., the Central African rift subsystem incorporates the extensional Doba and transtensional Doseo and Salamat basins flanking the Borogop dextral wrench fault. These basins contain up to 7,500 m of chiefly Cretaceous continental clastics. key exploration elements are Lower and Upper Cretaceous fluvial to lacustrine sandstone reservoirs, Lower Cretaceous lacustrine shale source rocks, lacustrine to flood-plain shale and mudstone seals, with traps in mainly faulted anticlinal closures. There have been six oil discoveries in the Doba basin and three in the Doseo basin. The studied petroleum geology in the rifts of Niger, Chad, and C.A.R. indicates that potentially commercial volumes of oil remain to be discovered.

  16. A new brachypterous scarab species, Orphnus longicornis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Orphninae), from the East African Rift.

    PubMed

    Frolov, Andrey; Akhmetova, Lilia

    2015-11-05

    The Afrotropical Region is the center of the diversity of the scarab beetle genus Orphnus MacLeay, 1819 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Orphninae), with 94 species occurring from Sahel in the north to Little Karoo in the south (Paulian, 1948; Petrovitz, 1971; Frolov, 2008). The East African Rift is one of the richest regions of the Afrotropics housing more than 20 species of Orphnus (Paulian, 1948; Frolov, 2013), most of which are endemic to this region. Yet the scarab beetle fauna of the East African Rift, and especially the Eastern Arc Mountains, is still inadequately studied. Examination of the material housed in the Museum of Natural History of Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany (ZMHUB), revealed a series of brachypterous Orphnus beetles belonging to an undescribed species. The new species is described and illustrated below.

  17. Differentiating climatic- and tectonic-controlled lake margin in rift system: example of the Plio-Quaternary Nachukui Formation, Turkana depression, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexis, Nutz; Mathieu, Schuster; Abdoulaye, Balde; Jean-Loup, Rubino

    2016-04-01

    The Turkana Depression is part of the eastern branch of the East African Rift System. This area consists of several Oligo-Pliocene north-south oriented half-grabens that connect the Ethiopian and Kenyan rift valleys. Exposed on the west side of the Lake Turkana, the Nachukui Formation represents a Plio-Quaternary syn-rift succession mainly outcropping near the border fault of the North Lake basin. This Formation consists of a > 700 m thick fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine sediments deposited in this area between 4.2 and 0.5 Ma. In this contribution, we present preliminary results from the investigation of the complete succession based on field geology. Facies description and sequence analyses are provided focusing on lake margin evolution through time and deciphering their controlling factors. Two main types of facies association can be distinguished in the Nachukui Fm and reveal two main types of lake margins that alternatively developed in the Turkana basin. Type-1 is characterized by thick conglomeratic proximal alluvial fan fining laterally from the border fault to the central portion of the lake to gravelly distal alluvial fan. Conglomerate and gravel beds display recurrent wave reworking (ripples, clasts sorting, open-work), as well as intercalated shells placer and stromatolites beds. Laterally, facies rapidly grade to offshore siliciclastic muds. These facies are interpreted as aggrading and prograding coarse fan deltas that entered directly in the lake. Their subaqueous parts were then affected by waves and allowed the development of shell placers and stromatolite reefs. This facies association is generally included in thick packages representing long-term prograding trends of several hundred thousand years duration (> 500 ka). Type-2 is characterized by poorly developed alluvial fan near the border fault, rapidly grading laterally to a fluvial plain and then to well-developed wave-dominated coast (beaches, washover fans, coastal wedges), finally connected to

  18. Opaline cherts associated with sublacustrine hydrothermal springs at Lake Bogoria, Kenya Rift valley

    SciTech Connect

    Renaut, R.W.; Owen, R.B.

    1988-08-01

    An unusual group of cherts found at saline, alkaline Lake Bogoria in the Kenya Rift differs from the Magadi-type cherts commonly associated with saline, alkaline lakes. The cherts are opaline, rich in diatoms, and formed from a siliceous, probably gelatinous, precursor that precipitated around submerged alkaline hot springs during a Holocene phase of high lake level. Silica precipitation resulted from rapid drop in the temperature of the spring waters and, possibly, pH. Lithification began before subaerial exposure. Ancient analogous cherts are likely to be localized deposits along fault lines.

  19. Fault kinematics and tectonic stress in the seismically active Manyara Dodoma Rift segment in Central Tanzania Implications for the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macheyeki, Athanas S.; Delvaux, Damien; De Batist, Marc; Mruma, Abdulkarim

    2008-07-01

    The Eastern Branch of the East African Rift System is well known in Ethiopia (Main Ethiopian Rift) and Kenya (Kenya or Gregory Rift) and is usually considered to fade away southwards in the North Tanzanian Divergence, where it splits into the Eyasi, Manyara and Pangani segments. Further towards the south, rift structures are more weakly expressed and this area has not attracted much attention since the mapping and exploratory works of the 1950s. In November 4, 2002, an earthquake of magnitude Mb = 5.5 struck Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania. Analysis of modern digital relief, seismological and geological data reveals that ongoing tectonic deformation is presently affecting a broad N-S trending belt, extending southward from the North Tanzanian Divergence to the region of Dodoma, forming the proposed "Manyara-Dodoma Rift segment". North of Arusha-Ngorongoro line, the rift is confined to a narrow belt (Natron graben in Tanzania) and south of it, it broadens into a wide deformation zone which includes both the Eyasi and Manyara grabens. The two-stage rifting model proposed for Kenya and North Tanzania also applies to the Manyara-Dodoma Rift segment. In a first stage, large, well-expressed topographic and volcanogenic structures were initiated in the Natron, Eyasi and Manyara grabens during the Late Miocene to Pliocene. From the Middle Pleistocene onwards, deformations related to the second rifting stage propagated southwards to the Dodoma region. These young structures have still limited morphological expressions compared to the structures formed during the first stage. However, they appear to be tectonically active as shown by the high concentration of moderate earthquakes into earthquake swarms, the distribution of He-bearing thermal springs, the morphological freshness of the fault scarps, and the presence of open surface fractures. Fault kinematic and paleostress analysis of geological fault data in basement rocks along the active fault lines show that recent

  20. Multiproxy Evidence for a Positive Hydrological Budget during the Little Ice Age in the East African Rift, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goman, M.; Ashley, G. M.; Hover, V. C.; Owen, R.

    2011-12-01

    Hominin evolution took place in Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene and climate change is thought to be a factor, with Africa experiencing a general cooling and increasing aridification over the last several million years. Today, the climate of the East African Rift Valley of Kenya is characterized as semi-arid with evapotranspiration four times precipitation. Water resources are a valuable commodity for the many millions of inhabitants of the Valley. The short instrumental record shows precipitation fluctuates at sub-decadal timeframes as a result of the ENSO cycle; while during prehistory variations in monsoonal precipitation occurred on Milankovitch timescales (i.e. African Humid Period). Both timescales exhibit significant impacts on the distribution of surface water. However, little is known regarding precipitation variability over sub-millennial timescales. Emerging paleoclimate data indicates that the near surface presence of water has also varied over century length timescales. We present paleoclimate data from multiple sites along a north-south 600 km transect of the Gregory Rift Valley (Kenya) that indicate the region experienced wetter conditions during the Little Ice Age (A.D. 1400-1850). Our reconstructions of landscape and climate during this time frame rely upon a multiproxy and interdisciplinary approach. We discuss data from a variety of environmental settings (e.g. lakes, wetlands, and springs) that indicate an overall increase in hydrologic balance. Evidence is derived from biologic microfossils such as pollen, diatom and testate amoebae assemblages as well as inorganic components of the sedimentary record and geomorphic changes. The data differs significantly from studies undertaken to the west in Uganda and the Congo, where negative hydrologic balances occurred during the Little Ice Age. While the atmospheric dynamics causing this disparity are not yet recognized, interactions between the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the Congo Air Boundary

  1. Evolution of the Lake Victoria basin in the context of coeval rift initiation in East Africa: a 3D numerical model approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wichura, Henry; Quinteros, Javier; Melnick, Daniel; Brune, Sascha; Schwanghart, Wolfgang; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-04-01

    Over the last four years sedimentologic and thermochronologic studies in the western and eastern branches of the Cenozoic East African Rift System (EARS) have supported the notion of a broadly contemporaneous onset of normal faulting and rift-basin formation in both segments. These studies support previous interpretations based on geophysical investigations from which an onset of rifting during the Paleogene had been postulated. In light of these studies we explore the evolution of the Lake Victoria basin, a shallow, unfaulted sedimentary basin centered between both branches of the EARS and located in the interior of the East African Plateau (EAP). We quantify the fluvial catchment evolution of the Lake Victoria basin and assess the topographic response of African crust to the onset of rifting in both branches. Furthermore, we evaluate and localize the nature of strain and flexural rift-flank uplift in both branches. We use a 3D numerical forward model that includes nonlinear temperature- and stress-dependent elasto-visco-plastic rheology. The model is able to reproduce the flexural response of variably thick lithosphere to rift-related deformation processes such as lithospheric thinning and asthenospheric upwelling. The model domain covers the entire EAP and integrates extensional processes in a heterogeneous, yet cold and thick cratonic block (Archean Tanzania craton), which is surrounded by mechanically weaker Proterozoic mobile belts, which are characterized by thinner lithosphere ("thin spots"). The lower limits of the craton (170 km) and the mobile belts (120 km) are simulated by different depths of the 1300 °C lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. We assume a constant extension rate of 4 mm/a throughout the entire simulation of 30 Ma and neglect the effect of dynamic topography and magmatism. Even though the model setup is very simple and the resolution is not high enough to calculate realistic rift-flank uplift, it intriguingly reveals important topographic

  2. Sedimentary budgets of the Tanzania coastal basin and implications for uplift history of the East African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Said, Aymen; Moder, Christoph; Clark, Stuart; Abdelmalak, Mohamed Mansour

    2015-11-01

    Data from 23 wells were used to quantify the sedimentary budgets in the Tanzania coastal basin in order to unravel the uplift chronology of the sourcing area located in the East African Rift System. We quantified the siliciclastic sedimentary volumes preserved in the Tanzania coastal basin corrected for compaction and in situ (e.g., carbonates) production. We found that the drainage areas, which supplied sediments to this basin, were eroded in four episodes: (1) during the middle Jurassic, (2) during the Campanian-Palaeocene, (3) during the middle Eocene and (4) during the Miocene. Three of these high erosion and sedimentation periods are more likely related to uplift events in the East African Rift System and earlier rift shoulders and plume uplifts. Indeed, rapid cooling in the rift system and high denudation rates in the sediment source area are coeval with these recorded pulses. However, the middle Eocene pulse was synchronous with a fall in the sea level, a climatic change and slow cooling of the rift flanks and thus seems more likely due to climatic and eustatic variations. We show that the rift shoulders of the East African rift system have inherited their present relief from at least three epeirogenic uplift pulses of middle Jurassic, Campanian-Palaeocene, and Miocene ages.

  3. Mercury in fish from three rift valley lakes (Turkana, Naivasha and Baringo), Kenya, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Campbell, L M; Osano, O; Hecky, R E; Dixon, D G

    2003-01-01

    Total mercury (THg) concentrations were measured for various fish species from Lakes Turkana, Naivasha and Baringo in the rift valley of Kenya. The highest THg concentration (636 ng g(-1) wet weight) was measured for a piscivorous tigerfish Hydrocynus forskahlii from Lake Turkana. THg concentrations for the Perciformes species, the Nile perch Lates niloticus from Lake Turkana and the largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides from Lake Naivasha ranged between 4 and 95 ng g(-1). The tilapiine species in all lakes, including the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, had consistently low THg concentrations ranging between 2 and 25 ng g(-1). In Lake Naivasha, the crayfish species, Procambrus clarkii, had THg concentrations similar to those for the tilapiine species from the same lake, which is consistent with their shared detritivore diet. THg concentrations in all fish species were usually consistent with their known trophic position, with highest concentrations in piscivores and declining in omnivores, insectivores and detritivores. One exception is the detritivore Labeo cylindricus from Lake Baringo, which had surprisingly elevated THg concentrations (mean=75 ng g(-1)), which was similar to those for the top trophic species (Clarias and Protopterus) in the same lake. Except for two Hydrocynus forskahlii individuals from Lake Turkana, which had THg concentrations near or above the international marketing limit of 500 ng g(-1), THg concentrations in the fish were generally below those of World Health Organization's recommended limit of 200 ng g(-1) for at-risk groups.

  4. Transient groundwater-lake interactions in a continental rift: Sea of Galilee, Israel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hurwitz, S.; Stanislavsky, E.; Lyakhovsky, V.; Gvirtzman, H.

    2000-01-01

    The Sea of Galilee, located in the northern part of the Dead Sea rift, is currently an intermediate fresh-water lake. It is postulated that during a short highstand phase of former Lake Lisan in the late Pleistocene, saline water percolated into the subsurface. Since its recession from the Kinarot basin and the instantaneous formation of the fresh-water lake (the Sea of Galilee), the previously intruded brine has been flushed backward toward the lake. Numerical simulations solving the coupled equations of fluid flow and of solute and heat transport are applied to examine the feasibility of this hypothesis. A sensitivity analysis shows that the major parameters controlling basin hydrodynamics are lake-water salinity, aquifer permeability, and aquifer anisotropy. Results show that a highstand period of 3000 yr in Lake Lisan was sufficient for saline water to percolate deep into the subsurface. Because of different aquifer permeabilities on both sides of the rift, brine percolated into a aquifers on the western margin, whereas percolation was negligible on the eastern side. In the simulation, after the occupation of the basin by the Sea of Galilee, the invading saline water was leached backward by a topography-driven flow. It is suggested that the percolating brine on the western side reacted with limestone at depth to form epigenetic dolomite at elevated temperatures. Therefore, groundwater discharging along the western shores of the Sea of Galilee has a higher calcium to magnesium ratio than groundwater on the eastern side.

  5. Parameters influencing the location and characteristics of volcanic eruptions in a youthful extensional setting: Insights from the Virunga Volcanic Province, in the Western Branch of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, Benoît; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, Matthieu; Kervyn, François

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is often mentioned as the modern archetype for rifting and continental break-up (Calais et al., 2006, GSL Special Publication 259), showing the complex interaction between rift faults, magmatism and pre-existing structures of the basement. Volcanism in the EARS is characterized by very active volcanoes, several of them being among the most active on Earth (Wright et al., 2015, GRL 42). Such intense volcanic activity provides useful information to study the relationship between rifting, magmatism and volcanism. This is the case of the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) located in the central part of the Western Branch of the EARS, which hosts two of the most active African volcanoes, namely Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira. Despite the intense eruptive activity in the VVP, the spatial distribution of volcanism and its relationship with the extensional setting remain little known. Here we present a study of the interaction between tectonics, magmatism and volcanism at the scale of the Kivu rift section, where the VVP is located, and at the scale of a volcano, by studying the dense historical eruptive activity of Nyamulagira. Both the complex Precambrian basement and magmatism appear to contribute to the development of the Kivu rift. The presence of transfer zones north and south of the Lake Kivu rift basin favoured the development of volcanic provinces at these locations. Rift faults, including reactivated Precambrian structures influenced the location of volcanism within the volcanic provinces and the rift basin. At a more local scale, the historical eruptive activity of Nyamulagira highlights that, once a composite volcano developed, the gravitational stress field induced by edifice loading becomes the main parameter that influence the location, duration and lava volume of eruptions.

  6. Evolution of Lake Turkana level at the end of the African Humid Period: modalities and forcings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nutz, A.; Schuster, M.

    2015-12-01

    The African Humid Period (AHP), ca. 11,000 to 5,000 years ago, is a major phase that had significant impacts on the environments, ecosystems, and human occupation of Africa over several millennia. One of the most marked aspects stemming from an increase in rainfall during this climate period was the creation of numerous regional lakes and the recording of highstands for these waterbodies. The termination of the AHP is known to have been time-transgressive depending on the location, being either abrupt or gradual, thereby highlighting the complex interaction among multiple forcings and responses. Lake Turkana is one of the great lakes of the East African Rift where chronology of the AHP termination has already been investigated. In this study, the delta complex of the Turkwel River is analyzed using trajectory analysis in order to provide modalities of lake level decline during that time. Trajectories reveal six slightly descending (slope gradient: >0° to 0.4°) plateaus separated by four abrupt steps having higher slope gradients (1° to 3.8°). These abrupt steps reveal repeated short-lived strong increases in the rate of lake level decline that are superimposed on the relatively steady lake level decrease characterizing this period. This marks a stepwise forced regression at the end of the AHP in the Lake Turkana. We correlate the short-lived increases in the rate of lake level decline with short-lived abrupt decreases of solar irradiance. Through the termination of the AHP, the abrupt decreases in solar irradiance modulated the continuous precessional-based reduction of solar insulation that drastically impacted monsoon activity (i.e. rainfall) and led to variations in lake levels as a response. This suggests that short-term solar variability is able to modulate longer-term orbitally-driven climate trends having significant impacts in terms of hydrology and the regional continental environments.

  7. Influence of the African Great Lakes on the regional climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiery, Wim; Davin, Edouard; Panitz, Hans-Jürgen; Demuzere, Matthias; Lhermitte, Stef; van Lipzig, Nicole

    2015-04-01

    Although the African Great Lakes are important regulators for the East-African climate, their influence on atmospheric dynamics and the regional hydrological cycle remains poorly understood. We aim to assess this impact by conducting a regional climate model simulation which resolves individual lakes and explicitly computes lake temperatures. The regional climate model COSMO-CLM, coupled to a state-of-the-art lake parameterization scheme and land surface model, is used to dynamically downscale the COSMO-CLM CORDEX-Africa evaluation simulation to 7 km grid spacing for the period 1999-2008. Evaluation of the model reveals good performance compared to both in-situ and satellite observations, especially for spatio-temporal variability of lake surface temperatures and precipitation. Model integrations indicate that the four major African Great Lakes almost double precipitation amounts over their surface relative to a simulation without lakes, but hardly exert any influence on precipitation beyond their shores. The largest lakes also cool their near-surface air, this time with pronounced downwind influence. The lake-induced cooling happens during daytime, when the lakes absorb incoming solar radiation and inhibit upward turbulent heat transport. At night, when this heat is released, the lakes warm the near-surface air. Furthermore, Lake Victoria has profound influence on atmospheric dynamics and stability as it induces cellular motion with over-lake convective inhibition during daytime, and the reversed pattern at night. Overall, this study shows the added value of resolving individual lakes and realistically representing lake surface temperatures for climate studies in this region. Thiery, W., Davin, E., Panitz, H.-J., Demuzere, M., Lhermitte, S., van Lipzig, N.P.M., The impact of the African Great Lakes on the regional climate, J. Climate (in review).

  8. Spatial variation of primordial 3-He in crustal fluids along the East-African Rift system (the Ethiopian and the Kenya Rift section)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griesshaber, E.; Weise, S.; Darling, G.

    1994-01-01

    (3)He/(4)He compositions are presented for groundwater samples from the Ethiopian segment of the East-Afrikan Rift and from its northern extension, the adjacent Afar region (Djibuti). Helium isotope data are compared to those obtained previously from the Gregory Rift, south of Ethiopia. The distribution pattern of mantle-derived volatiles along the entire East-African-Rift (-from south Kenya to Djibuti-) is discussed and their sources are identified. Helium isotope ratios (R) for samples from the Ethiopian part of the Rift range from 6.3 to 16.0 times the atmospheric ratio (Ra=1.4 x 10(exp -6) and thus show together with a MOR component a considerable hotspot helium component. These mantle helium concentrations are comparable to those observed in groundwaters and volcanic rocks from the Afar plume region in Djibuti. Here R/Ra values range from 9 to 13 times the atmospheric composition, with mantle-derived helium concentrations being higher than at spreading ocean ridges. R/Ra values from Ethiopia and Djibuti are entirely different from those observed in groundwaters at the southerly extending Gregory Rift in Kenya, where R/Ra values scatter between 0.5 and 6. At the northernmost part of the Gregory Rift, close to Ethiopia mantle helium contents are slightly higher, with R/Ra-values varying between 6.5 and 8.0.

  9. Hydrothermal petroleum from lacustrine sedimentary organic matter in the East African Rift.

    PubMed

    Simoneit, B R; Aboul-Kassim, T A; Tiercelin, J J

    2000-03-01

    Cape Kalamba oil seeps occur at the south end of the Ubwari Peninsula, at the intersection of faults controlling the morphology of the northern basin of the Tanganyika Rift, East Africa. Oil samples collected at the surface of the lake 3-4 km offshore from Cape Kalamba have been studied. The aliphatic hydrocarbon and biomarker compositions, with the absence of the typical suite of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, indicate an origin from hydrothermal alteration of immature microbial biomass in the sediments. These data show a similarity between a tar sample from the beach and the petroleum from the oil seeps, and confirm that the source of these oils is from organic matter consisting mainly of bacterial and degraded algal biomass, altered by hydrothermal activity. The compositions also demonstrate a < 200 degrees C temperature for formation/generation of this hydrothermal petroleum, similar to the fluid temperature identified for the Pemba hydrothermal site located 150 km north of Cape Kalamba. The 14C age of 25.6 ka B.P. obtained for the tar ball suggests that Pleistocene lake sediments could be the source rock. Hydrothermal generation may have occurred slightly before 25 ka B.P., during a dry climatic environment, when the lake level was lower than today. These results also suggest that the Cape Kalamba hydrothermal activity did not occur in connection with an increased flux of meteoric water, higher water tables and lake levels as demonstrated in the Kenya Rift and for the Pemba site. Hydrothermal petroleum formation is a facile process also in continental rift systems and should be considered in exploration for energy resources in such locales. PMID:17654787

  10. Hydrothermal petroleum from lacustrine sedimentary organic matter in the East African Rift.

    PubMed

    Simoneit, B R; Aboul-Kassim, T A; Tiercelin, J J

    2000-03-01

    Cape Kalamba oil seeps occur at the south end of the Ubwari Peninsula, at the intersection of faults controlling the morphology of the northern basin of the Tanganyika Rift, East Africa. Oil samples collected at the surface of the lake 3-4 km offshore from Cape Kalamba have been studied. The aliphatic hydrocarbon and biomarker compositions, with the absence of the typical suite of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, indicate an origin from hydrothermal alteration of immature microbial biomass in the sediments. These data show a similarity between a tar sample from the beach and the petroleum from the oil seeps, and confirm that the source of these oils is from organic matter consisting mainly of bacterial and degraded algal biomass, altered by hydrothermal activity. The compositions also demonstrate a < 200 degrees C temperature for formation/generation of this hydrothermal petroleum, similar to the fluid temperature identified for the Pemba hydrothermal site located 150 km north of Cape Kalamba. The 14C age of 25.6 ka B.P. obtained for the tar ball suggests that Pleistocene lake sediments could be the source rock. Hydrothermal generation may have occurred slightly before 25 ka B.P., during a dry climatic environment, when the lake level was lower than today. These results also suggest that the Cape Kalamba hydrothermal activity did not occur in connection with an increased flux of meteoric water, higher water tables and lake levels as demonstrated in the Kenya Rift and for the Pemba site. Hydrothermal petroleum formation is a facile process also in continental rift systems and should be considered in exploration for energy resources in such locales.

  11. Fault-related Soil Efflux of Mantle-derived CO2 in the Magadi and Natron Basins, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Muirhead, J.; Fischer, T. P.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Thomas, N.; Kianji, G.; Onguso, B.; Maqway, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    The Magadi (Kenya) and Natron (Tanzania) basins of the East African Rift are in an early stage (< 7 Ma) of continental rifting. The many normal faults observed in these areas create sediment-filled basins and a large number of alkaline springs feed water into two major lakes (Lake Magadi and Natron). Earthquake swarms reported in 1998 (Magadi) and 2007 (Natron) were accompanied by surface ruptures. Although CO2 is a major component of magmatic volatiles and fault-related fluids that may facilitate earthquakes and fault weakening, the soil CO2 efflux of continental rifts is poorly known. Here, we report soil CO2 flux rates measured in the Magadi and Natron basins, and carbon isotope values (δ13C, ‰ vs. PDB) to constrain CO2sources. Soil CO2 fluxes were measured at fault zones, horsts, grabens, and surface ruptures by EGM-4 (PP systems) with a gas accumulation chamber. A t-shaped connector with a needle was used for gas sampling into evacuated glass vials with a rubber septum. δ13C values were measured by isotope ratio mass spectrometer with a gas bench at the stable isotope laboratory, University of New Mexico. The fault zones in the Magadi basin have higher maximum CO2 flux rates (< 533.52 g m-2 d-1) and heavier δ13C values (< -3.8 ‰) than the Natron basin (< 147.12 g m-2 d-1 and < -6.2 ‰, respectively). In both areas, soil CO2 efflux is insignificant (< 10 g m-2 d-1) in both horsts and the middle of grabens with lighter δ 13C values (~ -10 ‰) likely resulting from significant air contribution. The highest CO2 flux rates (< 919.44 g m-2 d-1) were measured at recent surface ruptures, but they have lighter δ13C values (-10 to -15 ‰), implying significant air and biogenic C contributions. Our results indicate that (1) normal faults are pathways that deliver mantle-derived CO2 to the surface, (2) the Magadi basin exhibits greater mantle-derived CO2 than the Natron basin, and (3) recent ruptures are zones of shallow CO2 degassing.

  12. What the volcanism of the East African Rift tells us on its evolution and dynamics: a reappraisal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michon, Laurent

    2015-04-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is one of the most studied tectonic structures on Earth. Classically, it is described as extending from Afar in the North to the Malawi rift in the South, along the eastern and western branches, respectively. A widely accepted consensus also exists on two main points: 1- the rift initiated first with plume emplacement below the northern part of the eastern branch and 2- extension and volcanism subsequently migrated southward along the western branch (e.g., Ebinger, 1989). However, an increasing amount of new geochronological data on the volcanic activity in the southern part of the East African Rift tends to weaken these interpretations and imposes a reassessment of the rift dynamics. The volcanic activity being one of the main characteristics of this rift, I use it here to determine the lateral extension of the rift system and to assess the rift activity through times. First, the volcanism unambiguously indicates that the rift is not limited to the African continent but can be traced in the Mozambique Channel and in Madagascar where it is closely related to active tectonics (graben and transfer faults) initiated since at least the Miocene. Moreover, the synthesis of more than 800 published geochronological data of volcanic products distributed over the overal East African Rift allows the distinction of two parts. The first part, the Northern EAR, corresponds to the sole eastern branch, which is characterized by volcanic plateaus resulting from huge magma flux during three main periods (32-28, 18-12, 6-0 Ma). Provinces of the second part, the Southern EAR (the western branch, the Mozambique Channel and Madagascar), share rift-related scattered volcanic centres characterized by coeval periods of activity since the Oligocene (28-24, 20-16 and 12-0 Ma). This synthesis highlights the lack of southward migration of the volcanism during the evolution of the East African Rift and instead reveals the almost synchronous development of the

  13. Sismotectonics in the western branch of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Kervyn, François; Mulumba, Jean-Luc; Kipata, Louis; Sebagenzi, Stanislas; Mavonga, Georges; Macheyeki, Athanas; Temu, Elly Bryan

    2013-04-01

    The western branch of the East African rift system is known of its particular seismic activity with larger magnitude (up to Ms 7.3) and more frequent destructive earthquakes than in the eastern branch. As a contribution to the IGCP 601 project Seismotectonic Map of Africa, we compiled the known active faults, thermal springs and historical seismicity in Central Africa. Using the rich archives of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, publications and own field observations, we present a compilation of available data relative to the current seismotectonic activity along the western branch of the East African rift system, in DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. Neotectonic activity related to the western rift branch is in general well expressed and relatively well studied in the eastern flank of this rift branch, in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. In contrast, the western flank of this rift branch, largely exposed in the DRC, has attracted less attention. However, data collected during the colonial times show significant sismotectonic activity in East DRC, not only in the western flank of the western rift branch, but extending far westwards up to the margin of the Congo basin. In particular, our predecessors paid a special attention to the mapping and description of thermal springs, noticing that they are often controlled by active faults. In addition, the operators of the relatively dense network of meteorological stations installed in the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi also recorded were with variable level of completeness and detail the earthquakes that they could felt. This provides a rich database that is used to complete the existing knowledge on historical seismicity. An important effort has still to be paid to identify and map potentially active fault due to poor field accessibility, tropical climate weathering and vegetation coverage. The main problem in the compilation of active fault data is that very few of them have been investigated by paleoseismic trenching

  14. Multi Scale Imaging of Seismic Structure beneath the Western Branch of the East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakovlev, A.; Rumpker, G.; Koulakov, I.

    2010-12-01

    In this study, we investigate the crustal and upper mantle velocity structure beneath the East African Rift System (EARS) as a whole and beneath the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda in particular. The most interesting features here is the mountain range of approximately 50 km-wide, with a length of about 150 km, which is situated within the western branch of the East African rift zone and reaches the altitudes of more than 5000 m. The joint tomographic inversion was used to investigate the velocity structure beneath the Rwenzoris on a local scale down to the depth of about 75 - 80 km. Arrival times from 2053 local and 284 teleseismic earthquakes recorded by a temporary network equipped 35 short period and broad-band stations were used as an input for the joint tomographic inversion. The network is covering an area of 140×90 km2. To estimate resolution ability and stability of the obtained results we performed many different tests. The tests show that the best horizontal resolution is achieved in the northern part of the study area, where the density of the ray coverage is highest. In shallow depths where local earthquake rays dominate, the vertical and horizontal resolution is relatvely high, while in deeper sections covered with teleseismic rays, the anomalies seem to be strongly smeared and can be interpreted only on a qualitative level. Velocity structure in the upper crust agrees with the distribution of the main geological units, such as sedimentary basins, igneous outcrops, thermal fields etc. For the uppermost mantle, our results reveal an inclined boundary between the high-velocity Tanzania craton and low-velocity patterns beneath the rift. The same position of the contact between craton and rift zone was obtained in the regional tomographic study of the EARS as a whole. This regional study was based on the ISC data, which contains information about arrival times of signals from earthquakes at more than 7000 stations of the global seismological network

  15. The water balance of the East African Great Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Xungang

    The East African Great Lakes are important indicators of climatic and environmental change in an area where standard meteorological data are scarce. Three large lakes, Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi are studied in order to build water balance relations between lake level and over-lake rainfall. By analyzing the satellite observations, the characteristics of the regional and mesoscale circulations are studied through analysis of convective activity and cloudiness over the lakes. Using a regression approach, the relationship between catchment rainfall and cold cloud frequency is found. Assuming the same convective mechanism operates for each lake and its catchment, the over-lake rainfall is calculated using the catchment rainfall, which has long records. Evaporation is estimated for each lake by energy-budget and Penman methods and a sensitivity study is also carried out. The available tributary inflow and lake outflow data of Lake Victoria are expressed by rainfall and lake level terms. For Lake Victoria, the water balance model is reformulated as a lake level model. The model is first used to predict the lake level changes as a validation. Then it is inverted so that the over-lake rainfall can be reconstructed from known lake levels in both modern times and historical times. In modern times, the precision is on the order of 1% for the calculated mean rainfall and a few percent for the calculated annual rainfall.

  16. Geodynamic significance of the TRM segment in the East African Rift: active tectonics and paleostress in western Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, D.; Kervyn, F.; Macheyeki, A. S.; Temu, E. B.

    2012-04-01

    The Tanganyika-Rukwa-Malawi (TRM) rift segment in western Tanzania is a key sector for understanding the opening dynamics of the East African rift system (EARS). In an oblique opening model, it is considered as a dextral transfer fault zone that accommodates the general opening of the EARS in a NW-SE direction. In an orthogonal opening model, it accommodates pure dip-slip normal faulting with extension orthogonal to the rift segments and a general E-W extension for the entire EARS. We investigated the active tectonic architecture and paleostress evolution of the Ufipa plateau and adjacent Rukwa basin and in order to define their geodynamic role in the development of the EARS and highlight their pre-rift brittle tectonic history. The active fault architecture, fault-kinematic analysis and paleostress reconstruction show that the recent to active fault systems that control the rift structure develop in a pure extensional setting with extension direction orthogonal to the trend of the TRM segment. Two pre-rift brittle events are evidenced. An older brittle thrusting is related to the interaction between the Bangweulu block and the Tanzanian craton during the late Pan-African (early Paleozoic). It was followed by a transpressional inversion during the early Mesozoic. This inversion stage caused dextral strike-slip faulting along the fault systems that now control the major rift structures. It has been erroneously interpreted as related to the late Cenozoic EARS which instead is characterized by pure normal faulting.

  17. Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Eruptive Activity in a Youthful Extensional Setting: the Case of the Nyamulagira Volcanic Field, Western Branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, B.; Kervyn, M.; d'Oreye, N.; Kervyn, F.

    2014-12-01

    Nyamulagira is the westernmost volcano of the Virunga volcanic province, in the western branch of the East African Rift. This shield volcano is one of the most active African volcanoes with one eruption every 1-4 year(s). Nyamulagira's eruptions usually occur along the flanks of the main edifice and in the lava plain, producing pyroclastic cone(s) and 10-20 km-long lava flows. Between 1913 and 1938, the activity was however restricted to the summit caldera, where lava fountains progressively gave birth to a lava lake, which disappeared in 1938 during the partial collapse of the summit caldera and the onset of a 2.5 years-long flank eruption. The location of flank eruptions and the orientation of the eruptive fissures are strongly influenced by the edifice loading, and by the NNW-SSE fracture network that crosses the main edifice and link it to the neighboring Nyiragongo volcano. But rift fault can also influence fissure orientations and cone alignments, especially for distal events. The flank eruptions typically have similar characteristics, lasting few days to few weeks, with an average of 20-30 days. Less frequently, flank eruptions can be larger and more complex, lasting several months and/or emitting much larger volumes of lava. By combining historical and recent observations, we suggest that magma overpressure at shallow depth is the main cause of flank events. Major eruptions seem to be related to a deeper source able to trigger large magma injections through deep structures, such as rift faults. Since April 2012, the activity of Nyamulagira is restricted to the summit caldera, with continuous and intense gas emissions and, since mid-2014, by lava fountains. This change in eruptive behavior, if it persists, may leads to the emergence of a new lava lake and may significantly decreases the frequency of flank events

  18. Do melt-rich shear zones lubricate rift flanks? 3-D spatial gradients in anisotropy beneath the East African Rift in Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holtzman, B. K.; Gaherty, J. B.; Kendall, J.; Stuart, G.

    2006-12-01

    Melt-enhanced weakening of the mantle may be essential for a continent to break apart and rift. A primary means of understanding this aspect of the dynamics of rifting (and other geodynamic settings) is the interpretation of seismic anisotropy in terms of melt distribution and/or mantle flow direction. In recent rock- deformation experiments, the relationships between flow direction and seismic fast direction are complicated by the presence of water (e.g. Katayama et al., 2004) and segregated melt (Holtzman et al. 2003). In the latter, deviatoric stress drives melt to organize into networks of melt-rich shear zones. Scaling from laboratory to upper mantle conditions predicts characteristic network spacings of <1 km, less than wavelengths of measured seismic waves; thus they should cause significant seismic anisotropy. Measurable gradients in anisotropy may be diagnostic indicators of gradients in melt segregation. Because melt-rich shear zones will weaken the mantle on a large scale, the presence of such anisotropy gradients would map to gradients in viscosity. To map melt distribution beneath the rift and test for the presence or absence of this process, we combine measurements of seismic velocities beneath the East African Rift in Ethiopia with modeling of elastic properties of aligned, segregated melt and olivine fabric. Analysis of SKS phases has shown that fast directions parallel magmatic centers in the rift and splitting magnitudes are largest near the rift flanks, consistent with the hypothesis above (e.g. Kendall et al., 2006). Preliminary analysis of Love-Rayleigh differential times across the rift are consistent with a vertical fast axis, suggesting the presence of a vertically aligned, rift parallel melt phase down to the solidus (Pilidou et al., 2005). We expand on these results by applying a cross-correlation procedure to precisely estimate relative amplitude and phase of surface waves traversing the rift. Data are derived from the EAGLE and Ethiopia

  19. Evolution of the East African rift: Drip magmatism, lithospheric thinning and mafic volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furman, Tanya; Nelson, Wendy R.; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.

    2016-07-01

    The origin of the Ethiopian-Yemeni Oligocene flood basalt province is widely interpreted as representing mafic volcanism associated with the Afar mantle plume head, with minor contributions from the lithospheric mantle. We reinterpret the geochemical compositions of primitive Oligocene basalts and picrites as requiring a far more significant contribution from the metasomatized subcontinental lithospheric mantle than has been recognized previously. This region displays the fingerprints of mantle plume and lithospheric drip magmatism as predicted from numerical models. Metasomatized mantle lithosphere is not dynamically stable, and heating above the upwelling Afar plume caused metasomatized lithosphere with a significant pyroxenite component to drip into the asthenosphere and melt. This process generated the HT2 lavas observed today in restricted portions of Ethiopia and Yemen now separated by the Red Sea, suggesting a fundamental link between drip magmatism and the onset of rifting. Coeval HT1 and LT lavas, in contrast, were not generated by drip melting but instead originated from shallower, dominantly anhydrous peridotite. Looking more broadly across the East African Rift System in time and space, geochemical data support small volume volcanic events in Turkana (N. Kenya), Chyulu Hills (S. Kenya) and the Virunga province (Western Rift) to be derived ultimately from drip melting. The removal of the gravitationally unstable, metasomatized portion of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle via dripping is correlated in each case with periods of rapid uplift. The combined influence of thermo-mechanically thinned lithosphere and the Afar plume together thus controlled the locus of continental rift initiation between Africa and Arabia and provide dynamic support for the Ethiopian plateau.

  20. InSAR Observations of Magmatic Processes in the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biggs, Juliet; Anthony, Elizabeth; Ebinger, Cynthia; Amelung, Falk; Gourmelen, Noel

    2010-05-01

    The role of magma in accommodating extension and it's relationship to fault-based extension in continental rifting is poorly understood. Here we present observations of the temporal and spatial evolution of surface displacements resulting from magmatic processes in the East African Rift. A systematic InSAR surveys have detected geodetic activity at six of the volcanoes in the East African Rift. In Kenya, subsidence of 2-5 cm occurred at Suswa and Menengai during 1997-2000, ~9cm of uplift at Longonot in 2004-2006 and ~21 cm of uplift at Paka during 2006-2007. The deformation is episodic, and no deformation was observed at these volcanoes during other time-periods. The best-fitting source models for each episode is inflation or deflation of a horizontal lensoid at a depth of 2-5 km. The episodic nature of the activity, its lack of correlation with seasons, and the preferred source geometry are all consistent with activity in the volatile-rich cap to a crystal-rich magma chamber beneath each of the 4 volcanoes. A seismic swarm occurred in Northern Tanzania from July 14 to August 4 2007. Using InSAR images from Envisat (IS2 and IS6) and ALOS, we show that the seismic swarm was accompanied by 1) subsidence that can be attributed to ~40 cm of normal motion on a NE striking fault, 2) the intrusion of ~2.4 m wide dyke, 3) deflation of a point source magma chamber and 4) collapse of a shallow graben. The large number of available SAR images allows us to examine the sequence and time-dependent behaviour of these processes and relationship between diking and faulting.

  1. Tectonics of the baikal rift deduced from volcanism and sedimentation: a review oriented to the Baikal and Hovsgol lake systems.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Alexei V; Demonterova, Elena I

    2009-01-01

    As known from inland sedimentary records, boreholes, and geophysical data, the initiation of the Baikal rift basins began as early as the Eocene. Dating of volcanic rocks on the rift shoulders indicates that volcanism started later, in the Early Miocene or probably in the Late Oligocene. Prominent tectonic uplift took place at about 20 Ma, but information (from both sediments and volcanics) on the initial stage of the rifting is scarce and incomplete. A comprehensive record of sedimentation derived from two stacked boreholes drilled at the submerged Akademichesky ridge indicates that the deep freshwater Lake Baikal existed for at least 8.4 Ma, while the exact formation of the lake in its roughly present-day shape and volume is unknown. Four important events of tectonic/environmental changes at about approximately 7, approximately 5, approximately 2.5, and approximately 0.1 Ma are seen in that record. The first event probably corresponds to a stage of rift propagation from the historical center towards the wings of the rift system. Rifting in the Hovsgol area was initiated at about this time. The event of ~5 Ma is a likely candidate for the boundary between slow and fast stages of rifting. It is reflected in a drastic change of sedimentation rate due to isolation of the Akademichesky ridge from the central and northern Lake Baikal basins. The youngest event of 0.1 Ma is reflected by the (87)0Sr/ (86)Sr ratio increase in Lake Baikal waters and probably related to an increasing rate of mountain growth (and hence erosion) resulting from glacial rebounding. The latter is responsible for the reorganization of the outflow pattern with the termination of the paleo-Manzurka outlet and the formation of the Angara outlet. The event of approximately 2.5 Ma is reflected in the decrease of the (87)Sr/(86)Sr and Na/Al ratios in Lake Baikal waters. We suggest that it is associated with a decrease of the dust load due to a reorganization of the atmospheric circulations in Mainland

  2. Soils, slopes and source rocks: Application of a soil chemistry model to nutrient delivery to rift lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Nicholas B.; Tucker, Gregory E.

    2015-06-01

    The topographic evolution of rift basins may be critical to the deposition of lacustrine source rocks such as the organic-rich Lower Cretaceous shales of the South Atlantic margin. Soils have been proposed as a key link between topography and source rock deposition by providing nutrients for the algae growth in rift lakes. Decreasing topographic relief from active rift to late rift has several effects on soils: soils become thicker and finer, erosion of dead surface and soil organic matter decreases, and the fractionation of precipitation between runoff and infiltration may favor increased infiltration. This hypothesis is tested by application of CENTURY, a complex box model that simulates transfer of nutrients within soil pools. The model is first applied to a rainforest soil, with several parameters individually varied. Infiltration experiments show that the concentrations of C, N and P in groundwater decrease rapidly as infiltration decreases, whether due to increased slope or to decreased precipitation. Increased erosion of surface plant litter and topsoil results in substantially decreased nutrient concentrations in groundwater. Increased sand content in soil causes an increase in nutrient concentration. We integrate these variables in analyzing topographic swathes from the Rio Grande Rift, comparing the southern part of the rift, where topography is relatively old and reduced, to the northern rift. C and P concentrations in groundwater increase as slope gradient decreases, resulting in substantially larger C and P concentrations in groundwater in the southern rift than the northern rift. Nitrogen concentrations in groundwater depends on whether infiltration varies as a function of slope gradient; in experiments where the fraction of infiltrated precipitation decreased with increasing slope, N concentrations was also substantially higher in the southern rift; but in experiments where that fraction was held constant, N concentrations was lower in the southern

  3. The Rift Valley of African Plate in Elasto-Plastic Creeping over Magma Motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Shigehisa

    2016-04-01

    This is a brief note to a problem on the Rift Valley in the eastern Africa. It is said that this valley was formed in an age 20,000,000 years before present though the valley is yet continuing to move eastward at an annual rate of about 5 cm/year in a geographical trend. Adding to some of the scientists tell that the separation threat of the easternAfrica from the mother land of the Africa under the effect of African crust motion over the magma. However, it is now geological understanding that the land of the Africa has been kept its basic coastal configulation in geographic pattern since the time more than 20,000,000 years before present. Sothat, it is hard to consider the above noted African land separation by part could be in the next age in a time scale of 20,000,000 years. As far as, we concern the geographic data obtaoned by the ground based survey of the African typical mountain peaks, the highest mountain peak 5885m (in 1980) is for Kilimanjaro, Kibo Peak though one of the scientific almanacs tells us its peak height as 5890m (in 2009). As for the Mount Kenia, the peak height is as 5199m (in 1980) and 5200m(in 2009). At a glance, it looks to be a trend in altimetry of the African typical mountain. Now, what trends are noted for the peak heights could be taken to suggesting the geological activity on the earth surface to maintain in a spherical shape approximately on the orbit around the Sun. In these several ten years, the digitizing of the data has been promoted even for the topographic patterns on the earth though its time scaling is extremely short comparing to the geological time scaling. Now, it should be found what is effective to monitor any trends of the African crust in motion as well as variations of the mountain peaks.

  4. Ambient Noise Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, Ana; Custódio, Susana; Chamussa, José; Silveira, Graça; Chang, Sung-Joon; Lebedev, Sergei; Ferreira, Ana; Fonseca, João

    2014-05-01

    Project MOZART - MOZAmbique Rift Tomography (funded by FCT, Lisbon) deployed a total of 30 temporary broadband seismic stations from the SEIS-UK Pool in central and south Mozambique and in NE South Africa. The purpose of this project is the study of the East African Rift System (EARS) in Mozambique. We estimated preliminary locations with the data recorded from April 2011 to July 2012. A total of 307 earthquakes were located, with ML magnitudes ranging from 0.9 to 3.9. We observe a linear northeast-southwest distribution of the seismicity that seems associated to the Inhaminga fault. The seismicity in the northeast sector correlates well with the topography, tracing the Urema rift valley. The seismicity extends to ~300km, reaching the M7 2006 Machaze earthquake area. In order to obtain an initial velocity model of the region, we applied the ambient noise method to the MOZART data and two additional stations from AfricaARRAY. Cross-correlations were computed between all pairs of stations, and we obtained Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves for all interstation paths, in the period range from 3 to 50 seconds. The geographical distribution of the group velocity anomalies is in good agreement with the geology map of Mozambique, having lower group velocities in sedimentary basins areas and higher velocities in cratonic regions. We also observe two main regions with different velocities that may indicate a structure not proposed in previous studies. We perform a three-dimensional inversion to obtain the S-wave velocity of the crust and upper mantle, and in order to extend the investigation to longer periods we apply a recent implementation of the surface-wave two-station method (teleseismic interferometry), while augmenting our dataset with Rayleigh wave phase velocities curves in broad period ranges. In this way we expect to be able to look into the lithosphere-asthenosphere depth range.

  5. Rift Valley Fever Outbreak with East-Central African Virus Lineage in Mauritania, 2003

    PubMed Central

    Faye, Ousmane; Diallo, Mawlouth; Diop, Djibril; Bezeid, O. Elmamy; Bâ, Hampathé; Niang, Mbayame; Dia, Ibrahima; Mohamed, Sid Ahmed Ould; Ndiaye, Kader; Diallo, Diawo; Ly, Peinda Ogo; Diallo, Boubacar; Nabeth, Pierre; Simon, François; Lô, Baïdy

    2007-01-01

    In October 2003, 9 human cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in 3 provinces of Mauritania, West Africa. Test results showed acute Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) infection, and a field investigation found recent circulation of RVFV with a prevalence rate of 25.5% (25/98) and 4 deaths among the 25 laboratory-confirmed case-patients. Immunoglobulin M against RVFV was found in 46% (25/54) of domestic animals. RVFV was also isolated from the mosquito species Culex poicilipes. Genetic comparison of virion segments indicated little variation among the strains isolated. However, phylogenetic studies clearly demonstrated that these strains belonged to the East-Central African lineage for all segments. To our knowledge, this is the first time viruses of this lineage have been observed in an outbreak in West Africa. Whether these strains were introduced or are endemic in West Africa remains to be determined. PMID:18214173

  6. Rift Valley fever outbreak with East-Central African virus lineage in Mauritania, 2003.

    PubMed

    Faye, Ousmane; Diallo, Mawlouth; Diop, Djibril; Bezeid, O Elmamy; Bâ, Hampathé; Niang, Mbayame; Dia, Ibrahima; Mohamed, Sid Ahmed Ould; Ndiaye, Kader; Diallo, Diawo; Ly, Peinda Ogo; Diallo, Boubacar; Nabeth, Pierre; Simon, François; Lô, Baïdy; Diop, Ousmane Madiagne

    2007-07-01

    In October 2003, 9 human cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in 3 provinces of Mauritania, West Africa. Test results showed acute Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) infection, and a field investigation found recent circulation of RVFV with a prevalence rate of 25.5% (25/98) and 4 deaths among the 25 laboratory-confirmed case-patients. Immunoglobulin M against RVFV was found in 46% (25/54) of domestic animals. RVFV was also isolated from the mosquito species Culex poicilipes. Genetic comparison of virion segments indicated little variation among the strains isolated. However, phylogenetic studies clearly demonstrated that these strains belonged to the East-Central African lineage for all segments. To our knowledge, this is the first time viruses of this lineage have been observed in an outbreak in West Africa. Whether these strains were introduced or are endemic in West Africa remains to be determined.

  7. Carbonate-Silicate Association in the Kamafugite of the Toro-Ankole Province (East African Rift)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muravyeva, Natalya; Senin, Valery

    2010-05-01

    Carbonatite melts play an important role in the magmatism of the East African Rift Zone. A tight spatial association of high-Mg ultrapotassic and carbonatite rocks in the Western branch of the East African Rift suggests the genetic relationship of their parental melts. New evidence of such connection of kamafugitic and carbonatite magmas were obtained during study of the volcanic rocks of kamafugitic affinity in Toro-Ankole province. Primary carbonates (calcite and dolomite) were found as inclusions in olivine from ugandite and mafurite of the Bunyaruguru volcanic field. In the ugandite carbonates contain in the crystallized melt inclusions in olivine phenocrysts consist also of kalsilite, clinopyroxene, mica, and titanomagnetite. Some inclusions reach up to 40x75µm, the host olivine is 150x300µm in size. In the mafurite carbonates form rare microlites, microphenocrysts, and lenses with cavities in central parts, and occur as inclusions in olivine phenocrysts and aggregates in the adjacent zones. These aggregates are multiphase and in mineral set resemble carbonatites: they contain kalsilite, clinopyroxene, magnetite, phillipsite, and mica. Also the two-phase carbonate-sulfate inclusions in olivine were found. The most part of carbonates in composition correspond to calcites with low magnesium, iron, sodium, strontium, and barium contents. The carbonates from two-phase inclusions in olivine from the mafurite are significantly higher magnesian, approaching pure dolomite. The different types of carbonate in mafurite vary in Sr, Ba, Na and K. The highest content of these elements is observed in groundmass carbonates, reaching 2.44 wt % SrO, 1.25% BaO, 0.64% Na2O, and 1.23% K2O. Such assemblage in kamafugites have not been described yet. Some olivines contain microinclusions of sulfate (barite), occurs as fine (10-20 µm) rounded inclusions. The presence of barite inclusions in the olivine of the studied mafurite indicates the high sulfur content in the primary melt

  8. Orbital- versus glacial-mode forcing of tropical African climate: Results of scientific drilling in Lake Malawi, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Cohen, A. S.; Johnson, T. C.; King, J. W.; Brown, E. T.; Lyons, R. P.; Stone, J. R.; Beuning, K. R.

    2007-12-01

    Lake Malawi extends from 9-14 degrees S within the East African Rift Valley, and at 700 m deep, contains more than 20 percent of the surface water on the African continent. In 2005 the Lake Malawi Scientific Drilling Project drilled 7 holes at two sites in the lake, recovering a continuous sediment record that samples much of the Quaternary. Detailed studies completed to date on sediments deposited during the past 145 ka indicate periods of severe aridity at precessional frequency between 135 and 75 ka, when the lake's water volume was periodically reduced by at least 95 percent. These dramatic drops in lake level (more than 550 m), signifying markedly arid conditions in the catchment, are documented in sediment lithology (decreased organic carbon content and increased authigenic carbonate content during severe lowstands), aquatic microfossils (appearance of a littoral ostracode fauna, and saline/alkaline lake diatom flora during extreme low lake stages), as well as in dramatic reductions in catchment pollen production. These intervals of pronounced tropical African aridity in the early late-Pleistocene were much more severe than the Last Glacial Maximum, and are consistent with sediment records from Lakes Tanganyika (East Africa) and Bosumtwi (West Africa). In all three lakes a major rise in water levels and a shift to more humid conditions is observed after ~70 ka. The transition to wetter, more stable conditions coincides with the relaxation of orbital eccentricity and a reduction in the amplitude of precession. The observed climate mode switch to decreased environmental variability is consistent with terrestrial and marine records from in and around tropical Africa, but these new drill cores provide evidence for dramatically drier conditions prior to 70 ka that have not as yet been detected in marine sediment records. Such climate change may have stimulated the expansion and migrations of early modern human populations.

  9. The Olorgesailie Drilling Project (ODP): a high-resolution drill core record from a hominin site in the East African Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dommain, R.; Potts, R.; Behrensmeyer, A. K.; Deino, A. L.

    2014-12-01

    The East African rift valley contains an outstanding record of hominin fossils that document human evolution over the Plio-Pleistocene when the global and regional climate and the rift valley itself changed markedly. The sediments of fossil localities typically provide, however, only short time windows into past climatic and environmental conditions. Continuous, long-term terrestrial records are now becoming available through core drilling to help elucidate the paleoenvironmental context of human evolution. Here we present a 500,000 year long high-resolution drill core record obtained from a key fossil and archeological site - the Olorgesailie Basin in the southern Kenya Rift Valley, well known for its sequence of archeological and faunal sites for the past 1.2 million years. In 2012 two drill cores (54 and 166 m long) were collected in the Koora Plain just south of Mt. Olorgesailie as part of the Olorgesailie Drilling Project (ODP) to establish a detailed climate and ecological record associated with the last evidence of Homo erectus in Africa, the oldest transition of Acheulean to Middle Stone Age technology, and large mammal species turnover, all of which are documented in the Olorgesailie excavations. The cores were sampled at the National Lacustrine Core Facility. More than 140 samples of tephra and trachytic basement lavas have led to high-precision 40Ar/39Ar dating. The cores are being analyzed for a suite of paleoclimatic and paleoecological proxies such as diatoms, pollen, fungal spores, phytoliths, ostracodes, carbonate isotopes, leaf wax biomarkers, charcoal, and clay mineralogy. Sedimentological analyses, including lithological descriptions, microscopic smear slide analysis (242 samples), and grain-size analysis, reveal a highly variable sedimentary sequence of deep lake phases with laminated sediments, diatomites, shallow lake and near shore phases, fluvial deposits, paleosols, interspersed carbonate layers, and abundant volcanic ash deposits. Magnetic

  10. Giant seismites and megablock uplift in the East African Rift: evidence for Late Pleistocene large magnitude earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah Louise; Roberts, Eric M

    2015-01-01

    In lieu of comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, short historical records, and limited fault trench investigations for many seismically active areas, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved horizons of soft-sediment deformation features, termed seismites. Here we report on extensive seismites in the Late Quaternary-Recent (≤ ~ 28,000 years BP) alluvial and lacustrine strata of the Rukwa Rift Basin, a segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document examples of the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania. This includes a remarkable, clastic 'megablock complex' that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced blocks of intact strata (megablocks), some in excess of 20 m-wide. Documentation of these seismites expands the database of seismogenic sedimentary structures, and attests to large magnitude, Late Pleistocene-Recent earthquakes along the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Understanding how seismicity deforms near-surface sediments is critical for predicting and preparing for modern seismic hazards, especially along the East African Rift and other tectonically active, developing regions.

  11. Giant Seismites and Megablock Uplift in the East African Rift: Evidence for Late Pleistocene Large Magnitude Earthquakes

    PubMed Central

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah Louise; Roberts, Eric M.

    2015-01-01

    In lieu of comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, short historical records, and limited fault trench investigations for many seismically active areas, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved horizons of soft-sediment deformation features, termed seismites. Here we report on extensive seismites in the Late Quaternary-Recent (≤ ~ 28,000 years BP) alluvial and lacustrine strata of the Rukwa Rift Basin, a segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document examples of the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania. This includes a remarkable, clastic ‘megablock complex’ that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced blocks of intact strata (megablocks), some in excess of 20 m-wide. Documentation of these seismites expands the database of seismogenic sedimentary structures, and attests to large magnitude, Late Pleistocene-Recent earthquakes along the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Understanding how seismicity deforms near-surface sediments is critical for predicting and preparing for modern seismic hazards, especially along the East African Rift and other tectonically active, developing regions. PMID:26042601

  12. Giant seismites and megablock uplift in the East African Rift: evidence for Late Pleistocene large magnitude earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah Louise; Roberts, Eric M

    2015-01-01

    In lieu of comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, short historical records, and limited fault trench investigations for many seismically active areas, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved horizons of soft-sediment deformation features, termed seismites. Here we report on extensive seismites in the Late Quaternary-Recent (≤ ~ 28,000 years BP) alluvial and lacustrine strata of the Rukwa Rift Basin, a segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document examples of the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania. This includes a remarkable, clastic 'megablock complex' that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced blocks of intact strata (megablocks), some in excess of 20 m-wide. Documentation of these seismites expands the database of seismogenic sedimentary structures, and attests to large magnitude, Late Pleistocene-Recent earthquakes along the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Understanding how seismicity deforms near-surface sediments is critical for predicting and preparing for modern seismic hazards, especially along the East African Rift and other tectonically active, developing regions. PMID:26042601

  13. History of the development of the East African Rift System: A series of interpreted maps through time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macgregor, Duncan

    2015-01-01

    This review paper presents a series of time reconstruction maps of the 'East African Rift System' ('EARS'), illustrating the progressive development of fault trends, subsidence, volcanism and topography. These maps build on previous basin specific interpretations and integrate released data from recent petroleum drilling. N-S trending EARS rifting commenced in the petroliferous South Lokichar Basin of northern Kenya in the Late Eocene to Oligocene, though there seem to be few further deep rifts of this age other than those immediately adjoining it. At various times during the Mid-Late Miocene, a series of small rifts and depressions formed between Ethiopia and Malawi, heralding the main regional rift subsidence phase and further rift propagation in the Plio-Pleistocene. A wide variation is thus seen in the ages of initiation of EARS basins, though the majority of fault activity, structural growth, subsidence, and associated uplift of East Africa seem to have occurred in the last 5-9 Ma, and particularly in the last 1-2 Ma. These perceptions are key to our understanding of the influence of the diverse tectonic histories on the petroleum prospectivity of undrilled basins.

  14. Differential opening of the Central and South Atlantic Oceans and the opening of the West African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairhead, J. D.; Binks, R. M.

    1991-02-01

    Plate tectonic studies of the development of the Central and South Atlantic Oceans using Seasat and Geosat altimeter and magnetic anomaly isochron data now provide quantitative models of seafloor spreading through time. Such models enable an initial assessment of the differential opening between these two oceanic basins to be determined. The Equatorial Atlantic is an integral part of this oceanic rifting process, allowing stresses arising from the differential opening to be dissipated into both the Caribbean and Africa along its northern and southern boundaries respectively. The tectonic model for the West African rift system, based on geological and geophysical studies, shows a series of strike-slip fault zones diverging into Africa from the Gulf of Guinea and dissipating their shear movement into the development of extensional basins orientated perpendicular to these faults zones. The development of the West African rift system was contemporaneous with the early opening of the South Atlantic, continued to develop well after the final breakup of South America from Africa and did not cease until the late Cretaceous when there was a major phase of basin inversion and deformation. Santonian ( ~ 80 Ma) deformation across the Benue Trough (Nigeria) is broadly contemporaneous with dextral shear reactivation of the central African fracture system which, in turn resulted in renewed extension in the Sudan basins during the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. This paper illustrates the close linkage in both time and space between the history of the African rift basins and the opening of the Atlantic. Both exhibit distinct phases of evolution with the rift basins developing in direct response to the differential opening between the Central and South Atlantic in order to dissipate stresses generated by this opening. The Mesozoic tectonic model proposed is therefore one of an intimate interaction between oceanic and continental tectonics.

  15. Mid-Continent rift system: a frontier hydrocarbon province

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, C.K.; Kerr, S.D. Jr.

    1984-04-01

    The Mid-Continent rift system can be traced by the Mid-Continent geophysical anomaly (MGA) from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan Supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Outcrop and well penetrations of the late rift Keweenawan sedimentary rocks reveal sediments reflecting a characteristic early continental rift clastic sequence, including alluvial fans, deep organic-rich basins, and prograding fluvial plains. Sedimentary basins where these early rift sediments are preserved can be located by upward continuation of the aeromagnetic profiles across the rift trend and by gravity models. Studies of analog continental rifts and aulacogens show that these gravity models should incorporate (1) a deep mafic rift pillow body to create the narrow gravity high of the MGA, and (2) anomalously thick crust to account for the more regional gravity low. Preserved accumulations of rift clastics in central rift positions can then be modeled to explain the small scale notches which are found within the narrow gravity high. Indigenous oil in Keweenawan sediments in the outcrop area and coaly partings in the subsurface penetrations of the Keweenawan clastics support the analogy between these rift sediments and the exceptionally organic-rich sediments of the East African rift. COCORP data across the rift trend in Kansas show layered deep reflectors and large structures. There is demonstrable source, reservoir, and trap potential within the Keweenawan trend, making the Mid-Continent rift system a frontier hydrocarbon province.

  16. Mid-continent rift system: a frontier hydrocarbon province

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, C.K.; Kerr, S.D. Jr.

    1984-04-01

    The Mid-continent rift system can be traced by the Mid-continent geophysical anomaly (MGA) from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan Supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Outcrop and well penetrations of the late rift Keweenawan sedimentary rocks reveal sediments reflecting a characteristic early continental rift clastic sequence, including alluvial fans, deep organic-rich basins, and prograding fluvial plains. Sedimentary basins where these early rift sediments are preserved can be located by upward continuation of the aeromagnetic profiles across the rift trend and by gravity models. Studies of analog continental rifts and aulacogens show that these gravity models should incorporate (1) a deep mafic rift pillow body to create the narrow gravity high of the MGA, and (2) anomalously thick crust to account for the more regional gravity low. Preserved accumulations of rift clastics in central rift positions can then be modeled to explain the small scale notches which are found within the narrow gravity high. Indigenous oil in Keweenawan sediments in the outcrop area and coaly partings in the subsurface penetrations of the Keweenawan clastics support the analogy between these rift sediments and the exceptionally organic-rich sediments of the East African rift. COCORP data across the rift trend in Kansas show layered deep reflectors and large structures. There is demonstrable source, reservoir, and trap potential within the Keweenawan trend, making the Mid-Continent rift system a frontier hydrocarbon province.

  17. Rift Valley Fever Virus Circulating among Ruminants, Mosquitoes and Humans in the Central African Republic

    PubMed Central

    Nakouné, Emmanuel; Kamgang, Basile; Berthet, Nicolas; Manirakiza, Alexandre; Kazanji, Mirdad

    2016-01-01

    Background Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) causes a viral zoonosis, with discontinuous epizootics and sporadic epidemics, essentially in East Africa. Infection with this virus causes severe illness and abortion in sheep, goats, and cattle as well as other domestic animals. Humans can also be exposed through close contact with infectious tissues or by bites from infected mosquitoes, primarily of the Aedes and Culex genuses. Although the cycle of RVFV infection in savannah regions is well documented, its distribution in forest areas in central Africa has been poorly investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings To evaluate current circulation of RVFV among livestock and humans living in the Central African Republic (CAR), blood samples were collected from sheep, cattle, and goats and from people at risk, such as stock breeders and workers in slaughterhouses and livestock markets. The samples were tested for anti-RVFV immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. We also sequenced the complete genomes of two local strains, one isolated in 1969 from mosquitoes and one isolated in 1985 from humans living in forested areas. The 1271 animals sampled comprised 727 cattle, 325 sheep, and 219 goats at three sites. The overall seroprevalence of anti-RVFV IgM antibodies was 1.9% and that of IgG antibodies was 8.6%. IgM antibodies were found only during the rainy season, but the frequency of IgG antibodies did not differ significantly by season. No evidence of recent RVFV infection was found in 335 people considered at risk; however, 16.7% had evidence of past infection. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of the strains isolated in the CAR with those isolated in other African countries showed that they belonged to the East/Central African cluster. Conclusion and significance This study confirms current circulation of RVFV in CAR. Further studies are needed to determine the potential vectors involved and the virus reservoirs. PMID:27760144

  18. Multiple mantle upwellings beneath the Northern East-African Rift System from relative P- and S-wave traveltime tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civiero, Chiara; Hammond, James; Goes, Saskia; Fishwick, Stewart; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Ayele, Atalay; Doubre, Cecile; Goitom, Berhe; Keir, Derek; Kendall, Mike; Leroy, Sylvie; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Rumpker, Georg; Stuart, Graham

    2015-04-01

    Mantle plumes have been invoked as the likely cause of East African Rift volcanism and extension. However, the nature of mantle upwelling is debated, with proposed configurations ranging from a single broad plume, the African Superplume, connected to the LLSVP beneath Southern Africa, to one or more distinct lower-mantle sources along the rift. We present a new relative travel-time tomography model that images detailed P- and S- wave velocities from P,S and SKS phases below the northern East-African, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rift. Data comes from stations that cover the area from Tanzania to Saudi Arabia. The aperture of the integrated dataset allows us to image for the first time structures of ~100 km length scale down to depths of 900 km beneath this region. Our images provide evidence of at least two low-velocity structures with a diameter of ~200 km that continue through the transition zone and into the lower mantle: the first extends to at least 900 km beneath Afar, and a second reaching at least 750 km depth just west of the Main Ethiopian Rift, a region with off-rift volcanism. Taking into account seismic sensitivity to temperature and thermally controlled phase boundary topography, we interpret these features as multiple focused upwellings from below the transition zone with excess temperatures of 100±50 K. The scale of the upwellings is smaller than any of the previously proposed lower mantle plume sources. This suggests the ponding or flow of deep-plume material below the transition zone may be spawning smaller upper-mantle upwellings.

  19. Discovery of sublacustrine hydrothermal activity and associated massive sulfides and hydrocarbons in the north Tanganyika trough, East African Rift

    SciTech Connect

    Tiercelin, J.J.; Mondeguer, A. ); Thouin, C. ); Kalala, T. )

    1989-11-01

    Massive sulfides and carbonate mineral deposits associated with sublacustrine thermal springs were recently discovered along the Zaire side of the north Tanganyika trough, western branch of the East African Rift. This hydrothermal activity, investigated by scuba diving at a maximum depth of 20 m, is located at the intersection of major north-south normal faults and northwest-southeast faults belonging to the Tanganyika-Rukwa-Malawi (TRM) strike-slip fault zone. The preliminary results presented here come from analyses of sulfide deposits, hydrothermal fluids, and associated hydrocarbons that result from geothermal activity in this part of the East African Rift filled by a thick pile of sediment, the north Tanganyika trough.

  20. Quantitative stratigraphic models of rifts based on orbitally induced lake cycles

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, P.E.; Schlische, R.W.

    1988-02-01

    Orbitally induced lacustrine cycles in the rift sequences of the Newark Supergroup provide a direct measure of sedimentation rates (S) averaged at the 20 thousand year level. For the Triassic, the basins followed a pattern exemplified by the Newark basin: early fluvial fill, followed by lacustrine deposition where S slowly and exponentially decreased. Once lacustrine deposition began, lakes fluctuated with orbital cycles; however, maximum lake depth (MLD) began shallow, rapidly deepened, then slowly and exponentially shallowed toward the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. These observations suggest a model based on the filling of a trough, the simplest of which is a graben where the volumetric sedimentation rate (V) is constant and extension is uniform. First, S equals subsidence until hydrographic closure. Afterward, S = BV/L(B/sup 2/D/sup 2/ + (2BVt(A-D))/L)/sup minus/1/2 (t = time after closure and A, D, B, and L are the final widths, depth, and length of the graben). The observed changes in MLD conform to the predictions of this filing model. Half-graben are more complex, but similar patterns result. Major deviations reflect tectonic events. One dramatic deviation occurred at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, where S and MLD greatly increased. This coincided with massive tholeitic magmatism, probably reflecting increased extension rates and a marked basin asymmetry. This model explains why Newark hydrocarbon targets are in strata of either the early Late Triassic or Early Jurassic, because those intervals were deposited by the deepest lakes.

  1. Quantitative stratigraphic models of rifts based on orbitally induced lake cycles

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, P.E.; Schlische, R.W.

    1988-01-01

    Orbitally induced lacustrine cycles in the rift sequences of the Newark Supergroup provide a direct measure of sedimentation rates (S) averaged at the 20 thousand year level. For the Triassic, the basins followed a pattern exemplified by the Newark basin: early fluvial fill, followed by lacustrine deposition where S slowly and exponentially decreased. Once lacustrine deposition began, lakes fluctuated with orbital cycles; however, maximum lake depth (MLD) began shallow, rapidly deepened, then slowly and exponentially shallowed toward the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. These observations suggest a model based on the filling of a trough, the simplest of which is a graben where the volumetric sedimentation rate (V) is constant and extension in uniform. The observed changes in MLD conform to the predictions of this filling model. Half-graben are more complex, but similar patterns result. Major deviations reflect tectonic events. One dramatic deviation occurred at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, where subsidence and MLD greatly increased. This coincided with massive tholeiitic magmatism, probably reflecting increased extension rates and a marked basin asymmetry. This model explains why Newark hydrocarbon targets are in strata of either the early Late Triassic or Early Jurassic, because those intervals were deposited by the deepest lakes.

  2. Mapping Extensional Structures in the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana with remote sensing and aeromagnetic data: Implication for the continuation of the East African Rift System in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fetkovich, E. J.; Atekwana, E. A.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Atekwana, E. A.; Katumwehe, A. B.

    2015-12-01

    We used Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and aeromagnetic data to map extensional structures in the Makgadikgadi Pans in northeastern Botswana. These pans are a major morphological feature in Southern Africa characterized by the presence of low lying and flat topography with the highest elevation of 945 m. This topography was a result of multiple filling and desiccation of paleo-lakes that accompanied alternation of wetter and dryer climate during the Late Quaternary period. The objective of our study was to map the extent and distribution of normal faults using their morphological expression and magnetic signature, and examine their relationship with paleo-shorelines of the pans. We: (1) Created a hill shade relief map from the SRTM DEM; (2) Extracted regional NW-SE trending topographic profiles across the pans; (3) Constructed displacement profiles for major normal faults; and (4) Created tilt derivative images from the aeromagnetic data. We found that: (1) The northeastern part of the pan is dissected by three morphologically-defined NE-trending normal faults. The along strike continuity of these faults is in the range of 75 and 170 km and they are spaced at ~30 km apart from each other. (2) The topographic profiles suggest that the exposed minimum vertical displacement (EMVD), defined by poorly developed escarpments, is in the range of 0 m and 49 m. (3) The displacement profiles of the faults is characterized by maximum EMVD in the middle of the faults and that it decays towards the fault tips. These faults are also apparent in the aeromagnetic maps where they seem to displace E-W trending Karoo-age dikes. (4) At least the outer paleo-shoreline of the pans is modified by the NE-trending faults. This suggests that the faults are younger than the paleo-shorelines, which is suggested to have been developed between 500 and 100 ka. Traditionally, the southwestern extension of the East African Rift System has been assigned to the

  3. Exploring Crustal Structure and Mantle Seismic Anisotropy Associated with the Incipient Southern and Southwestern Branches of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.; Liu, K. H.; Massinque, B.; Mdala, H. S.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Moidaki, M.; Mutamina, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    In spite of numerous geoscientific studies, the mechanisms responsible for the initiation and development of continental rifts are still poorly understood. The key information required to constrain various geodynamic models on rift initiation can be derived from the crust/mantle structure and anisotropy beneath incipient rifts such as the Southern and Southwestern branches of the East African Rift System. As part of a National Science Foundation funded interdisciplinary project, 50 PASSCAL broadband seismic stations were deployed across the Malawi, Luangwa, and Okavango rift zones from the summer of 2012 to the summer of 2014. Preliminary results from these 50 SAFARI (Seismic Arrays for African Rift Initiation) and adjacent stations are presented utilizing shear-wave splitting (SWS) and P-S receiver function techniques. 1109 pairs of high-quality SWS measurements, consisting of fast polarization orientations and splitting times, have been obtained from a total of 361 seismic events. The results demonstrate dominantly NE-SW fast orientations throughout Botswana as well as along the northwestern flank of the Luangwa rift valley. Meanwhile, fast orientations beneath the eastern Luangwa rift flank rotate from NNW to NNE along the western border of the Malawi rift. Stations located alongside the western Malawi rift border faults yield ENE fast orientations, with stations situated in Mozambique exhibiting more E-W orientations. In the northern extent of the study region, fast orientations parallel the trend of the Rukwa and Usangu rift basins. Receiver function results reveal that, relative to the adjacent Pan-African mobile belts, the Luangwa rift zone has a thin (30 to 35 km) crust. The crustal thickness within the Okavango rift basin is highly variable. Preliminary findings indicate a northeastward thinning along the southeast Okavango border fault system congruent with decreasing extension toward the southwest. The Vp/Vs measurements in the Okavango basin are roughly

  4. Understanding Chad Basin Evolution Since Miocene: Climate and Vegetation Simulations, Roles of Orbital Parameters and East African Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sepulchre, P.; Ramstein, G.; Krinner, G.; Schuster, M.; Fluteau, F.; Kageyama, M.; Tiercelin, J.; Vignaud, P.; Brunet, M.

    2004-12-01

    Since the discovery of the earliest hominid known, Chad basin is a major place to study paleoclimates and hominid evolution. This discovery implies to re-evaluate the "East Side Story" paradigm for early hominids. To achieve this goal, we have performed numerical simulations to quantify the climatic and vegetation response of the Rift Uplift. We used a zoomed (144 X 108) AGCM (LMDz from IPSL). On the one hand, offline continental biosphere model (ORCHIDEE) has been used to simulate the vegetation response over western and eastern parts of the rift. On the other hand, since geomorphologic evidences have shown that from Upper Miocene to mid-Holocene Lake Chad had known several level oscillations leading to a huge lake known as Mega Lake Chad (MLC), we also ran atmospheric simulations to demonstrate, with boundary conditions at 6 000 BP, that orbital forcing allowed the existence of a MLC. Volume and surface of the lake have been calculated using an adapted lake model. These simulations have shown that the ITCZ shift induced by the mid-Holocene orbital parameters drives the existence of a MegaChad. Our model result having been tested successfully for the last occurrence of the MLC, we will apply it to Upper Miocene accounting for topographic changes, in order to reconstruct as accurately as possible the first hominids environments.

  5. Volcanic activities in the Southern part of East African rift initiation: Melilitites and nephelinites from the Manyara Basin (North Tanzania rift axis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudouin, Celine; Parat, Fleurice; Tiberi, Christel; Gautier, Stéphanie; Peyrat, Sophie

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift exposes different stages of plate boundary extension, from the initiation of the rift (North (N) Tanzania) to oceanic accretion (Afar). The N Tanzania rift-axis (north-south (S) trend) is divided into 2 different volcanic and seismic activities: (1) the Natron basin (N) with shallow seismicity and intense volcanism and (2) the Manyara basin (S) with deep crustal earthquakes and sparse volcanism. The Natron basin is characterized by extinct volcanoes (2 Ma-0.75 Ma) and active volcano (Oldoinyo Lengai) and a link between seismicity and volcanism has been observed during the Oldoinyo Lengai crisis in 2007. In the S part of the N Tanzanian rift, volcanoes erupted in the Manyara basin between 0.4 and 0.9 Ma. In this study, we used geochemical signature of magmas and deep fluids that percolate into the lithosphere beneath Manyara basin, to define the compositions of magmas and fluids at depth beneath the S part of the N Tanzania rift, compare to the Natron basin and place constrain on the volcanic and seismic activities. The Manyara basin has distinct volcanic activities with mafic magmas as melilitites (Labait) and Mg-nephelinites (carbonatite, Kwaraha), and more differentiated magmas as Mg-poor nephelinites (Hanang). Melilitites and Mg-nephelinites are primary magmas with olivine, clinopyroxene (cpx), and phlogopite recording high-pressure crystallization environment, (melilitites >4 GPa and Mg-nephelinites>1 GPa) with high volatile contents (whole rock: 0.7-4.6 wt% CO2, 0.1-0.3 wt% F and 0.1 wt% Cl). FTIR analyses of olivine constrained the water content of Labait and Kwaraha magmas at 0.1 and 0.4 wt% H2O, respectively. Geochemical modelling suggests that mafic magmas result from a low degree of partial melting (1-2%) of a peridotitic source with garnet and phlogopite (high Tb/Yb (>0.6) and Rb/Sr (0.03-0.12) ratio). Mg-poor nephelinites from Hanang volcano crystallized cpx, Ti-garnet, and nepheline as phenocrysts. Magmas result from fractional

  6. Aerosolized rift valley fever virus causes fatal encephalitis in african green monkeys and common marmosets.

    PubMed

    Hartman, Amy L; Powell, Diana S; Bethel, Laura M; Caroline, Amy L; Schmid, Richard J; Oury, Tim; Reed, Douglas S

    2014-02-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a veterinary and human disease in Africa and the Middle East. The causative agent, RVF virus (RVFV), can be naturally transmitted by mosquito, direct contact, or aerosol. We sought to develop a nonhuman primate (NHP) model of severe RVF in humans to better understand the pathogenesis of RVF and to use for evaluation of medical countermeasures. NHP from four different species were exposed to aerosols containing RVFV. Both cynomolgus and rhesus macaques developed mild fevers after inhalation of RVFV, but no other clinical signs were noted and no macaque succumbed to RVFV infection. In contrast, both marmosets and African green monkeys (AGM) proved susceptible to aerosolized RVF virus. Fever onset was earlier with the marmosets and had a biphasic pattern similar to what has been reported in humans. Beginning around day 8 to day 10 postexposure, clinical signs consistent with encephalitis were noted in both AGM and marmosets; animals of both species succumbed between days 9 and 11 postexposure. Marmosets were susceptible to lower doses of RVFV than AGM. Histological examination confirmed viral meningoencephalitis in both species. Hematological analyses indicated a drop in platelet counts in both AGM and marmosets suggestive of thrombosis, as well as leukocytosis that consisted mostly of granulocytes. Both AGM and marmosets would serve as useful models of aerosol infection with RVFV.

  7. The East African rift system in the light of KRISP 90

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, Gordon R.; Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Fuchs, K.; Khan, M.A.; Maguire, Peter K.H.; Mooney, W.D.; Achauer, U.; Davis, P.M.; Meyer, R.P.; Braile, L.W.; Nyambok, I.O.; Thompson, G.A.

    1994-01-01

    On the basis of a test experiment in 1985 (KRISP 85) an integrated seismic-refraction/teleseismic survey (KRISP 90) was undertaken to study the deep structure beneath the Kenya rift down to depths of 100-150 km. This paper summarizes the highlights of KRISP 90 as reported in this volume and discusses their broad implications as well as the structure of the Kenya rift in the general framework of other continental rifts. Major scientific goals of this phase of KRISP were to reveal the detailed crustal and upper mantle structure under the Kenya rift, to study the relationship between mantle updoming and the development of sedimentary basins and other shallow structures within the rift, to understand the role of the Kenya rift within the Afro-Arabian rift system and within a global perspective and to elucidate fundamental questions such as the mode and mechanism of continental rifting. The KRISP results clearly demonstrate that the Kenya rift is associated with sharply defined lithospheric thinning and very low upper mantle velocities down to depths of over 150 km. In the south-central portion of the rift, the lithospheric mantle has been thinned much more than the crust. To the north, high-velocity layers detected in the upper mantle appear to require the presence of anistropy in the form of the alignment of olivine crystals. Major axial variations in structure were also discovered, which correlate very well with variations in the amount of extension, the physiographic width of the rift valley, the regional topography and the regional gravity anomalies. Similar relationships are particularly well documented in the Rio Grande rift. To the extent that truly comparable data sets are available, the Kenya rift shares many features with other rift zones. For example, crustal structure under the Kenya, Rio Grande and Baikal rifts and the Rhine Graben is generally symmetrically centered on the rift valleys. However, the Kenya rift is distinctive, but not unique, in terms of

  8. A common mantle plume source beneath the entire East African Rift System revealed by coupled helium-neon systematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halldórsson, Sæmundur A.; Hilton, David R.; Scarsi, Paolo; Abebe, Tsegaye; Hopp, Jens

    2014-04-01

    We report combined He-Ne-Ar isotope data of mantle-derived xenoliths and/or lavas from all segments of the East Africa Rift System (EARS). Plume-like helium isotope (3He/4He) ratios (i.e., greater than the depleted MORB mantle (DMM) range of 8 ± 1RA) are restricted to the Ethiopia Rift and Rungwe, the southernmost volcanic province of the Western Rift. In contrast, neon isotope trends reveal the presence of an ubiquitous solar (plume-like) Ne component throughout the EARS, with (21Ne/22Ne)EX values (where (21Ne/22Ne)EX is the air-corrected 21Ne/22Ne ratio extrapolated to Ne-B) as low as 0.034, close to that of solar Ne-B (0.031). Coupling (21Ne/22Ne)EX with 4He/3He ratios indicates that all samples can be explained by admixture between a single mantle plume source, common to the entire rift, and either a DMM or subcontinental lithospheric mantle source. Additionally, we show that the entire sample suite is characterized by low 3He/22NeS ratios (mostly < 0.2)—a feature characteristic of oceanic hot spots such as Iceland. We propose that the origin of these unique noble gas signatures is the deeply rooted African Superplume which influences magmatism throughout eastern Africa. We argue that the Ethiopia and Kenya domes represent two different heads of this common mantle plume source.

  9. Tomographic study of the East African Rift in Mozambique - Initial results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, A.; Chamussa, J. R.; Antunes, E.; Custodio, S.; Silveira, M. M.; Helffrich, G. R.; Ferreira, A. M.; Fonseca, J. F.

    2012-12-01

    Extensively investigated from the Red Sea to southern Tanzania, the East African Rift (EAR) structure is still unknown on its southern tip, Mozambique. The M7 Machaze earthquake of 2006, in central Mozambique, shed new light on the location of the rifting activity, motivating the current initiative. During 2011, project MOZART (funded by FCT, Lisbon, PI J. Fonseca) deployed a network of 30 broadband (120s) seismic stations from the SEIS-UK Pool in central Mozambique and NE South Africa, to investigate the structure of the southernmost section of the EAR through a number of techniques. We present preliminary results of data quality control based on full-waveform modeling, hypocentral locations, and regional structure based on the analysis of ambient noise. Data quality control based on full-waveform modeling relies on comparisons between MOZART waveform data and synthetic seismograms computed with a spectral element method (Komatitsch and Tromp, 2002). These comparisons allow an understanding of how well existing global 3D and 1D Earth models, which were built from independent data, explain MOZART data, and how suitable MOZART data are for waveform tomography. The 3D Earth model synthetics explain the surface wave phases well, but are more limited at matching amplitudes, showing that there is still scope for improvement of the Earth model. The 1D Earth PREM synthetics explain surface wave amplitudes broadly as well as the 3D Earth model, but lead to much poorer phase fits. We will also present preliminary results of the analysis of local seismicity. Local hypocenters are determined using the SEISAN software. The hypocenter inversion is a modified version of HYPOCENTER (Lienert et al., 1986, Lienert,1991, Lienert and Havskov, 1995). The current version uses different seismic phases for earthquake location. The hypocentral locations of small to moderate earthquakes help to identify the most seismically active regions. Finally, we present the first results of the

  10. Kinematics and dynamics of Nubia-Somalia divergence along the East African rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, Dorothy Sarah

    Continental rifting is fundamental to the theory of plate tectonics, yet the force balance driving Earth's largest continental rift system, the East African Rift (EAR), remains debated. The EAR actively diverges the Nubian and Somalian plates spanning ˜5000 km N-S from the Red Sea to the Southwest Indian Ridge and ˜3000 km NW-SE from eastern Congo to eastern Madagascar. Previous studies suggest either lithospheric buoyancy forces or horizontal tractions dominate the force balance acting to rupture East Africa. In this work, we investigate the large-scale dynamics of Nubia-Somalia divergence along the EAR driving present-day kinematics. Because Africa is largely surrounded by spreading ridges, we assume plate-plate interactions are minimal and that the major driving forces are gradients in gravitational potential energy (GPE), which includes the effect of vertical mantle tractions, and horizontal basal tractions arising from viscous coupling to horizontal mantle flow. We quantify a continuous strain rate and velocity field based on kinematic models, an updated GPS velocity solution, and the style of earthquake focal mechanisms, which we use as an observational constraint on surface deformation. We solve the 3D force balance equations and calculate vertically averaged deviatoric stress for a 100 km thick lithosphere constrained by the CRUST2.0 crustal density and thickness model. By comparing vertically integrated deviatoric stress with integrated lithospheric strength we demonstrate forces arising from gradients in gravitational potential energy are insufficient to rupture strong lithosphere, hence weakening mechanisms are required to initiate continental rupture. The next step involves inverting for a stress field boundary condition that is the long-wavelength minimum energy deviatoric stress field required to best-fit the style of our continuous strain rate field in addition to deviatoric stress from gradients in GPE. We infer the stress field boundary condition

  11. Ambient Noise Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, A.; Chamussa, J.; Silveira, G. M.; Custodio, S.; Lebedev, S.; Chang, S.; Ferreira, A. M.; Fonseca, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    A wide range of studies has shown that the cross-correlation of ambient noise can provide an estimate of the Greens functions between pairs of stations. Project MOZART (funded by FCT, Lisbon, PI J. Fonseca) deployed 30 broadband (120s) seismic stations from the SEIS-UK Pool in Central Mozambique and NE South Africa, with the purpose of studying the East African Rift System (EARS) in Mozambique. We applied the Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) method to broadband seismic data recorded from March 2011 until July 2012. Cross-correlations were computed between all pairs of stations, and from these we obtained Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves for all interstation paths, in the period range from 3 to 50 seconds. We tested various approaches for pre-processing the ambient noise data regarding time-domain and spectral normalisation, as well as the use of phase cross-correlations. Moreover, we examined the robustness of our dispersion maps by splitting our dataset into various sub-sets of Green's functions with similar paths and by quantifying the differences between the dispersion maps obtained from the various sub-sets of data. We find that while the geographical distribution of the group velocity anomalies is well constrained, the amplitudes of the anomalies are slightly less robust. We performed a three-dimensional inversion to obtain the S-wave velocity of the crust and upper mantle. In addition, our preliminary results show a good correlation between the Rayleigh wave group velocity and the geology of Mozambique. In order to extend the investigation to longer periods and, thus, to be able to look into the lithosphere-asthenosphere depth range in the upper mantle, we apply a recent implementation of the surface-wave two-station method (teleseismic interferometry) and augment our dataset with Rayleigh wave phase velocities curves in broad period ranges.

  12. Miocene Onset of Extension in the Turkana Depression, Kenya: Implications for the Geodynamic Evolution of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boone, S.; Gleadow, A. J. W.; Kohn, B. P.; Seiler, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Paleogene-Recent East African Rift System (EARS) is the foremost modern example of continental rifting, providing much of our understanding of the early stages of continental breakup. The EARS traverses two regions of crustal uplift, the Ethiopian and East African Domes, separated by the Turkana Depression. This wide region of subdued topography coincides with the NW-SE trend of the Jurassic-Paleogene Anza Rift. Opinions on the fundamental geodynamic driver for EARS rifting are divided, however, principally between models involving migrating plume(s) and a single elongated 'superplume'. While competing models have similar topographic outcomes, they predict different morphotectonic evolutions for the Turkana Depression. Models inferring southward plume-migration imply that the plume must have passed below the Turkana Depression during the Paleogene, in order to have migrated to the East African Dome by the Miocene. The possible temporal denudational response to such plume activity is testable using low temperature thermochronology. We present apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He (AHe), and zircon (U-Th)/He (ZHe) data from the Lapurr Range, an uplifted Precambrian basement block in northern Turkana. Low radiation damage ZHe results displaying an age range of ~70-210 Ma, and combined with stratigraphic evidence, suggest ~4-6 km of Jurassic-Early Cretaceous denudation, probably associated with early Anza Rift tectonism. AFT ages of ~9-15 Ma imply subsequent burial beneath no more than ~4 km of overburden, thus preserving the Jurassic-Cretaceous ZHe ages. Together with AFT results, AHe data (~3-19 Ma) support ~2-4 km of Miocene-Pliocene uplift of the Lapurr Range in the footwall of the E-dipping Lapurr normal fault. Miocene AFT and AHe ages are interpreted to reflect the initiation of the EARS in the Turkana Depression. If extension is associated with plume activity, then upwelling in the Turkana region is unlikely to have started prior to the Miocene, much

  13. Diking-induced moderate-magnitude earthquakes on a youthful rift border fault: The 2002 Nyiragongo-Kalehe sequence, D.R. Congo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wauthier, C.; Smets, B.; Keir, D.

    2015-12-01

    On 24 October 2002, Mw 6.2 earthquake occurred in the central part of the Lake Kivu basin, Western Branch of the East African Rift. This is the largest event recorded in the Lake Kivu area since 1900. An integrated analysis of radar interferometry (InSAR), seismic and geological data, demonstrates that the earthquake occurred due to normal-slip motion on a major preexisting east-dipping rift border fault. A Coulomb stress analysis suggests that diking events, such as the January 2002 dike intrusion, could promote faulting on the western border faults of the rift in the central part of Lake Kivu. We thus interpret that dike-induced stress changes can cause moderate to large-magnitude earthquakes on major border faults during continental rifting. Continental extension processes appear complex in the Lake Kivu basin, requiring the use of a hybrid model of strain accommodation and partitioning in the East African Rift.

  14. Transition from a localized to wide deformation along Eastern branch of Central East African Rift: Insights from 3D numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, S. D.; Koptev, A.; Burov, E. B.; Calais, E.; Gerya, T.

    2015-12-01

    The Central East African Rift (CEAR) bifurcates in two branches (eastern, magma-rich and western, magma-poor) surrounding strong Tanzanian craton. Intensive magmatism and continental flood basalts are largely present in many of the eastern rift segments, but other segments, first of all the western branch, exhibit very small volcanic activity. The Eastern rift is characterized by southward progression of the onset of volcanism, the extensional features and topographic expression of the rift vary significantly north-southward: in northern Kenya the deformation is very wide (some 150-250 km in E-W direction), to the south the rift narrows to 60-70 km, yet further to the south the deformation widens again in the so-called Tanzania divergence zone. Widening of the Eastern branch within its southern part is associated with the impingement of the southward-propagating rift on the strong Masai block situated to east of the Tanzanian craton. To understand the mechanisms behind this complex deformation distribution, we implemented a 3Dl ultra-high resolution visco-plastic thermo-mechanical numerical model accounting for thermo-rheological structure of the lithosphere and hence captures essential features of the CEAR. The preferred model has a plume seeded slightly to the northeast of the craton center, consistent with seismic tomography, and produces surface strain distribution that is in good agreement with observed variation of deformation zone width along eastern side of Tanzanian craton: localized above bulk of mantle material deflected by cratonic keel narrow high strain zone (Kenia Rift) is replaced by wide distributed deformations within areas situated to north (northern Kenya, Turkana Rift) and to south (Tanzania divergence, Masai block) of it. These results demonstrate significant differences in the impact of the rheological profile on rifting style in case of dominant active rifting compared to dominant passive rifting. Narrow rifting, conventionally attributed to

  15. Trace element mobility and transfer to vegetation within the Ethiopian Rift Valley lake areas.

    PubMed

    Kassaye, Yetneberk A; Skipperud, Lindis; Meland, Sondre; Dadebo, Elias; Einset, John; Salbu, Brit

    2012-10-26

    To evaluate critical trace element loads in native vegetation and calculate soil-to-plant transfer factors (TFs), 11 trace elements (Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd, Pb and Mn) have been determined in leaves of 9 taxonomically verified naturally growing terrestrial plant species as well as in soil samples collected around 3 Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes (Koka, Ziway and Awassa). The Cr concentration in leaves of all the plant species was higher than the "normal" range, with the highest level (8.4 mg per kg dw) being observed in Acacia tortilis from the Lake Koka area. Caper species (Capparis fascicularis) and Ethiopian dogstooth grass (Cynodon aethiopicus) from Koka also contained exceptionally high levels of Cd (1 mg per kg dw) and Mo (32.8 mg per kg dw), respectively. Pb, As and Cu concentrations were low in the plant leaves from all sites. The low Cu level in important fodder plant species (Cynodon aethiopicus, Acacia tortilis and Opuntia ficus-indicus) implies potential deficiency in grazing and browsing animals. Compared to the Canadian environmental quality guideline and maximum allowable concentration in agricultural soils, the total soil trace element concentrations at the studied sites are safe for agricultural crop production. Enrichment factor was high for Zn in soils around Lakes Ziway and Awassa, resulting in moderate to high transfer of Zn to the studied plants. A six step sequential extraction procedure on the soils revealed a relatively high mobility of Cd, Se and Mn. Strong association of most trace elements with the redox sensitive fraction and mineral lattice was also confirmed by partial redundancy analysis. TF (mg per kg dw plants/mg per kg dw soil) values based on the total (TF(total)) and mobile fractions (TF(mobile)) of soil trace element concentrations varied widely among elements and plant species, with the averaged TF(total) and TF(mobile) values ranging from 0.01-2 and 1-60, respectively. Considering the mobile fraction in soils should

  16. A preliminary evaluation of the DDT contamination of sediments in lakes Natron and Bogoria (Eastern Rift Valley, Africa).

    PubMed

    Bettinetti, Roberta; Quadroni, Silvia; Crosa, Giuseppe; Harper, David; Dickie, Jennifer; Kyalo, Margaret; Mavuti, Kenneth; Galassi, Silvana

    2011-06-01

    Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is still used in Africa for the indoor control of malaria and it may represent a potential hazard for wildlife. The littoral sediments of two alkaline-saline lakes, Natron (Tanzania) and Bogoria (Kenya), in the Eastern Rift Valley, supporting large populations of lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor), were analysed for DDT residues. Physical-chemical analyses (temperature, conductivity, pH and dissolved oxygen) were also performed on the water of the two lakes and in the tributaries of Lake Natron, to evaluate the influence of the environmental variables on pollutant occurrence. At Lake Natron, around 1 km from the sediment collection sites, tree leaves of Acacia tortilis were also collected. The main metabolite found in all sediment samples was pp'DDE, whilst equal concentrations of pp'DDT and pp'DDE were measured in acacia leaves. The levels of DDTs measured in the sediments were within 5.9-30.9 ng g(-1) d.w., reaching the maximum value in a tributary of Lake Natron. On the whole, the contamination of Lake Natron and Lake Bogoria basins seems to be quite moderate. Nevertheless, the pp'DDE/pp'DDT ratio equals 1 in the Acacia tortilis leaves, which makes one suppose that the input of the parent compound was rather recent and could have been from aerial transport or dust from relatively close-by old pesticides storage sites.

  17. Rift flank segmentation, basin initiation and propagation: a neotectonic example from Lake Baikal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Agar, S.M.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1995-01-01

    New surficial data (field, Landsat TM and topography) define morpho-tectonic domains and rift flank segmentation in the Ol'khon region of the Central Baikal rift. Deformation, drainage and depositional patterns indicate a change in the locus of active extension that may relate to a recent (rift with concomitant shifts in depocentres. Within the hanging wall of the new western border fault, distinct segments control the location of drainage paths and syn-rift deposits. Morphology, sediment thicknesses and fault scarp amplitude indicate that a segmented rift flank graben has propagated southwards along the rift flank and is still actively fragmenting. These surficial data are used to constrain a model for the time-dependent topographic variations during progressive subsidence along a rift flank, involving the transfer of footwall units to hanging-wall domains. Rapid changes in border fault footwall relief in this model are associated with change in the active border fault location with widespread mass-wasting. The model shows that time-dependent histories need to be integrated with flexural uplift models for active normal faults. The active, syn-rift depositional systems of the Ol'khon region provide a valuable analogue for the early evolution of continental margins and the structural controls on syn-rift hydrocarbon sources and reservoirs.

  18. The Lithosphere of The East African Rift System: Insights From Three-Dimensional Density Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woldetinsae, G.; Götze, H. J.

    2004-12-01

    We use the gravity data that cover the large part of the Afro-Arabian rift system, the eastern branch (Ethiopia-Afar and northern Kenya), in order to produce a regional density model. In an earlier work the new and old gravity data were compiled, evaluated and homogenised using a consistent data reduction procedures. Three basic constraints widely spaced over a 1500 km rift length have been generated between 1969 and 2003 by an international consortium with information from isostatic models, global tomography, geological, geochemical evidences, and petrological and experimental results. These are integrated and applied to the model to constrain upper and lower crustal structures underneath the Rift and Plateau areas. New crustal thickness estimations (Dugda et al., 2004 in press) and inferences from recent velocity models along the axis of the Main Ethiopian Rift (Keller et al., 2004) are added to the density model. Thirty parallel planes cutting across the entire plateau region and Rift system (Afar-Ethiopia-Kenya) are interactively modelled using a starting geometry that invoke asthenospheric upwelling. Densities for the upper crust are calculated using Nafe Drake method, averaged from earlier interpretation and measured ones from the Geological Survey of Ethiopia database (e.g. Geothermal project, GSE petrophysical laboratory, pers. communication). Densities for lower crust are estimated using the approach by Sobolov and Babyko (1994). We used also lower crustal densities calculated by (Simyu and Keller, 1997) for the northern part of Kenya rift. The preliminary model offers a possibility to quantify depth, thickness and volumes of different geological interfaces and bodies. As for example, the estimation of the volume of volcanic constructs on the western plateau of Ethiopia is relatively larger than the eastern plateau. The load map derived from the model indicated maximum crustal loads at the crust/mantle interface (ca. 40km) on the eastern and western flanks

  19. Extreme uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains in the East African Rift, Uganda: Structural framework and possible role of glaciations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ring, Uwe

    2008-08-01

    The >5-km-high Rwenzori Mountains in the East African Rift form a promontory on the rift shoulder and are an extreme expression of rift-mountain uplift. This study reports the pattern and the kinematics of major faults in the Rwenzori region. The fault pattern is characterized by a first set of N/NNE-striking normal faults that are offset by mainly NE- to E-striking faults. Fault-slip data indicate a change in the extension direction from ENE/E to SE. The latter direction is in accord with earthquake focal data and borehole breakouts. Major faults with displacements >6 km occur at the boundaries of the Rwenzori Mountains; within the range minor faults with offsets ≤2 km have been mapped. Flexural isostatic rebound of the footwall of large-displacement back-to-back normal faults bounding the Rwenzori horst and additional footwall uplift of a young crosscutting normal fault probably caused cumulative (surface) uplift of ˜3-4 km. I propose that the change in the kinematics of the rift faults and the largely contemporaneous onset of glaciation in the Rwenzori Mountains in the Middle Pleistocene were important for enhanced rock uplift. Glacial erosion rates were 1.5-4 mm/a and eroded 1-2 km of material off the top of the Rwenzoris. Glacial erosion and the retreat of the glaciers during interglacial periods caused removal of loads leading to isostatic rebound, which reduced horizontal stresses promoting normal faulting and enhanced rock uplift, thereby elevating the remaining terrain, transforming it into one with high peaks and deeply incised valleys.

  20. Evaluating COSMO's lake module (FLake) for an East-African lake using a comprehensive set of lake temperature profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiery, W.; Martynov, A.; Darchambeau, F.; Demuzere, M.; van Lipzig, N.

    2012-04-01

    The African great lakes are of utmost importance for the local economy (fishing), as well as being essential to the survival of the local people. During last decades, these lakes have been changing rapidly and their evolution is a major concern. Hence, it is important to correctly represent them in regional climate models for simulations over tropical Africa. However, so far lake models have been developed and tested primarily for boreal conditions. In this study, for the first time the freshwater lake model FLake is evaluated over East-Africa, more specifically over lake Kivu. Meteorological observations from January 2003 to December 2008 from an automatic weather station in Bukavu, DRC, are used to drive the standalone version of FLake. For the evaluation, a unique dataset is used which contains over 200 temperature profiles recorded since 2002. Results show that FLake in its default configuration is very successful at reproducing both the timing and magnitude of the seasonal cycle at 5 m depth. Flake captures that this seasonality is regulated by the water vapour pressure, which constrains evaporation except during summer (JJA). A positive bias of ~1 K is attributed to the driving data, which are collected in the city and are therefore expected to mirror higher temperatures and lower wind speeds compared to the lake surface. The evaluation also showed that driving FLake with Era-Interim from the nearest pixel does only slightly deteriorate the model performance. Using forcing fields from the Canadian Regional Climate Model, version 5 (CRCM5) simulation output gives similar performance as Era-Interim. Furthermore, a drawback of FLake is that it does not account for salinity and its effect upon lake stratification, and therefore requires artificial initial conditions for both lake depth and bottom temperature in order to reproduce the correct mixing regime in lake Kivu. Further research will therefore aim at improving FLake's representation of tropical lakes.

  1. Gravity study of the Central African Rift system: a model of continental disruption 2. The Darfur domal uplift and associated Cainozoic volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bermingham, P. M.; Fairhead, J. D.; Stuart, G. W.

    1983-05-01

    Gravity studies of the Darfur uplift, Western Sudan, show it to be associated with a circular negative Bouguer anomaly, 50 mGal in amplitude and 700 km across. A three-dimensional model interpretation of the Darfur anomaly, using constraints deduced from geophysical studies of similar but more evolved Kenya and Ethiopia domes, suggests either a low-density laccolithic body at mid-lithospheric depth (~ 60 km) or a thinned lithosphere with emplacement at high level of low-density asthenospheric material. The regional setting of the Darfur uplift is described in terms of it being an integral part of the Central African Rift System which is shown to be broadly equivalent to the early to middle Miocene stage in the development of the Afro-Arabian Rift System. Comparisons between these rift systems suggest that extensional tectonics and passive rifting, resulting in the subsiding sedimentary rift basins associated with the Ngaoundere, Abu Gabra, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rifts, are more typical of the early stage development of passive continental margins than the active domal uplift and development of rifted features associated with the Darfur, Kenya and Ethiopia domes.

  2. Ecological Succession, Land use Changes and Soil Organic C Stock in a Lake Retreat Area (Main Ethiopian Rift Valley)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyssen, J.; Temesgen, H.; Lemenih, M.; Zenebe, A.; Kindu, M.; Haile, M.

    2007-12-01

    In the Main Ethiopian Rift Valley, ecological succession is related to continuous lake retreat (Nyssen et al., 2004). Human activities, through their impact on land use and cover, affect this ecological succession. Through a remote sensing study, we extricated ecological succession and human activity as causative factors for land use and cover changes (LUCC) and explored which impact this has on soil organic C (SOC) stock in lake retreat areas. Remote sensing data used include a Landsat MSS from 1973, a Landsat TM from 1986 and a Landsat ETM+ from 2000. A conventional type of classification was used whereby supervised classification of the 2000 image was supplemented by unsupervised classification of the older datasets. Due to decreased rainfall and water abstraction for intense irrigated agriculture and floriculture in its catchment, Lake Abijata lost 46 % of its area between 2000 and 2006. On the emerged lands, a good ecological succession was observed between 1973 and 1986, with clear evidence for: emerged land -> grassland -> Acacia bushes -> open woodland. Between 1986 and 2000, LUCC tendencies were totally reversed and woody vegetation decreased strongly, indicating increased human impact (Habtamu et al., 2007). Based on an analysis of the Landsat imagery, coupled with soil and land use studies, determinants for SOC stock were found. Firstly, SOC stock significantly differs between cultivated land and grazing land (3301 and 2626 g m-2) on the one hand, and woodland (4594 g m-2) on the other. The strongest explanation of SOC stock is related to the duration of emergence and hence of pedogenesis. Its proxy, elevation, explains much of the variability of SOC (R2 = 0.48). Using a multiple regression model involving elevation and IR reflectance, the SOC stock in the study area could be assessed at 2196 (+ - 1517) g m-2 SOC in 2000, against 3222 (+ - 1639) g m-2 in 1973 (Nyssen et al., 2007), which is related to the post-1986 reversing of ecological succession in

  3. Paleomagnetism and geochemistry of the Geordie Lake and Silver Mountain basalts: Implications for the Midcontinent Rift evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulakov, E.; Smirnov, A. V.; Bornhorst, T. J.; Cundari, R.; Hollings, P. N.

    2012-12-01

    We report the results of paleomagnetic and geochemical investigations of two basaltic lava sequences as a part of our on-going efforts to better understand the evolution of North American Midcontinent Rift (MCR) system. The first sequence of 17 flat-lying lava flows is located north of the rift axis, near Geordie Lake (Ontario, Canada). This sequence overlays the ~1108 Ma gabbros of the Coldwell Complex and is thought to be of a similar age, but no direct contact between the basalts and gabbros has been observed. The other sequence of 13 flows slightly dipping northwest is exposed at Silver Mountain (Baraga County, Upper Michigan), south of the rift axis. The lavas form a ~100 m high glacially polished dome, east of the Keweenawan fault, and are surrounded by glacial deposits. The Silver Mountain basalts have been tentatively interpreted to be a part of the Siemens Creek volcanics, the lowermost formation of the Powder Mill Group. At both locations, we collected six to ten core samples from each lava flow for paleomagnetic analyses. Practically all measured samples have yielded well-defined characteristic remanent magnetizations (ChRM) upon thermal demagnetization. After the correction for structural tilt, the group mean from Silver Mountain flows (D=107.9°, I=-60.4°, α95=2.43°, k=232, N=13) is statistically indistinguishable from the group mean direction of the Geordie Lake basalts (D=109.1°, I=-63.1°, α95=3.81°, k=89, N=17). In addition, both mean directions are statistically similar to the direction reported for the reversely magnetized Lower North Shore Volcanics (LNSV) U-Pb dated at 1107.9±0.8 Ma. The Silver Mountain mean direction is similar to that reported for the Powder Mill basalts dated at 1107.3±1.6 Ma. In addition to paleomagnetic analyses, we conducted geochemical analyses of 17 flows of the Geordie Lake sequence and 7 of the Silver Mountain basalts. Trace element compositions of both sequences are very similar to those reported for the

  4. New structural/tectonical model and its implication on hydrological thinking and groundwater management - the Lake Tiberias, Jordan Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inbar, Nimrod; Magri, Fabien; Yellin-Dror, Annat; Rosenthal, Eliahu; Möller, Peter; Siebert, Christian; Guttman, Josef

    2014-05-01

    Lake Tiberias is a fresh water lake located at the Kinneret basin which is approximately 30 km long and 10 km wide. It comprises a link in the chain of pull-apart basins that characterizes the structure of the conspicuous Jordan Rift Valley (JRV). The basin surface is about 200 m below mean sea level (msl) and basin-fill attains a thickness of up to 8 km. Until recently, studies focused mainly on the upper strata of basin fill. Consequently, a complete three dimensional geological model, including clear view of the tectonic framework at the Kinneret Basin was incomplete. This situation imposes great difficulty in understanding the local hydrological system and as consequence enforce constrains on groundwater management of the regional aquifers that flows towards the lake. A recently proposed structural/tectonical model (Inbar, 2012) enables revaluation of several geohydrological aspects at Sea of Galilee and its surroundings and a new hydrological model based on those findings aims to clarify those aspects with relation to groundwater management. The deep-seated stratigraphical units were seismically studied at the Kinnarot Valley (southern part of Kinneret basin) where sufficient information is available (Inbar, 2012). This study shows the subsidence and northwestward tilting of the basin floor (pre-rift formations) and the flow of thick Late Miocene salt accumulation accordingly. Furthermore, shallower seismic data, collected at the lake itself, shows a suspected salt dome close to the western boundary fault of the basin (Resnikov et al., 2004). Salt flow is now suggested to be a substantial factor in the tectonic play. At the lake surroundings there are several springs and boreholes where brine immerges from an estimated depth of about 2-3 kilometers. Significant differences in brine characteristics raised questions regarding the location of brine traps, flow mechanism and the mixture process between the fresh water and the brine. However, the effect of the

  5. Geodynamic significance of the TRM segment in the East African Rift (W-Tanzania): Active tectonics and paleostress in the Ufipa plateau and Rukwa basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, D.; Kervyn, F.; Macheyeki, A. S.; Temu, E. B.

    2012-04-01

    The Tanganyika-Rukwa-Malawi (TRM) rift segment in western Tanzania is a key sector for understanding the opening dynamics of the East African rift system (EARS). In an oblique opening model, it is considered as a dextral transfer fault zone that accommodates the general opening of the EARS in an NW-SE direction. In an orthogonal opening model, it accommodates pure dip-slip normal faulting with extension orthogonal to the rift segments and a general E-W extension for the entire EARS. The central part of the TRM rift segment is well exposed in the Ufipa plateau and Rukwa basin, within the Paleoproterozoic Ubende belt. It is also one of the most seismically active regions of the EARS. We investigated the active tectonic architecture and paleostress evolution of the Ufipa plateau and adjacent Rukwa basin and in order to define their geodynamic role in the development of the EARS and highlight their pre-rift brittle tectonic history. The active fault architecture, fault-kinematic analysis and paleostress reconstruction show that the recent to active fault systems that control the rift structure develop in a pure extensional setting with extension direction orthogonal to the trend of the TRM segment. Two pre-rift brittle events are evidenced. An older brittle thrusting is related to the interaction between the Bangweulu block and the Tanzanian craton during the late Pan-African (early Paleozoic). It was followed by a transpressional inversion during the early Mesozoic. This inversion stage is the best expressed in the field and caused dextral strike-slip faulting along the fault systems that now control the major rift structures. It has been erroneously interpreted as related to the late Cenozoic EARS which instead is characterized by pure normal faulting (our third and last stress stage).

  6. Quantifying the morphometric variability of monogenetic cones in volcanic fields: the Virunga Volcanic Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Sam; Grosse, Pablo; Barette, Florian; Smets, Benoît; Albino, Fabien; Kervyn, François; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    Volcanic cone fields are generally made up of tens to hundreds of monogenetic cones, sometimes related to larger polygenetic edifices, which can exhibit a wide range of morphologies and degrees of preservation. The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) developed itself in a transfer zone which separates two rift segments (i.e. Edward and Kivu rift) within the western branch of the East-African Rift. As the result of volcanic activity related to this tectonic regime of continental extension, the VVP hosts eight large polygenetic volcanoes, surrounded by over 500 monogenetic cones and eruptive fissures, scattered over the vast VVP lava flow fields. Some cones lack any obvious geo-structural link to a specific Virunga volcano. Using recent high-resolution satellite images (SPOT, Pléiades) and a newly created 5-m-resolution digital elevation model (TanDEM-X), we have mapped and classified all monogenetic cones and eruptive fissures of the VVP. We analysed the orientation of all mapped eruptive fissures and, using the MORVOLC program, we calculated a set of morphometric parameters to highlight systematic spatial variations in size or morphometric ratios of the cones. Based upon morphological indicators, we classified the satellite cones into 4 categories: 1. Simple cones with one closed-rim crater; 2. Breached cones with one open-rim crater; 3. Complex cones with two or more interconnected craters and overlapping cones; 4. Other edifices without a distinguishable crater or cone shape (e.g. spatter mounds and levees along eruptive fissures). The results show that cones are distributed in clusters and along alignments, in some cases parallel with the regional tectonic orientations. Contrasts in the volumes of cones positioned on the rift shoulders compared to those located on the rift valley floor can possibly be attributed to contrasts in continental crust thickness. Furthermore, higher average cone slopes in the East-VVP (Bufumbira zone) and central-VVP cone clusters suggest

  7. U-series Chronology of volcanoes in the Central Kenya Peralkaline Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Negron, L. M.; Ma, L.; Deino, A.; Anthony, E. Y.

    2012-12-01

    We are studying the East African Rift System (EARS) in the Central Kenya Peralkaline Province (CKPP), and specifically the young volcanoes Mt. Suswa, Longonot, and Menengai. Ar dates by Al Deino on K-feldspar phenocrysts show a strong correlation between older Ar ages and decreasing 230Th/232Th, which we interpret to reflect the age of eruption. This system has been the subject of recent research done by several UTEP alumni including Antony Wamalwa using potential field and magnetotelluric (MT) data to identify and characterize fractures and hydrothermal fluids. Also research on geochemical modeling done by John White, Vanessa Espejel and Peter Omenda led to the hypothesis of possible disequilibrium in these young, mainly obsidian samples in their post eruptive history. A pilot study of 8 samples, (also including W-2a USGS standard and a blank) establish the correlation that was seen between the ages found by Deino along with the 230/232Th ratios. All 8 samples from Mt. Suswa showed a 234U/238U ratio of (1) which indicates secular equilibrium or unity and that these are very fresh samples with no post-eruptive decay or leaching of U isotopes. The pilot set was comprised of four samples from the ring-trench group (RTG) with ages ranging from 7ka-present, two samples from the post-caldera stage ranging from 31-10ka, one sample from the syn-caldera stage dated at 41ka, and one sample from the pre-caldera stage dated at 112ka. The young RTG had a 230/232Th fractionation ratio of 0.8 ranging to the older pre-caldera stage with a 230/232Th ratio of 0.6. From this current data and research of 14C ages by Nick Rogers, the data from Longonot volcano was also similar to the 230/232Th ratio we found. Rogers' data places Longonot volcano ages to be no more than 20ka with the youngest samples also roughly around 0.8 disequilibrium. These strong correlations between the pilot study done for Mt. Suswa, 40Ar ages by Deino, along with 14C ages from Rogers have led to the

  8. Origin and speciation of haplochromine fishes in East African crater lakes investigated by the analysis of their mtDNA, Mhc genes, and SINEs.

    PubMed

    Sato, Akie; Takezaki, Naoko; Tichy, Herbert; Figueroa, Felipe; Mayer, Werner E; Klein, Jan

    2003-09-01

    The Western Branch of the East African Great Rift Valley is pocketed with craters of extinct or dormant volcanoes. Many of the craters are filled with water, and the lakes are inhabited by fishes. The objective of the present study was to determine the amount and nature of genetic variation in haplochromine fishes inhabiting two of these crater lakes, Lake Lutoto and Lake Nshere, and to use this information to infer the origin and history of the two populations. To this end, sequences of mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region, exon 2 of major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) class II B genes, and short interspersed elements (SINEs) were analyzed. The results indicate that the Lake Nshere and Lake Lutoto fishes originated from different but related large founding populations derived from the Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake Edward and Lake George. Some of the genetic polymorphism that existed in the ancestral populations was lost in the populations of the two lakes. The polymorphism that has been retained has persisted for some 50000 generations (years). During this time, new mutations arose and became fixed in each of the two populations in the mtDNA, giving rise to sets of diagnostic substitutions. Each population evolved in isolation after the colonization of the lakes less than 50000 years ago. There appears to be no population structure within the crater lake fishes, and their present effective population sizes are in the order of 104 to 105 individuals. Comparisons with the endemic haplochromine species of Lake Victoria reveal interesting parallels, as well as differences, which may help to understand the nature of the speciation process.

  9. Crustal rheology and depth distribution of earthquakes: Insights from the central and southern East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albaric, Julie; Déverchère, Jacques; Petit, Carole; Perrot, Julie; Le Gall, Bernard

    2009-04-01

    The seismicity depth distribution in the central and southern East African Rift System (EARS) is investigated using available catalogs from local, regional and global networks. We select well-determined events and make a re-assessment of these catalogs, including a relocation of 40 events and, where necessary, a declustering. About 560 events are finally used for determining foci depth distribution within 6 areas of the EARS. Assuming that short-term deformation expressed by seismicity reflects the long-term mechanical properties of the lithosphere, we build yield strength envelopes from seismicity depth distribution. Using brittle and ductile laws, we predict the strength percentage spaced every 5 km (or sometimes 2 km) in the crust, for a given composition and a specific geotherm, and constrain it with the relative abundance of seismicity. Results of this modeling indicate significant local and regional variations of the thermo-mechanical properties of the lithosphere which are broadly consistent with previous studies based on independent modelings. In order to explain relatively deep earthquakes, a highly resistant, mafic lower crust is generally required. We also find evidence for changes in the strength magnitude and in the depth of the brittle-ductile transitions which are clearly correlated to tectonic provinces, characterized by contrasted thermal gradients and basement types. A clear N-S increase and deepening of the peak strength level is evidenced along the eastern branch of the EARS, following a consistent southward migration of rifting since ~ 8 Ma. We also detect the presence of a decoupling layer in the Kenya rift, which suggests persisting influences of the deep crustal structures (Archaean and Proterozoic) on the behavior of the extending crust. More generally, our results suggest that seismicity peaks and cut-off depths may provide good proxies for bracketing the brittle-ductile transitions within the continental crust.

  10. He-Ne-Ar isotope studies of mafic volcanic rocks and mantle xenoliths from the East African Rift System - contrasting isotope signals in different rift branches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halldorsson, S. A.; Hilton, D. R.; Scarsi, P.; Abebe, T.; Massi, K. M.; Barry, P. H.; Fischer, T. P.; de Moor, J.; Rudnick, R. L.

    2010-12-01

    Helium isotope studies of the East African Rift System (EARS) suggest the involvement of a deep mantle plume(s) beneath the northern (Ethiopian) segment [1-3]. The highest 3He/4He (RA) signatures found to date show a close association with the greatest magma volumes erupted since the Early Cenozoic in the region. While the helium isotope characteristics are well established in the Ethiopia-Afar region, Ne and Ar systematics remain poorly constrained. Using a combined He-Ne-Ar isotope approach, our aim is to determine the regional extent of the influence of the Afar plume and to distinguish between subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and/or a possible second mantle plume sources located to the south of the Turkana Depression. Xenoliths and mafic lavas from N-Tanzania display a limited range in He isotopes (5-7 RA) with exceptions at Arusha (7.8RA) and Labait (8.7RA), through 7.1-8.7 RA in N-Kenya and S-Ethiopia, to 14.3 RA in the Main Ethiopian Rift and Afar, spanning nearly the entire range of previously reported values. The mean 3He/4He ratio from of lavas and xenoliths from N-Tanzania is remarkably close to the global average of 6.1±0.9 (RA) for continental xenoliths and basalts, thought to represent the SCLM [4]. Thus far, only MORB-like values of 7.3-8.3 RA have been found in volcanics of the Western rift. Initial Ne isotope data reveal the presence of a solar-like Ne component in xenoliths from the Ethiopia-Afar region, with extrapolated 21Ne/22Neex ratios of 0.0365 (assuming Ne-B = 12.5). This trend overlaps that of the Loihi-Kilauea line (L-K). Interestingly, a xenolith from N-Tanzania has a 21Ne/22Neex ratio of 0.0415, falling on a trajectory intermediate between MORB and L-K. The highest 40Ar/36Ar ratio obtained on phenocrysts/xenoliths to date is 1510. The generally low 3He/4He ratios of N-Tanzania likely result from different mixing proportions of asthenospheric sources with lithospheric material, the latter having developed lower 3He/4He ratios

  11. Rift Valley fever virus infection in African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) herds in rural South Africa: Evidence of interepidemic transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaBeaud, A.D.; Cross, P.C.; Getz, W.M.; Glinka, A.; King, C.H.

    2011-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an emerging biodefense pathogen that poses significant threats to human and livestock health. To date, the interepidemic reservoirs of RVFV are not well defined. In a longitudinal survey of infectious diseases among African buffalo during 2000-2006, 550 buffalo were tested for antibodies against RVFV in 820 capture events in 302 georeferenced locations in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Overall, 115 buffalo (21%) were seropositive. Seroprevalence of RVFV was highest (32%) in the first study year, and decreased progressively in subsequent years, but had no detectable impact on survival. Nine (7%) of 126 resampled, initially seronegative animals seroconverted during periods outside any reported regional RVFV outbreaks. Seroconversions for RVFV were detected in significant temporal clusters during 2001-2003 and in 2004. These findings highlight the potential importance of wildlife as reservoirs for RVFV and interepidemic RVFV transmission in perpetuating regional RVFV transmission risk. Copyright ?? 2011 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  12. Distribution of tetraether lipids in the 25-ka sedimentary record of Lake Challa: extracting reliable TEX86 and MBT/CBT palaeotemperatures from an equatorial African lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Ossebaar, Jort; Schouten, Stefan; Verschuren, Dirk

    2012-09-01

    The distribution of isoprenoid and branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids was studied in the sedimentary record of Lake Challa, a permanently stratified, partly anoxic crater lake on the southeastern slope of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Kenya/Tanzania), to examine if the GDGTs could be used to reconstruct past variation in regional temperature. The study material comprised 230 samples from a continuous sediment sequence spanning the last 25 ka with excellent age control based on high-resolution AMS 14C dating. The distribution of GDGTs showed large variation through time. In some time intervals (i.e., from 20.4 to 15.9 ka BP and during the Younger Dryas, 12.9-11.7 ka BP) crenarchaeol was the most abundant GDGT, whereas at other times (i.e., during the Early Holocene) branched GDGTs and GDGT-0 were the major GDGT constituents. In some intervals of the sequence the relative abundance of GDGT-0 and GDGT-2 was too high to be derived exclusively from lacustrine Thaumarchaeota, suggesting a sizable contribution from methanogens and other archaea. This severely complicated application of TEX86 palaeothermometry in this lake, and limited reliable reconstruction of lake water temperature to the time interval 25-13 ka BP, i.e. the Last Glacial Maximum and the period of post-glacial warming. The TEX86-inferred timing of this warming is similar to that recorded previously in two of the large African rift lakes, while its magnitude is slightly or much higher than that recorded at these other sites, depending on which lake-based TEX86 calibration is used. Application of calibration models based on distributions of branched GDGTs developed for lakes inferred temperatures of 15-18 °C for the Last Glacial Maximum and 19-22 °C for the Holocene. However, the MBT/CBT palaeothermometer reconstructs temperatures as low as 12 °C for a Lateglacial period centred on 15 ka BP. Variation in down-core values of the BIT index are mainly determined by the varying production rate of

  13. Structure and stratigraphy of the Rukwa rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilembe, Elias A.; Rosendahl, Bruce R.

    1992-08-01

    Combining recently acquired multifold seismic data with well and gravity information and field mapping, a comprehensive picture of the structure and stratigraphy of the Rukwa rift has emerged. The Rukwa rift lies between the Tanganyika and Nyasa (Malawi) rifts in the western branch of the East African rift system in southwest Tanzania. The Rukwa rift is a NW-trending half-graben basin that is 350 km long and 40 km wide. Unlike the neighboring Tanganyika and Nyasa rifts, there is no evidence of half-graben polarity reversals in the Rukwa rift. The NW-trending boundary fault system lies on the northeastern side of the basin and comprises a series of listric faults. Most internal faults also show listric forms and trend N-S, oblique to the boundary fault. The basal sedimentary section is the Permo-Triassic (Karroo) Sequence. This is overlain by the Red Bed Sandstone Sequence, in which both Mesozoic and Tertiary fauna have been found. The Cenozoic Lake Bed Sequence is the highest unit and covers nearly all of the present basin. Sediment thicknesses commonly reach 7 km and attain a maximum of 12 km at the southeastern end of the basin. The Lake Bed Sequence is the thickest unit in the main depocentre, but the Karroo Sequence is often the thickest unit on the shoaling side of the half-graben. The Rukwa rift is here interpreted to have evolved as a strike- to oblique-slip pull-apart basin, based on numerous indications of NW-trending strike-slip faulting.

  14. The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland and its relationships to volcanic deposits at Olduvai Gorge and East African Rift volcanism.

    PubMed

    Mollel, Godwin F; Swisher, Carl C

    2012-08-01

    The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland (NVH), situated adjacent and to the east of Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, is the source of the immense quantities of lava, ignimbrite, air fall ash, and volcaniclastic debris that occur interbedded in the Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary deposits in the Laetoli and Olduvai areas. These volcanics have proven crucial to unraveling stratigraphic correlations, the age of these successions, the archaeological and paleontological remains, as well as the source materials from which the bulk of the stone tools were manufactured. The NVH towers some 2,000 m above the Olduvai and Laetoli landscapes, affecting local climate, run-off, and providing varying elevation - climate controlled ecosystem, habitats, and riparian corridors extending into the Olduvai and Laetoli lowlands. The NVH also plays a crucial role in addressing the genesis and history of East African Rift (EAR) magmatism in northern Tanzania. In this contribution, we provide age and petrochemical compositions of the major NVH centers: Lemagurut, basalt to benmorite, 2.4-2.2 Ma; Satiman, tephrite to phonolite, 4.6-3.5 Ma; Oldeani, basalt to trachyandesite, 1.6-1.5 Ma; Ngorongoro, basalt to rhyolite, 2.3-2.0 Ma; Olmoti, basalt to trachyte, 2.0-1.8 Ma; Embagai, nephelinite to phonolite, 1.2-0.6 Ma; and Engelosin, phonolite, 3-2.7 Ma. We then discuss how these correlate in time and composition with volcanics preserved at Olduvai Gorge. Finally, we place this into context with our current understanding as to the eruptive history of the NVH and relationship to East African Rift volcanism. PMID:22404967

  15. The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland and its relationships to volcanic deposits at Olduvai Gorge and East African Rift volcanism.

    PubMed

    Mollel, Godwin F; Swisher, Carl C

    2012-08-01

    The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland (NVH), situated adjacent and to the east of Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, is the source of the immense quantities of lava, ignimbrite, air fall ash, and volcaniclastic debris that occur interbedded in the Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary deposits in the Laetoli and Olduvai areas. These volcanics have proven crucial to unraveling stratigraphic correlations, the age of these successions, the archaeological and paleontological remains, as well as the source materials from which the bulk of the stone tools were manufactured. The NVH towers some 2,000 m above the Olduvai and Laetoli landscapes, affecting local climate, run-off, and providing varying elevation - climate controlled ecosystem, habitats, and riparian corridors extending into the Olduvai and Laetoli lowlands. The NVH also plays a crucial role in addressing the genesis and history of East African Rift (EAR) magmatism in northern Tanzania. In this contribution, we provide age and petrochemical compositions of the major NVH centers: Lemagurut, basalt to benmorite, 2.4-2.2 Ma; Satiman, tephrite to phonolite, 4.6-3.5 Ma; Oldeani, basalt to trachyandesite, 1.6-1.5 Ma; Ngorongoro, basalt to rhyolite, 2.3-2.0 Ma; Olmoti, basalt to trachyte, 2.0-1.8 Ma; Embagai, nephelinite to phonolite, 1.2-0.6 Ma; and Engelosin, phonolite, 3-2.7 Ma. We then discuss how these correlate in time and composition with volcanics preserved at Olduvai Gorge. Finally, we place this into context with our current understanding as to the eruptive history of the NVH and relationship to East African Rift volcanism.

  16. Marburg, Ebola and Rift Valley Fever virus antibodies in East African primates.

    PubMed

    Johnson, B K; Gitau, L G; Gichogo, A; Tukei, P M; Else, J G; Suleman, M A; Kimani, R; Sayer, P D

    1982-01-01

    Sera from 464 primates held at four institutes in Kenya were tested by indirect immunofluorescence for the presence of antibodies against Marburg, Ebola, Congo haemorrhagic fever, Rift Valley fever and Lassa viruses. Four of 136 vervet monkeys were positive for Marburg virus antibodies and three of 184 baboons had antibodies against Ebola virus. One baboon was positive for Marburg virus antibodies. Two vervet monkeys, three baboons and one grivet monkey (of 56 tested) had antibodies against Rift Valley fever virus. No Congo or Lassa virus antibodies were detected. A sample of 88 sera of more arboreal primates (Sykes, blue and colobus monkeys) were negative against all five antigens, as were sera from 58 staff members of the institutes who worked with or near the animals.

  17. Deriving spatial patterns from a novel database of volcanic rock geochemistry in the Virunga Volcanic Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Sam; Barette, Florian; Smets, Benoît; Benbakkar, Mhammed; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) is situated within the western branch of the East-African Rift. The geochemistry and petrology of its' volcanic products has been studied extensively in a fragmented manner. They represent a unique collection of silica-undersaturated, ultra-alkaline and ultra-potassic compositions, displaying marked geochemical variations over the area occupied by the VVP. We present a novel spatially-explicit database of existing whole-rock geochemical analyses of the VVP volcanics, compiled from international publications, (post-)colonial scientific reports and PhD theses. In the database, a total of 703 geochemical analyses of whole-rock samples collected from the 1950s until recently have been characterised with a geographical location, eruption source location, analytical results and uncertainty estimates for each of these categories. Comparative box plots and Kruskal-Wallis H tests on subsets of analyses with contrasting ages or analytical methods suggest that the overall database accuracy is consistent. We demonstrate how statistical techniques such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and subsequent cluster analysis allow the identification of clusters of samples with similar major-element compositions. The spatial patterns represented by the contrasting clusters show that both the historically active volcanoes represent compositional clusters which can be identified based on their contrasted silica and alkali contents. Furthermore, two sample clusters are interpreted to represent the most primitive, deep magma source within the VVP, different from the shallow magma reservoirs that feed the eight dominant large volcanoes. The samples from these two clusters systematically originate from locations which 1. are distal compared to the eight large volcanoes and 2. mostly coincide with the surface expressions of rift faults or NE-SW-oriented inherited Precambrian structures which were reactivated during rifting. The lava from the Mugogo

  18. Hydrocarbon accumulation on rifted Continental Margin - examples of oil migration pathways, west African salt basins

    SciTech Connect

    Blackwelder, B.W.

    1989-03-01

    Examination of the oil fields in the Gabon, Lower Congo, and Cuanza basins allows modeling of oil migration and a more accurate ranking of prospects using geologic risk factors. Oil accumulations in these basins are in strata deposited during Cretaceous rift and drift phases, thus providing a diversity of geologic settings to examine. Oil accumulations in rift deposits are located on large faulted anticlines or in truncated units atop horst features. Many of these oil fields were sourced from adjacent organic shales along short direct migration paths. In Areas where source rock is more remote to fields or to prospective structures, faulting and continuity of reservoir rock are important to the migration of hydrocarbons. Because Aptian salts separate rift-related deposits from those of the drift stage, salt evacuation and faulting of the salt residuum are necessary for oil migration from the pre-salt sequences into the post-salt section. Oil migration within post-salt strata is complicated by the presence of salt walls and faulted carbonate platforms. Hydrocarbon shows in wells drilled throughout this area provide critical data for evaluating hydrocarbon migration pathways. Such evaluation in combination with modeling and mapping of the organic-rich units, maturation, reservoir facies, structural configurations, and seals in existing fields allows assessment of different plays. Based on this information, new play types and prospective structures can be ranked with respect to geologic risk.

  19. The Midcontinent rift in the Lake Superior region with emphasis on its geodynamic evolution

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.

    1992-01-01

    The Midcontinent rift is a Middle Proterozoic continental rift which records about 15 m.y. of extension, subsidence, and voluminous volcanism in the period 1109-1094 Ma in the central part of North America. During that time the crust was nearly totally separated and as much as 25 km of subaerial basalts accumulated in a deep central depression. Following extension and volcanism, a longer period of subsidence resulted in development of a post-rift sedimentary basin in which as much a 8 km of fluvial and lacustrine clastic rocks were deposited. Partial inversion of the central depression occurred about 30-50 m.y. after extension to produce the current configuration of a central horst, composed mostly of thick volcanic accumulations, between shallower flanking basins. ?? 1992.

  20. Minimal Role of Basal Shear Tractions in Driving Nubia-Somalia Divergence Across the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D. S.; Calais, E.; Iaffaldano, G.; Flesch, L. M.

    2012-12-01

    The Nubian and Somalian plates actively diverge along the topographically high, ~5000 km long East African Rift System (EARS). As no major subduction zones bound Africa, one can assume that the forces driving the Nubia-Somalia plate system result primarily from mantle buoyancies and lateral variation in lithospheric gravitational potential energy. Images from seismic tomography and convection models suggest active mantle flow beneath Africa. However, the contribution from large-scale convection to the force balance driving plate divergence across the EARS remains in question. In this work we investigate the impact of mantle shear tractions on the dynamics of Nubia-Somalia divergence across the EARS. We compare surface motions inferred from GPS observations with strain rates and velocities predicted from dynamic models where basal shear stresses are (1) derived from forward mantle circulation models and (2) inferred from stress field boundary conditions that balance buoyancy forces in the African lithosphere. Upper mantle anisotropy derived from seismic observations beneath Africa provide independent constraints for the latter. Preliminary results suggest that basal shear tractions play a minor role in the dynamics of Nubia-Somalia divergence along the EARS. This result implies mantle-lithosphere decoupling, possibly promoted by a low viscosity asthenosphere. We corroborate the robustness of our results with estimates of upper mantle viscosity based on local upper mantle temperature estimates and rheological parameters obtained from laboratory experiments.

  1. Volatile Chemistry of the 2007 to Present Explosive Eruption of Oldoinyo Lengai Volcano, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Moor, J.; Fischer, T. P.; King, P. L.; Sharp, Z.; Shaw, A. M.; Mangasini, F.

    2008-12-01

    We characterize the volatile chemistry of the ongoing explosive eruption at Oldoinyo Lengai (OL) in the Gregory Rift Valley of N Tanzania. Fieldwork was conducted from 4-8 April 2008, during which time OL exhibited Strombolian to ash plume-producing activity. Eight distinct ash lapilli layers were sampled 900m from the crater. Mini-DOAS SO2 flux measurements were conducted on 6, 7, and 8 April. Despite moderate eruptive activity, SO2 concentrations were very low, from ~ 20ppm.m to below detection. A low concentration plume was detected on 7 April, allowing a SO2 flux estimate of 0.2-0.4 tons/day. SIMS analyses of carbonatite lavas erupted in 2005 show very high S concentrations (0.62wt %), suggesting that the low SO2 flux is due to partitioning of S into the melt. Ash leachates were analyzed as a proxy for plume chemistry and to assess health risks associated with mobile elements in the ashes. The solutions had high pH of 10.6 to 11.1. This has implications for pH fluctuations of Lake Natron (pH ~10; located 20km N of the crater), which may correlate with lacustrine ash deposition during passed explosive activity at OL. In the uppermost ash layer (deposited on 4/5/2008; not influenced by rain) dominant mobile ions are Cl (18120mg/kg), SO4 (26616mg/kg), PO4 (2393mg/kg), and F (534mg/kg), Na (101679mg/kg), K (22544mg/kg), Ca (721mg/kg), and Si (189mg/kg). Leachate S/Cl from this pristine ash is 0.49, compared to 0.29 measured by SIMS in lavas from 2005. Using the SO2 flux and the S/Cl in the leachates, the Cl flux was 0.5-0.8 tons/day. High concentrations of leachable ions, particularly F, on ash presents health hazards (F poisoning; water source contamination) to local communities. Concentrations in the underlying ashes are lower (40-129 mg/kg Cl, 965-3223 mg/kg SO4 , 66-104 mg/kg F, 40-335 mg/kg PO4 ) than those in the upper deposit due to leaching by rain prior to deposition of the uppermost ash layer. FTIR spectroscopy of ashes shows at least two carbonate

  2. Stable isotope-based Plio-Pleistocene ecosystem reconstruction of some of the earliest hominid fossil sites in the East African Rift System (Chiwondo Beds, N Malawi)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüdecke, Tina; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Schrenk, Friedemann; Mulch, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    The isotope geochemistry of pedogenic carbonate and fossil herbivore enamel is a powerful tool to reconstruct paleoenvironmental conditions in particular when climate change plays a key role in the evolution of ecosystems. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon (δ13C), oxygen (δ18O) and clumped isotope (Δ47) records from pedogenic carbonate and herbivore teeth in the Malawi Rift. These data represent an important southern hemisphere record in the East African Rift System (EARS), a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna and correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominids across the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. As our study site is situated between the well-known hominid-bearing sites of eastern and southern Africa in the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone and Highveld Grassland it fills an important geographical gap for early hominid research. 5.0 to 0.6 Ma fluviatile and lacustrine deposits of the Chiwondo Beds (NE shore of Lake Malawi) comprise abundant pedogenic carbonate and remains of a diverse fauna dominated by large terrestrial mammals. These sediments are also home to two hominid fossil remains, a mandible of Homo rudolfensis and a maxillary fragment of Paranthropus boisei, both dated around 2.4 Ma. The Chiwondo Beds therefore document early co-existence of these two species. We evaluate δ13C data from fossil enamel of different suid, bovid, and equid species and contrast these with δ13C and δ18O values of pedogenic carbonate. We complement the latter with clumped isotope soil temperature data. Results of almost 800 pedogenic carbonate samples from over 20 sections consistently average δ13C = -8.5 ‰ over the past 5 Ma with no significant short-term δ13C excursions or long-term trends. The data from molar tooth enamel of nine individual suids of the genera Metridiochoerus, Notochoerus and Nyanzachoerus support these findings with average δ13C = -10.0 ‰. The absence

  3. Lake level change and total water discharge in East Africa Rift Valley from satellite-based observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Ayman A.; Jin, Shuanggen

    2014-06-01

    The measurement of total basin water discharge is important for understanding the hydrological and climatologic issues related to the water and energy cycles. Climatic extreme events are normal climatic occurrences in Africa. For example, extensive droughts are regular features in the last few decades in parts of East Africa, which suffers from a lack of in situ observations as well as a lack of regional hydrological models. In this study, multi-disciplinary different types of space-borne observations and global hydrological models are used to study total water discharge in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa (i.e. Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi) from January 2003 to December 2012. The data include the following: (1) total water storage (TWS) variations from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), (2) the lake level variations from Satellite Alimetric data, (3) rainfall from Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) products, (4) soil moisture from WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model (WGHM), and (5) water fluxes from Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS). Results show that a significant decline in the average lake level is found for all of the three lakes between 2003 and 2006. GRACE TWS variations of the whole basin area show the same pattern of variation as the average lake level variations estimated from Altimetric data. The TWS in the basin area of Lakes Victoria and Malawi is governed by the surface water stored in each lake itself, while for Lake Tanganyika, it is governed by both surface water and the soil moisture content in the basin area. Furthermore, the effect of rainfall on TWS is also studied. A phase lag of ~ 2 months is found between TRMM rainfall and GRACE TWS (generally, rainfall precedes the GRACE TWS) for the three lakes. In addition, the regional evapotranspiration ET is estimated from the water balance equation using GRACE land-water solutions, rainfall data from TRMM and runoff values obtained as a fraction of rainfall

  4. Neotectonic faults and stress field in the East African Rift System around the Tanzanian Craton - A contribution to the seismotectonic map of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Macheyeki, Athanas Simon; Fernandes, Rui-Manuel; Ayele, Atalay; Meghraoui, Mustapha

    2015-04-01

    As a contribution to the UNESCO-IUGS IGCP 601 project "Seismotectonics and seismic hazards in Africa" and in preparation of the Seismotectonic Map of Africa, we compiled the neotectonic faults related to the East African Rift System around the Tanzanian craton. The initial aim was to identify and map the potentially active faults. Faults are usually defined as active when they show seismogenic displacement during the last 10,000 to 100,000 years, generally on the basis of paleoseismic investigation. In East Africa, however, very few faults have been studied by paleoseismic techniques and even fewer have known historical seismic activation. To address this issue, we mapped faults that show morphological indications of displacement. We used the SRTM DTM (90 and 30 m when available to us), with artificial shading as basis for identify neotectonic faults, in combination with existing data from geological maps, publications and reports, complemented by our own field observations. Thermal springs often occur along tectonically active faults. We use them to distinguish present-day faulting from other mapped faults as they are in most cases structurally controlled. In parallel, we used also the available focal mechanisms and geological fault-slip data to constrain the stress second-order stress field (at the scale of rift segments) and locally also the third-order stress field (at the local scale). All these elements are combined and compared with existing kinematic models for the East African Rift based on earthquake slip vectors, GPS measurements and geologic indicators. The comparison evidences some local discrepancies between the stress field and the direction of opening, probably due to the interactions between different rift segments, as in the Rukwa rift, Mbeya southern junction between the eastern and western rift branches, and in the Manyara-Natron area.

  5. Multiple mantle upwellings in the transition zone beneath the northern East-African Rift system from relative P-wave travel-time tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civiero, Chiara; Hammond, James O. S.; Goes, Saskia; Fishwick, Stewart; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Ayele, Atalay; Doubre, Cecile; Goitom, Berhe; Keir, Derek; Kendall, J.-Michael; Leroy, Sylvie; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Rümpker, Georg; Stuart, Graham W.

    2015-09-01

    Mantle plumes and consequent plate extension have been invoked as the likely cause of East African Rift volcanism. However, the nature of mantle upwelling is debated, with proposed configurations ranging from a single broad plume connected to the large low-shear-velocity province beneath Southern Africa, the so-called African Superplume, to multiple lower-mantle sources along the rift. We present a new P-wave travel-time tomography model below the northern East-African, Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden rifts and surrounding areas. Data are from stations that span an area from Madagascar to Saudi Arabia. The aperture of the integrated data set allows us to image structures of ˜100 km length-scale down to depths of 700-800 km beneath the study region. Our images provide evidence of two clusters of low-velocity structures consisting of features with diameter of 100-200 km that extend through the transition zone, the first beneath Afar and a second just west of the Main Ethiopian Rift, a region with off-rift volcanism. Considering seismic sensitivity to temperature, we interpret these features as upwellings with excess temperatures of 100 ± 50 K. The scale of the upwellings is smaller than expected for lower mantle plume sources. This, together with the change in pattern of the low-velocity anomalies across the base of the transition zone, suggests that ponding or flow of deep-plume material below the transition zone may be spawning these upper mantle upwellings. This article was corrected on 28 SEP 2015. See the end of the full text for details.

  6. Regional framework, structural and petroleum aspects of rift basins in Niger, Chad and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genik, G. J.

    1992-10-01

    This paper overviews the regional framework, tectonic, structural and petroleum aspects of rifts in Niger, Chad and the C.A.R. The data base is from mainly proprietary exploration work consisting of some 50,000 kilometres of seismic profiles, 50 exploration wells, one million square kilometres of aeromagnetics coverage and extensive gravity surveys. There have been 13 oil and two oil and gas discoveries. A five phased tectonic history dating from the Pan African orogeny (750-550 MY B.P.) to the present suggests that the Western Central African Rift System (WCAS) with its component West African Rift Subsystem (WAS) and Central African Subsystem (CAS) formed mainly by the mechanical separation of African crustal blocks during the Early Cretaceous. Among the resulting rift basins in Niger, Chad and the C.A.R., seven are in the WAS—Grein, Kafra, Tenere. Tefidet, Termit, Bongor, and N'Dgel Edgi and three, Doba, Doseo, and Salamat are in the CAS. The WAS basins in Niger and Chad are all extensional and contain more than 14,000 m of continental to marine Early Cretaceous to Recent clastic sediments and minor amounts of volcanics. Medium to light oil (20° API-46° API) and gas have been discovered in the Termit basin in reservoir, source and seal beds of Late Cretaceous and Palaeogene age. The most common structural styles are extensional normal fault blocks and transtensional synthetic and antithetic normal fault blocks. The CAS Doba, Doseo and Salamat are extensional to transtensional rift basins containing up to 7500 m of terrestrial mainly Early Cretaceous clastics. Heavy to light oil (15°-39° API) and gas have been discovered in Doba and Doseo basins. Source rocks are Early Cretaceous lacustrine shales, whereas reservoirs and seals are both Early and Late Cretaceous. Dominant structural styles are extensional and transtensional fault blocks, transpressional anticlines and flower structures. The existence of a total rift basin sediment volume of more than one

  7. A methodology to track temporal dynamics and rainfall thresholds of landslide processes in the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monsieurs, Elise; Jacobs, Liesbet; Kervyn, François; Kirschbaum, Dalia; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Derauw, Dominique; Kervyn, Matthieu; Nobile, Adriano; Trefois, Philippe; Dewitte, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    The East African rift valley is a major tectonic feature that shapes Central Africa and defines linear-shaped lowlands between highland ranges due to the action of geologic faults associated to earthquakes and volcanism. The region of interest, covering the Virunga Volcanic Province in eastern DRC, western Rwanda and Burundi, and southwest Uganda, is threatened by a rare combination of several types of geohazards, while it is also one of the most densely populated region of Africa. These geohazards can globally be classified as seismic, volcanic and landslide hazards. Landslides, include a wide range of ground movements, such as rock falls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows. Landslides are possibly the most important geohazard in terms of recurring impact on the populations, causing fatalities every year and resulting in structural and functional damage to infrastructure and private properties, as well as serious disruptions of the organization of societies. Many landslides are observed each year in the whole region, and their occurrence is clearly linked to complex topographic, lithologic and vegetation signatures coupled with heavy rainfall events, which is the main triggering factor. The source mechanisms underlying landslide triggering and dynamics in the region of interest are still poorly understood, even though in recent years, some progress has been made towards appropriate data collection. Taking into account difficulties of field accessibility, we present a methodology to study landslide processes by multi-scale and multi-sensor remote sensing data from very high to low resolution (Pléiades, TRMM, CosmoSkyMed, Sentinel). The research will address the evolution over time of such data combined with other earth observations (seismic ground based networks, catalogues, rain gauge networks, GPS surveying, field observations) to detect and study landslide occurrence, dynamics and evolution. This research aims to get insights into the rainfall

  8. Midcontinent rift volcanism in the Lake Superior region: Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic evidence for a mantle plume origin

    SciTech Connect

    Nicholson, S.W. Univ. of Minnesota, MN ); Shirey, S.B. )

    1990-07-10

    Between 1091 and 1098 Ma, most of a 15- to 20-km thickness of dominantly tholeiitic basalt erupted in the Midcontinent Rift System of the Lake Superior region, North American. The Portage Lake Volcanics in Michigan, which are the youngest MRS flood basalts, fall into distinctly high- and low-TiO{sub 2} types having different liquid lines of descent. Incompatible trace elements in both types of tholeiites are enriched compared to depleted or primitive mantle (La/Yb = 4.3-5.3; Th/Ta = 2.12-2.16; Zr/Y = 4.3-4.4), and both basalt types are isotopically indistinguishable. Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions of the Portage Lake tholeiites have {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr{sub i} {approx}0.7038, {epsilon}{sub Nd(1095 Ma)} {approx}0 {plus minus} 2, and {mu}{sub 1} {approx}8.2. Model ages with respect to a depleted mantle source (T{sub DM}) average about 1950-2100 Ma. Portage Lake rhyolits fall into two groups. Type I rhyolites have Nd and Pb isotopic characteristics ({epsilon}{sub Nd(1095 Ma)} {approx}0 to {minus}4.7; {mu}{sub 1} {approx}8.2-7.8) consistent with contamination of tholeiitic rocks by 5-10% Archean crust. The one type II rhyolite analyzed has Nd and Pb isotopic compositions ({epsilon}{sub Nd(1095 Ma)} {approx}{minus}13 to {minus}16; {mu}{sub 1} {approx}7.6-7.7) which are consistent with partial melting of Archean crust. Early Proterozoic crust was not a major contaminant of MRS rocks in the Lake Superior region. Most reported Nd and Pb isotopic compositions of MRS tholeiites from the main stage of volcanism in the Lake Superior region and of the Duluth Complex are comparable to the Nd and Pb isotopic data for Portage lake tholeiites. The isotopic enrichment of the MRS source compared to depleted mantle is striking and must have occurred at least 700 m.y. before 1100 Ma.

  9. Holocene Full-Vector Secular Variation from African Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lund, S.; Platzman, E. S.; Johnson, T. C.; Scholz, C. A.; Cohen, A. S.; Russell, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    We are developing a regional pattern of Holocene paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) from four lakes in East Africa - Lake Turkana (3°N), Lake Victoria (1°S), Lake Tanganyika (5°S), and Lake Malawi (10°S). Detailed paleomagnetic and rock magnetic measurements have been made on two cores from Lake Malawi (9m meters in depth, last ~10,000 years), two cores from Lake Victoria (8 m, last ~8,000 years), 11 cores from Lake Turkana (2-9 m, last ~10,000 years), and one core from Lake Tanganyika (5 m, last ~5,000 years). Our rock magnetic studies identify significant intervals of magnetic mineral dissolution in Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika making parts of these cores unsuitable for relative paleointensity studies. On the other hand, rock magnetic variability in the Lake Malawi and Lake Turkana cores are stable and correlatable among cores. We have recovered directional secular variation records from Lakes Malawi, Victoria, and Turkana. Millennial-scale inclination and declination features can be correlated among cores at each lake and between lakes. We have also recovered relative paleointensity records from Lakes Malawi and Turkana. More than 20 radiocarbon dates and detailed seismic stratigraphy (Turkana) provide critical added information for correlating and dating the paleomagnetic records.

  10. Evolution of LILE-enriched small melt fractions in the lithospheric mantle: a case study from the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bedini, R. M.; Bodinier, J.-L.; Dautria, J.-M.; Morten, L.

    1997-12-01

    Spinel-peridotite xenoliths from Mega (East African Rift, Sidamo region, SE Ethiopia) show variable degrees of recrystallization coupled with trace-element variations. The less recrystallized samples (deformed xenoliths) consist of apatite-bearing porphyroclastic peridotites. They are strongly enriched in LILE (Ba, Th, U, Sr and LREE), with negative anomalies of the HFSE (Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf and Ti). The most recrystallized samples (granular xenoliths) consist of apatite-free peridotites with coarse-grained, granular textures. These samples are depleted or only slightly enriched in LILE and display no significant HFSE anomaly. We suggest that the inverse relationship between recrystallization and trace-element enrichment results from km-scale variation in volume and composition of melts pervasively infiltrated in the lithosphere. The deformed xenoliths record interaction with LILE-enriched small melt fractions, at low melt/rock ratio, while the granular xenoliths were extensively re-equilibrated with a higher fraction of basaltic melt, at higher melt/rock ratio. With a numerical simulation of reactive porous flow at the transition between adiabatic and conductive geotherms in the mantle, it is shown that these two processes were possibly coeval and associated with thermo-mechanical erosion of the lower lithosphere above a mantle plume.

  11. New constraints on the present-day kinematics of the East African Rift from GPS and earthquake slip vector data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartnady, C.; Calais, E.; Ebinger, C.; Nocquet, J.

    2004-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR), a major 5,000 km long and up to 1,000 km wide tectonic structure that marks the extensional boundary between the Nubian and Somalian plate, is interpreted either as a wide zone of uniformly distributed, diffuse deformation, or as a mosaic of microplates. Testing these models and quantifying the present-day kinematics of the EAR has so far resited investigation because of a critical lack of geodetic data within the EAR as well as on the surrounding Nubian and Somalian plates. Here, we present an updated GPS velocity field covering the Nubian and Somalian plates and combine it with earthquake slip vectors along the EAR in a joint inversion. Our objectives are to better constrain the Somalia/Nubia plate motion and to try to resolve block motions within the plate boundary zone. We find a Somalia/Nubia angular velocity similar to the one proposed by Fernandes et al. (EPSL, 222, 2004). We show that Tanzanian craton, nested between the western and eastern branches of the EAR and underlained by an upper mantle plume, can be modeled as an independent block, rotating counterclockwise w.r.t. Nubia. We discuss the implications of this kinematic model on the tectonics of the EAR.

  12. Parallel life history evolution in mouthbrooding cichlids from the African Great Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Duponchelle, Fabrice; Paradis, Emmanuel; Ribbink, Anthony J.; Turner, George F.

    2008-01-01

    The existence of ancient deep-water lakes provides an opportunity to study the independent adaptation of aquatic organisms to pelagic, benthic, and rocky shore habitats. With improving resolution of their phylogenetic relationships, the many cichlid fish species endemic to the African Great Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika, and Victoria provide a significant resource for the comparative study of such evolutionary processes. Here, we show that cichlid lineages colonizing rocky shores and pelagic habitats in the different lakes have independently evolved larger eggs and lower fecundities than benthic lineages, suggesting parallel adaptive life-history evolution. By contrast, other pelagic teleost fishes in both marine and freshwater habitats, including African lakes, typically produce large numbers of very small eggs. Our results also suggest that decreased fecundity and increased egg size not only occurred independently in each lake but occurred independently in the colonization of rocky and pelagic habitats. PMID:18824688

  13. Model for trace metal exposure in filter-feeding flamingos at alkaline Rift Valley Lake, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, Y.M.; DiSante, C.J.; Lion, L.W.; Thampy, R.J.; Raini, J.A.; Motelin, G.K.

    1998-11-01

    Toxic trace metals have been implicated as a potential cause of recent flamingo kills at Lake Nakuru, Kenya. Chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) have accumulated in the lake sediments as a result of unregulated discharges and because this alkaline lake has no natural outlet. Lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) at Lake Nakuru feed predominantly on the cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis, and because of their filter-feeding mechanism, they are susceptible to exposure to particle-bound metals. Trace metal adsorption isotherms to lake sediments and S. platensis were obtained under simulated lake conditions, and a mathematical model was developed to predict metal exposure via filter feeding based on predicted trace metal phase distribution. Metal adsorption to suspended solids followed the trend Pb {much_gt} Zn > Cr > Cu, and isotherms were linear up to 60 {micro}g/L. Adsorption to S. platensis cells followed the trend Pb {much_gt} Zn > Cu > Cr and fit Langmuir isotherms for Cr, Cu and Zn and a linear isotherm for Pb. Predicted phase distributions indicated that Cr and Pb in Lake Nakuru are predominantly associated with suspended solids, whereas Cu and Zn are distributed more evenly between the dissolved phase and particulate phases of both S. platensis and suspended solids. Based on established flamingo feeding rates and particle size selection, predicted Cr and Pb exposure occurs predominantly through ingestion of suspended solids, whereas Cu and Zn exposure occurs through ingestion of both suspended solids and S. platensis. For the lake conditions at the time of sampling, predicted ingestion rates based on measured metal concentrations in lake suspended solids were 0.71, 6.2, 0.81, and 13 mg/kg-d for Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn, respectively.

  14. Midcontinent rift volcanism in the Lake Superior region: Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic evidence for a mantle plume origin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicholson, S.W.; Shirey, S.B.

    1990-01-01

    Between 1091 and 1098 Ma, most of a 15- to 20-km thickness of dominantly tholeiitic basalt erupted in the Midcontinent Rift System of the Lake Superior region, North America. The Portage Lake Volcanics in Michigan, which are the younget MRS flood basalts, fall into distinctly high- and low-TiO2 types having different liquid lines of descent. Incompatible trace elements in both types of tholeiites are enriched compared to depleted or primitive mantle and both basalt types are isotopically indistinguishable. The isotopic enrichment of the MRS source compared to depleted mantle is striking and must have occurred at least 700 m.y. before 1100 Ma. There are two likely sources for such magmatism: subcontinental lithospheric mantle enriched during the early Proterozoic or enriched mantle derived from an upwelling plume. Decompression melting of an upwelling enriched mantle plume in a region of lithosphere thinned by extension could have successfully generated the enormous volume (850 ?? 103 km3) of relatively homogeneous magma in a restricted time interval. -from Authors

  15. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system using ERTS-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The structural margin of western Afar with the Ethiopian plateau is marked by a rather wide zone of crustal deformation. ERTS-1 imagery has now permitted a more precise mapping of the structures of this marginal zone, and in particular of the discontinuous marginal graben. The tectonic style of the graben is different in the north from the south, and in the latter region the graben is discordant with the regional tectonic trend. The structural margin of the southern Afar with the Somalian plateau is formed, in the western sector, by a remarkable series of fault-zone splays. Afar-plateau boundary fault-zones successively curve northeast and then NNE to become Afar floor fault-zones, with a distance of about 25 km separating successive turnoffs. The transition from Ethiopian rift to Gulf of Aden tread faulting along this margin is fascinatingly complex. A simplistic crustal thinning model is not adequate to explain all observed structural features of the Afar margins.

  16. Paleomagnetism of Miocene East African Rift sediments and the calibration of the geomagnetic reversal time scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tauxe, L.; Monaghan, M.; Drake, R.; Curtis, G.; Staudigel, H.

    1985-05-01

    Paleomagnetic stratigraphy and K-Ar age determinations are reported for the type section of the middle Miocene Ngorora Formation, found in the Kenya rift valley. The magnetostratigraphy is well correlated to the geomagnetic reversal time scale (GRTS) and spans from the lower part of Chron C5 (9) to Chron C5AB-r (14). K-Ar dates were determined for euhedral sanidines, handpicked from seven tuff horizons within the Ngorora Formation and the underlying Turn phonolite flow. These dates can therefore be tied directly to the GRTS. The eight dates fall into three discrete groups averaging 12.5±0.22 Ma (mean and standard deviation of results from four tuffs), 11.6±0.06 Ma (mean and standard deviation from three tuffs), and 10.16±0.38 (average of three analyses from one tuff). We interpret the age groups as resulting from three successive eruptive episodes, the stratigraphic positions of which are well constrained. In spite of episodic supply at the eruptive source, sediment accumulation is continuous at the resolution of the GRTS. This suggests that accumulation is controlled by basin subsidence rather than sediment supply. Sanidine dates support an age for the older boundary of marine magnetic anomaly 5 of about 10 Ma, as opposed to 11.12 Ma, suggested by the most recent results from Icelandic basaltic lava flows.

  17. Impacts of flamingos on saline lake margin and shallow lacustrine sediments in the Kenya Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Jennifer J.; Renaut, Robin W.; Owen, R. Bernhart

    2012-11-01

    Studies of modern, Holocene, and Pleistocene sediments around saline to hypersaline, alkaline Lake Bogoria and Lake Magadi show that evidence of flamingo activity in marginal areas of these lakes is nearly ubiquitous. Flamingos produce discrete structures such as webbed footprints (~ 9 cm long, ~ 11 cm wide) and nest mounds (~ 30 cm wide, ~ 20 cm high), and they also extensively rework sediments in delta front, delta plain, and shoreline areas. Large (~ 0.5-2 cm in diameter), pinched, 'bubble pores' and ped-like mud clumps are formed by the trampling and churning of wet clay-rich sediments in these settings. Flamingo nest mounds, although superficially similar to some thrombolite mounds, are typically internally structureless, unless formed on pre-existing sediments that preserve internal structures. The flamingo mounds consist of a dense, packed oval-shaped core, a surrounding 'body' of packed sediment, and an external layer with a ped-like texture of clumped mud. The nests may contain open holes from roots or feather shafts incorporated into the nest, and (or) burrows produced once the nests are abandoned. In areas with high densities of flamingos, lake margin sediments may be preferentially compacted, particularly at breeding sites, and become resistant to subaerial erosion and the effects of transgressive ravinement on time scales ranging from seasons to tens of thousands of years. The relatively well-compacted nest mounds and associated sediments also contribute to the stability of delta distributary channels during regressive-transgressive cycles, and can lead to the minor channelization of unconfined flows where currents are diverted around nest mounds. Pleistocene exhumed surfaces of relatively well-indurated lake margin sediments at Lake Bogoria and Lake Magadi that are interpreted as combined regressive and transgressive surfaces (flooding surface/sequence boundary) preserve evidence of flamingo activities, and are overlain by younger, porous lacustrine

  18. Concentrations and human health risk assessment of organochlorine pesticides in edible fish species from a Rift Valley lake-Lake Ziway, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Yohannes, Yared B; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Saengtienchai, Aksorn; Watanabe, Kensuke P; Nakayama, Shouta M M; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2014-08-01

    Fish consumption is known to have several health benefits for humans. However, the accumulation of organic pollutants, like organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) could pose health hazards. Thus, OCPs in edible fish species (Oreochromis niloticus, Tilapia zillii, Carassius spp., and Clarias gariepinus) from Lake Ziway, an Ethiopian Rift Valley Lake were investigated to assess the potential human health hazards of these contaminants. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), chlordanes, and heptachlors were observed with ΣOCPs concentration ranging from 1.41 to 63.8 ng g(-1) ww. DDTs were the predominant contaminants (0.9 to 61.9 ng g(-1) ww), followed by HCHs. The predominance of DDTs may be attributed to their current use in vector control and contamination from past usage. The estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of OCPs from all fish species were much lower than the acceptable daily intakes (ADIs), indicating that consumption of fish is at little risk to human health at present. However, the cancer risk estimates in the area of concern and the hazard ratios (HRs) of HCHs, DDTs, and heptachlors exceeded the threshold value of one, indicating daily exposure to these compounds is a potential concern. This may result in a lifetime cancer risk greater than of 1 in 10(6). PMID:24836883

  19. Mid-Continent rift system - a frontier hydrocarbon province

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, C.K.; Kerr, S.D. Jr.

    1983-08-01

    Geophysical evidence in the Mid-Continent has led to delineation of a rift system active during the Proterozoic Y Era. The Mid-Continent rift system can be traced by the Mid-Continent gravity high and corresponding aeromagnetic anomaly signature from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan Supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. The aeromagnetic anomaly signature of the rift trend discloses where these sediments have been preserved. Thick accumulations of upper Proterozoic sediments are indicated by both upward continuation of the aeromagnetic profiles across the rift trend and gravity models which incorporate: 1) a deep mafic body to create the narrow gravity high, 2) anomalously thick crust to account for the more regional gravity low, and 3) sedimentary accumulations on the Precambrian surface to explain the small-scale notches which occur within the narrow gravity high. Reflection seismic data are virtually unknown in the rift area; however, data recently acquired by COCORP across the southern end of the feature in Kansas provide evidence of thick stratified sequences in the rift valley. Studies of the East African rift have revealed that the tropical rift valley is an exceptionally fertile environment for deposition and preservation of kerogenous material. The Sirte, Suez, Viking, Dnieper-Donetz, and Tsaidam basins are just a few of the rift basins currently classed as giant producers. The existence of a rift basin trend with thick accumulations of preserved sediments, demonstrably organic rich, introduces the northern Mid-Continent US as a new frontier for hydrocarbon exploration.

  20. The 1.1-Ga Midcontinent Rift System, central North America: sedimentology of two deep boreholes, Lake Superior region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojakangas, Richard W.; Dickas, Albert B.

    2002-03-01

    distributed over a 1300-km distance along the better known southwest arm of the triple-junction MRS, and can be correlated rather well with the units that are exposed in the Lake Superior region. However, a definitive explanation of the anomalous, deeper St. Amour stratigraphy is elusive and any explanation is tenuous. A possible explanation for this anomalous stratigraphy may be the geographic proximity of the St. Amour borehole to the Keweenawan Hot Spot (mantle plume), the suggested thermal force behind the development of the MRS. Similarly, a drastic change in structural architecture may be explained by this geographic relationship. Thus, within the locale of this rifting center, complexities of expansion tectonics may well be responsible for igneous and sedimentary sequences that differ considerably from those found farther west along the rift arm.

  1. Parasites of commercially important fish from Lake Naivasha, Rift Valley, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Otachi, Elick O; Magana, Adiel E M; Jirsa, Franz; Fellner-Frank, Christine

    2014-03-01

    In Lake Naivasha, the common carp Cyprinus carpio L. 1758 was accidentally introduced from fish farms adjacent to River Malewa in 1999 and now forms the bulk of the total fish caught. Since its introduction, no study has been made on its parasitic community nor are there any reports on ectoparasites from other fish species in this lake to the best of our knowledge. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the parasitic community of C. carpio and two other commercially important fish species: Oreochromis leucostictus and Tilapia zillii. Additionally, the abundant Barbus paludinosus was included in the study. A total of 286 fish (145C. carpio, 56 O. leucostictus, 18 T. zillii, and 67 B. paludinosus) were collected during the year 2011 and examined. Ten taxa of parasites were recovered from C. carpio dominated by the monogenean Dactylogyrus minutus, occurring with a prevalence (p) of 99.3%. Thirteen taxa of parasites were identified from O. leucostictus dominated by monogeneans Cichlidogyrus spp. (p = 91.1%). T. zillii harbored nine taxa of parasites with the digenean Tylodelphys sp. (p = 83.3%) being dominant and B. paludinosus harbored 11 taxa of parasites dominated by an unidentified monogenean of the genus Dactylogyrus (p = 83.6%). C. carpio had the lowest helminth species diversity and richness while monogenetic trematodes, which have never been reported from fish in Lake Naivasha, were the most prevalent parasites recovered. PMID:24407916

  2. Seismic hazard assessment of the Kivu rift segment based on a new sismo-tectonic zonation model (Western Branch of the East African Rift system)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havenith, Hans-Balder; Delvaux, Damien

    2015-04-01

    In the frame of the Belgian GeoRisCA multi-risk assessment project focused on the Kivu and Northern Tanganyika Region, a seismic hazard map has been produced for this area. It is based on a on a recently re-compiled catalogue using various local and global earthquake catalogues. The use of macroseismic epicenters determined from felt earthquakes allowed to extend the time-range back to the beginning of the 20th century, thus spanning about 100 years. The magnitudes have been homogenized to Mw and the coherence of the catalogue has been checked and validated. The seismo-tectonic zonation includes 10 seismic source areas that have been defined on the basis of the regional geological structure, neotectonic fault systems, basin architecture and distribution of earthquake epicenters. The seismic catalogue was filtered by removing obvious aftershocks and Gutenberg-Richter Laws were determined for each zone. On the basis of this seismo-tectonic information and existing attenuation laws that had been established by Twesigomwe (1997) and Mavonga et al. (2007) for this area, seismic hazard has been computed with the Crisis 2012 (Ordaz et al., 2012) software. The outputs of this assessment clearly show higher PGA values (for 475 years return period) along the Rift than the previous estimates by Twesigomwe (1997) and Mavonga (2007) while the same attenuation laws had been used. The main reason for these higher PGA values is likely to be related to the more detailed zonation of the Rift structure marked by a strong gradient of the seismicity from outside the rift zone to the inside. Mavonga, T. (2007). An estimate of the attenuation relationship for the strong ground motion in the Kivu Province, Western Rift Valley of Africa. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 62, 13-21. Ordaz M, Martinelli F, Aguilar A, Arboleda J, Meletti C, D'Amico V. (2012). CRISIS 2012, Program for computing seismic hazard. Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de M

  3. Bioaccumulation and biomagnification of mercury in African lakes: the importance of trophic status.

    PubMed

    Poste, Amanda E; Muir, Derek C G; Guildford, Stephanie J; Hecky, Robert E

    2015-02-15

    Despite the global prevalence of both mercury (Hg) contamination and anthropogenic eutrophication, relatively little is known about the behavior of Hg in eutrophic and hypereutrophic systems or the effects of lake trophic status on Hg uptake and trophodynamics. In the current study we explore Hg trophodynamics at 8 tropical East African study sites ranging from mesotrophic to hypereutrophic, in order to assess the influence of lake trophic status on Hg uptake and biomagnification. Comprehensive water, plankton and fish samples were collected for analysis of total mercury (THg) and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios. We found evidence that uptake of THg into phytoplankton tended to be lower in higher productivity systems. THg concentrations in fish were generally low, and THg trophic magnification factors (TMFs; representing the average increase in contaminant concentrations from one trophic level to the next) ranged from 1.9 to 5.6. Furthermore TMFs were significantly lower in hypereutrophic lakes than in meso- and eutrophic lakes, and were negatively related to chlorophyll a concentrations both across our study lakes, and across African lakes for which literature data were available. These observations suggest that THg concentrations were strongly influenced by trophic status, with year-round high phytoplankton and fish growth rates reducing the potential for high THg in fish in these productive tropical lakes.

  4. U-Th disequilibria constraints on physical and chemical erosion processes and rates in soils from the Lake Natron-Lake Magadi (Gregory Rift Valley) drainage area vs hydrology/paleohydrology and bedrock lithology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillaire-Marcel, Claude

    2015-04-01

    This presentation is a tribute to my former PhD student, the late Dr. Christian Goetz (1960-1991), who carried out intensive field and laboratory investigations on actinides in soils and sediments from lakes Manyara and Natron (Tanzania), and Magadi (Kenya) during his doctoral studies. Soils developed on granites from the Precambrian plateau, west of Gregory Rift, as well as those developed on the trachitic floor of the Rift yield nearly similar patterns, with U-leached (and Th-enriched) upper horizons vs source rocks. They differ from each other by i) the much higher [U]/[Th] mass ratio of soil over the granitic (~ 0.3) vs the trachitic (~ 0.1) basements (both near secular equilibrium), and ii) the greater decay of 230Th-excesses (230Thxs) in top soils over trachites, pointing to much older soils and/or lower leaching rates at the Rift floor. This difference seems related to the more arid conditions prevailing in the deeper part of the Rift. In contrast, soils developed on the basaltic walls of the Rift, characterized by abundant spring water from the basalt aquifer and a dense vegetation, depict a three-stage U-Th isotope evolution, with bedrock at near secular radioactive equilibrium and a [U]/[Th] ratio of ~ 0.2. It is overlain by a U-depleted horizon (with up to 75% relative losses in U), then topped by a low Eh, organic-matter rich layer, with evidence for a secondary uptake of U. The high 230Thxs observed in the U-leached horizon point to relatively fast U-leaching rates and/or "young" soil pattern. The present-day clays deposited in Lake Natron point to a Precambrian granitic plateau origin (through major rivers flowing eastwards towards the lake), whereas clay supplies from the rift escarpment basalts are carried with hydrothermal seepages towards Lake Magadi. U-Th measurements in early diagenetic minerals (phosphates) and clays (smectites) deposited during late Pleistocene high-lake levels (≥ 12 ka BP) provide robust constraints on source-rocks and

  5. The Role of Education in Peace-Building in the African Great Lakes Region: Educators' Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ndura-Ouedraogo, Elavie

    2009-01-01

    This article discusses the findings from a qualitative study which examined educators' perceptions of their contributions to the quest for sustainable peace in Burundi and the African Great Lakes region. The study looked at how educators representing different ethnic backgrounds, academic preparation, and currently employed at different levels…

  6. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Eric M; Todd, Christopher N; Aanen, Duur K; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L; O'Connor, Patrick M; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66-24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7-10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape. PMID:27333288

  7. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Eric M.; Todd, Christopher N.; Aanen, Duur K.; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L.; O’Connor, Patrick M.; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66–24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7–10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape. PMID:27333288

  8. Seismic anisotropy of the lithosphere/asthenosphere system beneath the Rwenzori region of the East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homuth, Benjamin; Löbl, Ulrike; Batte, Arthur; Link, Klemens; Kasereka, Celestine; Rümpker, Georg

    2014-05-01

    We present results from a temporary seismic network of 32 broad-band stations located around the Rwenzori region of the Albertine rift at the border between Uganda and DR Congo. The study aims to constrain seismic anisotropy and mantle deformation processes in relation to the formation of the rift zone. Shear-wave splitting measurements from local and teleseismic earthquakes are used to investigate the seismic anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle beneath the Rwenzori region. At most stations, shear-wave splitting parameters obtained from individual earthquakes exhibit only minor variations with backazimuth. We therefore employ a joint inversion of SKS waveforms to derive hypothetical one-layer parameters. The corresponding fast polarizations are generally rift-parallel and the average delay time is about 1 s. On the other hand, shear phases from local events within the crust are characterized by a bimodal pattern of fast polarizations and an average delay time of 0.04 s. This observation suggests that the dominant source region for seismic anisotropy beneath the rift is located within the mantle. We use finite-frequency waveform modeling to test different models of anisotropy within the lithosphere/asthenosphere system of the rift. The results show that the rift-parallel fast polarizations are consistent with HTI anisotropy caused by rift-parallel magmatic intrusions or lenses located within the lithospheric mantle - as it would be expected during the early stages of continental rifting. Furthermore, the short-scale spatial variations in the fast polarizations observed in the southern part of the study area can be explained by effects due to sedimentary basins of low isotropic velocity in combination with a shift in the orientation of anisotropic fabrics in the upper mantle. A uniform anisotropic layer in relation to large-scale asthenospheric mantle flow is less consistent with the observed splitting parameters.

  9. West African monsoon dynamics inferred from abrupt fluctuations of Lake Mega-Chad

    PubMed Central

    Armitage, Simon J.; Bristow, Charlie S.; Drake, Nick A.

    2015-01-01

    From the deglacial period to the mid-Holocene, North Africa was characterized by much wetter conditions than today. The broad timing of this period, termed the African Humid Period, is well known. However, the rapidity of the onset and termination of the African Humid Period are contested, with strong evidence for both abrupt and gradual change. We use optically stimulated luminescence dating of dunes, shorelines, and fluviolacustrine deposits to reconstruct the fluctuations of Lake Mega-Chad, which was the largest pluvial lake in Africa. Humid conditions first occur at ∼15 ka, and by 11.5 ka, Lake Mega-Chad had reached a highstand, which persisted until 5.0 ka. Lake levels fell rapidly at ∼5 ka, indicating abrupt aridification across the entire Lake Mega-Chad Basin. This record provides strong terrestrial evidence that the African Humid Period ended abruptly, supporting the hypothesis that the African monsoon responds to insolation forcing in a markedly nonlinear manner. In addition, Lake Mega-Chad exerts strong control on global biogeochemical cycles because the northern (Bodélé) basin is currently the world’s greatest single dust source and possibly an important source of limiting nutrients for both the Amazon Basin and equatorial Atlantic. However, we demonstrate that the final desiccation of the Bodélé Basin occurred around 1 ka. Consequently, the present-day mode and scale of dust production from the Bodélé Basin cannot have occurred before 1 ka, suggesting that its role in fertilizing marine and terrestrial ecosystems is either overstated or geologically recent. PMID:26124133

  10. West African monsoon dynamics inferred from abrupt fluctuations of Lake Mega-Chad.

    PubMed

    Armitage, Simon J; Bristow, Charlie S; Drake, Nick A

    2015-07-14

    From the deglacial period to the mid-Holocene, North Africa was characterized by much wetter conditions than today. The broad timing of this period, termed the African Humid Period, is well known. However, the rapidity of the onset and termination of the African Humid Period are contested, with strong evidence for both abrupt and gradual change. We use optically stimulated luminescence dating of dunes, shorelines, and fluviolacustrine deposits to reconstruct the fluctuations of Lake Mega-Chad, which was the largest pluvial lake in Africa. Humid conditions first occur at ∼ 15 ka, and by 11.5 ka, Lake Mega-Chad had reached a highstand, which persisted until 5.0 ka. Lake levels fell rapidly at ∼ 5 ka, indicating abrupt aridification across the entire Lake Mega-Chad Basin. This record provides strong terrestrial evidence that the African Humid Period ended abruptly, supporting the hypothesis that the African monsoon responds to insolation forcing in a markedly nonlinear manner. In addition, Lake Mega-Chad exerts strong control on global biogeochemical cycles because the northern (Bodélé) basin is currently the world's greatest single dust source and possibly an important source of limiting nutrients for both the Amazon Basin and equatorial Atlantic. However, we demonstrate that the final desiccation of the Bodélé Basin occurred around 1 ka. Consequently, the present-day mode and scale of dust production from the Bodélé Basin cannot have occurred before 1 ka, suggesting that its role in fertilizing marine and terrestrial ecosystems is either overstated or geologically recent.

  11. Lake Mega-Chad, a West African Monsoon indicator and tipping element

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armitage, Simon; Bristow, Charlie; Drake, Nick

    2015-04-01

    From the deglacial period to the mid-Holocene, North Africa was characterised by much wetter conditions than today. The broad timing of this period, termed the African Humid Period, is well known. However, the rapidity of the onset and termination of the African Humid Period are contested, with strong evidence for both abrupt and gradual change. We use optically stimulated luminescence dating of dunes, shorelines and fluvio-lacustrine deposits to reconstruct the fluctuations of Lake Mega-Chad, which was the largest pluvial lake in Africa. Humid conditions first occur at ~15 ka, followed by a return to relatively arid conditions. By 11.5 ka Lake Mega-Chad had reached a highstand, which persisted until 5.0 ka. Lake levels fell rapidly at 5 ka, indicating abrupt aridification across the entire Lake Mega-Chad Basin. This record provides strong terrestrial evidence that the African Humid Period ended abruptly, supporting the hypothesis that the African monsoon responds to insolation forcing in a markedly non-linear manner. In addition, Lake Mega-Chad exerts strong control on global biogeochemical cycles since the northern (Bodélé) basin is currently the World's greatest single dust source, and possibly an important source of limiting nutrients for both the Amazon basin and equatorial Atlantic. However, we demonstrate that the final desiccation of the Bodélé Basin occurred around 1 ka. Consequently, the present-day mode and scale of dust production from Bodélé Basin cannot have occurred prior to 1 ka, suggesting that its role in fertilizing marine and terrestrial ecosystems is either overstated or geologically recent.

  12. High-coercivity minerals from North African Humid Period soil material deposited in Lake Yoa (Chad)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Just, J.; Kroepelin, S.; Wennrich, V.; Viehberg, F. A.; Wagner, B.; Rethemeyer, J.; Karls, J.; Melles, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Holocene is a period of fundamental climatic change in North Africa. Humid conditions during the so-called African Humid Period (AHP) have favored the formation of big lake systems. Only very few of these lakes persist until today. One of them is Lake Yoa (19°03'N/20°31'E) in the Ounianga Basin, Chad, which maintains its water level by ground water inflow. Here we present the magnetic characteristics together with proxies for lacustrine productivity and biota of a sediment core (Co1240) from Lake Yoa, retrieved in 2010 within the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre 806 - Our Way to Europe (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Magnetic properties of AHP sediments show strong indications for reductive diagenesis. An up to ~ 80 m higher lake level is documented by lacustrine deposits in the Ounianga Basin, dating to the early phase of the AHP. The higher lake level and less strong seasonality restricted deep mixing of the lake. Development of anoxic conditions consequently lead to the dissolution of iron oxides. An exception is an interval with high concentration of high-coercivity magnetic minerals, deposited between 7800 - 8120 cal yr BP. This interval post-dates the 8.2 event, which was dry in Northern Africa and probably caused a reduced vegetation cover. We propose that the latter resulted in the destabilization of soils around Lake Yoa. After the re-establishment of humid conditions, these soil materials were eroded and deposited in the lake. Magnetic minerals appear well preserved in the varved Late Holocene sequence, indicating (sub-) oxic conditions in the lake. This is surprising, because the occurrence of varves is often interpreted as an indicator for anoxic conditions of the lake water. However, the salinity of lake water rose strongly after the AHP. We therefore hypothesize that the conservation of varves and absence of benthic organisms rather relates to the high salinity than to anoxic conditions.

  13. Geochemistry of 24 Ma Basalts from Northeast Egypt: Implications for Small-Scale Convection Beneath the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endress, C. A.; Furman, T.; Ali Abu El-Rus, M.

    2009-12-01

    Basalts ~24 Ma in the Cairo-Suez and Fayyum districts of NE Egypt represent the youngest and northernmost lavas potentially associated with the initiation of rifting of the Red Sea. The age of these basalts corresponds to a time period of significant regional magmatism that occurred subsequent to emplacement of 30 Ma flood basalts attributed to the Afar Plume in Ethiopia and Yemen. Beginning ~28 Ma, widespread magmatism occurred across supra-equatorial Africa in Hoggar (Algeria), Tibesti (Chad), Darfur (Sudan), Turkana (Kenya) and Samalat, Bahariya, Quesir and the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) (e.g. Allegre et al., 1981; Meneisy, 1990; Baldridge et al., 1991; Wilson and Guiraud, 1992; Furman et al., 2006; Lucassen et al., 2008). Available geochemical and isotopic data indicate that Hoggar and Darfur basalts are similar to Turkana lavas, although no direct link between the N African lavas and the Kenya Plume has been made. New geochemical data on the NE Egyptian basalts provide insight into the thermochemical, isotopic, and mineralogical characteristics of the mantle beneath the region in which they were emplaced. The basalts are subalkaline with OIB-like incompatible trace element abundances and homogeneous major element, trace element and isotopic geochemistry. They display relatively flat ITE patterns, with notable positive Pb and negative P anomalies. Isotopic (143Nd/144Nd = 0.51274-0.51285, 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7049-0.7050) and trace element signatures (Ce/Pb = 16-22, Ba/Nb = 9-14, and La/Nb = 0.9-1.0) are consistent with melting of a sub-lithospheric source that has been slightly contaminated by continental crust during ascent and emplacement. The Pb isotopic ratios (206Pb/204Pb = 18.53-18.62, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.59-15.64, and 208Pb/204Pb = 38.80-39.00) in the Egyptian basalts are close to the range of those found in the 30 Ma Ethiopian flood basalts, which are distinct from the more highly radiogenic, high-μ type signature seen in basalts from Turkana, Darfur, and Hoggar

  14. Seroprevalence of Rift Valley fever, Q fever, and brucellosis in ruminants on the southeastern shore of Lake Chad.

    PubMed

    Abakar, Mahamat Fayiz; Naré, Ngandolo B; Schelling, Esther; Hattendorf, Jan; Alfaroukh, Idriss O; Zinsstag, Jakob

    2014-10-01

    The seroprevalence of Rift Valley fever (RVF), brucellosis, and Q fever among domestic ruminants on the southeastern shore of Lake Chad was studied. The study area consisted of two parts, including mainland and islands. On the mainland, the study was conducted in nine randomly selected villages and camps. On the islands, samples were collected from all four available sites. A total of 985 serum samples were collected and 924 were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for RVF. A total of 561 samples collected from islands were analyzed using ELISA for Q fever and both ELISA and Rose Bengal tests (RBT) for brucellosis. The apparent RVF seroprevalence by species was 37.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 34.2-41.3) in cattle, 18.8% (95% CI 12.3-25.2) in goats, and 10.8% (95% CI 3.0-18.5) in sheep. For brucellosis and Q fever, only cattle samples from islands were analyzed. For Q fever, the apparent seroprevalence was 7.8% (95% CI 5.6-10.1). For brucellosis, the RBT showed a prevalence of 5.7% (95% CI 3.8-7.6), and ELISA showed 11.9% (95% CI 9.3-14.6) with a kappa value of 0.53 showing a moderate agreement between the two tests. This study confirms the presence of the three diseases in the study area. More research is required to assess the importance for public health and conservation of the Kouri cattle breed.

  15. Seismic Anisotropy of the Lithosphere/Asthenosphere System Beneath the Rwenzori Region of the East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homuth, B.; Löbl, U.; Batte, A.; Link, K.; Kasereka, C.; Rumpker, G.

    2014-12-01

    We present results from a temporary seismic network of 32 broad-band stations located around the Rwenzori region of the Albertine rift at the border between Uganda and DR Congo. The study aims to constrain seismic anisotropy and mantle deformation processes in relation to the formation of the rift zone. Shear-wave splitting measurements from local and teleseismic earthquakes are used to investigate the seismic anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle beneath the Rwenzori region. At most stations, shear-wave splitting parameters obtained from individual earthquakes exhibit only minor variations with backazimuth. We therefore employ a joint inversion of SKS waveforms to derive hypothetical one-layer parameters. The corresponding fast polarizations are generally rift-parallel and the average delay time is about 1 s. On the other hand, shear phases from local events within the crust are characterized by an average delay time of 0.04 s. This observation suggests that the dominant source region for seismic anisotropy beneath the rift is located within the mantle. We use finite-frequency waveform modeling to test different models of anisotropy within the lithosphere/asthenosphere system of the rift. The results show that the rift-parallel fast polarizations are consistent with HTI anisotropy caused by magmatic intrusions or lenses located within the lithospheric mantle - as it would be expected during the early stages of continental rifting. Furthermore, the short-scale spatial variations in the fast polarizations observed in the southern part of the study area can be explained by effects due to sedimentary basins of low isotropic velocity in combination with a shift in the orientation of anisotropic fabrics in the upper mantle. A uniform anisotropic layer in relation to large-scale asthenospheric mantle flow is less consistent with the observed splitting parameters.

  16. Conservative coevolution of Müllerian mimicry in a group of rift lake catfish.

    PubMed

    Wright, Jeremy J

    2011-02-01

    Biological mimicry has long been viewed as a powerful example of natural selection's ability to drive phenotypic evolution, although continuing debates surround the mechanisms leading to its development and the nature of these mimetic relationships. Müllerian mimicry, in which unpalatable species derive a mutual selective benefit through evolved phenotypic similarity, has alternatively been proposed to evolve through either a two-step process initiated by a large mutational change, or through continuous gradual evolution toward a common aposematic phenotype. I exposed a model predatory fish species to two species of endemic Lake Tanganyikan Synodontis to provide evidence for aposematism and the presence of Müllerian mimicry in these species. Predators quickly became conditioned to avoid the venomous catfish and did not discriminate between the two species when they were switched, supporting a hypothesis of functional Müllerian mimicry in this group of similarly colored fish. Ancestral state reconstructions and statistical comparisons of color pattern divergence in Tanganyikan Synodontis indicate that Müllerian mimicry in these catfish has developed through diversification of an aposematic common ancestor with subsequent conservative mutualistic coevolution among its daughter lineages, rather than advergent evolution of a mimic toward a nonrelated model, as assumed by widely accepted models of Müllerian mimicry evolution.

  17. Mineralogy and origin of rhizoliths on the margins of saline, alkaline Lake Bogoria, Kenya Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, Richard Alastair; Owen, Richard Bernhart; Renaut, Robin W.; Scott, Jennifer J.; Jones, Brian; Ashley, Gail M.

    2008-01-01

    A wide range of rhizoliths occurs around the margins of Lake Bogoria, Kenya. These include root casts, moulds, tubules, rhizocretions, and permineralised root systems. These rhizoliths are variably composed of opaline silica, calcite, zeolites (mainly analcime), fluorite, and possibly fluorapatite, either alone or in combinations. Some rhizoliths are infilled moulds with detrital silicate grains. Most rhizoliths are in situ, showing both vertical and horizontal orientations. Reworked rhizoliths have been concentrated locally to form dense rhizolites. Hot-spring fluids, concentrated by evapotranspiration and capillary evaporation, have provided most of the silica for the permineralisation of the plant tissues. Precipitation involved the growth of silica nanospheres and microspheres that coalesced into homogeneous masses. Calcite rhizoliths formed following evaporative concentration, evapotranspiration, and (or) CO 2 degassing of Ca-bearing runoff water that infiltrated the sediment, or by mixing of runoff with saline, alkaline groundwater. Fluorite precipitated in areas where mixing of hot-spring and meteoric waters occurred, or possibly where hot-spring fluids came into contact with pre-existing calcite. Zeolitic rhizoliths formed during a prolonged period of aridity, when capillary rise and evaporative pumping brought saline, alkaline waters into contact with detrital silicate minerals around roots.

  18. Constraining the Composition of the Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle Beneath the East African Rift: FTIR Analysis of Water in Spinel Peridotite Mantle Xenoliths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, Stephanie Gwen; Nelson, Wendy R.; Peslier, Anne H.; Snow, Jonathan E.

    2014-01-01

    The East African Rift System was initiated by the impingement of the Afar mantle plume on the base of the non-cratonic continental lithosphere (assembled during the Pan-African Orogeny), producing over 300,000 kmof continental flood basalts approx.30 Ma ago. The contribution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) to this voluminous period of volcanism is implied based on basaltic geochemical and isotopic data. However, the role of percolating melts on the SCLM composition is less clear. Metasomatism is capable of hybridizing or overprinting the geochemical signature of the SCLM. In addition, models suggest that adding fluids to lithospheric mantle affects its stability. We investigated the nature of the SCLM using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) to measure water content in mantle xenoliths entrained in young (1 Ma) basaltic lavas from the Ethiopian volcanic province. The mantle xenoliths consist dominantly of spinel lherzolites and are composed of nominally anhydrous minerals, which can contain trace water as H in mineral defects. Eleven mantle xenoliths come from the Injibara-Gojam region and two from the Mega-Sidamo region. Water abundances of olivines in six samples are 1-5ppm H2O while the rest are below the limit of detection (<0.5 ppm H2O); orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene contain 80-238 and 111-340 ppm wt H2O, respectively. Two xenoliths have higher water contents - a websterite (470 ppm) and dunite (229 ppm), consistent with involvement of ascending melts. The low water content of the upper SCLM beneath Ethiopia is as dry as the oceanic mantle except for small domains represented by percolating melts. Consequently, rifting of the East African lithosphere may not have been facilitated by a hydrated upper mantle.

  19. Ecomorphological variability of Arthrospira fusiformis (Cyanoprokaryota) in African soda lakes.

    PubMed

    Kaggwa, Mary Nakabungo; Burian, Alfred; Oduor, Steve Omondi; Schagerl, Michael

    2013-10-01

    The filamentous spirally coiled cyanoprokaryote Arthrospira fusiformis is found in extremely high densities in tropical soda lakes acting as driving force of the food web. We studied pronounced temporal morphological changes of Arthrospira in Kenyan soda lakes, Nakuru and Bogoria, and identified underlying key factors. Cell (diameter and height) and filament (height of coil, coil diameter, and number) dimensions were measured from weekly samples collected over a period of 16 months. In both lakes, medium-sized cells and large, widely coiled filaments prevailed most. Percentage of large, widely coiled filaments was promoted by elevated levels of soluble reactive phosphorus, wind speed, temperature and conductivity and the opposite for small filaments. Large, narrow-coiled filaments were associated with an increase in mainly Arthrospira-grazing zooplankton and cyanophage infections. Widely coiled spirals were promoted by increased turbulences. Based on fluorescence measurements, we found widely coiled filaments representing high vitality. From this study we were able to demonstrate for the first time morphological patterns of Arthrospira in nature. Arthrospira morphotypes are suitable for indicating the biological status in soda lakes as they are subjective and therefore reflective of what is happening in its habitat. Additionally, this outcome might be also of interest for commercial 'Spirulina' farms in enhancing high-quality production. PMID:24000144

  20. Ecomorphological variability of Arthrospira fusiformis (Cyanoprokaryota) in African soda lakes

    PubMed Central

    Kaggwa, Mary Nakabungo; Burian, Alfred; Oduor, Steve Omondi; Schagerl, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The filamentous spirally coiled cyanoprokaryote Arthrospira fusiformis is found in extremely high densities in tropical soda lakes acting as driving force of the food web. We studied pronounced temporal morphological changes of Arthrospira in Kenyan soda lakes, Nakuru and Bogoria, and identified underlying key factors. Cell (diameter and height) and filament (height of coil, coil diameter, and number) dimensions were measured from weekly samples collected over a period of 16 months. In both lakes, medium-sized cells and large, widely coiled filaments prevailed most. Percentage of large, widely coiled filaments was promoted by elevated levels of soluble reactive phosphorus, wind speed, temperature and conductivity and the opposite for small filaments. Large, narrow-coiled filaments were associated with an increase in mainly Arthrospira-grazing zooplankton and cyanophage infections. Widely coiled spirals were promoted by increased turbulences. Based on fluorescence measurements, we found widely coiled filaments representing high vitality. From this study we were able to demonstrate for the first time morphological patterns of Arthrospira in nature. Arthrospira morphotypes are suitable for indicating the biological status in soda lakes as they are subjective and therefore reflective of what is happening in its habitat. Additionally, this outcome might be also of interest for commercial ′Spirulina′ farms in enhancing high-quality production. PMID:24000144

  1. From Lake Malawi Drilling: East African Climate May Have Caused Major Evolutionary Turnover in Mammalian Species During MIS 14

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Thomas; Werne, Josef

    2016-04-01

    interglacial periods alternating with relatively cool, dry glacial periods. One of the coldest, and most prolonged dry periods of the last million years in the Malawi basin occurred around 540 ka (MIS 14). This perturbation in the climate may have been a factor in the substantial mammalian extinctions and increased cranial capacity of Homo that occurred during this time. As more long-term, high-resolution histories of climate are recovered from the other great lakes of East Africa, we will be able to address key questions raised by the Malawi record, e.g., the extent of the rift valley that shifted to wetter conditions over the past million years, and whether MIS 14 was an unusually cold ice age throughout the region. Future drilling campaigns on the East African Great Lakes will offer unique opportunities to understand the changing landscape where our ancestors evolved, migrated, and advanced their cultures.

  2. Clinopyroxene-host disequilibrium (Sr-Nd-Pb isotope systematics) in ultra-potassic magmas from East-African Rift: Implications for magma mixing and source heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muravyeva, Natalya; Belyatsky, Boris; Senin, Valeriy

    2014-05-01

    Nd, Pb and Sr isotope ratios have been determined for kamafugite lava and clinopyroxene and phlogopite phenocrysts from Toro-Ankole and Virunga volcanic fields of the East African Rift. The whole rock Sr - Nd isotopic signatures of kamafugites (87Sr/86Sr: 0.70463 - 0.70536; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51249 - 0.51255) suggest derivation from an EM1-type mantle source. In contrast, Pb isotopic compositions of the same samples (206Pb/204Pb: 19.00 - 19.57; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.69 - 15.74; 208Pb/204Pb: 39.30 - 40.26) reveal a similarity to EM2-type mantle. New Nd, Pb and Sr isotopic data for clinopyroxene (87Sr/86Sr: 0.70473 - 0.70503; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51250 - 0.51254; 206Pb/204Pb: 18.04 - 18.17; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.58 - 15.60; 208Pb/204Pb: 38.09 - 38.23) suggest derivation from an EM1-like source, and indicate Sr and Pb isotope disequilibrium between clinopyroxene and corresponding host rock. Moreover, clinopyroxenes demonstrating a greater degree of isotopic disequilibrium with their host rock are more sodic in composition. The isotopic disequilibrium is corroborated by the presence of chemical zoning within clinopyroxene, which suggests rapid magma ascent rates preventing melt homogenization. The Pb isotopic ratios for both mineral and corresponding whole rock, together with published data on East African rift-related alkaline centers, define a trend interpreted to represent a mixing line for melts derived from sources such as EM1 and as HIMU. The similar isotopic compositions for clinopyroxene from the different volcanic rocks within the East African Rift suggest the existence of a common, older mantle source for their parental melts. The origin of these melts can be attributed to an enrichment event ~ 400-500 Ma, i.e., significantly prior the younger (Quaternary) ultrapotassic magmatism. Our preferred interpretation for the results reported here involves the mixing of the melts derived from EM1- and HIMU-like sources, which were rapidly transported to the Earth's surface. The primary

  3. Morphostructural evidence for Recent/active extension in Central Tanzania beyond the southern termination of the Kenya Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; Rolet, J.; Gernigon, L.; Ebinger, C.; Gloaguen, R.

    2003-04-01

    Zanzibar-Kerimbas graben system. The structural connection of the Kilombero rifted zone with the Lake Malawi rift further south is also envisaged and should imply the link of the eastern and western branchs of the East African Rift System south of the Tanzanian craton.

  4. A reassessment of lake and wetland feedbacks on the North African Holocene climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krinner, G.; Lézine, A.-M.; Braconnot, P.; Sepulchre, P.; Ramstein, G.; Grenier, C.; Gouttevin, I.

    2012-04-01

    Large parts of the Sahara were vegetated during the early to mid Holocene. Several positive feedbacks, most notably related to vegetation, have been shown to have favored the northward migration of the desert boundary. During this period, numerous lakes and wetlands existed in the Sahara region and might have acted as a local moisture source. However, earlier model studies of the effects of open water surfaces on the mid-Holocene North African climate suggested that these were weak and did not contribute significantly to this northward migration of the North African climate zones. Using a state-of-the-art climate model, we suggest that the effect of open-water surfaces on the mid-Holocene North African climate might have been much stronger than previously estimated, regionally more than doubling the simulated precipitation rates. It is thus possible that this effect, combined to other known positive feedbacks, favored the appearance of the “Green Sahara”.

  5. The impact of the geologic history and paleoclimate on the diversification of East african cichlids.

    PubMed

    Danley, Patrick D; Husemann, Martin; Ding, Baoqing; Dipietro, Lyndsay M; Beverly, Emily J; Peppe, Daniel J

    2012-01-01

    The cichlid fishes of the East African Great Lakes are the largest extant vertebrate radiation identified to date. These lakes and their surrounding waters support over 2,000 species of cichlid fish, many of which are descended from a single common ancestor within the past 10 Ma. The extraordinary East African cichlid diversity is intricately linked to the highly variable geologic and paleoclimatic history of this region. Greater than 10 Ma, the western arm of the East African rift system began to separate, thereby creating a series of rift basins that would come to contain several water bodies, including the extremely deep Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi. Uplifting associated with this rifting backponded many rivers and created the extremely large, but shallow Lake Victoria. Since their creation, the size, shape, and existence of these lakes have changed dramatically which has, in turn, significantly influenced the evolutionary history of the lakes' cichlids. This paper reviews the geologic history and paleoclimate of the East African Great Lakes and the impact of these forces on the region's endemic cichlid flocks.

  6. The Impact of the Geologic History and Paleoclimate on the Diversification of East African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Danley, Patrick D.; Husemann, Martin; Ding, Baoqing; DiPietro, Lyndsay M.; Beverly, Emily J.; Peppe, Daniel J.

    2012-01-01

    The cichlid fishes of the East African Great Lakes are the largest extant vertebrate radiation identified to date. These lakes and their surrounding waters support over 2,000 species of cichlid fish, many of which are descended from a single common ancestor within the past 10 Ma. The extraordinary East African cichlid diversity is intricately linked to the highly variable geologic and paleoclimatic history of this region. Greater than 10 Ma, the western arm of the East African rift system began to separate, thereby creating a series of rift basins that would come to contain several water bodies, including the extremely deep Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi. Uplifting associated with this rifting backponded many rivers and created the extremely large, but shallow Lake Victoria. Since their creation, the size, shape, and existence of these lakes have changed dramatically which has, in turn, significantly influenced the evolutionary history of the lakes' cichlids. This paper reviews the geologic history and paleoclimate of the East African Great Lakes and the impact of these forces on the region's endemic cichlid flocks. PMID:22888465

  7. STS-55 Earth observation of Lake Natron, Tanzania, East Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    STS-55 Earth observation taken aboard Columbia, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102, shows Lake Natron in Tansania, in the 35-mile-wide East African Rift Valley. This lake is surrounded by sodium carbonate volcanoes. Through erosion, these salts of volcanic origin are transported into the rift valley lakes. The various shades of bright red reflecting from the lake result from the water chemistry and biotic blooms. The white spots in the lakebed are drying soda salts. The depth and circulation of the water in the southern end of the lake cause it to appear dark blue rather than bright red. In the repeated photographs of this lake from orbit, we have seen the extent and intensity of its colors fluctuate seasonally. In this photograph, the biotic activity appears to be at a peak. Such a large extent of red-colored water was not present in the photos taken from STS-56, just a few days before (04-10-93).

  8. Post pan-african denudation history of southwestern Madagascar during the complex rift-drift evolution of the island: new aspects from titanite and apatite fission track analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmel, B.; Jacobs, J.

    2003-04-01

    Titanite and apatite fission track (FT) thermochronology from 53 basement outcrops in southwest Madagascar reveal a protracted post Pan-African history of extensional tectonism, denudation and sedimentation. The titanite FT ages range between 276 ± 14 Ma and 379 ± 38 Ma. Apatite FT ages vary between 117 ± 26 Ma and 379 ± 19 Ma with mean track length scattering between 11.7 ± 0.59 μm and 13.74 ± 0.21 μm. Combined titanite and apatite FT data were used to calculate denudation rates. Samples from the paleo western margin of Madagascar along the N-S striking Pan-African Ejeda shear zone give above-average denudation rates (100-205 mMa-1) during Carboniferous times. The shear zone was probably reactivated during this times. In contrast the calculated denudation rates for samples from the interior of the island are moderate (25-120 mMa-1). Vitrinite reflectance data from the Sakoa coal area as well as titanite and apatite FT data imply that during the Permo-Triassic rifting, the areas along the paleo western margin that previously underwent fast denudation were buried by a sedimentary cover of up to ˜4.5 km. At this time, a graben developed further inland along the NW-SE striking transcontinental Bongolava-Ranotsara shear zone (BRSZ). Modelled time-temperature paths indicate that the area within the BRSZ remained cool and unaffected since Carboniferous times whereas the samples northeast and southwest of the BRSZ suggest phases of differential cooling during Permian-Triassic times. Seismic data from the Morondava basin indicate that during the Middle Jurassic drift between Madagascar and East-Africa a rift jump towards the west occurred. Modelled time-temperature histories of basement units from the paleo western margin, buried during Permo Triassic times, were exhumed during Jurassic times. This is most probably related with the modified rift kinematics and the associated southwest migration of the margin. Modelled time-temperature paths of all samples from

  9. InSAR and GPS measurements along the Kivu segment of the East African Rift System during the 2011-2012 Nyamulagira volcanic eruption.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nobile, Adriano; Geirsson, Halldor; Smets, Benoît; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, François

    2016-04-01

    Along the East African Rift System (EARS), magma intrusions represent a major component in continental rifting. When these intrusions reach the surface, they cause volcanic eruptions. This is the case of the last flank eruption of Nyamulagira, which occurred from November 6 2011 to April 2012. Nyamulagira is an active shield volcano with a central caldera, located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, along the Kivu segment of the East African Rift System. From 1948 to 2012, Nyamulagira mostly showed a particular eruptive cycle with 1) classical short-lived (i.e., 20-30 days) flank eruptions, sometimes accompanied with intracrateral activity, which occurred every 1-4 years on average, and 2) less frequent long-lived (i.e., several months) eruptions usually emitting larger volumes of lava that take place at larger distance (>8 km) from the central caldera. The 2011-2012 Nyamulagira eruption is of that second type. Here we used InSAR data from different satellite (Envisat, Cosmo SkyMed, TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT) to measure pre-, co and post-eruptive ground displacement associated with the Nyamulagira 2011-2012 eruption. Results suggest that a magma intrusion preceded by two days the eruption. This intrusion corresponded to the migration of magma from a shallow reservoir (~3km) below the caldera to the two eruptive fissures located ~11 km ENE of the central edifice. Available seismic data are in agreement with InSAR results showing increased seismic activity since November 4 2011, with long- and short-period earthquakes swarms. Using analytical models we invert the measured ground displacements during the first co-eruptive month to evaluate the deformation source parameters and the mechanism of magma emplacement for this eruption. GPS data from permanent stations in the KivuGNet network are used to constrain the temporal evolution of the eruption and evaluate far-field deformation, while the InSAR data is more sensitive to the near-field deformation

  10. Enemies and turncoats: bovine tuberculosis exposes pathogenic potential of Rift Valley fever virus in a common host, African buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

    PubMed Central

    Beechler, B. R.; Manore, C. A.; Reininghaus, B.; O'Neal, D.; Gorsich, E. E.; Ezenwa, V. O.; Jolles, A. E.

    2015-01-01

    The ubiquity and importance of parasite co-infections in populations of free-living animals is beginning to be recognized, but few studies have demonstrated differential fitness effects of single infection versus co-infection in free-living populations. We investigated interactions between the emerging bacterial disease bovine tuberculosis (BTB) and the previously existing viral disease Rift Valley fever (RVF) in a competent reservoir host, African buffalo, combining data from a natural outbreak of RVF in captive buffalo at a buffalo breeding facility in 2008 with data collected from a neighbouring free-living herd of African buffalo in Kruger National Park. RVF infection was twice as likely in individual BTB+ buffalo as in BTB− buffalo, which, according to a mathematical model, may increase RVF outbreak size at the population level. In addition, co-infection was associated with a far higher rate of fetal abortion than other infection states. Immune interactions between BTB and RVF may underlie both of these interactions, since animals with BTB had decreased innate immunity and increased pro-inflammatory immune responses. This study is one of the first to demonstrate how the consequences of emerging infections extend beyond direct effects on host health, potentially altering the dynamics and fitness effects of infectious diseases that had previously existed in the ecosystem on free-ranging wildlife populations. PMID:25788592

  11. STS-57 Earth observation of Lake Victoria, Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    STS-57 Earth observation taken aboard Endeavour, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 105, is of Africa's Lake Victoria, which sits in the middle of the East African Rift Valley System.Lake Victoria is a major resource in eastern Africa, especially to the countries bordering the lake -- Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Typical summer indicators in equatorial Africa -- puffy clouds over land mass and clear skies over the lakes -- are in the view. Lake Albert in the western section of the Rift Valley and Lake Turkana in the eastern section can be seen to the west and east of Lake Victoria, respectively. Most of the other features on the right are obscured by clouds. NASA scientists studying the STS-57 Earth photography point out that the wide perspective of this scene gives a sense of the three-dimensional profile of the whole rift system. The scientists cite the way in which the component valleys of the rift system ramp up to Lake Victoria on either side.

  12. Calibration and application of the branched GDGT temperature proxy on East African lake sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loomis, Shannon E.; Russell, James M.; Ladd, Bethany; Street-Perrott, F. Alayne; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2012-12-01

    Branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) are a novel proxy for mean annual air temperature (MAAT) and have the potential to be broadly applicable to climate reconstruction using lacustrine sediments. Several calibrations have been put forth relating brGDGT distributions to MAAT using a variety of linear regressions, including the methylation (MBT) and cyclization (CBT) indices of brGDGTs, the relative abundances of the major, non-cyclized brGDGTs (MbrGDGTs), and best subsets regression (BSR) of the fractional abundances of the nine most common brGDGTs. However, these calibrations have rarely been applied to lake sediment cores to reconstruct temperatures and test the applicability of this proxy as a paleothermometer. We present an expanded East African lakes surface sediment brGDGT dataset based upon 111 lakes and examine three methods of calibrating brGDGTs to MAAT. These methods include recalculations of the East African lake MBT/CBT calibration and MbrGDGTs calibrations, as well as a new stepwise forward selection (SFS) calibration that uses the four combined brGDGTs that explain the most variance in temperature in our calibration set. We apply these new calibrations as well as five previously published lacustrine brGDGT calibrations to the brGDGT distributions of our surface sediment dataset and a 48 kyr sediment core from Sacred Lake, Mt. Kenya, producing the first brGDGT temperature reconstruction available from a small tropical lake. We compare the reconstructed temperatures to previously published paleotemperature records from East Africa to help us assess the performance of the brGDGT calibrations. We find that the SFS calibration has a consistently low root mean squared error of prediction (RMSEP) over the entire range of MAAT, while the MBT/CBT and MbrGDGT calibrations have relatively large RMSEPs, particularly between lakes with similar temperatures but variable pH. This suggests that these techniques do not properly deconvolve the

  13. Adaptive divergence between lake and stream populations of an East African cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Theis, Anya; Ronco, Fabrizia; Indermaur, Adrian; Salzburger, Walter; Egger, Bernd

    2014-11-01

    Divergent natural selection acting in different habitats may build up barriers to gene flow and initiate speciation. This speciation continuum can range from weak or no divergence to strong genetic differentiation between populations. Here, we focus on the early phases of adaptive divergence in the East African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni, which occurs in both Lake Tanganyika (LT) and inflowing rivers. We first assessed the population structure and morphological differences in A. burtoni from southern LT. We then focused on four lake-stream systems and quantified body shape, ecologically relevant traits (gill raker and lower pharyngeal jaw) as well as stomach contents. Our study revealed the presence of several divergent lake-stream populations that rest at different stages of the speciation continuum, but show the same morphological and ecological trajectories along the lake-stream gradient. Lake fish have higher bodies, a more superior mouth position, longer gill rakers and more slender pharyngeal jaws, and they show a plant/algae and zooplankton-biased diet, whereas stream fish feed more on snails, insects and plant seeds. A test for reproductive isolation between closely related lake and stream populations did not detect population-assortative mating. Analyses of F1 offspring reared under common garden conditions indicate that the detected differences in body shape and gill raker length do not constitute pure plastic responses to different environmental conditions, but also have a genetic basis. Taken together, the A. burtoni lake-stream system constitutes a new model to study the factors that enhance and constrain progress towards speciation in cichlid fishes.

  14. Genetic evidence for Rift Valley fever outbreaks in Madagascar resulting from virus introductions from the East African mainland rather than enzootic maintenance.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Serena A; Reynes, Jean-Marc; Khristova, Marina L; Andriamandimby, Soa Fy; Rollin, Pierre E; Nichol, Stuart T

    2011-07-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a mosquito-borne phlebovirus, has been detected in Madagascar since 1979, with occasional outbreaks. In 2008 to 2009, a large RVFV outbreak was detected in Malagasy livestock and humans during two successive rainy seasons. To determine whether cases were due to enzootic maintenance of the virus within Madagascar or to importation from the East African mainland, nine RVFV whole genomic sequences were generated for viruses from the 1991 and 2008 Malagasy outbreaks. Bayesian coalescent analyses of available whole S, M, and L segment sequences were used to estimate the time to the most recent common ancestor for the RVFVs. The 1979 Madagascar isolate shared a common ancestor with strains on the mainland around 1972. The 1991 Madagascar isolates were in a clade distinct from that of the 1979 isolate and shared a common ancestor around 1987. Finally, the 2008 Madagascar viruses were embedded within a large clade of RVFVs from the 2006-2007 outbreak in East Africa and shared a common ancestor around 2003 to 2004. These results suggest that the most recent Madagascar outbreak was caused by a virus likely arriving in the country some time between 2003 and 2008 and that this outbreak may be an extension of the 2006-2007 East African outbreak. Clustering of the Malagasy sequences into subclades indicates that the viruses have continued to evolve during their short-term circulation within the country. These data are consistent with the notion that RVFV outbreaks in Madagascar result not from emergence from enzootic cycles within the country but from recurrent virus introductions from the East African mainland.

  15. Hydrocarbon potential of intracratonic rift basins

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, D.G.; Derksen, S.J.

    1984-09-01

    Significant world oil reserves have been added in recent years from rift system. Examples of petroliferous rift basins may be found on nearly every major continent. As our understanding of the mechanisms of sedimentation and structure in rift basins grows, more rift systems will be found. With a few notable exceptions, rifts that have been explored in the past are those that formed along continental margins. These contain marine sediments, and the conditions of source rock, sediment type, depositional environment, and structural style are well-known exploration concepts. Intracratonic rift systems containing continental sediments, and also because of the problems perceived to accompany continental sedimentation. A good modern analog is the East African rift system. Several companies have made significant oil discoveries in different components of the Central African rift system. Average daily production for 1982 from the basins associated with the Benue trough was 107.928 BOPD. In the Abu Gabra rift component, where Marathon is currently exploring, Chevron has drilled approximately 60 wells. Nineteen of these were discoveries and tested an average rate per well of 3,500 BOPD. The Abu Gabra rift may contain up to 10 billion bbl of oil. Research indicates that this type of rift system is present in other areas of the world. Ongoing worldwide exploration has shown that intracratonic rift basins have the potential to make a significant contribution to world oil reserves.

  16. Lakes, Lagerstaetten, and Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordesch, E. G.; Park, L. E.

    2001-12-01

    The diversity of terrestrial systems is estimated to be greater than in the marine realm. However no hard data yet exists to substantiate this claim. Ancient lacustrine deposits may preserve an exceptionally diverse fossil fauna and aid in determining continental faunal diversities. Fossils preserved in lake deposits, especially those with exceptional preservation (i.e. Konservat Lagerstaetten), may represent a dependable method for determining species diversity changes in the terrestrial environment because of their faunal completeness. Important Konservat Lagerstaetten, such as the Green River Formation (US) and Messel (Germany), both Eocene in age, are found in lake sediments and show a remarkable faunal diversity for both vertebrates and invertebrates. To date information from nearly 25 lake lagerstaetten derived from different types of lake basins from the Carboniferous to the Miocene have been collected and described. Carboniferous sites derive from the cyclothems of Midcontinent of the US while many Cenozoic sites have been described from North and South America as well as Europe and Australia. Asian sites contain fossils from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. With this data, insight into the evolutionary processes associated with lake systems can be examined. Do lakes act as unique evolutionary crucibles in contrast to marine systems? The speciation of cichlid fishes in present-day African lakes appears to be very high and is attributed to the diversity of environments found in large rift lakes. Is this true of all ancient lakes or just large rift lakes? The longevity of a lake system may be an important factor in allowing speciation and evolutionary processes to occur; marine systems are limited only in the existence of environments as controlled by tectonics and sea level changes, on the order of tens of millions of years. Rift lakes are normally the longest lived in the millions of years. Perhaps there are only certain types of lakes in which speciation of

  17. The Lake Bosumtwi Drilling Project: A 1 Ma West African Paleoclimate Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peck, J. A.; Heil, C.; King, J. W.; Scholz, C. A.; Shanahan, T. M.; Overpeck, J. T.; Fox, P. A.; Amoako, P. Y.; Forman, S. L.; Koeberl, C.; Milkereit, B.

    2005-12-01

    Lake Bosumtwi occupies a 1.07 Ma impact crater located in Ghana, West Africa centered at 06*32'N and 01*25'W. This 78 m deep, hydrologically-closed lake has a water budget extremely sensitive to the precipitation/evapotranspiration balance and is located in the path of the seasonal migration of the ITCZ. Therefore, Lake Bosumtwi is ideally situated to provide a long record of change in North African monsoon strength. In addition, the stratified water column allows for the preservation of finely-laminated sediments and the potential for high-resolution (annual) paleoclimate reconstruction. Using the GLAD800 lake drilling system, five drill sites were occupied along a water-depth transect in order to facilitate the reconstruction of the lake level history. At these five sites, a total of 14 separate holes were drilled yielding a total sediment recovery of 1,833 m. The shallow water drill sites consist of alternating laminated lacustrine mud (deepwater environment), moderately-sorted sand (nearshore beach environment) and sandy gravel (fluvial or lake marginal environments). These sediment cores and seismic reflection profiles are being used to construct a basin-wide stratigraphic framework, in order to extend further back in time the present Bosumtwi lake level histories obtained from highstand terraces and short piston cores. At a deep water site, the complete 1 Ma lacustrine stratigraphic section was recovered in 294 m deep holes that ended in impact-glass bearing, accretionary lapilli fallout representing the initial days of sedimentation. The lowermost lacustrine sediment is a bioturbated, light-gray mud with abundant gastropod shells indicating that a shallow-water oxic lake environment was established in the crater. Much of the overlying 294 m of mud is laminated thus these sediment cores will provide a unique 1 million year record of tropical African climate change. Two contrasting litholgies identified in the dated, upper part of the deep water drill hole

  18. Seroprevalence of Rift Valley fever and lumpy skin disease in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in the Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Fagbo, Shamsudeen; Coetzer, Jacobus A W; Venter, Estelle H

    2014-01-01

    Rift Valley fever and lumpy skin disease are transboundary viral diseases endemic in Africa and some parts of the Middle East, but with increasing potential for global emergence. Wild ruminants, such as the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), are thought to play a role in the epidemiology of these diseases. This study sought to expand the understanding of the role of buffalo in the maintenance of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) by determining seroprevalence to these viruses during an inter-epidemic period. Buffaloes from the Kruger National Park (n = 138) and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (n = 110) in South Africa were sampled and tested for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and neutralising antibodies against LSDV and RVFV using an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (I-ELISA) and the serum neutralisation test (SNT). The I-ELISA for LSDV and RVFV detected IgG antibodies in 70 of 248 (28.2%) and 15 of 248 (6.1%) buffaloes, respectively. Using the SNT, LSDV and RVFV neutralising antibodies were found in 5 of 66 (7.6%) and 12 of 57 (21.1%), respectively, of samples tested. The RVFV I-ELISA and SNT results correlated well with previously reported results. Of the 12 SNT RVFV-positive sera, three (25.0%) had very high SNT titres of 1:640. Neutralising antibody titres of more than 1:80 were found in 80.0% of the positive sera tested. The LSDV SNT results did not correlate with results obtained by the I-ELISA and neutralising antibody titres detected were low, with the highest (1:20) recorded in only two buffaloes, whilst 11 buffaloes (4.4%) had evidence of co-infection with both viruses. Results obtained in this study complement other reports suggesting a role for buffaloes in the epidemiology of these diseases during inter-epidemic periods. PMID:25686252

  19. Seroprevalence of Rift Valley fever and lumpy skin disease in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in the Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Fagbo, Shamsudeen; Coetzer, Jacobus A W; Venter, Estelle H

    2014-10-16

    Rift Valley fever and lumpy skin disease are transboundary viral diseases endemic in Africa and some parts of the Middle East, but with increasing potential for global emergence. Wild ruminants, such as the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), are thought to play a role in the epidemiology of these diseases. This study sought to expand the understanding of the role of buffalo in the maintenance of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) by determining seroprevalence to these viruses during an inter-epidemic period. Buffaloes from the Kruger National Park (n = 138) and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (n = 110) in South Africa were sampled and tested for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and neutralising antibodies against LSDV and RVFV using an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (I-ELISA) and the serum neutralisation test (SNT). The I-ELISA for LSDV and RVFV detected IgG antibodies in 70 of 248 (28.2%) and 15 of 248 (6.1%) buffaloes, respectively. Using the SNT, LSDV and RVFV neutralising antibodies were found in 5 of 66 (7.6%) and 12 of 57 (21.1%), respectively, of samples tested. The RVFV I-ELISA and SNT results correlated well with previously reported results. Of the 12 SNT RVFV-positive sera, three (25.0%) had very high SNT titres of 1:640. Neutralising antibody titres of more than 1:80 were found in 80.0% of the positive sera tested. The LSDV SNT results did not correlate with results obtained by the I-ELISA and neutralising antibody titres detected were low, with the highest (1:20) recorded in only two buffaloes, whilst 11 buffaloes (4.4%) had evidence of co-infection with both viruses. Results obtained in this study complement other reports suggesting a role for buffaloes in the epidemiology of these diseases during inter-epidemic periods.

  20. Tectonic stress evolution in the Pan-African Lufilian Arc and its foreland (Katanga, DRC): orogenic bending, late orogenic extensional collapse and transition to rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kipata, M. L.; Delvaux, D.; Sebagenzi, M. N.; Cailteux, J.; Sintubin, M.

    2012-04-01

    Between the paroxysm of the Lufilian orogeny at ~ 550 Ma and the late Neogene to Quaternary development of the south-western branch of the East African rift system, the tectonic evolution of the Lufilian Arc and Kundelungu foreland in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo remains poorly unknown although it caused important Cu-dominated mineral remobilizations leading to world-class ore deposits. This long period is essentially characterized by brittle tectonic deformations that have been investigated by field studies in open mines spread over the entire arc and foreland. Paleostress tensors were computed for a database of 1450 fault-slip data by interactive stress tensor inversion and data subset separation, and the relative succession of 8 brittle deformation events established. The oldest brittle structures observed are related to the Lufilian brittle compressional climax (stage 1). They have been re-oriented during the orogenic bending that led to the arcuate shape of the belt. Unfolding the stress directions from the first stage allows to reconstruct a consistent NE-SW direction of compression for this stage. Constrictional deformation occurred in the central part of the arc, probably during orogenic bending (Stage 2). After the orogenic bending, a sequence of 3 deformation stages marks the progressive onset of late-orogenic extension: strike-slip deformations (stages 3-4) and late-orogenic arc-parallel extension (stage 5). It is proposed that these 3 stages correspond to orogenic collapse. In early Mesozoic, NW-SE compression was induced by a transpressional inversion, interpreted as induced by far-field stresses generated at the southern active margin of Gondwana (stage 6). Since then, this region was affected by rift-related extension, successively in a NE-SW direction (stage 7, Tanganyika trend) and NW-SE direction (stage 8, Moero trend).

  1. Drinking water quality in the Ethiopian section of the East African Rift Valley I--data and health aspects.

    PubMed

    Reimann, Clemens; Bjorvatn, Kjell; Frengstad, Bjørn; Melaku, Zenebe; Tekle-Haimanot, Redda; Siewers, Ulrich

    2003-07-20

    Drinking water samples were collected throughout the Ethiopian part of the Rift Valley, separated into water drawn from deep wells (deeper than 60 m), shallow wells (<60 m deep), hot springs (T>36 degrees C), springs (T<32 degrees C) and rivers. A total of 138 samples were analysed for 70 parameters (Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Bi, Br, Ca, Cd, Ce, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Dy, Er, Eu, F, Fe, Ga, Gd, Ge, Hf, Hg, Ho, I, In, K, La, Li, Lu, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Nb, Nd, Ni, NO(2), NO(3), Pb, Pr, Rb, Sb, Se, Si, Sm, Sn, SO(4), Sr, Ta, Tb, Te, Th, Ti, Tl, Tm, U, V, W, Y, Yb, Zn, Zr, temperature, pH, conductivity and alkalinity) with ion chromatography (anions), spectrometry (ICP-OES and ICP-MS, cations) and parameter-specific (e.g. titration) techniques. In terms of European water directives and WHO guidelines, 86% of all wells yield water that fails to pass the quality standards set for drinking water. The most problematic element is fluoride (F), for which 33% of all samples returned values above 1.5 mg/l and up to 11.6 mg/l. The incidence of dental and skeletal fluorosis is well documented in the Rift Valley. Another problematic element may be uranium (U)-47% of all wells yield water with concentrations above the newly suggested WHO maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 2 microg/l. Fortunately, only 7% of the collected samples are above the 10 microg/l EU-MAC for As in drinking water.

  2. Decadal trends and common dynamics of the bio-optical and thermal characteristics of the African Great Lakes.

    PubMed

    Loiselle, Steven; Cózar, Andrés; Adgo, Enyew; Ballatore, Thomas; Chavula, Geoffrey; Descy, Jean Pierre; Harper, David M; Kansiime, Frank; Kimirei, Ismael; Langenberg, Victor; Ma, Ronghua; Sarmento, Hugo; Odada, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The Great Lakes of East Africa are among the world's most important freshwater ecosystems. Despite their importance in providing vital resources and ecosystem services, the impact of regional and global environmental drivers on this lacustrine system remains only partially understood. We make a systematic comparison of the dynamics of the bio-optical and thermal properties of thirteen of the largest African lakes between 2002 and 2011. Lake surface temperatures had a positive trend in all Great Lakes outside the latitude of 0° to 8° south, while the dynamics of those lakes within this latitude range were highly sensitive to global inter-annual climate drivers (i.e. El Niño Southern Oscillation). Lake surface temperature dynamics in nearly all lakes were found to be sensitive to the latitudinal position of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. Phytoplankton dynamics varied considerably between lakes, with increasing and decreasing trends. Intra-lake differences in both surface temperature and phytoplankton dynamics occurred for many of the larger lakes. This inter-comparison of bio-optical and thermal dynamics provides new insights into the response of these ecosystems to global and regional drivers.

  3. Decadal trends and common dynamics of the bio-optical and thermal characteristics of the African Great Lakes.

    PubMed

    Loiselle, Steven; Cózar, Andrés; Adgo, Enyew; Ballatore, Thomas; Chavula, Geoffrey; Descy, Jean Pierre; Harper, David M; Kansiime, Frank; Kimirei, Ismael; Langenberg, Victor; Ma, Ronghua; Sarmento, Hugo; Odada, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The Great Lakes of East Africa are among the world's most important freshwater ecosystems. Despite their importance in providing vital resources and ecosystem services, the impact of regional and global environmental drivers on this lacustrine system remains only partially understood. We make a systematic comparison of the dynamics of the bio-optical and thermal properties of thirteen of the largest African lakes between 2002 and 2011. Lake surface temperatures had a positive trend in all Great Lakes outside the latitude of 0° to 8° south, while the dynamics of those lakes within this latitude range were highly sensitive to global inter-annual climate drivers (i.e. El Niño Southern Oscillation). Lake surface temperature dynamics in nearly all lakes were found to be sensitive to the latitudinal position of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. Phytoplankton dynamics varied considerably between lakes, with increasing and decreasing trends. Intra-lake differences in both surface temperature and phytoplankton dynamics occurred for many of the larger lakes. This inter-comparison of bio-optical and thermal dynamics provides new insights into the response of these ecosystems to global and regional drivers. PMID:24699528

  4. Geochemistry of the metavolcanic rocks in the vicinity of the MacLellan Au-Ag deposit and an evaluation of the tectonic setting of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt, Canada: Evidence for a Paleoproterozoic-aged rifted continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glendenning, Michael W. P.; Gagnon, Joel E.; Polat, Ali

    2015-09-01

    The Paleoproterozoic (ca. 1900 Ma) Lynn Lake greenstone belt of northern Manitoba, Canada, has been previously characterized as comprising a series of tectonically juxtaposed intra-oceanic-derived metavolcanic rocks. The results of more recent local and regional studies, however, support a significant contribution of continental crust during formation of the metasedimentary, metavolcanic, and intrusive igneous rocks that comprise the majority of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt. The tectonic model previously proposed for the Lynn Lake greenstone belt, however, did not consider the geodynamics of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt in the context of all available data. In this study, we report the results of outcrop mapping and petrographic analysis, as well as major, minor, and trace element geochemical analyses for 54 samples from the Northern terrane, and integrate and compare the results with data from previously published studies. These data are used to recharacterize the metavolcanic rocks and to develop a new geodynamic model for the formation of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt. Ultramafic to intermediate rocks in the vicinity of the MacLellan Au-Ag deposit are characterized primarily by E-MORB-like trace element characteristics and Th-Nb-La systematics, which are interpreted to be the result of a primary, plume-derived melt interacting with continental lithosphere at a thinned (i.e., rifted) continental margin. Similarly, the majority of the mafic to intermediate rocks that comprise the Lynn Lake greenstone belt are characterized by flat to E-MORB-like trace element patterns and Th-Nb-La systematics, which are consistent with mantle plume-derived, contaminated, oceanic continental rift or rifted margin setting rocks. This study suggests that the metavolcanic rocks of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt were derived via rifting between the Superior and Hearne Cratons, which resulted in the formation and growth of the Manikewan Ocean. Alternatively, the metavolcanic rocks

  5. Sediment infill within rift basins: Facies distribution and effects of deformation: Examples from the Kenya and Tanganyika Rifts, East Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Tiercelin, J.J.; Lezzar, K.E. ); Richert, J.P. )

    1994-07-01

    Oil is known from lacustrine basins of the east African rift. The geology of such basins is complex and different depending on location in the eastern and western branches. The western branch has little volcanism, leading to long-lived basins, such as Lake Tanganyika, whereas a large quantity of volcanics results in the eastern branch characterized by ephemeral basins, as the Baringo-Bogoria basin in Kenya. The Baringo-Bogoria basin is a north-south half graben formed in the middle Pleistocene and presently occupied by the hypersaline Lake Bogoria and the freshwater Lake Baringo. Lake Bogoria is fed by hot springs and ephemeral streams controlled by grid faults bounding the basin to the west. The sedimentary fill is formed by cycles of organic oozes having a good petroleum potential and evaporites. On the other hand, and as a consequence of the grid faults, Lake Baringo is fed by permanent streams bringing into the basin large quantities of terrigenous sediments. Lake Tanganyika is a meromictic lake 1470 m deep and 700 km long, of middle Miocene age. It is subdivided into seven asymmetric half grabens separated by transverse ridges. The sedimentary fill is thick and formed by organic oozes having a very good petroleum potential. In contrast to Bogoria, the lateral distribution of organic matter is characterized by considerable heterogeneity due to the existence of structural blocks or to redepositional processes.

  6. Transcending the Majority Rights and Minority Protection Dichotomy through Multicultural Reflective Citizenship in the African Great Lakes Region

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ndura, Elavie

    2006-01-01

    In this paper, the author examines how colonial racist policies and western-bound post-colonial educational practices have contributed to the recurring ethnic conflicts in the Great Lakes region of Africa. After defining democracy and reflective citizenship within the African context, she discusses how teachers' roles should be redefined and…

  7. Understanding Cellulose-Water Oxygen Isotopic Fractionation in Tropical African Lakes: Implications for Paleoclimatic and Paleohydrologic Reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuning, K. R.; Anderson, B.

    2001-12-01

    Paleohydrologic reconstructions from lake sedimentary archives have provided insight into Earth's changing climate. One such archive, sediment cellulose, provides paleohydrologic information by preserving a record of changing oxygen isotopic composition of the lake water. Paleohydrologic interpretation is possible because the cellulose-water oxygen isotopic fractionation is both species and temperature independent. Yet, recent analyses of modern macrophytes in several African lakes suggest that potential species and temperature effects might induce more variability in cellulose-water oxygen isotopic fractionation than once thought. Oxygen isotopic analysis of aquatic macrophytes and associated water samples from tropical East African lakes suggests a reduced mean cellulose-water fractionation (mean: +25 per mil) in these tropical environments as opposed to temperate freshwater aquatic ecosystems (mean: +28 per mil). To test a possible temperature effect associated with cellulose-water fractionation in tropical lake environments, four aquatic macrophyte taxa (Lemna, Ceratophyllum, Egeria and Vallisneria) were grown in replicate tanks at 21, 23, 25, 28 and 30° C. All four taxa currently live in tropical East African lakes. The results demonstrate a negative linear relationship between temperature and cellulose-water fractionation in Ceratophyllum with fractionation values of +30 +/- 0.5 per mil at 21° C and +26 +/- 0.2 per mil at 30° C. A similar, though less significant, relationship is observed between temperature and cellulose-water fractionation in Egeria with values of +29.5 +/- 0.4 per mil at 21° C and +28.5 +/- 0.1 per mil at 30° C. Measurements of Vallisneria and Lemna are ongoing. These preliminary results suggest that at temperatures characteristic of tropical aquatic lakes, cellulose-water fractionation may be reduced as compared to such fractionation in colder/temperate lake environments.

  8. Statistical Modeling of the Abundance of Vectors of West African Rift Valley Fever in Barkédji, Senegal

    PubMed Central

    Talla, Cheikh; Diallo, Diawo; Dia, Ibrahima; Ba, Yamar; Ndione, Jacques-André; Sall, Amadou Alpha; Morse, Andy; Diop, Aliou; Diallo, Mawlouth

    2014-01-01

    Rift Valley fever is an emerging mosquito-borne disease that represents a threat to human and animal health. The exophilic and exophagic behavior of the two main vector in West Africa (Aedes vexans and Culex poicilipes), adverse events post-vaccination, and lack of treatment, render ineffective the disease control. Therefore it is essential to develop an information system that facilitates decision-making and the implementation of adaptation strategies. In East Africa, RVF outbreaks are linked with abnormally high rainfall, and can be predicted up to 5 months in advance by modeling approaches using climatic and environmental parameters. However, the application of these models in West Africa remains unsatisfactory due to a lack of data for animal and human cases and differences in the dynamics of the disease emergence and the vector species involved in transmission. Models have been proposed for West Africa but they were restricted to rainfall impact analysis without a spatial dimension. In this study, we developed a mixed Bayesian statistical model to evaluate the effects of climatic and ecological determinants on the spatiotemporal dynamics of the two main vectors. Adult mosquito abundance data were generated from July to December every fortnight in 2005–2006 at 79 sites, including temporary ponds, bare soils, shrubby savannah, wooded savannah, steppes, and villages in the Barkédji area. The results demonstrate the importance of environmental factors and weather conditions for predicting mosquito abundance. The rainfall and minimum temperature were positively correlated with the abundance of Cx. poicilipes, whereas the maximum temperature had negative effects. The rainfall was negatively correlated with the abundance of Ae. vexans. After combining land cover classes, weather conditions, and vector abundance, our model was used to predict the areas and periods with the highest risks of vector pressure. This information could support decision-making to improve

  9. Statistical modeling of the abundance of vectors of West African Rift Valley fever in Barkédji, Senegal.

    PubMed

    Talla, Cheikh; Diallo, Diawo; Dia, Ibrahima; Ba, Yamar; Ndione, Jacques-André; Sall, Amadou Alpha; Morse, Andy; Diop, Aliou; Diallo, Mawlouth

    2014-01-01

    Rift Valley fever is an emerging mosquito-borne disease that represents a threat to human and animal health. The exophilic and exophagic behavior of the two main vector in West Africa (Aedes vexans and Culex poicilipes), adverse events post-vaccination, and lack of treatment, render ineffective the disease control. Therefore it is essential to develop an information system that facilitates decision-making and the implementation of adaptation strategies. In East Africa, RVF outbreaks are linked with abnormally high rainfall, and can be predicted up to 5 months in advance by modeling approaches using climatic and environmental parameters. However, the application of these models in West Africa remains unsatisfactory due to a lack of data for animal and human cases and differences in the dynamics of the disease emergence and the vector species involved in transmission. Models have been proposed for West Africa but they were restricted to rainfall impact analysis without a spatial dimension. In this study, we developed a mixed Bayesian statistical model to evaluate the effects of climatic and ecological determinants on the spatiotemporal dynamics of the two main vectors. Adult mosquito abundance data were generated from July to December every fortnight in 2005-2006 at 79 sites, including temporary ponds, bare soils, shrubby savannah, wooded savannah, steppes, and villages in the Barkédji area. The results demonstrate the importance of environmental factors and weather conditions for predicting mosquito abundance. The rainfall and minimum temperature were positively correlated with the abundance of Cx. poicilipes, whereas the maximum temperature had negative effects. The rainfall was negatively correlated with the abundance of Ae. vexans. After combining land cover classes, weather conditions, and vector abundance, our model was used to predict the areas and periods with the highest risks of vector pressure. This information could support decision-making to improve RVF

  10. Serological Evidence of Rift Valley Fever Virus Circulation in Domestic Cattle and African Buffalo in Northern Botswana (2010–2011)

    PubMed Central

    Jori, Ferran; Alexander, Kathleen A.; Mokopasetso, Mokganedi; Munstermann, Suzanne; Moagabo, Keabetswe; Paweska, Janusz T.

    2015-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is endemic in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and is responsible for severe outbreaks in livestock characterized by a sudden onset of abortions and high neonatal mortality. During the last decade, several outbreaks have occurred in Southern Africa, with a very limited number of cases reported in Botswana. To date, published information on the occurrence of RVF in wild and domestic animals from Botswana is very scarce and outdated, despite being critical to national and regional disease control. To address this gap, 863 cattle and 150 buffalo sampled at the interface between livestock areas and the Chobe National Park (CNP) and the Okavango Delta (OD) were screened for the presence of RVF virus (RVFV) neutralizing antibodies. Antibodies were detected in 5.7% (n = 863), 95% confidence intervals (CI) (4.3–7.5%) of cattle and 12.7% (n = 150), 95% CI (7.8–19.5%) of buffalo samples. The overall prevalence was significantly higher (p = 0.0016) for buffalo [12.7%] than for cattle [5.7%]. Equally, when comparing RVF seroprevalence in both wildlife areas for all pooled bovid species, it was significantly higher in CNP than in OD (9.5 vs. 4%, respectively; p = 0.0004). Our data provide the first evidence of wide circulation of RVFV in both buffalo and cattle populations in Northern Botswana and highlight the need for further epidemiological and ecological investigations on RVF at the wildlife–livestock–human interface in this region. PMID:26664990

  11. Serological Evidence of Rift Valley Fever Virus Circulation in Domestic Cattle and African Buffalo in Northern Botswana (2010-2011).

    PubMed

    Jori, Ferran; Alexander, Kathleen A; Mokopasetso, Mokganedi; Munstermann, Suzanne; Moagabo, Keabetswe; Paweska, Janusz T

    2015-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is endemic in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and is responsible for severe outbreaks in livestock characterized by a sudden onset of abortions and high neonatal mortality. During the last decade, several outbreaks have occurred in Southern Africa, with a very limited number of cases reported in Botswana. To date, published information on the occurrence of RVF in wild and domestic animals from Botswana is very scarce and outdated, despite being critical to national and regional disease control. To address this gap, 863 cattle and 150 buffalo sampled at the interface between livestock areas and the Chobe National Park (CNP) and the Okavango Delta (OD) were screened for the presence of RVF virus (RVFV) neutralizing antibodies. Antibodies were detected in 5.7% (n = 863), 95% confidence intervals (CI) (4.3-7.5%) of cattle and 12.7% (n = 150), 95% CI (7.8-19.5%) of buffalo samples. The overall prevalence was significantly higher (p = 0.0016) for buffalo [12.7%] than for cattle [5.7%]. Equally, when comparing RVF seroprevalence in both wildlife areas for all pooled bovid species, it was significantly higher in CNP than in OD (9.5 vs. 4%, respectively; p = 0.0004). Our data provide the first evidence of wide circulation of RVFV in both buffalo and cattle populations in Northern Botswana and highlight the need for further epidemiological and ecological investigations on RVF at the wildlife-livestock-human interface in this region. PMID:26664990

  12. Lacustrine mollusc radiations in the Lake Malawi Basin: experiments in a natural laboratory for evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Damme, D.; Gautier, A.

    2013-09-01

    In terminal Pliocene-early Pleistocene times, part of the Malawi Basin was occupied by paleo-lake Chiwondo. Molluscan biostratigraphy situates this freshwater lake either in the East African wet phase between 2.7-2.4 Ma or that of 2.0-1.8 Ma. In-lake divergent evolution remained restricted to a few molluscan taxa and was very modest. The lacustrine Chiwondo fauna went extinct at the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern Lake Malawi malacofauna is depauperate and descends from ubiquistic southeast African taxa and some Malawi basin endemics that invaded the present lake after the Late Pleistocene mega-droughts. The Pleistocene aridity crises caused dramatic changes, affecting the malacofauna of all East African lakes. All lacustrine endemic faunas that had evolved in the Pliocene rift lakes, such as paleo-lake Chiwondo, became extinct. In Lake Tanganyika, the freshwater ecosystem did not crash as in other lakes, but the environmental changes were sufficiently important to trigger a vast radiation. All African endemic lacustrine molluscan clades that are the result of in-lake divergence are hence geologically young, including the vast Lavigeria clade in Lake Tanganyika (ca. 43 species).

  13. The Pink and White Terraces of Lake Rotomahana: what was their fate after the 1886 Tarawera Rift eruption?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Ronde, C. E. J.; Fornari, D. J.; Ferrini, V. L.; Walker, S. L.; Davy, B. W.; LeBlanc, C.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Kukulya, A. L.; Littlefield, R. H.

    2016-03-01

    The Pink and White Terraces that once stood regally on the shores of old Lake Rotomahana, and which were unique in their beauty as a natural wonder of the world, were regarded by the local Māori as a taonga, or treasure, because of the therapeutic qualities of the waters and their majestic appearance. The eruption of Mt. Tarawera on June 10, 1886 is commonly cited as the cause of their demise, with the lake rapidly rising soon thereafter to drown the large, newly formed Rotomahana crater and other volcanic edifices shaped during the excavation of the old lake. Thus, the effects of the eruption have been masked from onlookers for more than 125 years. However, application of state-of-the-art survey techniques usually applied in the marine realm to modern Lake Rotomahana, including AUV surveys with numerous sensors, seismic profiling, water column surveys and deployment of deep sea cameras, has provided a wealth of new information about the state of hydrothermal systems in the lake and the probable fortunes of the Pink and White Terraces. We believe that the majority of both sets of terraces were destroyed during the eruption. However, some tantalizing evidence remains for remnants from both sites to exist to this day. High-resolution bathymetric mapping of the lake floor clearly recognizes some features of the post-1886 landscape, including a prominent landmark known as The Pinnacle. If we accept the postulated location of The Pinnacle on a pre-1886 map of Lake Rotomahana, then we appear to have captured a photograph of one of the buttresses to a tier of the nearby White Terraces. More revealing, are side-scan sonar images of structures located in the correct position of the Pink Terraces with respect to The Pinnacle, albeit ~ 20 m deeper than expected if the pre-1886 lake level of 292 m above sea level is to be believed. This work clearly shows that the greater Pink Terraces hydrothermal system survived the eruption and is very active today, whereas that part of

  14. Post-rift uplift, paleorelief and sedimentary fluxes: the case example of the African margin of the South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillocheau, F.; Dauteuil, O.

    2012-04-01

    Several attempts have been made to identify different paleosurfaces since the classical works of Lester King (1942, 1949) at the scale of Africa. Thermochronologists and river geomorphologists criticized this approach. This criticism mainly concerned the age of the surfaces, that were (1) poorly constraints and (2) a king of catechism on which all studies must refer. Nevertheless, those planation surfaces exist and are key features of the present-day morphology of Africa. In details, real planation surfaces are (1) no more than two or three and (2) can be deformed and then merged together. Those surfaces are incised by large smooth valleys, called pediments or glacis (with some semantic differences between English and French-speaking geomorphologists). Those pediments formed a pre-network of rivers, later re-incised by the present-day incised narrow valleys. Those different morphological structures can be dated using (1) their merge with sedimentary basins, (2) their relationship with the different types of dated weathering periods and (3) their relationships with volcanism. They also can be used as a proxy of the deformation based on the differences of elevation of the planations surfaces or on the shape of the pediments. From the Orange River to the Cameroon Volcanic Line, including the Congo Cuvette, two planations surfaces were identified (the Bauxitic or African surface, the intermediate surface), at least two generations of pediment valleys and the present-day incised valley network. The African surface is of Late Paleocene to Middle Eocene age with a climax during this last period and two major periods of uplift can be identified and mapped (1) Late Eocene-Early Oligocene and (2) Lower Miocene. Most of the relief is fossil since that period, excepted in the Angola Mountains were deformations are active during Plio-Pleistocene times. Those uplifts of smoother, most of the time weathered, relief than today, had important consequences on the petrology and the

  15. Microbiology of Lonar Lake and other soda lakes.

    PubMed

    Antony, Chakkiath Paul; Kumaresan, Deepak; Hunger, Sindy; Drake, Harold L; Murrell, J Colin; Shouche, Yogesh S

    2013-03-01

    Soda lakes are saline and alkaline ecosystems that are believed to have existed throughout the geological record of Earth. They are widely distributed across the globe, but are highly abundant in terrestrial biomes such as deserts and steppes and in geologically interesting regions such as the East African Rift valley. The unusual geochemistry of these lakes supports the growth of an impressive array of microorganisms that are of ecological and economic importance. Haloalkaliphilic Bacteria and Archaea belonging to all major trophic groups have been described from many soda lakes, including lakes with exceptionally high levels of heavy metals. Lonar Lake is a soda lake that is centered at an unusual meteorite impact structure in the Deccan basalts in India and its key physicochemical and microbiological characteristics are highlighted in this article. The occurrence of diverse functional groups of microbes, such as methanogens, methanotrophs, phototrophs, denitrifiers, sulfur oxidizers, sulfate reducers and syntrophs in soda lakes, suggests that these habitats harbor complex microbial food webs that (a) interconnect various biological cycles via redox coupling and (b) impact on the production and consumption of greenhouse gases. Soda lake microorganisms harbor several biotechnologically relevant enzymes and biomolecules (for example, cellulases, amylases, ectoine) and there is the need to augment bioprospecting efforts in soda lake environments with new integrated approaches. Importantly, some saline and alkaline lake ecosystems around the world need to be protected from anthropogenic pressures that threaten their long-term existence.

  16. Microbiology of Lonar Lake and other soda lakes.

    PubMed

    Antony, Chakkiath Paul; Kumaresan, Deepak; Hunger, Sindy; Drake, Harold L; Murrell, J Colin; Shouche, Yogesh S

    2013-03-01

    Soda lakes are saline and alkaline ecosystems that are believed to have existed throughout the geological record of Earth. They are widely distributed across the globe, but are highly abundant in terrestrial biomes such as deserts and steppes and in geologically interesting regions such as the East African Rift valley. The unusual geochemistry of these lakes supports the growth of an impressive array of microorganisms that are of ecological and economic importance. Haloalkaliphilic Bacteria and Archaea belonging to all major trophic groups have been described from many soda lakes, including lakes with exceptionally high levels of heavy metals. Lonar Lake is a soda lake that is centered at an unusual meteorite impact structure in the Deccan basalts in India and its key physicochemical and microbiological characteristics are highlighted in this article. The occurrence of diverse functional groups of microbes, such as methanogens, methanotrophs, phototrophs, denitrifiers, sulfur oxidizers, sulfate reducers and syntrophs in soda lakes, suggests that these habitats harbor complex microbial food webs that (a) interconnect various biological cycles via redox coupling and (b) impact on the production and consumption of greenhouse gases. Soda lake microorganisms harbor several biotechnologically relevant enzymes and biomolecules (for example, cellulases, amylases, ectoine) and there is the need to augment bioprospecting efforts in soda lake environments with new integrated approaches. Importantly, some saline and alkaline lake ecosystems around the world need to be protected from anthropogenic pressures that threaten their long-term existence. PMID:23178675

  17. Testing the stages model in the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in East African Lake Tanganyika

    PubMed Central

    Muschick, Moritz; Nosil, Patrik; Roesti, Marius; Dittmann, Marie Theres; Harmon, Luke; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive radiation (AR) is a key process in the origin of organismal diversity. However, the evolution of trait disparity in connection with ecological specialization is still poorly understood. Available models for vertebrate ARs predict that diversification occurs in the form of temporal stages driven by different selective forces. Here, we investigate the AR of cichlid fishes in East African Lake Tanganyika and use macroevolutionary model fitting to evaluate whether diversification happened in temporal stages. Six trait complexes, for which we also provide evidence of their adaptiveness, are analysed with comparative methods: body shape, pharyngeal jaw shape, gill raker traits, gut length, brain weight and body coloration. Overall, we do not find strong evidence for the ‘stages model’ of AR. However, our results suggest that trophic traits diversify earlier than traits implicated in macrohabitat adaptation and that sexual communication traits (i.e. coloration) diversify late in the radiation. PMID:25274371

  18. Ancient lakes as evolutionary reservoirs: evidence from the thalassoid gastropods of Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Anthony B.; Glaubrecht, Matthias; Meyer, Axel

    2004-01-01

    Ancient lakes are often collectively viewed as evolutionary hot spots of diversification. East Africa's Lake Tanganyika has long been the subject of scientific interest owing to dramatic levels of endemism in species as diverse as cichlid fishes, paludomid gastropods, decapod and ostracod crustaceans and poriferans. It is the largest and deepest of the African rift lakes, and its endemic fauna has been presented with a stable inland environment for over 10 Myr, offering unique opportunities for within-lake diversification. Although astonishing diversification has been documented in the endemic cichlid fauna of the lake, similar patterns of rapid diversification have long been assumed for other groups. In contrast to this hypothesis of rapid speciation, we show here that there has been no acceleration in the rate of speciation in the thalassoid gastropods of the lake following lake colonization. While limited within-lake speciation has occurred, the dramatic conchological diversity of gastropods presently found within the lake has evolved from at least four major lineages that pre-date its formation by as much as 40 Myr. At the same time, a widespread group of African gastropods appears to have evolved from taxa presently found in the lake. While Lake Tanganyika has been a cradle of speciation for cichlid fishes, it has also been an important evolutionary reservoir of gastropod lineages that have been extirpated outside the basin. PMID:15129964

  19. Albertine Rift, Uganda: Deformation-Sedimentation-Erosion relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Brendan; Guillocheau, François; Robin, Cécile; Dauteuil, Olivier; Nalpas, Thierry; Bourges, Philippe; Bez, Martine; Lays, Philippe

    2014-05-01

    The Albertine Rift is the northern part of the western branch of the East African Rift that runs over a distance of around 2000 km from Lake Albert in the north to Lake Malawi in the south. Lake Albert Basin is assumed to be a classical half-graben initiated around 12 Ma and oriented NNW-SSW, with a major northwesterly bounding fault - the Bunia fault - located along the western Congolese shoreline (Ebinger, 1989; Pickford & al., 1993). The aim of this study is to understand the relationships between deformation, erosion, and sedimentation of the rift through time by restoring (1) the timing and amplitude of vertical movements (subsidence, uplift), (2) the geometry and paleo-environmental evolution (including climate) of the sedimentary infilling and (3) the geomorphological evolution of the surrounding area and associated erosion budget. Seismic data and outcrops studies suggest a much more complex history than previously described. (1) The age model, mainly based on mammal fossils (Pickford et al., 1993; Van Damme and Pickford, 2003), is debated, but the early stage of the rift is probably Middle Miocene. (2) No half-graben geometry has been characterized: the infilling consists of juxtaposed tabular compartments with sharp thicknesses variations along bounding faults, in response of either low rate extensional or combined strike-slip/extensional movements. The following onshore-offshore evolution is proposed: - Middle Miocene (~ 13 Ma) to Late Miocene (?): rifting 1 - differential subsidence along N60° faults - major deepening from fluvio-deltaic to deep lacustrine environments (maximum flooding at 8 Ma) - uplift, erosion and reworking of weathered profiles - first generation of pediments. - Late Miocene (?) to Late Pliocene (~ 3 Ma): quiescence phase - homogenous subsidence - lacustrine clays interbedded with sandy flood-lobes - uplift, erosion and reworking of ferruginous laterite (iron duricrusts) - second generation of pediments. - Late Pliocene (~ 3Ma) to

  20. Minerals as mantle fingerprints: Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf in clinopyroxene and He in olivine distinguish an unusual ancient mantle lithosphere beneath the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Shirey, S. B.; Graham, D. W.

    2011-12-01

    The East African Rift System is a complex region that holds keys to understanding the fundamental geodynamics of continental break-up. In this region, the volcanic record preserves over 30 Myrs of geochemical variability associated with the interplay between shallow and deep asthenospheric sources, continental lithospheric mantle, and continental crust. One fundamental question that is still subject to debate concerns the relationship between the lithospheric mantle and the voluminous flood basalt province that erupted at ~30 Ma in Ethiopia and Yemen. Whole-rock Re-Os isotopic data demonstrate the high-Ti (HT2) flood basalts (187Os/188Ost = 0.1247-0.1329) and peridotite xenoliths (187Os/188Ost = 0.1235-0.1377) from NW Ethiopia have similar isotopic compositions. However, Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic signatures from peridotite clinopyroxene grains are different from those of the flood basalts. The peridotite clinopyroxene separates bear isotopic affinities to anciently depleted mantle (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7019-0.7029; ɛNd = 12.6-18.5; ɛHf = 13.8-27.6) - more depleted than the MORB source - rather than to the OIB-like 30 Ma flood basalts (87Sr/86Sr ~ 0.704; ɛNd = 4.7-6.7; ɛHf = 12.1-13.5). Peridotite clinopyroxenes display two groups of 206Pb/204Pb compositions: the higher 206Pb/204Pb group (18.7-19.3) is compositionally similar to the flood basalts (206Pb/204Pb = 18.97-19.02) whereas the lower 206Pb/204Pb group (17.1-17.9) overlaps with depleted mantle. This suggests that the Pb isotope systematics in some of the peridotites have been metasomatically perturbed. Helium isotopes were analyzed by crushing olivine separated from the peridotites and the flood basalts. Olivine in the peridotites has low He concentrations (0.78-4.7 ncc/g) and low 3He/4He (4.6-6.6 RA), demonstrating that they cannot be the petrogenetic precursor to the high 3He/4He (>12 RA) flood basalts. Notably, these peridotites have 3He/4He signatures consistent with a lithospheric mantle source. Therefore

  1. Geochemistry of basement rocks from SE Kenya and NE Tanzania: indications for rifting and early Pan-African subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauernhofer, A. H.; Hauzenberger, C. A.; Wallbrecher, E.; Muhongo, S.; Hoinkes, G.; Mogessie, A.; Opiyo-Akech, N.; Tenczer, V.

    2009-12-01

    Amphibolites and orthogneisses from the Taita Hills-Galana River area (SE Kenya) indicate their broad geological-tectonic setting. There are groups of subduction-related rocks which show characteristic REE (rare earth element) patterns and enrichment or varying concentrations of HFS (high field strength) elements. The groups can be assigned to tectonostratigraphic domains marked by different structural styles (e.g., thrust- or strike slip dominated). Tholeiitic gneisses, often emerging as folded and isolated (ridge-shaped) leucocratic bodies, belong to a group of rocks located between the thrust- and strike-slip domain. Compared to calc-alkaline gneisses of the area they contain more mafic inclusions and have lower LIL (large ionic lithophile), HFS and light REE values. These gneisses have chemical characteristics of M-type granitoids of oceanic island arc signature. Intrusion ages of ~955-845 Ma determined for these rocks suggest early Pan-African subduction. Mafic to ultramafic rocks from the Pare mountains of NE Tanzania show evidence of ophiolitic cumulates, subduction settings were also observed for the granulite areas in central and southern Tanzania. Together with the widespread arc settings documented in the Arabian-Nubian Shield, the presented data supports the continuation of an island-continental arc range across Kenya-Tanzania to Mozambique.

  2. Hawaii Rifts

    SciTech Connect

    Nicole Lautze

    2015-01-01

    Rifts mapped through reviewing the location of dikes and vents on the USGS 2007 Geologic Map of the State of Hawaii, as well as our assessment of topography, and, to a small extent, gravity data. Data is in shapefile format.

  3. Seismicity of southern Lake Tanganyika

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavayssiere, A.; Gallacher, R. J.; Keir, D.; Ebinger, C. J.; Drooff, C.; Khalfan, M.; Bull, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Global seismic networks document frequent and unusually deep earthquakes in East African rift sectors lacking central volcanoes. The deep seismicity means that we can use earthquakes to probe the geometry and kinematics of fault systems throughout the crust, and to understand the distribution of strain between large offset border fault systems and intrabasinal faults. The southern Tanganyika rift zone has the highest seismicity rate within East Africa during the period 1973-present, yet earlier temporary seismometer networks have been too sparse in space and time to relocate earthquakes with location and depth errors of < 5-10 km. We address this issue by recording seismicity of southern Lake Tanganyika since June 2014 using a network at 12 broadband seismic stations. The distribution of earthquakes shows that deformation primarily occurs on large offset border faults beneath the lake. Subsidiary earthquake activity occurs along the subparrallel Rukwa graben, and beneath the NE-SW striking Mweru rift. The distribution of earthquakes suggests the southern end of lake Tanganyika is characterized by a network of intersecting NNW and NE striking faults. The depths of earthquakes are distributed throughout the crust, consistent with the relatively strong lithosphere.

  4. Turbidite megabeds in an Oceanic Rift Valley recording jokulhlaups of late Pleistocene glacial lakes of the western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zuffa, G.G.; Normark, W.R.; Serra, F.; Brunner, C.A.

    2000-01-01

    Escanaba Trough is the southernmost segment of the Gorda Ridge and is filled by sandy turbidites locally exceeding 500 m in thickness. New results from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Sites 1037 and 1038 that include accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C dates and revised petrographic evaluation of the sediment provenance, combined with high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles, provide a lithostratigraphic framework for the turbidite deposits. Three fining-upward units of sandy turbidites from the upper 365 m at ODP Site 1037 can be correlated with sediment recovered at ODP Site 1038 and Deep Sea Drilling Program (DSDP) Site 35. Six AMS 14C ages in the upper 317 m of the sequence at Site 1037 indicate that average deposition rates exceeded 10 m/k.yr. between 32 and 11 ka, with nearly instantaneous deposition of one ~60-m interval of sand. Petrography of the sand beds is consistent with a Columbia River source for the entire sedimentary sequence in Escanaba Trough. High-resolution acoustic stratigraphy shows that the turbidites in the upper 60 m at Site 1037 provide a characteristic sequence of key reflectors that occurs across the floor of the entire Escanaba Trough. Recent mapping of turbidite systems in the northeast Pacific Ocean suggests that the turbidity currents reached the Escanaba Trough along an 1100-km-long pathway from the Columbia River to the west flank of the Gorda Ridge. The age of the upper fining-upward unit of sandy turbidites appears to correspond to the latest Wisconsinan outburst of glacial Lake Missoula. Many of the outbursts, or jokulhlaups, from the glacial lakes probably continued flowing as hyperpycnally generated turbidity currents on entering the sea at the mouth of the Columbia River.

  5. Geomorphometric reconstruction of post-eruptive surfaces of the Virunga Volcanic Province (East African Rift), constraint of erosion ratio and relative chronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahitte, Pierre; Poppe, Sam; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    Quaternary volcanic landforms result from a complex evolution, involving volcanic constructional events and destructive ones by collapses and long-term erosion. Quantification, by morphometric approaches, of the evolution through time of the volcano shape allows the estimation of relative ages between volcanoes sharing the same climate and eruptive conditions. We apply such method to six volcanoes of the Virunga Volcanic Province in the western branch of the East African Rift Valley that still has rare geochronological constraints. As they have comparable sizes, volcanic history and erupted products, these edifices may have undergone comparable conditions of erosion which justify the deduction of relative chronology from their erosion pattern. Our GIS-based geomorphometric approach, the SHAPEVOLC algorithm, quantifies erupted or dismantled volumes by numerically modeling topographies resulting from the eruptive construction of each volcano. Constraining points are selected by analyses of morphometric properties of each cell of the current DEM, as the loci where the altitude is still representative of the un-eroded volcanic surfaces. A primary elevation surface is firstly adjusted to these constraining points by modeling a first-order pseudo-radial surface defined by: 1. the curve best fitting the concave-upwards volcano profile; 2. the location and elevation of the volcano summit; and 3. the possible eccentricity and azimuth parameters that allow to stretch and contract contours to adjust the shape of the model to the elliptically-shaped surface of the volcano. A second-order surface is next computed by local adjustment of the first-order surface to the constraining points to obtain the definitive primary elevation surface of the considered volcanic construct. Amount of erosion is obtained by summing the difference in elevation between reconstructed surfaces and current ones that allows to establish relative ages of volcanoes. For the 6 studied Virunga volcanoes

  6. Seismological investigation of the Okavango Rift, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Youqiang

    The mechanisms of rifting have been intensively investigated using geological and geophysical techniques beneath mature rift zones. However, current understanding on the earliest stages of rifting is seriously limited. Here we employ recently archived data from 17 broadband seismic stations traversing northern Botswana to conduct the first shear wave splitting and mantle transition zone (MTZ) studies within the Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ). The ORZ is an incipient continental rift situated at the terminal of the southwestern branch of the East African Rift System. The resulting normal MTZ thickness and consistently rift-parallel fast polarizations imply an absence of significant thermal anomalies in the upper mantle, ruling out the role of mantle plumes in the initiation of the ORZ. The observed anisotropy beneath the ORZ and adjacent areas is mainly attributed to the relative movement between the lithosphere and asthenosphere with regional contributions from fabrics in the lithosphere and flow deflection by the bottom of the lithosphere. Our observations imply that the initiation and development of the ORZ can be initiated following a passive mode from the consequences of relative movements between the South African block and the rest of the African plate along a zone of lithospheric weakness between the Congo and Kalahari cratons. In addition, an approach was developed to effectively remove the near surface reverberations in the resulting receiver functions, decipher the P-to-S converted phases associated with the Moho discontinuity, and thus resolve sub-sediment crustal structure beneath stations sitting on a low-velocity sedimentary layer.

  7. A regional inventory of the landslide processes and the elements at risk on the Rift flanks west of Lake Kivu (DRC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maki Mateso, Jean-Claude; Monsieurs, Elise; Jacobs, Liesbet; Bagalwa Mateso, Luc; Fiama Bondo, Silvanos; Delvaux, Damien; Albino, Fabien; Kervyn, François; Dewitte, Olivier

    2016-04-01

    The Rift flanks west of Lake Kivu (DRC) are one of the Congolese regions most affected by fatal landslides. However, information on the distribution of these processes and their impact on society is still lacking. Here we present a first regional landslide inventory and the associated elements at risk. The inventory was conducted in an area of 5,700 km² in three administrative territories between the cities of Bukavu and Goma. The region is one of the most densely populated area of DRC with a density of up to 200 persons/km². The approach for the inventory relies on visual analysis of Google Earth imagery and a 5 m resolution DEM that we produced from TanDEM-X interferometry. Field validation was performed in target places accounting for 5% of the study area. More than 2,000 landslides were mapped and distinction was made between deep and shallow, and slide and flow processes. Average landslide area is 6 ha (max. = 430 ha). Geomorphological analysis of landslide distribution shows topographic, lithologic, climatic and seismic controls. For 600 randomly-selected landslides, elements at risk (house, road, cultivated land, river) were inventoried in the areas affected and potentially affected by the instabilities; 10% of the landslides are inhabited and 25% do not present any risk. Numerous landslides have caused direct and indirect damage in recent years. In some places, the impact of mining activities on slope stability can be important. Google Earth was the only way to locate the recent shallow failures triggered by known extreme rainfall events. This inventory is a first step towards the understanding of the landslide processes in the region. Further studies are needed to complete and validate the information, to better infer about the triggers, and to compute susceptibility and risk maps.

  8. Distribution of fault activity in the early stages of continental breakup: an analysis of faults and volcanic products of the Natron Basin, East African Rift, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J. D.; Kattenhorn, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Recent magmatic-tectonic crises in Ethiopia (e.g. 2005 Dabbahu rifting episode, Afar) have informed our understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of strain in magmatic rifts transitioning to sea-floor spreading. However, the evolving contributions of magmatic and tectonic processes during the initial stages of rifting, is a subject of ongoing debate. The <5 Ma northern Tanzania and southern Kenya sectors of the East Africa Rift provide ideal locations to address this problem. We present preliminary findings from an investigation of fault structures utilizing aerial photography and satellite imagery of the ~35 km wide Natron rift-basin in northern Tanzania. Broad-scale structural mapping will be supplemented by field observations and 40Ar-39Ar dating of lava flows cut by faults to address three major aspects of magma-assisted rifting: (1) the relative timing of activity between the border fault and smaller faults distributed across the width of the rift; (2) time-averaged slip rates along rift-zone faults; and (3) the spatial distribution of faults and volcanic products, and their relative contributions to strain accommodation. Preliminary field observations suggest that the ~500 m high border fault system along the western edge of the Natron basin is either inactive or has experienced a reduced slip rate and higher recurrence interval between surface-breaking events, as evidence by a lack of recent surface-rupture along the main fault escarpments. An exception is an isolated, ~2 km-long segment of the Natron border fault, which is located in close proximity (< 5km) to the active Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. Here, ~10 m of seemingly recent throw is observed in volcaniclastic deposits. The proximity of the fault segment to Oldoinyo Lengai volcano and the localized distribution of fault-slip are consistent with magma-assisted faulting. Faults observed within the Natron basin and on the flanks of Gelai volcano, located on the eastern side of the rift, have

  9. Genetic and morphological characterisation of the Ankole Longhorn cattle in the African Great Lakes region

    PubMed Central

    Ndumu, Deo B; Baumung, Roswitha; Hanotte, Olivier; Wurzinger, Maria; Okeyo, Mwai A; Jianlin, Han; Kibogo, Harrison; Sölkner, Johann

    2008-01-01

    The study investigated the population structure, diversity and differentiation of almost all of the ecotypes representing the African Ankole Longhorn cattle breed on the basis of morphometric (shape and size), genotypic and spatial distance data. Twentyone morphometric measurements were used to describe the morphology of 439 individuals from 11 sub-populations located in five countries around the Great Lakes region of central and eastern Africa. Additionally, 472 individuals were genotyped using 15 DNA microsatellites. Femoral length, horn length, horn circumference, rump height, body length and fore-limb circumference showed the largest differences between regions. An overall FST index indicated that 2.7% of the total genetic variation was present among sub-populations. The least differentiation was observed between the two sub-populations of Mbarara south and Luwero in Uganda, while the highest level of differentiation was observed between the Mugamba in Burundi and Malagarasi in Tanzania. An estimated membership of four for the inferred clusters from a model-based Bayesian approach was obtained. Both analyses on distance-based and model-based methods consistently isolated the Mugamba sub-population in Burundi from the others. PMID:18694545

  10. Fault Growth and Propagation and its Effect on Surficial Processes within the Incipient Okavango Rift Zone, Northwest Botswana, Africa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atekwana, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) is suggested to be a zone of incipient continental rifting occuring at the distal end of the southwestern branch of the East African Rift System (EARS), therefore providing a unique opportunity to investigate neotectonic processes during the early stages of rifting. We used geophysical (aeromagnetic, magnetotelluric), Shuttle Radar Tomography Mission, Digital Elevation Model (SRTM-DEM), and sedimentological data to characterize the growth and propagation of faults associated with continental extension in the ORZ, and to elucidate the interplay between neotectonics and surficial processes. The results suggest that: (1) fault growth occurs by along axis linkage of fault segments, (2) an immature border fault is developing through the process of “Fault Piracy” by fault-linkages between major fault systems, (3) significant discrepancies exits between the height of fault scarps and the throws across the faults compared to their lengths in the basement, (4) utilization of preexisting zones of weakness allowed the development of very long faults (> 25-100 km) at a very early stage of continental rifting, explaining the apparent paradox between the fault length versus throw for this young rift, (5) active faults are characterized by conductive anomalies resulting from fluids, whereas, inactive faults show no conductivity anomaly; and 6) sedimentlogical data reveal a major perturbation in lake sedimentation between 41 ka and 27 ka. The sedimentation perturbation is attributed to faulting associated with the rifting and may have resulted in the alteration of hydrology forming the modern day Okavango delta. We infer that this time period may represent the age of the latest rift reactivation and fault growth and propagation within the ORZ.

  11. Implications of new gravity data for Baikal Rift zone structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruppel, C.; Kogan, M. G.; Mcnutt, M. K.

    1993-01-01

    Newly available, 2D Bouguer gravity anomaly data from the Baikal Rift zone, Siberia, indicate that this discrete, intracontinental rift system is regionally compensated by an elastic plate about 50 km thick. However, spectral and spatial domain analyses and isostatic anomaly calculations show that simple elastic plate theory does not offer an adequate explanation for compensation in the rift zone, probably because of significant lateral variations in plate strength and the presence of subsurface loads. Our results and other geophysical observations support the interpretation that the Baikal Rift zone is colder than either the East African or Rio Grande rift.

  12. Late Cretaceous intraplate silicic volcanism in the Lake Chad region: incipient continental rift volcanism vs. Cameroon Line volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shellnutt, G.; Lee, T. Y.; Torng, P. K.; Yang, C. C.

    2015-12-01

    The crustal evolution of west-central Africa during the Cretaceous was directly related to plate motion associated with the opening of the central Atlantic Ocean. Late Cretaceous (~66 Ma) to recent magmatism related to the Cameroon Line stretches from Northern Cameroon (i.e. Golda Zuelva) to the Gulf of Guinea (i.e. Pagalu) and is considered to be due to mantle-crust interaction. The volcanic rocks at Hadjer el Khamis, west-central Chad, are considered to be amongst the oldest volcanic rocks of the Cameroon Line but their relationship is uncertain because they erupted during a period of a regional extension associated with the opening of the Late Cretaceous (~75 Ma) Termit basin. The silicic volcanic rocks can be divided into a peraluminous group and a peralkaline group with both rock types having similar chemical characteristics as within-plate granitoids. In situ U/Pb zircon dating yielded a mean 206Pb/238U age of 74.4 ± 1.3 Ma and indicates the rocks erupted ~10 million years before the next oldest eruption attributed to the Cameroon Line. The Sr isotopes (i.e. ISr = 0.7050 to 0.7143) show a wide range but the Nd isotopes (i.e. 143Nd/144Ndi = 0.51268 to 0.51271) are more uniform and indicate that the rocks were derived from a moderately depleted mantle source. Major and trace elemental modeling show that the silicic rocks likely formed by shallow fractionation of a mafic parental magma where the peraluminous rocks experienced crustal contamination and the peralkaline rocks did not. The silicic rocks are more isotopically similar to Late Cretaceous basalts in the Doba and Bongor basins (i.e. ISr = 0.7040 to 0.7060; 143Nd/144Ndi = 0.51267 to 0.51277) of southern Chad than to rocks of the Cameroon Line (i.e. ISr = 0.7026 to 0.7038; 143Nd/144Ndi = 0.51270 to 0.51300). Given the age and isotopic compositions, it is likely that the silicic volcanic rocks of the Lake Chad area are related to Late Cretaceous extensional tectonics rather than to Cameroon Line magmatism.

  13. Sr-Nd-Pb isotope systematics and clinopyroxene-host disequilibrium in ultra-potassic magmas from Toro-Ankole and Virunga, East-African Rift: Implications for magma mixing and source heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muravyeva, N. S.; Belyatsky, B. V.; Senin, V. G.; Ivanov, A. V.

    2014-12-01

    Nd, Pb and Sr isotope ratios have been determined for kamafugite lava and clinopyroxene phenocrysts from Bunyaruguru (Toro-Ankole) and Virunga volcanic fields of the East African Rift. The whole rock Sr-Nd isotopic signatures of kamafugites (87Sr/86Sr: 0.70463-0.70536; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51249-0.51255) suggest derivation from an EM1-type mantle source. In contrast, Pb isotopic compositions of the same samples (206Pb/204Pb: 19.00-19.57; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.69-15.74; 208Pb/204Pb: 39.30-40.26) reveal a similarity to EM2-type mantle. New Nd, Pb and Sr isotopic data for clinopyroxene (87Sr/86Sr: 0.70473-0.70503; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51250-0.51254; 206Pb/204Pb: 18.04-18.17; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.58-15.60; 208Pb/204Pb: 38.09-38.23) suggest derivation from an EM1-like source, and indicate Sr and Pb isotope disequilibrium between clinopyroxene and corresponding host rock. Moreover, clinopyroxenes exhibiting a greater degree of isotopic disequilibrium with their host rock are more sodic in composition. The isotopic disequilibrium is corroborated by the presence of chemical zoning within clinopyroxene, which suggests rapid magma ascent rates preventing melt homogenization. The Pb isotopic ratios for both mineral and corresponding whole rock, together with published data on East African rift-related alkaline centers, define a trend interpreted to represent a mixing line for melts derived from sources such as EM1 and as HIMU. The similar isotopic compositions for clinopyroxene from the different volcanic rocks within the East African Rift suggest the existence of a common, older mantle source for their parental melts. The origin of these melts can be attributed to an enrichment event ~ 400-500 Ma, i.e., significantly prior the younger ultrapotassic magmatism. Our preferred interpretation for the results reported here involves the mixing of melts derived from EM1- and HIMU-like sources, which were rapidly transported to the Earth's surface. The primary magmas formed as the result of melting of a

  14. The uppermost mantle shear wave velocity structure of eastern Africa from Rayleigh wave tomography: constraints on rift evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donnell, J. P.; Adams, A.; Nyblade, A. A.; Mulibo, G. D.; Tugume, F.

    2013-08-01

    An expanded model of the 3-D shear wave velocity structure of the uppermost mantle beneath eastern Africa has been developed using earthquakes recorded by the AfricaArray East African Seismic Experiment in conjunction with data from permanent stations and previously deployed temporary stations. The combined data set comprises 331 earthquakes recorded on a total of 95 seismic stations spanning Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi. In this study, data from 149 earthquakes were used to determine fundamental-mode Rayleigh wave phase velocities at periods ranging from 20 to 182 s using the two-plane wave method, and then combined with the similarly processed published measurements and inverted for a 3-D shear wave velocity model of the uppermost mantle. New features in the model include (1) a low-velocity region in western Zambia, (2) a high-velocity region in eastern Zambia, (3) a low-velocity region in eastern Tanzania and (4) low-velocity regions beneath the Lake Malawi rift. When considered in conjunction with mapped seismicity, these results support a secondary western rift branch striking southwestwards from Lake Tanganyika, likely exploiting the relatively weak lithosphere of the southern Kibaran Belt between the Bangweulu Block and the Congo Craton. We estimate a lithospheric thickness of ˜150-200 km for the substantial fast shear wave anomaly imaged in eastern Zambia, which may be a southward subsurface extension of the Bangweulu Block. The low-velocity region in eastern Tanzania suggests that the eastern rift branch trends southeastwards offshore eastern Tanzania coincident with the purported location of the northern margin of the proposed Ruvuma microplate. Pronounced velocity lows along the Lake Malawi rift are found beneath the northern and southern ends of the lake, but not beneath the central portion of the lake.

  15. Airborne gravity gradiometer surveying of petroleum systems under Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Doug; Chowdhury, Priyanka Roy; Lowe, Sharon Jenny; Christensen, Asbjorn Norlund

    2016-02-01

    The Lake Tanganyika South petroleum exploration block covers the southern portion of the Tanzanian side of Lake Tanganyika and is located within the East African Rift System. The rifting process has formed rotated fault blocks which provide numerous play types in the resulting basins. Interpretation of 2D seismic data from 1984 indicated that sufficient sediment thickness is present for hydrocarbon generation. The prospectivity of the lake sediment sequence is enhanced by large oil discoveries further north along the rift system at Lake Albert in Uganda. Airborne gravity gradiometry (AGG) has been used in the Lake Albert region to delineate the structural framework of sedimentary basins. Based on this analogy, in 2010 Beach Energy commissioned CGG to fly a FALCON AGG and high-resolution airborne magnetic survey over the Lake Tanganyika South block to provide data for mapping the basin architecture and estimating the depth to magnetic basement. A total of nearly 28000 line kilometres of data were acquired. The subsequent interpretation incorporated the AGG and magnetic data with available 2D seismic data, elevation model data, bathymetry, Landsat and regional geology information. The integrated data interpretation revealed that the Lake Tanganyika rifting structures occur as half-grabens that were formed through reactivation of Precambrian fault structures. Two major depocentres were identified in the magnetic depth-to-basement map in the north and in the west-central part of the survey area with sediment thicknesses in excess of 4 km and 3 km, respectively. Smaller, shallower depocentres (with less than 3 km of sediment) occur in the south-western region. This information was used to plan a 2100 km 2D marine seismic survey that was recorded in 2012. An interpretation of the results from the seismic survey confirmed a rifting structure similar to that encountered further north at Lake Albert in Uganda. Several targets were identified from the seismic sections for

  16. Lithological Influences on Occurrence of High-Fluoride Waters in The Central Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olaka, L. A.; Musolff, A.; Mulch, A.; Olago, D.; Odada, E. O.

    2013-12-01

    Within the East African rift, groundwater recharge results from the complex interplay of geology, land cover, geomorphology, climate and on going volcano-tectonic processes across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. The interrelationships between these factors create complex patterns of water availability, reliability and quality. The hydrochemical evolution of the waters is further complex due to the different climatic regimes and geothermal processes going on in this area. High fluoridic waters within the rift have been reported by few studies, while dental fluorosis is high among the inhabitants of the rift. The natural sources of fluoride in waters can be from weathering of fluorine bearing minerals in rocks, volcanic or fumarolic activities. Fluoride concentration in water depends on a number of factors including pH, temperature, time of water-rock formation contact and geochemical processes. Knowledge of the sources and dispersion of fluoride in both surface and groundwaters within the central Kenya rift and seasonal variations between wet and dry seasons is still poor. The Central Kenya rift is marked by active tectonics, volcanic activity and fumarolic activity, the rocks are majorly volcanics: rhyolites, tuffs, basalts, phonolites, ashes and agglomerates some are highly fractured. Major NW-SE faults bound the rift escarpment while the rift floor is marked by N-S striking faults We combine petrographic, hydrochemistry and structural information to determine the sources and enrichment pathways of high fluoridic waters within the Naivasha catchment. A total of 120 water samples for both the dry season (January-February2012) and after wet season (June-July 2013) from springs, rivers, lakes, hand dug wells, fumaroles and boreholes within the Naivasha catchment are collected and analysed for fluoride, physicochemical parameters and stable isotopes (δ2 H, δ18 O) in order to determine the origin and evolution of the waters. Additionally, 30 soil and

  17. Interaction between an incipient rift and a cratonic lithosphere : The North Tanzania Rift seen from some seismic tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gautier, Stéphanie; Plasman, Matthieu; Tiberi, Christel; Lopez, Marie; Peyrat, Sophie; Perrot, Julie; Albaric, Julie; Déverchère, Jacques; Deschamps, Anne; Ebinger, Cindy; Roecker, Steven; Mulibo, Gabriel; Wambura, Richard Ferdinand; Muzuka, Alfred; Msabi, Michael; Gama, Remigius

    2016-04-01

    The North Tanzania part of the East African Rift is the place of an incipient break up of the lithosphere. This continental rifting happens on the edge of the Tanzanian craton, and their interaction leads to major changes in the surface deformation. The evolution of the rift and its morphology is strongly linked to the inherited structures, particularly the Proterozoic belts and the craton itself. It is thus of prime interest to image the structure of the craton edges to fully understand its impact on the localisation of the current deformation at the surface. Since 2007 different multidisciplinary projects have taken place in this area to address this question. We present here a work based on a collaborative work between French, American and Tanzanian institutes that started in 2013. About 35 seismological stations were installed for 2 years in the Natron lake region, and 10 short period instruments were added for 9 months in the Manyara area to record local and telesismic events. We have analysed more than a hundred teleseismic events to compute the receiver function, and we finally obtain a Moho map of the region as well as azimuthal distribution of converted phases. The stations located on the edge of the rift and near the craton present a continuous evolution of their crustal pattern in the RF signal. Especially, we identify a clear phase at about 7s for those stations that corresponds to an interface separating a normal upper mantle from a very slow mantle at about 70 km depth. We first model those receiver functions to perfectly fit the signal, and more precisely the transverse component, which shows a strong and coherent pattern. Second, the local seismic network we have installed for 9 months in Manyara region advantageously completed the 2007 SEISMOTANZ network. In this part of the rift the seismicity is deep (20-30 km) and clustered without any magmatism record at the surface, opposite to Natron area. We could then relocalize the deep seismicity observed

  18. Pre-breakup geology of the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean: Its relation to Triassic and Jurassic rift systems of the region

    SciTech Connect

    Bartok, P. )

    1993-02-01

    A review of the pre-breakup geology of west-central Pangea, comprised of northern South America, Gulf of Mexico and West Africa, combined with a study of the Mesozoic rift trends of the region confirms a relation between the rift systems and the underlying older grain of deformation. The pre-breakup analysis focuses attention on the Precambrian, Early Paleozoic and Late Paleozoic tectonic events affecting the region and assumes a Pindell fit. Two Late Precambrian orogenic belts are observed in the west central Pangea. Along the northern South American margin and Yucatan a paleo northeast trending Pan-African aged fold belt is documented. A second system is observed along West Africa extending from the High Atlas to the Mauritanides and Rockelides. During the Late Paleozoic, renewed orogenic activity, associated with the Gondwana/Laurentia suture, affected large segments of west central Pangea. The general trend of the system is northeast-southwest and essentially parallels the Gyayana Shield, West African, and eastern North American cratons. Mesozoic rifting closely followed either the Precambrian trends or the Late Paleozoic orogenic belt. The Triassic component focuses along the western portions of the Gulf of Mexico continuing into eastern Mexico and western South America. The Jurassic rift trend followed along the separation between Yucatan and northern South America. At Lake Maracaibo the Jurassic rift system eventually overlaps the Triassic rifts. The Jurassic rift resulted in the [open quotes]Hispanic Corridor[close quotes] that permitted Tethyan and Pacific marine faunas to mix at a time when the Gulf of Mexico underwent continental sedimentation.

  19. The Timing of Early Magmatism and Extension in the Southern East African Rift: Tracking Geochemical Source Variability with 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology at the Rungwe Volcanic Province, SW Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mesko, G. T.; Class, C.; Maqway, M. D.; Boniface, N.; Manya, S.; Hemming, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Rungwe Volcanic Province is the southernmost expression of volcanism in the East African Rift System. Rungwe magmatism is focused in a transfer zone between two weakly extended rift segments, unlike more developed rifts where magmatism occurs along segment axes (e.g. mid-ocean ridges). Rungwe was selected as the site of the multinational SEGMeNT project, an integrated geophysical, geochronological and geochemical study to determine the role of magmatism during early stage continental rifting. Argon geochronology is underway for an extensive collection of Rungwe volcanic rocks to date the eruptive sequence with emphasis on the oldest events. The age and location of the earliest events remains contested, but is critical to evaluating the relationship between magmatism and extension. Dated samples are further analyzed to model the geochemistry and isotopic signature of each melt's source and define it as lithospheric, asthenospheric, or plume. Given the goals, the geochronology focuses on mafic lavas most likely to preserve the geochemical signature of the mantle source. Groundmass was prepared and analyzed at the LDEO AGES lab. Twelve preliminary dates yield ages from 8.5 to 5.7Ma, consistent with prior results, supporting an eruptive episode concurrent with tectonic activity on the Malawi and Rukwa border faults (Ebinger et al., JGR 1989; 1993). Three additional samples yield ages from 18.51 to 17.6 Ma, consistent with the 18.6 ±1.0 Ma age obtained by Rasskazov et al. (Russ. Geology & Geophys. 2003). This eruptive episode is spatially limited to phonolite domes in the Usangu Basin and a mafic lava flow on the uplifted Mbeya Block. These eruptions predate the current tectonic extensional structure, suggesting magmatism predates extension, or that the two are not highly interdependent. No Rungwe samples dated yet can be the source of the of 26Ma carbonatitic tuffs in the nearby Songwe River Basin sequence (Roberts et al., Nature Geoscience 2012). Isochron ages

  20. Coping With Lake Kivu, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Thomas C.; Scholz, Christopher A.

    2010-07-01

    Workshop on Tropical Rift Lake Systems: Integrated Volcanogenic, Tectonic, Biogeochemical, and Geohazard Assessment of Lake Kivu; Gisenyi, Rwanda, 13-15 January 2010; Situated in the volcanic highlands of the East African Rift Valley's western branch, Lake Kivu contains one of the most unusual and fascinating aquatic ecosystems on the planet. Bottom waters in the 480-meter-deep lake are warmer and saltier than its surface waters. The concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide and methane are so high in the deep water that catastrophic overturn, an abrupt upwelling of deep water and gas driven by the buoyancy of expanding gas bubbles as they rise from the depths, could well happen in the coming century. Were this to occur, human fatalities would likely number in the hundreds of thousands—a disaster similar to what occurred when Lake Nyos (Cameroon) in 1986 emitted a large amount of carbon dioxide, causing hundreds of local residents to suffocate—but with orders-of-magnitude more gas release.

  1. Hydrogeochemical features of Lake Ngozi (SW Tanzania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delalande-Le Mouëllic, Manuëlla; Gherardi, Fabrizio; Williamson, David; Kajula, Stephen; Kraml, Michael; Noret, Aurélie; Abdallah, Issah; Mwandapile, Ezekiel; Massault, Marc; Majule, Amos; Bergonzini, Laurent

    2015-03-01

    Located on the triple rift junction hosting the Karonga-Usungu depression in Tanzania, Lake Ngozi is the second largest crater lake of the East African Rift. The lake has a number of peculiar features: it has a near constant water level, no permanent surface inlets and outlets, it is vertically well-mixed, with homogeneous distribution of temperature and chemical composition, and it is characterised by near neutral to slightly acid Na-Cl waters of comparatively high salinity and high P-CO2. Based on the different chemical signature of surface and ground waters (low-Cl type) from lake waters, mass balance methods have been applied to investigate lake dynamics. Water enters the lake mainly by precipitation and groundwater inflow, and leaves by groundwater outflow and evaporation. A large groundwater outflow of 2.4 m yr-1 has been estimated. The high salinity, Na-Cl signature of Lake Ngozi waters, together with 3He/4He ratios measured on dissolved gases (between 7 and 8.3 Ra) and high-PCO2 values estimated all along the water vertical column indicate the inflow of deep-seated fluids, likely magmatic in origin, into the lake. The existence of a hydrothermal system possibly at 250 °C in the root of the volcanic edifice is also hypothesised on the basis of solute geothermometry. Despite the current lack of vertical stratification, the lake is suspected to act as condenser for CO2 and other gases of deep magmatic origin, and should be then further monitored for the risk of limnic eruptions as well as for environmental and climatic concerns.

  2. The Cenozoic volcanism in the Kivu rift: Assessment of the tectonic setting, geochemistry, and geochronology of the volcanic activity in the South-Kivu and Virunga regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pouclet, A.; Bellon, H.; Bram, K.

    2016-09-01

    The Kivu rift is part of the western branch of the East African Rift system. From Lake Tanganyika to Lake Albert, the Kivu rift is set in a succession of Precambrian zones of weakness trending NW-SE, NNE-SSW and NE-SW. At the NW to NNE turn of the rift direction in the Lake Kivu area, the inherited faults are crosscut by newly born N-S fractures which developed during the late Cenozoic rifting and controlled the volcanic activity. From Lake Kivu to Lake Edward, the N-S faults show a right-lateral en echelon pattern. Development of tension gashes in the Virunga area indicates a clockwise rotation of the constraint linked to dextral oblique motion of crustal blocks. The extensional direction was W-E in the Mio-Pliocene and ENE-WSW in the Pleistocene to present time. The volcanic rocks are assigned to three groups: (1) tholeiites and sodic alkali basalts in the South-Kivu, (2) sodic basalts and nephelinites in the northern Lake Kivu and western Virunga, and (3) potassic basanites and potassic nephelinites in the Virunga area. South-Kivu magmas were generated by melting of spinel + garnet lherzolite from two sources: an enriched lithospheric source and a less enriched mixed lithospheric and asthenospheric source. The latter source was implied in the genesis of the tholeiitic lavas at the beginning of the South-Kivu tectono-volcanic activity, in relationships with asthenosphere upwelling. The ensuing outpouring of alkaline basaltic lavas from the lithospheric source attests for the abortion of the asthenospheric contribution and a change of the rifting process. The sodic nephelinites of the northern Lake Kivu originated from low partial melting of garnet peridotite of the sub-continental mantle due to pressure release during swell initiation. The Virunga potassic magmas resulted from the melting of garnet peridotite with an increasing degree of melting from nephelinite to basanite. They originated from a lithospheric source enriched in both K and Rb, suggesting the

  3. Limnocythere (Ostracoda) distribution pattern in the Southern Ethiopian Rift during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viehberg, Finn; Gebru, Tsige; Foerster, Verena; Schaebitz, Frank; Wagner, Bernd

    2014-05-01

    Sediment records from two lakes in the biodiversity hotspot of the Southern Ethiopian Rift were retrieved, Lake Chamo (c. 9 ka) and Chew Bahir (c. 45 ka). Sedimentological and palaeoecological proxies infer rapidly changing environmental conditions (wet-dry cycle) such as the African Humid Period. The fossil record in both archives is fairly rich in ostracode taxa throughout the cores and especially diverse in the genus Limnocythere. Here, we discuss the temporal and spatial distribution pattern of Limnocythere species in the Omo-Turkana basin in the context of palaeolimnological changes. In addition, we mapped extensively valve characteristics of the L. species to document morphological intraspecific variation also as a supplementary measure of environmental change. Our preliminary results show that regional biogeographical boundaries might have changed as a consequence, too. For instance, members of the Limnocythere thomasi -group (sensu Martens 1990) occur in our fossil record. In modern studies this species cluster is regarded as endemic fauna of Lakes Zway, Langano and Shala, which are associated with the freshwater ecoregion of the Northern Eastern Rift.

  4. Wetlands as a Record of Climate Change and Hydrological Response in Arid Rift Settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashley, G. M.

    2004-12-01

    Of all the terrestrial depositional settings, rift basins typically provide the greatest accommodation space, and consequently have some of the longest records of continental sedimentation. Lake deposits were the only rift component studied for records of long-term climatic change and for testing hypotheses of orbital forcing. Recently, the continuing quest for the paleontological and cultural records of human origins entombed in the sedimentary rocks of the East African Rift System raised questions concerning hydrologic and biologic response to climatic change. Additional issues are the impact of climate on paleolandscapes and the environmental stresses that might have affected human evolution. Other important indicators of rift hydrology, such as springs and wetlands are now emerging as viable records of climate change. Rift valley basins are shallow, hydrologically closed systems that are responsive to shifts in climate, and specifically sensitive to changes in the hydrologic budget (P-ET). Long term wet-dry cycles in the low latitudes are thought to be astronomically controlled, i.e. Milankovitch precession cycles (19-23 ka). In the tropics, precipitation (P) varies with changes in solar insolation which fluctuates <8-10 % over a cycle. Stronger insolation drives stronger summer monsoon maxima increasing P. Mean annual temperatures are high, but evapo-transpiration, ET (~ 2500 mm/yr) varies little. Consequently, during wetter periods regional groundwater reservoirs enlarge, the water table rises and springs and wetlands increase in number and in size compared to drier periods. Lake levels are known to fluctuate in response to change in hydrologic budget and wetlands appear to respond similarly. Springs and groundwater-fed wetlands are common, however the sources and sustainability of water or what geologic factors lead to the formation and longevity of wetlands is not well established. It appears that rainfall is trapped on topographic highs (rift fault blocks

  5. Active fault systems of the Kivu rift and Virunga volcanic province, and implications for geohazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zal, H. J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Wood, D. J.; Scholz, C. A.; d'Oreye, N.; Carn, S. A.; Rutagarama, U.

    2013-12-01

    H Zal, C Ebinger, D. Wood, C. Scholz, N. d'Oreye, S. Carn, U. Rutagarama The weakly magmatic Western rift system, East Africa, is marked by fault-bounded basins filled by freshwater lakes that record tectonic and climatic signals. One of the smallest of the African Great Lakes, Lake Kivu, represents a unique geohazard owing to the warm, saline bottom waters that are saturated in methane, as well as two of the most active volcanoes in Africa that effectively dam the northern end of the lake. Yet, the dynamics of the basin system and the role of magmatism were only loosely constrained prior to new field and laboratory studies in Rwanda. In this work, we curated, merged, and analyzed historical and digital data sets, including spectral analyses of merged Shuttle Radar Topography Mission topography and high resolution CHIRP bathymetry calibrated by previously mapped fault locations along the margins and beneath the lake. We quantitatively compare these fault maps with the time-space distribution of earthquakes located using data from a temporary array along the northern sector of Lake Kivu, as well as space-based geodetic data. During 2012, seismicity rates were highest beneath Nyiragongo volcano, where a range of low frequency (1-3 s peak frequency) to tectonic earthquakes were located. Swarms of low-frequency earthquakes correspond to periods of elevated gas emissions, as detected by Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). Earthquake swarms also occur beneath Karisimbi and Nyamuragira volcanoes. A migrating swarm of earthquakes in May 2012 suggests a sill intrusion at the DR Congo-Rwanda border. We delineate two fault sets: SW-NE, and sub-N-S. Excluding the volcano-tectonic earthquakes, most of the earthquakes are located along subsurface projections of steep border faults, and intrabasinal faults calibrated by seismic reflection data. Small magnitude earthquakes also occur beneath the uplifted rift flanks. Time-space variations in seismicity patterns provide a baseline

  6. [Rift Valley fever].

    PubMed

    Pépin, M

    2011-06-01

    Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a zoonotic arbovirosis. Among animals, it mainly affects ruminants, causing abortions in gravid females and mortality among young animals. In humans, RVF virus infection is usually asymptomatic or characterized by a moderate fever. However, in 1 to 3% of cases, more severe forms of the disease (hepatitis, encephalitis, retinitis, hemorrhagic fever) can lead to the death of infected individuals or to major sequels. The RVF virus (Bunyaviridae, genus Phlebovirus) was identified for the first time in the 1930s in Kenya. It then spread over almost all African countries, sometimes causing major epizootics/epidemics. In 2000, the virus was carried out of Africa, in the Middle East Arabian Peninsula. In 2007-2008, Eastern-African countries, including Madagascar, reported significant episodes of RVF virus, this was also the case for the Comoros archipelago and the French island of Mayotte. This ability to spread associated with many vectors, including in Europe, and high viral loads in infected animals led the health authorities worldwide to warn about the potential emergence of RVF virus in areas with a temperate climate. The awareness has increased in recent years with climate changes, which may possibly modify the vector distribution and competence, and prompted many RVF virus-free countries to better prepare for a potential implantation of RVF.

  7. Surface Wave Analysis of Regional Earthquakes in the Eastern Rift System (Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, S. J. C.; Guidarelli, M.; Ebinger, C. J.; Roecker, S. W.; Tiberi, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Northern Tanzania Divergence (NTD), the youngest part of the East African Rift System, presents the opportunity to obtain insights about the birth and early stages of rifting before it progresses to mature rifting and seafloor spreading. This region is particularly interesting because the Eastern rift splits into three arms in this area and develops in a region of thick and cold lithosphere, amid the Archaean Tanzanian craton and the Proterozoic orogenic belt (the Masai block). We analyzed about two thousand seismic events recorded by the 39 broadband stations of the CRAFTI network during its two-year deployment in the NTD area in 2013 to 2014. We present the results of surface wave tomographic inversion obtained from fundamental-mode Rayleigh waves for short periods (between 4 to 14 seconds). Group velocity dispersion curves obtained via multiple filter analysis are path-averaged and inverted to produce 0.1º x 0.1º nodal grid tomographic maps for discrete periods using a 2D generalization of the Backus and Gilbert method. To quantify our results in terms of S-wave velocity structure the average group velocity dispersion curves are then inverted, using a linearized least-squares inversion scheme, in order to obtain the shear wave velocity structure for the upper 20 km of the crust. Low velocity anomalies are observed in the region 50 km south of Lake Natron, as well as in the area of the Ngorongoro crater. The implications of our results for the local tectonics and the development of the rifting system will be discussed in light of the growing geophysical database from this region.

  8. Early human speciation, brain expansion and dispersal influenced by African climate pulses.

    PubMed

    Shultz, Susanne; Maslin, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Early human evolution is characterised by pulsed speciation and dispersal events that cannot be explained fully by global or continental paleoclimate records. We propose that the collated record of ephemeral East African Rift System (EARS) lakes could be a proxy for the regional paleoclimate conditions experienced by early hominins. Here we show that the presence of these lakes is associated with low levels of dust deposition in both West African and Mediterranean records, but is not associated with long-term global cooling and aridification of East Africa. Hominin expansion and diversification seem to be associated with climate pulses characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of deep EARS lakes. The most profound period for hominin evolution occurs at about 1.9 Ma; with the highest recorded diversity of hominin species, the appearance of Homo (sensu stricto) and major dispersal events out of East Africa into Eurasia. During this period, ephemeral deep-freshwater lakes appeared along the whole length of the EARS, fundamentally changing the local environment. The relationship between the local environment and hominin brain expansion is less clear. The major step-wise expansion in brain size around 1.9 Ma when Homo appeared was coeval with the occurrence of ephemeral deep lakes. Subsequent incremental increases in brain size are associated with dry periods with few if any lakes. Plio-Pleistocene East African climate pulses as evinced by the paleo-lake records seem, therefore, fundamental to hominin speciation, encephalisation and migration.

  9. Early Human Speciation, Brain Expansion and Dispersal Influenced by African Climate Pulses

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Susanne; Maslin, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Early human evolution is characterised by pulsed speciation and dispersal events that cannot be explained fully by global or continental paleoclimate records. We propose that the collated record of ephemeral East African Rift System (EARS) lakes could be a proxy for the regional paleoclimate conditions experienced by early hominins. Here we show that the presence of these lakes is associated with low levels of dust deposition in both West African and Mediterranean records, but is not associated with long-term global cooling and aridification of East Africa. Hominin expansion and diversification seem to be associated with climate pulses characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of deep EARS lakes. The most profound period for hominin evolution occurs at about 1.9 Ma; with the highest recorded diversity of hominin species, the appearance of Homo (sensu stricto) and major dispersal events out of East Africa into Eurasia. During this period, ephemeral deep-freshwater lakes appeared along the whole length of the EARS, fundamentally changing the local environment. The relationship between the local environment and hominin brain expansion is less clear. The major step-wise expansion in brain size around 1.9 Ma when Homo appeared was coeval with the occurrence of ephemeral deep lakes. Subsequent incremental increases in brain size are associated with dry periods with few if any lakes. Plio-Pleistocene East African climate pulses as evinced by the paleo-lake records seem, therefore, fundamental to hominin speciation, encephalisation and migration. PMID:24146922

  10. Causes of unrest at silicic calderas in the East African Rift: New constraints from InSAR and soil-gas chemistry at Aluto volcano, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutchison, William; Biggs, Juliet; Mather, Tamsin A.; Pyle, David M.; Lewi, Elias; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Caliro, Stefano; Chiodini, Giovanni; Clor, Laura E.; Fischer, Tobias P.

    2016-08-01

    Restless silicic calderas present major geological hazards, and yet many also host significant untapped geothermal resources. In East Africa, this poses a major challenge, although the calderas are largely unmonitored their geothermal resources could provide substantial economic benefits to the region. Understanding what causes unrest at these volcanoes is vital for weighing up the opportunities against the potential risks. Here we bring together new field and remote sensing observations to evaluate causes of ground deformation at Aluto, a restless silicic volcano located in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER). Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data reveal the temporal and spatial characteristics of a ground deformation episode that took place between 2008 and 2010. Deformation time series reveal pulses of accelerating uplift that transition to gradual long-term subsidence, and analytical models support inflation source depths of ˜5 km. Gases escaping along the major fault zone of Aluto show high CO2 flux, and a clear magmatic carbon signature (CO2-δ13C of -4.2‰ to -4.5‰). This provides compelling evidence that the magmatic and hydrothermal reservoirs of the complex are physically connected. We suggest that a coupled magmatic-hydrothermal system can explain the uplift-subsidence signals. We hypothesize that magmatic fluid injection and/or intrusion in the cap of the magmatic reservoir drives edifice-wide inflation while subsequent deflation is related to magmatic degassing and depressurization of the hydrothermal system. These new constraints on the plumbing of Aluto yield important insights into the behavior of rift volcanic systems and will be crucial for interpreting future patterns of unrest.

  11. Influence of lower crustal rheology on onset and distribution of melting and serpentinisation during rifting: comparison with the Brazilian/African conjugate margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Gussinye, M.; Araujo, M. N.; Romeiro, M. T.; Martinez, M. A.; Morgan, J. P.; Ros, E.

    2014-12-01

    The onset and distribution of melting and serpentinisation during rifting determine the continent-ocean transition width and composition and have been shown to depend on extension velocity. Conductive cooling during slow rifting favors serpentinisation and inhibits melting (Perez-Gussinye et al., 2006). Here we use numerical modeling to show that, additionally, lower crustal rheology, which also controls margin symmetry and width (Brune et al. 2014), strongly influences the onset and distribution of melting and serpentinisation. We find that strong lower crust rheologies effectively couple deformation in upper crust and mantle and lead to rapid crustal break-up through crust-cutting faults (see Brune et al., 2014), allowing serpentinisation to start relatively early and producing narrow, symmetric margins. Coupling of lithospheric layers leads to rapid asthenospheric uplift and the onset of melting at a relatively early stage during extension. For slow velocities, serpentinisation starts before melting, and the little magma produced probably ponds under the serpentinite layer exhumed after crustal break-up, generating a wide continent-ocean transition. For the same extension velocities, relatively weak lower crust shows a long initial phase of distributed faulting, with moderate lithospheric thinning, followed by a long phase of sequential, oceanward younging faults, producing wider, asymmetric margins. Serpentinisation is insignificant because lower crustal flow towards the tip of the active fault inhibits the formation of crust cutting faults. Asthenospheric upwelling is less pronounced, and the onset and amount of melting is delayed with respect to the stronger lower crust case. When crustal break-up occurs magma rises to form oceanic crust and hence a narrow continent-ocean transition. Along Brazil and Africa the margin's symmetry, width and continent-ocean transition type change as the onshore terranes in which they developed go from cratons to mobile belts

  12. Reconstruction of the geology and structure of Lake Rotomahana and its hydrothermal systems from high-resolution multibeam mapping and seismic surveys: Effects of the 1886 Tarawera Rift eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Ronde, C. E. J.; Walker, S. L.; LeBlanc, C.; Davy, B. W.; Fornari, D. J.; Tontini, F. Caratori; Scott, B. J.; Seebeck, H.; Stewart, T. J.; Mazot, A.; Nicol, A.; Tivey, M. A.

    2016-03-01

    Present-day Lake Rotomahana is one of the two focal points of the most destructive eruption in New Zealand's historical record, i.e., that of Mt. Tarawera on 10 June 1886, with devastating loss of life and presumed destruction of the iconic Pink and White Terraces that adorned the margins of the lake. Basaltic dikes are considered to have ascended near surface in the area, intruding into hydrothermally altered and water-saturated ground beneath the existing lake. The consequential hydrothermal and phreatomagmatic eruptions ejected 0.5325 km3 of material from the lakefloor and below, plastering the nearby landscape for several kilometers with mud and other debris. The eruption buried the natural outlet of the lake, with the bottom of the craters becoming filled by water within months and completely concealed from view within years; today Lake Rotomahana has depths up to 118 m. High-resolution (0.5 m) bathymetric mapping, when combined with a 2-D seismic reflection survey, enables us to 'see' details of the maar craters on the lakefloor, including those parts subsequently buried by sediment. The large Rotomahana Crater described by workers immediately after the eruption measures ~ 2.5 km in diameter near its southwestern end, and excavated ground to 155 m below present-day lake level. The vent system, as revealed by the present study, forms an array of right-stepping (dextral) craters, with the main crater being host to two sub-craters Rotomahana West Crater and Rotomahana East Crater today buried beneath the lakefloor, and which are in-filled by 36 and 37 m of sediment, respectively. Subordinate craters along the same 057° Tarawera Rift trace include Hochstetter Crater (11 m of infill), Waingongongongo Crater (14 m) and Rotomakariri Crater (26 m). These craters host a total 0.0268 km3 of sediment. Other features highlighted by the bathymetric data include; craters not filled by sediment, sediment fan deltas, volcanic ridges and dikes, submerged wave-cut terraces

  13. Continental rift evolution: From rift initiation to incipient break-up in the Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo

    2009-09-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift is a key sector of the East African Rift System that connects the Afar depression, at Red Sea-Gulf of Aden junction, with the Turkana depression and Kenya Rift to the South. It is a magmatic rift that records all the different stages of rift evolution from rift initiation to break-up and incipient oceanic spreading: it is thus an ideal place to analyse the evolution of continental extension, the rupture of lithospheric plates and the dynamics by which distributed continental deformation is progressively focused at oceanic spreading centres. The first tectono-magmatic event related to the Tertiary rifting was the eruption of voluminous flood basalts that apparently occurred in a rather short time interval at around 30 Ma; strong plateau uplift, which resulted in the development of the Ethiopian and Somalian plateaus now surrounding the rift valley, has been suggested to have initiated contemporaneously or shortly after the extensive flood-basalt volcanism, although its exact timing remains controversial. Voluminous volcanism and uplift started prior to the main rifting phases, suggesting a mantle plume influence on the Tertiary deformation in East Africa. Different plume hypothesis have been suggested, with recent models indicating the existence of deep superplume originating at the core-mantle boundary beneath southern Africa, rising in a north-northeastward direction toward eastern Africa, and feeding multiple plume stems in the upper mantle. However, the existence of this whole-mantle feature and its possible connection with Tertiary rifting are highly debated. The main rifting phases started diachronously along the MER in the Mio-Pliocene; rift propagation was not a smooth process but rather a process with punctuated episodes of extension and relative quiescence. Rift location was most probably controlled by the reactivation of a lithospheric-scale pre-Cambrian weakness; the orientation of this weakness (roughly NE-SW) and the Late

  14. A High-Resolution Late Holocene Record of Rainfall From Lake Edward, Equatorial Africa: Linkages Between the African and Indian Monsoons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, J. M.; Johnson, T. C.

    2005-12-01

    High-resolution analyses of the chemical composition of calcite and the biogenic silica content of sediments from piston cores spanning the past 3,500 years from Lake Edward, Uganda-Congo, document multidecadal to millennial-scale climate variability in the heart of equatorial Africa. Major drought events in the Lake Edward record occur at about 500, 850, 1500, ~2000, and 2700 cal yr BP, in addition to numerous other events of lesser magnitude/duration. Comparison of our record to other Holocene records of African lake levels suggests that most of these intervals of drought affected most of equatorial East Africa. However, wet conditions at about 500 cal yrs BP at sites to the east of Lake Edward could indicate spatial heterogeneity within the African continent during the "Little Ice Age", which could have resulted from complex interactions between the African (Atlantic) and Indian Ocean monsoons. Spectral analysis of our drought record, sampled at a 3-year step, shows evidence for numerous multidecadal to century-scale drought periods in the region. The periodicities observed do not appear linked to solar forcing; rather, periods of ~125, ~70, ~28, and ~18 years apparent in our record as well as other records from the Indian Ocean basin may arise from climate variability internal to the tropical oceans, in particular the Indo-Pacific. Lastly, the Lake Edward record suggests that the climate of equatorial Africa has been unusually stable and generally wet for the past ca. 100 years. This stability appears unusual in light of the considerable climate variability suggested by our record for the past several millennia, a finding with clear implications for East African societies.

  15. Lake

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wien, Carol Anne

    2008-01-01

    The lake is blue black and deep. It is a glaciated finger lake, clawed out of rock when ice retracted across Nova Scotia in a northerly direction during the last ice age. The lake is narrow, a little over a mile long, and deep, 90 to 190 feet in places according to local lore, off the charts in others. The author loves to swim there, with a sense…

  16. Trematodes indicate animal biodiversity in the Chilean intertidal and Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Hechinger, Ryan F; Lafferty, Kevin D; Kuris, Armand M

    2008-08-01

    Trematode communities in populations of estuarine snails can reflect surrounding animal diversity, abundance, and trophic interactions. We know less about the potential for trematodes to serve as bioindicators in other habitats. Here, we reanalyze data from 2 published studies concerning trematodes, 1 in the Chilean rocky intertidal zone and the other from the East African rift lake, Lake Tanganyika. Our analyses indicate that trematodes are more common in protected areas and that in both habitats they are directly and positively related to surrounding host abundance. This further supports the notion that trematodes in first intermediate hosts can serve as bioindicators of the condition of free-living animal communities in diverse ecosystems.

  17. Rift initiation with volatiles and magma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebinger, Cynthia; Muirhead, James; Roecker, Steve; Tiberi, Christel; Muzuka, Alfred; Ferdinand, Rrichard; Mulibo, Gabrile; Kianji, Gladys

    2015-04-01

    Rift initiation in cratonic lithosphere remains an outstanding problem in continental tectonics, but strain and magmatism patterns in youthful sectors of the East African rift provide new insights. Few teleseisms occur in the Eastern rift arm of the East African rift system, except the southernmost sector in northern Tanzania where extension occurs in Archaean lithosphere. The change in seismic energy release occurs over a narrow along-axis zone, and between sectors with and without volcanoes in the central rift valley. Are these differences in strain behavior indicative of along-strike variations in a) rheology; b) strain transfer from border faults to magma intrusion zones; c) dike vs fault slip; and/or d) shallow vs deep magma chambers? We present time-space relations of seismicity recorded on a 38-station array spanning the Kenya-Tanzania border, focal mechanisms for the largest events during those time periods, and compare these to longer-term strain patterns. Lower crustal seismicity occurs along the rift length, including sectors on and off craton, and those with and without central rift valley volcanoes, and we see no clear along-strike variation in seismogenic layer thickness. One explanation for widespread lower crustal seismicity is high gas pressures and volatile migration from active metasomatism of upper mantle and magma degassing, consistent with very high volatile flux along fault zones, and widespread metasomatism of xenoliths. Volatile release and migration may be critical to strength reduction of initially cold, strong cratonic lithosphere. Seismicity patterns indicate strain (and fluid?) transfer from the Manyara border fault to Gelai shield volcano (faulting, diking) via Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. Our focal mechanisms and Global CMTs from an intense fault-dike episode (2007) show a local, temporally stable, rotation from ~E-W extension to NE-SE extension in this linkage zone, consistent with longer term patterns recorded in vent and eruptive

  18. Mesozoic and early Tertiary rift tectonics in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1992-08-01

    A complex history of crustal extension occurred in east and central Africa during the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. Beginning in the Late Jurassic, this resulted in a large system of rifts, the Central African rift system, that spanned from central Sudan to southern Kenya. Late Jurassic rifting is best documented in the White and Blue Nile rifts of the Sudan, and records east-west extension in half-graben that were connected by large-scale shear zones and pull-apart basins. Early Cretaceous rifting re-activated Jurassic basins and spread to the large South Sudan rifts and Anza rift in Kenya. By the Late Cretaceous, the extension direction shifted to the NE-SW, and the presently observed large-scale rift geometry was established. In the early Tertiary, some Mesozoic basins were again reactivated, while other regions underwent wrench faulting and basin inversion. The large number of basins preserved in the Central African rift system can be used to construct an evolutionary model of continental rift tectonics. Early phases of extension at low strains produced alternating half-graben/accommodation zone geometries similar to those observed in most young and active continental rifts. At higher strains, some border faults were abandoned so that through-going, simpler active fault systems could evolve. This is interpreted as representing a switch from complex, oppositely dipping detachment structures, with strike dimensions of 50-150 km, to regional detachment structures that continue for hundreds of kilometers parallel to the rift. This change in the type of detachment was accompanied by a shift in the position of the subsidence away from the breakaway to a position focused further within the regional upper plate. Non-rotational, high angle, normal faulting dominates in the development of these late basin geometries. Deciphering similar rift basin histories from passive continental margins may, in many cases, exceed the limits of available reflection seismic data. East

  19. Coherent monsoonal changes in the northern tropics revealed by Chadian lakes (L. Chad and Yoa) sedimentary archives during the African Humid Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sylvestre, Florence; Kroepelin, Stefan; Pierre, Deschamps; Christine, Cocquyt; Nicolas, Waldmann; Kazuyo, Tachikawa; Amaral Paula, Do; Doriane, Delanghe; Guillaume, Jouve; Edouard, Bard; Camille, Bouchez; Jean-Claude, Doumnang; Jean-Charles, Mazur; Martin, Melles; Guillemette, Menot; Frauke, Rostek; Nicolas, Thouveny; Volkner, Wennrich

    2016-04-01

    In northern African tropics, it is now well established that the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) was extremely dry followed by a wetter Holocene. Numerous palaeolake records reveal a fairly consistent pattern of a moister early Holocene resulting in a green Sahara followed by the onset of aridification about 4000 years ago. These palaeoenvironmental conditions are deciphered from several continental records distributed over the sub-Saharan zone and including diverse environments. However, pronounced differences in the timing and amplitude of these moisture changes inferred from sedimentary records point to both regional climatic variability change and site-specific influences of local topographic-hydrogeological factors which biased the evolution of water balance reconstructed from individual lacustrine archives. Here we present hydrological reconstructions from Chadian lakes, i.e. Lake Chad (c. 13°N) and Lake Yoa (19°N). Because of their location, both records allow to reconstruct lake level fluctuations and environmental changes according to a gradient from Sahelian to Saharan latitudes. Whereas Lake Chad is considered as a good sensor of climatic changes because of its large drainage basin covering 610,000 km2 in the Sudanian belt, Lake Yoa logs the northern precipitation changes in the Sahara. Combining sedimentological (laser diffraction grain size) and geochemical (XRF analysis) data associated with bio-indicators proxies (diatoms, pollen), we compare lake-level fluctuations and environmental changes during the last 12,000 years. After the hyperarid Last Glacial Maximum period during which dunes covered the Lake Chad basin, both lake records indicate an onset of more humid conditions between 12.5-11 ka cal BP. These resulted in lacustrine transgressions approaching their maximum extension at c. 10.5 ka cal BP. The lacustrine phase was probably interrupted by a relatively short drying event occurring around 8.2 ka cal BP which is well-defined in Lake Yoa by

  20. The 1973 Ethiopian-Rift geodimeter survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.

    1974-01-01

    Remeasurement of the Adama, Lake Langana, and Arba Minch (Lake Margherita) geodimeter networks in 1973 has enabled Mohr's interpretation concerning possible surface ground deformation in the Ethiopian rift to be considerably developed. Extension appears to have occurred across the Mojjo-Adama horst at a rate of about 1 cm yr/1. The opposing rims of the Adama graben have not moved significantly relative to one another (between 1969 and 1973), but stations on the sliced graben floor show possible movement with a large rift-trend component. In the Wolenchiti quadrilateral, significant movement of station RABBIT is confirmed, but the radical change of vector (that of 1970-1971 to that of 1971-1973) casts doubt on a tectonic cause and seems to indicate that stations on steep hillslopes are liable to be unstable. South of the quadrilateral and east of the Adama graben, alternating rift-trend zones of extension and shortening appear to coexist. In the Lake Langana network, significant movements of the order of 0.5 cm yr/1 are directed perpendicular to the rift floor faulting.

  1. Structure of continental rifts: Role of older features and magmatism

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R.

    1996-12-31

    Recent geological and geophysical studies in several continental rifts have begun to shed light on the details of the processes which govern the structural evolution of these important exploration targets. In Kenya and Tanzania, the classic East African rift has been the object of several investigations which reveal that its location follows the boundary (suture ?) between the Tanzanian craton (Archean) and Mozambiquan belt (Proterozoic), The Baikal rift also follows a similar boundary, and the Mid-continent rift of North America appears to do the same. Rifts themselves often act as zones of weakness which are reactivated by younger tectonic regimes. The classic North American example of this effect is the Eocambrian Southern Oklahoma aulacogen which was deformed to create the Anadarko basin and Wichita uplift in the late Paleozoic. The Central basin platform has a similar history although the original rift formed at {approximately}1,100Ma. Integration of geophysical data with petrologic and geochemical data from several rift zones has also provided a new picture of the nature and extent of magmatic modification of the crust. An interesting contradiction is that Phanerozoic rifts, except the Afar region, show little evidence for major magmatic modification of the crust whereas, at least in North America, many Precambrian rifts are associated with very large mafic bodies in the crust. The Kenya rift displays evidence for modification of the lower crust in a two-phase magmatic history, but upper crustal magmatic features are limited to local intrusions associated with volcanoes. In this rift, complex basement structure plays a much more important role than previously realized, and the geophysical signatures of basement structure and magmatism are easy to confuse. If this is also the case in other rifts, additional rift basins remain to be discovered.

  2. Structure of continental rifts: Role of older features and magmatism

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. )

    1996-01-01

    Recent geological and geophysical studies in several continental rifts have begun to shed light on the details of the processes which govern the structural evolution of these important exploration targets. In Kenya and Tanzania, the classic East African rift has been the object of several investigations which reveal that its location follows the boundary (suture ) between the Tanzanian craton (Archean) and Mozambiquan belt (Proterozoic), The Baikal rift also follows a similar boundary, and the Mid-continent rift of North America appears to do the same. Rifts themselves often act as zones of weakness which are reactivated by younger tectonic regimes. The classic North American example of this effect is the Eocambrian Southern Oklahoma aulacogen which was deformed to create the Anadarko basin and Wichita uplift in the late Paleozoic. The Central basin platform has a similar history although the original rift formed at [approximately]1,100Ma. Integration of geophysical data with petrologic and geochemical data from several rift zones has also provided a new picture of the nature and extent of magmatic modification of the crust. An interesting contradiction is that Phanerozoic rifts, except the Afar region, show little evidence for major magmatic modification of the crust whereas, at least in North America, many Precambrian rifts are associated with very large mafic bodies in the crust. The Kenya rift displays evidence for modification of the lower crust in a two-phase magmatic history, but upper crustal magmatic features are limited to local intrusions associated with volcanoes. In this rift, complex basement structure plays a much more important role than previously realized, and the geophysical signatures of basement structure and magmatism are easy to confuse. If this is also the case in other rifts, additional rift basins remain to be discovered.

  3. The Role of Rift Obliquity During Pangea Fragmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, S.; Butterworth, N. P.; Williams, S.; Müller, D.

    2014-12-01

    Does supercontinent break-up follow specific laws? What parameters control the success and the failure of rift systems? Recent analytical and geodynamic modeling suggests that oblique rifting is energetically preferred over orthogonal rifting. This implies that during rift competition, highly oblique branches proceed to break-up while less oblique ones become inactive. These models predict that the relative motion of Earth's continents during supercontinent break-up is affected by the orientation and shape of individual rift systems. Here, we test this hypothesis based on latest plate tectonic reconstructions. Using PyGPlates, a recently developed Python library that allows script-based access to the plate reconstruction software GPlates, we quantify rift obliquity, extension velocity and their temporal evolution for continent-scale rift systems of the past 200 Myr. Indeed we find that many rift systems contributing to Pangea fragmentation involved strong rift obliquity. East and West Gondwana for instance split along the East African coast with a mean obliquity of 55° (measured as the angle between local rift trend normal and extension direction). While formation of the central and southern South Atlantic segment involved a low obliquity of 10°, the Equatorial Atlantic opened under a high angle of 60°. Rifting between Australia and Antarctica involved two stages with 25° prior to 100 Ma followed by 50° obliquity and distinct increase of extension velocity. Analyzing the entire passive margin system that formed during Pangea breakup, we find a mean obliquity of 40°, with a standard deviation of 20°. Hence 50% of these margins formed with an angle of 40° or more. Considering that many conceptual models of rifting and passive margin formation assume 2D deformation, our study quantifies the degree to which such 2D models are globally applicable, and highlights the importance of 3D models where oblique rifting is the dominant mode of deformation.

  4. Morphotectonics of the Tunka rift and its bordering mountains in the Baikal rift system, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shchetnikov, Alexander

    2016-11-01

    The Tunka section of the Baikal rift system presents a uniform alternation of the following neostructural forms: tilted horsts and asymmetrical block uplifts on the northern flank; the central system of the rift valleys; and the arched uplift of the southern flank. This is a standard set of morphostructural elements for the Baikal rift system. The main morphological feature of the Tunka rift is the strong inclination of its floor, ranging from 900 m to 200 km in general elevation above Lake Baikal. Such traits of recent geodynamics as volcanism, thermal activity, and seismicity are also different from other parts of the rift zone. All of these features of the Tunka rift are related to the deep structure of the rift zone. The peculiarities of the neotectonic structure of the Tunka rift, which are clearly expressed morphologically as is typical of the Baikal rift system, as well as its unique features are in accordance with deep geodynamic processes of the region. On the other hand, the development of the rift basin structures of the southwestern area near Baikal is complicated by inversion deformations. Local uplifts followed by deformations of the basin sedimentary cover and inverted morphostructures expressed in relief are fixed against the background of the general subsidence of blocks of the pre-Cenozoic basement grabens. The Tunka rift has repeatedly experienced inversion deformations throughout its history. The last wave of such deformations involved the southwestern region near Baikal in the second half of the late Pleistocene. During the Quaternary, the positive component prevailed in the whole range of vertical movements of the inter-rift and interbasin blocks; since the late Neogene, these structures have experienced a slow but steady uplift, accompanied by their extension at the expense of the bordering basins. The remote influence of the India-Asia collision on the formation of the southwestern section of the Baikal rift system is very significant and

  5. Kinematics and Dynamics of the Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jay, C.; Flesch, L. M.; Bendick, R. O.

    2015-12-01

    Although the East African Rift System (EARS) is often cited as a type example for "narrow" rifting (where strain is localized along the rift axis), the true extent of rift-related deformation remains largely unknown due to sparse geophysical observations outside of the main rift valley. Our study, which takes this large scale approach, investigates the distribution of deformation in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and surrounding regions, including the Ethiopian Highlands to the west of the rift valley, Somali Platform to the east, and Afar Triple Junction. We first construct kinematic, self-consistent strain rate and velocity fields on a 1° by 1° grid using continuous spline interpolations of strain rate observations (earthquake and fault data, plate rotations, and GPS velocities). Next, we calculate the deviatoric stress field associated with gravitational potential energy (GPE) by integrating density as a function of depth using published crustal density structures (CRUST1.0) and newly obtained receiver functions. We then directly solve for the deviatoric stress field associated with the lateral density variations by assuming a minimum energy stress field (e.g. Flesch et al. [2001]). Finally, we look for symmetries and asymmetries in both the strain rate and GPE deviatoric stress fields to assess the source of observed, off-rift deformation. We compare our results to published global and regional models that include the East African Rift and Iceland. Results suggest that the MER is not an end-member, "narrow" type rift, and that heterogeneities in lithospheric strength likely play an important role in governing the kinematics of rifting in Ethiopia.

  6. Genomic islands of speciation separate cichlid ecomorphs in an East African crater lake.

    PubMed

    Malinsky, Milan; Challis, Richard J; Tyers, Alexandra M; Schiffels, Stephan; Terai, Yohey; Ngatunga, Benjamin P; Miska, Eric A; Durbin, Richard; Genner, Martin J; Turner, George F

    2015-12-18

    The genomic causes and effects of divergent ecological selection during speciation are still poorly understood. Here we report the discovery and detailed characterization of early-stage adaptive divergence of two cichlid fish ecomorphs in a small (700 meters in diameter) isolated crater lake in Tanzania. The ecomorphs differ in depth preference, male breeding color, body shape, diet, and trophic morphology. With whole-genome sequences of 146 fish, we identified 98 clearly demarcated genomic "islands" of high differentiation and demonstrated the association of genotypes across these islands with divergent mate preferences. The islands contain candidate adaptive genes enriched for functions in sensory perception (including rhodopsin and other twilight-vision-associated genes), hormone signaling, and morphogenesis. Our study suggests mechanisms and genomic regions that may play a role in the closely related mega-radiation of Lake Malawi. PMID:26680190

  7. Genomic islands of speciation separate cichlid ecomorphs in an East African crater lake.

    PubMed

    Malinsky, Milan; Challis, Richard J; Tyers, Alexandra M; Schiffels, Stephan; Terai, Yohey; Ngatunga, Benjamin P; Miska, Eric A; Durbin, Richard; Genner, Martin J; Turner, George F

    2015-12-18

    The genomic causes and effects of divergent ecological selection during speciation are still poorly understood. Here we report the discovery and detailed characterization of early-stage adaptive divergence of two cichlid fish ecomorphs in a small (700 meters in diameter) isolated crater lake in Tanzania. The ecomorphs differ in depth preference, male breeding color, body shape, diet, and trophic morphology. With whole-genome sequences of 146 fish, we identified 98 clearly demarcated genomic "islands" of high differentiation and demonstrated the association of genotypes across these islands with divergent mate preferences. The islands contain candidate adaptive genes enriched for functions in sensory perception (including rhodopsin and other twilight-vision-associated genes), hormone signaling, and morphogenesis. Our study suggests mechanisms and genomic regions that may play a role in the closely related mega-radiation of Lake Malawi.

  8. Genomic islands of speciation separate cichlid ecomorphs in an East African crater lake*

    PubMed Central

    Tyers, Alexandra M.; Schiffels, Stephan; Terai, Yohey; Ngatunga, Benjamin P.; Miska, Eric A.; Durbin, Richard; Genner, Martin J.; Turner, George F.

    2015-01-01

    The genomic causes and effects of divergent ecological selection during speciation are still poorly understood. Here, we report the discovery and detailed characterization of early-stage adaptive divergence of two cichlid fish ecomorphs in a small (700m diameter) isolated crater lake in Tanzania. The ecomorphs differ in depth preference, male breeding color, body shape, diet and trophic morphology. With whole genome sequences of 146 fish, we identify 98 clearly demarcated genomic ‘islands’ of high differentiation and demonstrate association of genotypes across these islands to divergent mate preferences. The islands contain candidate adaptive genes enriched for functions in sensory perception (including rhodopsin and other twilight vision associated genes), hormone signaling and morphogenesis. Our study suggests mechanisms and genomic regions that may play a role in the closely related mega-radiation of Lake Malawi. PMID:26680190

  9. Gas Geochemistry of Volcanic and Geothermal Areas in the Kenya Rift: Implications for the Role of Fluids in Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Ranka, L. S.; Onguso, B.; Kanda, I.; Opiyo-Akech, N.; Sharp, Z. D.; Hilton, D. R.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Muirhead, J.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is an active continental rift and ideal to investigate the processes of rift initiation and the breaking apart of continental lithosphere. Mantle and crust-derived fluids may play a pivotal role in both magmatism and faulting in the EAR. For instance, large quantities of mantle-derived volatiles are emitted at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano [1, 2]. Throughout the EAR, CO2-dominated volatile fluxes are prevalent [3, 4] and often associated with faults (i.e. Rungwe area, Tanzania, [5, 6]). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between volcanism, faulting and the volatile compositions, focusing on the central and southern Kenyan and northern Tanzanian section of the EAR. We report our analysis results for samples obtained during a 2013 field season in Kenya. Gases were sampled at fumaroles and geothermal plants in caldera volcanoes (T=83.1-120.2°C) and springs (T=40-79.6°C and pH 8.5-10) located near volcanoes, intra-rift faults, and a transverse fault (the Kordjya fault, a key fluid source in the Magadi rift) by 4N-NaOH solution-filled and empty Giggenbach bottles. Headspace gases were analyzed by a Gas Chromatograph and a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer at the University of New Mexico. Both N2/Ar and N2/He ratios of all gases (35.38-205.31 and 142.92-564,272, respectively) range between air saturated water (ASW, 40 and ≥150,000) and MORB (100-200 and 40-50). In addition, an N2-Ar-He ternary diagram supports that the gases are produced by two component (mantle and air) mixing. Gases in the empty bottles from volcanoes and springs have N2 (90.88-895.99 mmom/mol), CO2 (2.47-681.21 mmom/mol), CH4 (0-214.78 mmom/mol), O2 (4.47-131.12 mmom/mol), H2 (0-35.78 mmom/mol), Ar (0.15-10.65 mmom/mol), He (0-2.21 mmom/mol), and CO (0-0.08 mmom/mol). Although some of the samples show an atmospheric component, CO2 is a major component in most samples, indicating both volcanoes and springs are emitting CO2. Gases from volcanoes are enriched in

  10. Land - Ocean Climate Linkages and the Human Evolution - New ICDP and IODP Drilling Initiatives in the East African Rift Valley and SW Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahn, R.; Feibel, C.; Co-Pis, Icdp/Iodp

    2009-04-01

    The past 5 Ma were marked by systematic shifts towards colder climates and concomitant reorganizations in ocean circulation and marine heat transports. Some of the changes involved plate-tectonic shifts such as the closure of the Panamanian Isthmus and restructuring of the Indonesian archipelago that affected inter-ocean communications and altered the world ocean circulation. These changes induced ocean-atmosphere feedbacks with consequences for climates globally and locally. Two new ICDP and IODP drilling initiatives target these developments from the perspectives of marine and terrestrial palaeoclimatology and the human evolution. The ICDP drilling initiative HSPDP ("Hominid Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project"; ICDP ref. no. 10/07) targets lacustrine depocentres in Ethiopia (Hadar) and Kenya (West Turkana, Olorgesailie, Magadi) to retrieve sedimentary sequences close to the places and times where various species of hominins lived over currently available outcrop records. The records will provide a spatially resolved record of the East African environmental history in conjunction with climate variability at orbital (Milankovitch) and sub-orbital (ENSO decadal) time scales. HSPDP specifically aims at (1) compiling master chronologies for outcrops around each of the depocentres; (2) assessing which aspects of the paleoenvironmental records are a function of local origin (hydrology, hydrogeology) and which are linked with regional or larger-scale signals; (3) correlating broad-scale patterns of hominin phylogeny with the global beat of climate variability and (4) correlating regional shifts in the hominin fossil and archaeological record with more local patterns of paleoenvironmental change. Ultimately the aim is to test hypotheses that link physical and cultural adaptations in the course of the hominin evolution to local environmental change and variability. The IODP initiative SAFARI ("Southern African Climates, Agulhas Warm Water Transports and Retroflection

  11. Sedimentary deposits in response to rift geometry in Malawi, Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, M.G. )

    1991-03-01

    Sedimentary deposits of the Malawi continental rift basin are a direct result of topography and tectonics unique to rift structure. Recent models describe rifts as asymmetric half-graben connected in series by transfer of accommodation zones. Half-graben consist of roughly parallel, tilted fault blocks stepping up from the bounding fault zone where maximum subsidence occurs. The rift becomes a local baselevel and depocenter as regional drainage is shed away by the rift shoulders. Most of the sediments are derived locally due to internal drainage of connected basins, individual basins, and individual fault blocks. The patterns of sedimentation and facies associations depend on structural position at both fault block and half-graben scales. Drainage is directed and dammed by tilted fault blocks. Forward-tilted fault blocks form basinward-thickening sediment wedges filled with facies of axial fluvial systems, alluvial fault-scarp fans, and ponded swamp and lake deposits. These deposits are asymmetrically shifted toward the controlling fault and onlap the upthrown side of the block, ordinarily the site of erosion or nondeposition. Rivers entering the lake on back tilted fault blocks form large deltas resulting in basinward fining and thinning sediment wedges. Lacustrine, nearshore, shoreline, and lake shore plain deposits over multiple fault blocks record lake levels, water chemistry, and tectonic episodes. Tectonic movement periodically changes the basin depth, configuration, and baselevel. This movement results in widespread unconformities deposition and reworking of sediments within the rift.

  12. Structural and stratigraphic evolution of the Anza rift, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William; Morley, Chris K.

    1994-09-01

    The Anza rift is a large, multi-phase continental rift basin that links the Lamu embayment of southern Kenya with the South Sudan rifts. Extension and deposition of syn-rift sediments are known to have commenced by the Neocomian. Aptian-Albian strata have, thus far, not been encountered during limited drilling campaigns and, in at least one well, are replaced by a significant unconformity. Widespread rifting occurred during the Cenomanian to Maastrichtian, and continued into the Early Tertiary. Marine waters appear to have reached the central Anza rift in the Cenomanian, and a second marine incursion may have occurred during the Campanian. As no wells have yet reached basement in the basinal deeps, the possibility exists that the Anza rift may have initiated in the Late Jurassic, in conjunction with extension to the south in the Lamu embayment and to the north in the Blue Nile rift of Sudan. Structural and stratigraphic evolution in the Anza rift followed a pattern that has now been inferred in several rift settings. Early phases of extension were accommodated by moderately dipping faults that produced large stratal rotations. Sedimentary environments were dominantly fluvial, with associated small lakes and dune fields. Volcanic activity is documented for the early Neocomian, but its extent is unknown. This initial style of deformation and sedimentation may have continued through several of the earliest pulses of rifting. By the Late Cretaceous, a new system of steeply dipping faults was established, that produced a deep basin without significant rotation of strata in the north, and only minor rotation in the south. This basin geometry favored the establishment of large, deep lakes, which occasionally were connected to the sea. The older basins were partly cannibalized during the sedimentary in-filling of these successor basins. Early Senonian volcanism was encountered in one well, and reflection seismic evidence suggests that one or more thick, regionally

  13. Hydroclimatic and geothermal controls on the salinity of Mbaka Lakes (SW Tanzania): Limnological and paleolimnological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delalande, Manuëlla; Bergonzini, Laurent; Branchu, Philippe; Filly, Annick; Williamson, David

    2008-09-01

    lake submitted to wet environment and highlights the potential contribution of hydrothermal water on lakes salinization, occurring in active regions, such as the East African Rift System.

  14. Impact of a major cyclone on a southeast African estuarine lake system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, A. T.; Cyrus, D. P.

    The St Lucia lake and estuarine system in northern Natal, South Africa was struck by Cyclone Domoina on 31 January 1984. This is the only cyclone known to have traversed part of South Africa. The ensuing flood levels in the St Lucia system (which have been exceeded perhaps only one other time in recorded history) provided an opportunity to assess the effect of a major disturbance on a subtropical estuarine system. Major geomorphological changes occurred in the mouth area where all man-made structures were obliterated. The two river channels were scoured from 2-3 m to 10-14 m in depth and widened by up to 300 m, while the shoreline between the two channels retreated in places up to 100 m. An estimated 16∗10 6 m 3 of sediment were removed from the lower reaches of the system including areas of mangrove and Phragmites australis swamp. One-metre tall mangrove saplings died following inundation lasting days to weeks. Effects on the fauna included redistribution of the tanaid Apseudes digitalis, the mysid Mesopodopsis africana, the copepod Pseudodiaptomus stuhlmanni, the polychaete Scololepis squamata and the bivalve Solen cylindraceus, all typical lake species which appeared in the tidal channel linking the lake with the sea. Responses of other species such as the penaeid prawns, the crab Scylla serrata and the sole Solea bleekeri suggested that physiological tolerance, extended larval or juvenile recruitment periods and prey switching minimized long-term flood effects. No large-scale mortalities were noted, and the absence of a temperature shock is considered to be a significant feature.

  15. A model for the three-dimensional evolution of continental rift basins, north-east Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1994-12-01

    Large areas of north-east Africa were dominated by regional extension in the Late Phanerozoic. Widespread rifting occurred in the Late Jurassic, with regional extension culminating in the Cretaceous and resulting in the greatest areal extent and degree of interconnection of the west, central and north African rift systems. Basin reactivation continued in the Paleocene and Eocene and new rifts probably formed in the Red Sea and western Kenya. In the Oligocene and Early Miocene, rifts in Kenya, Ethiopia and the Red Sea linked and expanded to form the new east African rift system. This complex history of rifting resulted in failed rift basins with low to high strain geometries, a range of associated volcanism and varying degrees of interaction with older structures. One system, the Red Sea rift, has partially attained active seafloor spreading. From a comparison of these basins, a general model of three-dimensional rift evolution is proposed. Asymmetrical crustal geometries dominated the early phases of these basins, accompanied by low angle normal faulting that has been observed at least locally in outcrop. As rifting progressed, the original fault and basin forms were modified to produce larger, more through-going structures. Some basins were abandoned, others experienced reversals in regional dip and, in general, extension and subsidence became focused along narrower zones near the rift axes. The final transition to oceanic spreading was accomplished in the Red Sea by a change to high angle, planar normal faulting and diffuse dike injection, followed by the organization of an axial magma chamber.

  16. Active-source seismic imaging below Lake Malawi (Nyasa) from the SEGMeNT project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shillington, D. J.; Scholz, C. A.; Gaherty, J. B.; Accardo, N. J.; McCartney, T.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Kamihanda, G.; Trinhammer, P.; Wood, D. A.; Khalfan, M.; Ebinger, C. J.; Nyblade, A.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Mruma, A. H.; Salima, J.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.

    2015-12-01

    Little is known about the controls on the initiation and development of magmatism and segmentation in young rift systems. The northern Lake Malawi (Nyasa) rift in the East African Rift System is an early stage rift exhibiting pronounced tectonic segmentation, which is defined in the upper crust by ~100-km-long border faults. Very little volcanism is associated with rifting; the only surface expression of magmatism occurs in an accommodation zone between segments to the north of the lake in the Rungwe Volcanic Province. The SEGMeNT (Study of Extension and maGmatism in Malawi aNd Tanzania) project is a multidisciplinary, multinational study that is acquiring a suite of geophysical, geological and geochemical data to characterize deformation and magmatism in the crust and mantle lithosphere along 2-3 segments of this rift. As a part of the SEGMeNT project, we acquired seismic reflection and refraction data in Lake Malawi (Nyasa) in March-April 2015. Over 2000 km of seismic reflection data were acquired with a 500 to 2580 cu in air gun array from GEUS/Aarhus and a 500- to 1500-m-long seismic streamer from Syracuse University over a grid of lines across and along the northern and central basins. Air gun shots from MCS profiles and 1000 km of additional shooting with large shot intervals were also recorded on 27 short-period and 6 broadband lake bottom seismometers from Scripps Oceanographic Institute as a part of the Ocean Bottom Seismic Instrument Pool (OBSIP) as well as the 55-station onshore seismic array. The OBS were deployed along one long strike line and two dip lines. We will present preliminary data and results from seismic reflection and refraction data acquired in the lake and their implications for crustal deformation within and between rift segments. Seismic reflection data image structures up to ~5-6 km below the lake bottom, including syntectonic sediments, intrabasinal faults and other complex horsts. Some intrabasinal faults in both the northern and

  17. Evolution of a magma-driven earthquake swarm and triggering of the nearby Oldoinyo Lengai eruption, as resolved by InSAR, ground observations and elastic modeling, East African Rift, 2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baer, G.; Hamiel, Y.; Shamir, G.; Nof, R.

    2008-07-01

    An earthquake swarm struck the North Tanzania Divergence, East African Rift over a 2 month period between July and September 2007. It produced approximately 70 M > 4 earthquakes (peak magnitude Mw 5.9), and extensive surface deformation, concurrent with eruptions at the nearby Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. The spatial and temporal evolution of the entire deformation event was resolved by Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) observations, owing to a particularly favorable acquisition programming of the Envisat and ALOS satellites, and was verified by detailed ground observations. Elastic modeling based on the InSAR measurements clearly distinguishes between normal faulting, which dominated during the first week of the event, and intermittent episodes of dike propagation, oblique dike opening and dike-induced faulting during the following month. A gradual decline in the intensity of deformation occurred over the final weeks. Our observations and modeling suggest that the sequence of events was initiated by pressurization of a deep-seated magma chamber below Oldoinyo Lengai which opened the way to lateral dike injection, and dike-induced faulting and seismicity. As dike intrusion terminated, silicate magma ascended the volcano conduit, reacted with the carbonatitic magma, and set off a major episode of explosive ash eruptions producing mixed silicate-carbonatitic ejecta. The rise of the silicate magma within the volcano conduit is attributed to bubble growth and buoyancy increase in the magma chamber either due to a temporary pressure drop after the termination of the diking event, or due to the dynamic effects of seismic wave passage from the earthquake swarm. Similar temporal associations between earthquake swarms and major explosive ash eruptions were observed at Oldoinyo Lengai over the past half century.

  18. Melt inclusion evidence for CO2-rich melts beneath the western branch of the East African Rift: implications for long-term storage of volatiles in the deep lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudgins, T. R.; Mukasa, S. B.; Simon, A. C.; Moore, G.; Barifaijo, E.

    2015-05-01

    We present new major element, trace element, and volatile (H2O, CO2, S, F, and Cl) concentrations of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from five high-K, low-silica basanites from the western branch of the East African Rift System and use these data to investigate the generation of H2O- and CO2-rich melts at up to ~150 km depth. Measured H2O and CO2 concentrations reach ~2.5 and ~1 wt%, respectively, representing some of the highest CO2 concentrations measured in a melt inclusion to date. These measurements represent direct evidence of the high CO2 and H2O concentrations required to generate high-K alkaline lavas, and the CO2 that has been previously inferred to be necessary for the low mantle potential temperatures in the area. Ratios of CO2/Nb, CO2/Ba, and CO2/Cl are used to estimate an initial melt CO2 concentration of 5-12 wt%. The measured CO2 concentrations are consistent with CO2 solubilities determined by molecular dynamics calculations and high-pressure experiments for melt generation at 3-6 GPa; the depth of melting suggested by previous studies in the area. These melt inclusions measurements represent direct evidence for the presence of H2O- and CO2-rich melts in the deep upper mantle that have been proposed based on experimental and seismic evidence. Primitive-mantle normalized trace element patterns more closely resemble those found in subduction settings rather than ocean island basalt, and ratios of slab fluid tracers such as Li/Dy and B/Be indicate that the measured volatile abundances may be related to Neoproterozoic subduction during the assembly of Gondwana, implying the storage of volatiles in the mantle by subduction-related metasomatism.

  19. Astronomically forced climate change in the Kenyan Rift Valley 2.7-2.55 Ma: implications for the evolution of early hominin ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kingston, John D; Deino, Alan L; Edgar, Robert K; Hill, Andrew

    2007-11-01

    Global climate change, linked to astronomical forcing factors, has been implicated in faunal evolutionary change in equatorial Africa, including the origin and diversification of hominin lineages. Empirical terrestrial data demonstrating that orbital forcing has a significant effect, or is detectable, at early hominin sites in equatorial continental interiors during the Pliocene, however, remain limited. Sedimentation patterns in the Baringo Basin within the Central Kenyan Rift Valley between ca. 2.7 and 2.55 Ma, controlled by climatic factors, provide a detailed paleoenvironmental record spanning 35 fossil vertebrate localities, including three hominin sites. The succession includes a sequence of diatomites that record rhythmic cycling of major freshwater lake systems consistent with approximately 23-kyr Milankovitch precessional periodicity. The temporal framework of shifting precipitation patterns, relative to Pliocene insolation curves, implicate African monsoonal climatic control and indicate that climatic fluctuations in Rift Valley ecosystems were paced by global climatic change documented in marine cores. These data provide direct evidence of orbitally mediated environmental change at Pliocene Rift Valley hominin fossil localities, providing a unique opportunity to assess the evolutionary effect of short-term climatic flux on late Pliocene East African terrestrial communities.

  20. Rayleigh-wave imaging of upper-mantle shear velocities beneath the Malawi Rift; Preliminary results from the SEGMeNT experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardo, N. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Shillington, D. J.; Nyblade, A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kamihanda, G.

    2015-12-01

    The Malawi Rift (MR) is an immature rift located at the southern tip of the Western branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). Pronounced border faults and tectonic segmentation are seen within the upper crust. Surface volcanism in the region is limited to the Rungwe volcanic province located north of Lake Malawi (Nyasa). However, the distribution of extension and magma at depth in the crust and mantle lithosphere is unknown. As the Western Rift of the EARS is largely magma-poor except for discrete volcanic provinces, the MR presents the ideal location to elucidate the role of magmatism in early-stage rifting and the manifestation of segmentation at depth. This study investigates the shear velocity of the crust and mantle lithosphere beneath the MR to constrain the thermal structure, the amount of total crustal and lithospheric thinning, and the presence and distribution of magmatism beneath the rift. Utilizing 55 stations from the SEGMeNT (Study of Extension and maGmatism in Malawi aNd Tanzania) passive-source seismic experiment operating in Malawi and Tanzania, we employed a multi-channel cross-correlation algorithm to obtain inter-station phase and amplitude information from Rayleigh wave observations between 20 and 80 s period. We retrieve estimates of phase velocity between 9-20 s period from ambient noise cross-correlograms in the frequency domain via Aki's formula. We invert phase velocity measurements to obtain estimates of shear velocity (Vs) between 50-200 km depth. Preliminary results reveal a striking low-velocity zone (LVZ) beneath the Rungwe volcanic province with Vs ~4.2-4.3 km/s in the uppermost mantle. Low velocities extend along the entire strike of Lake Malawi and to the west where a faster velocity lid (~4.5 km/s) is imaged. These preliminary results will be extended by incorporating broadband data from seven "lake"-bottom seismometers (LBS) to be retrieved from Lake Malawi in October of this year. The crust and mantle modeling will be

  1. Stratigraphy and rifting history of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Anza rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Winn, R.D. Jr.; Steinmetz, J.C. ); Kerekgyarto, W.L. )

    1993-11-01

    Lithological and compositional relationships, thicknesses, and palynological data from drilling cuttings from five wells in the Anza rift, Kenya, indicate active rifting during the Late Cretaceous and Eocene-Oligocene. The earlier rifting possibly started in the Santonian-Coniacian, primarily occurred in the Campanian, and probably extended into the Maastrichtian. Anza rift sedimentation was in lacustrine, lacustrine-deltaic, fluvial, and flood-basin environments. Inferred synrift intervals in wells are shalier, thicker, more compositionally immature, and more poorly sorted than Lower Cretaceous ( )-lower Upper Cretaceous and upper Oligocene( )-Miocene interrift deposits. Synrift sandstone is mostly feldspathic or arkosic wacke. Sandstone deposited in the Anza basin during nonrift periods is mostly quartz arenite, and is coarser and has a high proportion of probable fluvial deposits relative to other facies. Volcanic debris is absent in sedimentary strata older than Pliocene-Holocene, although small Cretaceous intrusions are present in the basin. Cretaceous sandstone is cemented in places by laumontite, possibly recording Campanian extension. Early Cretaceous history of the Anza basin is poorly known because of the limited strata sampled; Jurassic units were not reached. Cretaceous rifting in the Anza basin was synchronous with rifting in Sudan and with the breakup and separation of South America and Africa; these events likely were related. Eocene-Oligocene extension in the Anza basin reflects different stresses. The transition from active rifting to passive subsidence in the Anza basin at the end of the Neogene, in turn, records a reconfigured response of east African plates to stresses and is correlated with formation of the East Africa rift.

  2. Oldest Homo and Pliocene biogeography of the Malawi Rift.

    PubMed

    Schrenk, F; Bromage, T G; Betzler, C G; Ring, U; Juwayeyi, Y M

    1993-10-28

    The Malawi Rift and Pliocene palaeofaunas, which include a hominid mandible attributed to Homo rudolfensis, provide a biogeographical link between the better known Plio-Pleistocene faunal records of East and Southern Africa. The Malawi Rift is in a latitudinal position suitable for recording any hominid and faunal dispersion towards the Equator that was brought on by increased aridity of the Late Pliocene African landscape. The evidence suggests that Pliocene hominids originated in the eastern African tropical domain and dispersed to southern Africa only during more favourable ecological circumstances.

  3. Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-transmitted virus or arbovirus that is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. In the last decade, Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks have resulted in loss of human and animal life, as well as had significant economic impact. The disease in livestock is primarily a...

  4. Population Parameters and Biomass of African Buffalo(Syncerus caffer) in Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aremu, O. T.; Onadeko, S. A.; Ola-Adams, B. A.; Inah, E. I.

    The study examined some population parameters such as relative abundance, distribution, population composition and biomass of Syncerus caffer in Kainji Lake National Park. Six, 4x4 km transects were constructed in the Park with an effective study area of 96 km2. Transects were traversed twice a month for 12 months. Estimates were based on direct censusing techniques only. The results revealed that riparian forest and woodland habitat harboured the highest population of Syncerus caffer in both dry and wet seasons 9 and 5 groups, respectively with a total of 149±8.17 individuals, while Diospyros mespliformis dry forest haboured the least of 20±2.84 individuals. Population compositions of Syncerus caffer were significantly difference (p< 0.05) in both dry and wet seasons. A total Syncerus caffer biomass of 54.57±10.9 kg km-2 was recorded in the Park. Measures for adequate conservation of existing Syncerus caffer population in the Park are discussed.

  5. The African superswell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyblade, Andrew A.; Robinson, Scott W.

    1994-01-01

    Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500 m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

  6. Volcanic field elongation, vent distribution and tectonic evolution of continental rift: The Main Ethiopian Rift example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzarini, Francesco; Le Corvec, Nicolas; Isola, Ilaria; Favalli, Massimiliano

    2015-04-01

    Magmatism and faulting operate in continental rifts and interact at a variety of scales, however their relationship is complex. The African rift, being the best example for both active continental rifting and magmatism, provides the ideal location to study the interplay between the two mechanisms. The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), which connects the Afar depression in the north with the Turkana depression and Kenya Rift to the south, consists of two distinct systems of normal faults and its floor is scattered with volcanic fields formed by tens to several hundreds monogenetic, generally basaltic, small volcanoes and composite volcanoes and small calderas. The distribution of vents defines the overall shape of the volcanic field. Previous work has shown that the distribution of volcanic vents and the shape of a field are linked to its tectonic environment and its magmatic system. In order to distinguish the impact of each mechanism, we analyzed four volcanic fields located at the boundary between the central and northern MER, three of them (Debre Zeyit, Wonji and Kone) grew in the rift valley and one (Akaki) on the western rift shoulder. The elongation and shape of the fields were analyzed based on their vent distribution using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA), the Vent-to-Vent Distance (VVD), and the two dimensional symmetric Gaussian kernel density estimate methods. We extracted from these methods several parameters characterizing the spatial distribution of points (e.g., eccentricity (e), eigenvector index (evi), angular dispersion (Da)). These parameters allow to define at least three types of shape for volcanic fields: strong elongate (line and ellipse), bimodal/medium elongate (ellipse) and dispersed (circle) shapes. Applied to the natural example, these methods well differentiate each volcanic field. For example, the elongation of the field increases from shoulder to rift axis inversely to the angular dispersion. In addition, the results show that none of

  7. How Mountains Become Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, S. J.; Tetreault, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Rifting often initiates on former continental collision zones. For example, the present-day passive margins of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans formed after continental break-up occurred on relatively young and very old sutures, such as Morocco-Nova Scotia and East Antarctica-Australia, respectively. Rifts may localize on former collision zones for several reasons: orogens are thermally weak because of the increase in heat producing elements in their thicker crustal root, the inherited thrust faults form large-scale heterogeneities, and in the case of young sutures, extensional collapse of the orogen may help initiate rifting. We highlight the impact of collision zone inheritance on continental extension and rifted margin architecture using numerical experiments. We first explicitly prescribe collisional structures in the initial setup, such as increased crustal thickness and inherited thrust faults. Varying the prescribed structures results in different rift to break-up durations and margin widths. Our second series of experiments creates a collision zone through subduction and closure of an ocean. We confirm that post-collisional collapse is not a sufficient trigger for continental rifting and that a change in regional plate motions is required. When extension occurs, the weak former subduction interface and the elevated temperatures in the crustal nappe stack work in tandem as the main deformation localizers for continental rifting. Our experiments show that different approaches of initiating a continental rift result in different dynamics of the crust and mantle, thereby impacting rift geometry, rift to break-up duration, and exhumation of subduction-related sediments and oceanic crust.

  8. Lake Tanganyika Hydroclimate in the Pleistocene: Insights from New Seismic Reflection Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, Christopher; Wood, Douglas

    2016-04-01

    Lake Tanganyika, in the western branch of the East African Rift, is one of the world's largest and oldest extant lakes, and undoubtedly holds a tropical paleoclimate record of unparalleled antiquity and fidelity. In anticipation of future scientific drilling in Lake Tanganyika, we present new analyses of basin-scale seismic reflection data from the central-southeastern parts of the lake. These analyses incorporate both newly reprocessed legacy multichannel data, as well as recently acquired commercial data sets from the region near Karema, Tanzania. The new analyses confirm the presence of thick sedimentary sections, in excess of 5 km in some localities, though the section in the immediate vicinity of Karema is thinner. Data from the southern part of the lake reveal a series of marked seismic-facies transitions, including the presence of older sediment packages that underlie previously identified "pre-rift" basement (the "Nyanja Event"). These older sediment packages may substantially predate the modern lake. The high-amplitude Nyanja Event is interpreted as the onset of late-Cenozoic rifting, and the changing character of the overlying depositional sequences reflects increasing relief in the rift valley, the variability of fluvial inputs, and the intermittent connectivity of upstream lake catchments. Earlier Tanganyika sequences are dominated by shallow lake and fluvial-lacustrine facies, whereas later sequences are characterized by extensive gravity flow deposition in deep water, and pronounced erosion and incision in shallow water depths and on littoral platforms. Extensive, well-defined progradational clinoform packages are observed in the Karema area, and are interpreted as paleodeltas of the Ifume River. These deposits are interpreted as Pleistocene in age due to their shallow position in the sedimentary section, and burial depths of less than 600 m. These deposits were laid down when the level of Lake Tanganyika was 250 m or more lower than present. The

  9. Geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology of Lake Urema, central Mozambique, with focus on lake extent changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böhme, Beate; Steinbruch, Franziska; Gloaguen, Richard; Heilmeier, Hermann; Merkel, Broder

    Lake Urema is one of the most important ecological features of Gorongosa National Park, located in central Mozambique, in the East African Rift System. Understanding hydrology and ecology of the lake and its tributaries is particularly important for the conservation of the Park’s floodplain habitats and its biodiversity. There are concerns that hydrological boundary conditions and ecology of Lake Urema have changed in recent years. Possible causes for this change include climatic and land use changes as well as tectonic and geomorphological processes. In this study, a multi-temporal and multi-disciplinary approach was applied to investigate the dynamics and control mechanisms of Lake Urema. Principal methods comprised remote sensing analyses of time series of Landsat and ASTER data, geomorphological interpretations of a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) as well as field investigations such as analyses of water quality and sediment composition. The waters of Lake Urema have a low mineralization and pH values approximately neutral. The spatially dominant sediment type has a pure clay texture consisting of kaolinite and smectite. The sandy type consists of quartz, kali felspar, and plagioclase. The results of the supervised classifications for the satellite images from 1979 to 2000 showed that the lake’s extent ranged between 17 km 2 (09/1995) and 25 km 2 (08/1979). Above average rainfall was responsible for the extreme lake size in May 1997 (104 km 2). The interpretations of the Digital Terrain Model demonstrated that alluvial fans limit the Urema basin from all sides and make Lake Urema a form of “reservoir lake”. The control mechanisms of the hydrological regime of Lake Urema, such as the contribution of groundwater, are not yet fully understood. The lake’s condition during the rainy season was not investigated. In the future, investigations of the sources and amounts of sediment input into the lake should be conducted.

  10. Water management problems in the Ethiopian rift: Challenges for development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayenew, Tenalem

    2007-06-01

    The Ethiopian rift is characterized by many perennial rivers and lakes occupying volcano-tectonic depressions with highly variable hydrogeological setting. The rift lakes and rivers were the focal points for relatively large-scale water resources development. They are used for irrigation, soda abstraction, commercial fish farming, recreation and support a wide variety of endemic birds and wild animals. Ethiopia's major mechanized irrigation farms and commercial fishery are confined within the rift. A few of the lakes have shrunk as a result of excessive abstraction of water; others expanded due to increased surface runoff and groundwater flux from percolated over-irrigated fields and active tectonism. Excessive land degradation and deforestation have also played a role. Human factors, in combination with the natural conditions of climate and geology have influenced the water quality. The chemistry of some of the lakes has been changed dramatically. This paper tries to present the challenges of surface water resources development with particular reference to environmental problems caused in the last few decades. The methods employed include field hydrological mapping supported by aerial photograph and satellite imagery interpretations, hydrometeorological and hydrochemical data analysis and catchment hydrological modeling. A converging evidence approach was adapted to reconstruct the temporal and spatial variations of lake levels and the hydrochemistry. The result revealed that the major changes in the rift valley are related mainly to recent improper utilization of water and land resources in the rivers draining the rift floor and the lakes' catchment, and to direct lake water abstraction, aggravated intermittently by natural factors (climate and tectonism). These changes appear to have grave environmental consequences, which demand urgent integrated basin-wide water management practice.

  11. Volcanism at rifts

    SciTech Connect

    White, R.S.; McKenzie, D.P.

    1989-07-01

    The earth's outer shell rifts continuously, stretching and splitting both on the ocean's floor and on continents. Every 30 million years or so the rifting becomes cataclysmic, releasing continent-size floods of magma. This paper explains that the same mechanism is at work in both cases, the difference being in the slightly hotter temperature of the parent mantle for spectacular volcanic outbursts. Two kinds of evidence are described: quantitative descriptions of rock melting and a wide range of observations made on the rifted edges of continents and in the oceans that have opened between them.

  12. Hierarchical segmentation of the Malawi Rift: The influence of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity and kinematics in the evolution of continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laó-Dávila, Daniel A.; Al-Salmi, Haifa S.; Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.; Atekwana, Estella A.

    2015-12-01

    We used detailed analysis of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission-digital elevation model and observations from aeromagnetic data to examine the influence of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity and kinematics in the segmentation of largely amagmatic continental rifts. We focused on the Cenozoic Malawi Rift, which represents the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. This north trending rift traverses Precambrian and Paleozoic-Mesozoic structures of different orientations. We found that the rift can be hierarchically divided into first-order and second-order segments. In the first-order segmentation, we divided the rift into Northern, Central, and Southern sections. In its Northern Section, the rift follows Paleoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic terrains with structural grain that favored the localization of extension within well-developed border faults. The Central Section occurs within Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic terrain with regional structures oblique to the rift extent. We propose that the lack of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity favoring extension localization resulted in the development of the rift in this section as a shallow graben with undeveloped border faults. In the Southern Section, Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic rocks were reactivated and developed the border faults. In the second-order segmentation, only observed in the Northern Section, we divided the section into five segments that approximate four half-grabens/asymmetrical grabens with alternating polarities. The change of polarity coincides with flip-over full-grabens occurring within overlap zones associated with ~150 km long alternating border faults segments. The inherited lithospheric heterogeneity played the major role in facilitating the segmentation of the Malawi Rift during its opening resulting from extension.

  13. Wind-driven Water Bodies : a new paradigm for lake geology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nutz, A.; Schuster, M.; Ghienne, J. F.; Roquin, C.; Bouchette, F. A.

    2015-12-01

    In this contribution we emphasize the importance in some lakes of wind-related hydrodynamic processes (fair weather waves, storm waves, and longshore, cross-shore and bottom currents) as a first order forcing for clastics remobilization and basin infill. This alternative view contrasts with more classical depositional models for lakes where fluvial-driven sedimentation and settling dominates. Here we consider three large lakes/paleo-lakes that are located in different climatic and geodynamic settings: Megalake Chad (north-central Africa), Lake Saint-Jean (Québec, Canada), and Lake Turkana (Kenya, East African Rift System). All of these three lake systems exhibit well developed modern and ancient high-energy littoral morphosedimentary structures which directly derive from wind-related hydrodynamics. The extensive paleo-shorelines of Megalake Chad are composed of beach-foredune ridges, spits, wave-dominated deltas, barriers, and wave-ravinment surface. For Lake Saint-Jean the influence of wind is also identified below the wave-base at lake bottom from erosional surfaces, and sediment drifts. In the Lake Turkana Basin, littoral landforms and deposits are identified for three different time intervals (today, Holocene, Plio-Pleistocene) evidencing that wind-driven hydrodynamics can be preserved in the geological record. Moreover, a preliminary global survey suggests that numerous modern lakes (remote sensing) and paleo-lakes (bibliographic review) behave as such. We thus coin the term "Wind-driven Water Bodies" (WWB) to refer to those lake systems where sedimentation (erosion, transport, deposition) is dominated by wind-induced hydrodynamics at any depth, as it is the case in the marine realm for shallow seas. Integrating wind forcing in lake models has strong implications for basin analysis (paleoenvironments and paleoclimates restitutions, resources exploration), but also for coastal engineering, wildlife and reservoirs management, or leisure activities.

  14. Evolution, distribution, and characteristics of rifting in southern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippon, Melody; Corti, Giacomo; Sani, Federico; Bonini, Marco; Balestrieri, Maria-Laura; Molin, Paola; Willingshofer, Ernst; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2014-04-01

    Southern Ethiopia is a key region to understand the evolution of the East African rift system, since it is the area of interaction between the main Ethiopian rift (MER) and the Kenyan rift. However, geological data constraining rift evolution in this remote area are still relatively sparse. In this study the timing, distribution, and style of rifting in southern Ethiopia are constrained by new structural, geochronological, and geomorphological data. The border faults in the area are roughly parallel to preexisting basement fabrics and are progressively more oblique with respect to the regional Nubia-Somalia motion proceeding southward. Kinematic indicators along these faults are mainly dip slip, pointing to a progressive rotation of the computed direction of extension toward the south. Radiocarbon data indicate post 30 ka faulting at both western and eastern margins of the MER with limited axial deformation. Similarly, geomorphological data suggest recent fault activity along the western margins of the basins composing the Gofa Province and in the Chew Bahir basin. This supports that interaction between the MER and the Kenyan rift in southern Ethiopia occurs in a 200 km wide zone of ongoing deformation. Fault-related exhumation at ~10-12 Ma in the Gofa Province, as constrained by new apatite fission track data, occurred later than the ~20 Ma basement exhumation of the Chew Bahir basin, thus pointing to a northward propagation of the Kenyan rift-related extension in the area.

  15. Large-scale variation in lithospheric structure along and across the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Kaminski, W.; Fuchs, K.; Grosse, C.; Hoffmann, H.; Stangl, R.; Stellrecht, R.; Khan, M.A.; Maguire, Peter K.H.; Kirk, W.; Keller, Gordon R.; Githui, A.; Baker, M.; Mooney, W.; Criley, E.; Luetgert, J.; Jacob, B.; Thybo, H.; Demartin, M.; Scarascia, S.; Hirn, A.; Bowman, J.R.; Nyambok, I.; Gaciri, S.; Patel, J.; Dindi, E.; Griffiths, D.H.; King, R.F.; Mussett, A.E.; Braile, L.W.; Thompson, G.; Olsen, K.; Harder, S.; Vees, R.; Gajewski, D.; Schulte, A.; Obel, J.; Mwango, F.; Mukinya, J.; Riaroh, D.

    1991-01-01

    The Kenya rift is one of the classic examples of a continental rift zone: models for its evolution range from extension of the lithosphere by pure shear1, through extension by simple shear2, to diapiric upwelling of an asthenolith3. Following a pilot study in 19854, the present work involved the shooting of three seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection profiles along the axis, across the margins, and on the northeastern flank of the rift (Fig. 1). These lines were intended to reconcile the different crustal thickness estimates for the northern and southern parts of the rift4-6 and to reveal the structure across the rift, including that beneath the flanks. The data, presented here, reveal significant lateral variations in structure both along and across the rift. The crust thins along the rift axis from 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; there are abrupt changes in Mono depth and uppermost-mantle seismic velocity across the rift margins, and crustal thickening across the boundary between the Archaean craton and PanAfrican orogenic belt immediately west of the rift. These results suggest that thickened crust may have controlled the rift's location, that there is a decrease in extension from north to south, and that the upper mantle immediately beneath the rift may contain reservoirs of magma generated at greater depth.

  16. The Midcontinent Rift and Grenville connection

    SciTech Connect

    Cambray, F.W.; Fujita, K. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1994-04-01

    The Mid-Proterozoic, Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) is delineated by an inverted U shaped gravity and magnetic anomaly. It terminates in southeast Michigan but a less continuous series of anomalies and sediments, the Eastcontinent Rift occur on a north-south line through Ohio and Kentucky. The geometry allows for a north-south opening, the Lake Superior section being orthogonal to opening, the western arm transtensional and the north-south trending eastern arm a transform boundary offset by pull-apart basins. The opening and closing of the rift overlaps in time with the Grenville Orogeny. Grenville age rocks can also be found in the Llano uplift of Texas. The authors propose a model to explain the temporal and geographic association of the opening and closing of the MRS with the Grenville Orogeny that involves irregular suturing between two continental masses. Initiation of Grenville suturing, associated with south dipping subduction, in the northeast and in the Llano area of Texas would leave portion of unclosed ocean in between. Tensional stresses in the continental crust adjacent to the oceanic remnant could lead to its fragmentation and the formation of the MRS. The remaining oceanic lithosphere would eventually subduct, limiting the opening of the MRS. Continued convergence of the plates would induce compressional stresses thus accounting for the deformation of the MRS. An analogy is made with more recent opening of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden Rift System in association with irregular collision along the Zagros-Bitlis Sutures.

  17. Rift Valley Fever (RVF)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Outbreak resources, VHF information for specific groups, virus ecology, references... RVF Distribution Map Rift Valley Fever Transmission ... Outbreaks Outbreak Summaries RVF Distribution Map Resources Virus Ecology File Formats Help: How do I view different ...

  18. Geoscience Methods Lead to Paleo-anthropological Discoveries in Afar Rift, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Renne, Paul R.; Hart, William K.; Ambrose, Stanley; Asfaw, Berhane; White, Tim D.

    2004-07-01

    With few exceptions, most of the hominid evolutionary record in Africa is closely associated with the East African Rift System. The exceptions are the South African and Chadian hominids collected from the southern and west-central parts of the continent, respectively. The Middle Awash region stands alone as the most prolific paleoanthropological area ever discovered (Figure 1). Its paleontological record has yielded over 13,000 vertebrate fossils, including several hominid taxa, ranging in age from 5.8 Ma to the present. The uniqueness of the Middle Awash hominid sites lies in their occurrence within long, > 6 Ma volcanic and sedimentary stratigraphic records. The Middle Awash region has yielded the longest hominid record yet available. The region is characterized by distinct geologic features related to a volcanic and tectonic transition zone between the continental Main Ethiopian and the proto-oceanic Afar Rifts. The rift floor is wider-200 km-than other parts of the East African Rift (Figure 1). Moreover, its Quaternary axial rift zone is wide and asymetrically located close to the western margin. The fossil assemblages and the lithostratigraphic records suggest that volcanic and tectonic activities within the broad rift floor and the adjacent rift margins were intense and episodic during the late Neogene rift evolution.

  19. Molecular and isotopic insights into methane oxidation in Lake Kivu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zigah, P. K.; Wehrli, B.; Schubert, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    Lake Kivu is a meromictic lake in the East African Rift Valley, located between the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The hypolimnion is permanently stratified and contain an unusually high amount of dissolved methane (CH4; ~ 60 km3) and carbon dioxide (CO2; ~300 km3) at standard temperature and pressure. While microbial-mediated methane oxidation is an important sink of methane in the lake, little is known about the distribution of microbes involved in the methane oxidation. To provide insights into methanotrophy in the lake, we analyzed depth profile of CH4, δ13C-CH4 and δ13C-DIC, δ13C-POC and the biomarkers of methanotrophic archaea and bacteria and their stable carbon isotopic composition from suspended particulate matter isolated from the lake water column. Our preliminary data show enhanced methane oxidation in oxic-anoxic transition zone in the water column. Depth distribution of diagnostic methanotrophic archaeal biomarkers such as archaeol and hydroxyarchaeol suggest archaea might be involved in anaerobic methane oxidation. Phospholipid fatty acids and diplopterol distribution and carbon isotopic signatures indicate bacteria-mediated anaerobic (and aerobic) methane oxidation in the lake.

  20. Low lower crustal velocity across Ethiopia: Is the Main Ethiopian Rift a narrow rift in a hot craton?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keranen, K.M.; Klemperer, S.L.; Julia, J.; Lawrence, J. F.; Nyblade, A.A.

    2009-01-01

    [1] The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is a classic narrow rift that developed in hot, weak lithosphere, not in the initially cold, thick, and strong lithosphere that would be predicted by common models of rift mode formation. Our new 1-D seismic velocity profiles from Rayleigh wave/receiver function joint inversion across the MER and the Ethiopian Plateau indicate that hot lower crust and upper mantle are present throughout the broad region affected by Oligocene flood basalt volcanism, including both the present rift and the adjacent Ethiopian Plateau hundreds of kilometers from the rift valley. The region of hot lithosphere closely corresponds to the region of flood basalt volcanism, and we interpret that the volcanism and thermal perturbation were jointly caused by impingement of the Afar plume head. Across the affected region, Vs is 3.6-3.8 km/s in the lowermost crust and ???4.3 km/s in the uppermost mantle, both ??0.3 km/s lower than in the eastern and western branches of the East African Rift System to the south. We interpret the low Vs in the lower crust and upper mantle as indicative of hot lithosphere with partial melt. Our results lead to a hybrid rift mode, in which the brittle upper crust has developed as a narrow rift along the Neoproterozoic suture between East and West Gondwana, while at depth lithospheric deformation is distributed over the broad region (??400 km wide) thermally perturbed by the broad thermal upwelling associated with the Afar plume head. Development of both the East African Rift System to the south (in cold, strong lithosphere) and the MER to the north (in hot, weak lithosphere) as narrow rifts, despite their vastly different initial thermal states and depth-integrated lithospheric strength, indicates that common models of rift mode formation that focus only on temperature, thickness, and vertical strength profiles do not apply to these classic continental rifts. Instead, inherited structure and associated lithospheric weaknesses are

  1. Antecedent rivers and early rifting: a case study from the Plio-Pleistocene Corinth rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemelsdaël, Romain; Ford, Mary; Malartre, Fabrice

    2016-04-01

    Models of early rifting present syn-rift sedimentation as the direct response to the development of normal fault systems where footwall-derived drainage supplies alluvial to lacustrine sediments into hangingwall depocentres. These models often include antecedent rivers, diverted into active depocentres and with little impact on facies distributions. However, antecedent rivers can supply a high volume of sediment from the onset of rifting. What are the interactions between major antecedent rivers and a growing normal fault system? What are the implications for alluvial stratigraphy and facies distributions in early rifts? These questions are investigated by studying a Plio-Pleistocene fluvial succession on the southern margin of the Corinth rift (Greece). In the northern Peloponnese, early syn-rift deposits are preserved in a series of uplifted E-W normal fault blocks (10-15 km long, 3-7 km wide). Detailed sedimentary logging and high resolution mapping of the syn-rift succession (400 to 1300 m thick) define the architecture of the early rift alluvial system. Magnetostratigraphy and biostratigraphic markers are used to date and correlate the fluvial succession within and between fault blocks. The age of the succession is between 4.0 and 1.8 Ma. We present a new tectonostratigraphic model for early rift basins based on our reconstructions. The early rift depositional system was established across a series of narrow normal fault blocks. Palaeocurrent data show that the alluvial basin was supplied by one major sediment entry point. A low sinuosity braided river system flowed over 15 to 30 km to the NE. Facies evolved downstream from coarse conglomerates to fined-grained fluvial deposits. Other minor sediment entry points supply linked and isolated depocentres. The main river system terminated eastward where it built stacked small deltas into a shallow lake (5 to 15 m deep) that occupied the central Corinth rift. The main fluvial axis remained constant and controlled

  2. The Rwenzori Mountains, a Palaeoproterozoic crustal shear belt crossing the Albertine rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehn, D.; Link, K.; Sachau, T.; Passchier, C. W.; Aanyu, K.; Spikings, A.; Harbinson, R.

    2016-09-01

    This contribution discusses the development of the Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt in the Rwenzori Mountains and its influence on the western part of the East African Rift System in Uganda. The Buganda-Toro belt is composed of several thick-skinned nappes consisting of Archaean Gneisses and Palaeoproterozoic cover units that are thrusted northwards. The high Rwenzori Mountains are located in the frontal unit of this belt with retrograde greenschist facies gneisses towards the north, which are unconformably overlain by metasediments and amphibolites. Towards the south, the metasediments are overthrust by the next migmatitic gneiss unit that belongs to a crustal-scale nappe. The southwards dipping metasedimentary and volcanic sequence in the high Rwenzori Mountains shows an inverse metamorphic grade with greenschist facies conditions in the north and amphibolite facies conditions in the south. Early D1 deformation structures are overgrown by cordierite, which in turn grows into D2 deformation, representing the major northwards directed thrusting event. We argue that the inverse metamorphic gradient develops because higher grade rocks are exhumed in the footwall of a crustal-scale nappe, whereas the exhumation decreases towards the north away from the nappe leading to a decrease in metamorphic grade. The D2 deformation event is followed by a D3 E-W compression, a D4 with the development of steep shear zones with a NNE-SSW and SSE-NNW trend including the large Nyamwamba shear followed by a local D5 retrograde event and D6 brittle reverse faulting. The Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt is relatively stiff and crosses the NNE-SSW running rift system exactly at the node where the highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are situated and where the Lake George rift terminates towards the north. Orientation of brittle and ductile fabrics show some similarities indicating that the cross-cutting Buganda-Toro belt influenced rift propagation and brittle fault development

  3. The Rwenzori Mountains, a Palaeoproterozoic crustal shear belt crossing the Albertine rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehn, D.; Link, K.; Sachau, T.; Passchier, C. W.; Aanyu, K.; Spikings, A.; Harbinson, R.

    2015-04-01

    This contribution discusses the development of the Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt in the Rwenzori Mountains and its influence on the western part of the East African Rift System in Uganda. The Buganda-Toro belt is composed of several thick-skinned nappes consisting of Archaean Gneisses and Palaeoproterozoic cover units that are thrusted northwards. The high Rwenzori Mountains are located in the frontal unit of this belt with retrograde greenschist facies gneisses towards the north, which are unconformably overlain by metasediments and amphibolites. Towards the south, the metasediments are overthrust by the next migmatitic gneiss unit that belongs to a crustal-scale nappe. The southwards dipping metasedimentary and volcanic sequence in the high Rwenzori Mountains shows an inverse metamorphic grade with greenschist facies conditions in the north and amphibolite facies conditions in the south. Early D1 deformation structures are overgrown by cordierite, which in turn grows into D2 deformation, representing the major northwards directed thrusting event. We argue that the inverse metamorphic gradient develops because higher grade rocks are exhumed in the footwall of a crustal-scale nappe, whereas the exhumation decreases towards the north away from the nappe leading to a decrease in metamorphic grade. The D2 deformation event is followed by a D3 E-W compression, a D4 with the development of steep shear zones with a NNE-SSW and SSE-NNW trend including the large Nyamwamba shear followed by a local D5 retrograde event and D6 brittle reverse faulting. The Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt is relatively stiff and crosses the NNE-SSW running rift system exactly at the node where the highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are situated and where the Lake George rift terminates towards the north. Orientation of brittle and ductile fabrics show some similarities indicating that the cross-cutting Buganda-Toro belt influenced rift propagation and brittle fault development

  4. Bottom sediments and pore waters near a hydrothermal vent in Lake Baikal (Frolikha Bay)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Granina, L.Z.; Klerkx, J.; Callender, E.; Leermakers, M.; Golobokova, L.P.

    2007-01-01

    We discuss the redox environments and the compositions of bottom sediments and sedimentary pore waters in the region of a hydrothermal vent in Frolikha Bay, Lake Baikal. According to our results, the submarine vent and its companion nearby spring on land originate from a common source. The most convincing evidence for their relation comes from the proximity of stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions in pore waters and in the spring water. The isotope composition indicates a meteoric origin of pore waters, but their major- and minor-element chemistry bears imprint of deep water which may seep through permeable faulted crust. Although pore waters near the submarine vent have a specific enrichment in major and minor constituents, hydrothermal discharge at the Baikal bottom causes a minor impact on the lake water chemistry, unlike the case of freshwater geothermal lakes in the East-African Rift and North America. ?? 2007.

  5. Fault Orientations at Obliquely Rifted Margins: Where? When? Why?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha

    2015-04-01

    Present-day knowledge of rifted margin formation is largely based on 2D seismic lines, 2D conceptual models, and corroborated by 2D numerical experiments. However, the 2D assumption that the extension direction is perpendicular to the rift trend is often invalid. In fact, worldwide more than 75% of all rifted margin segments have been formed under significant obliquity exceeding 20° (angle measured between extension direction and rift trend normal): During formation of the Atlantic Ocean, oblique rifting dominated at the sheared margins of South Africa and Patagonia, the Equatorial Atlantic margins, separation of Greenland and North America, and it played a major role in the protracted rift history of the North East Atlantic. Outside the Atlantic Ocean, oblique rifting occurred during the split between East and West Gondwana, the separation of India and Australia, India and Madagascar, Australia and Antarctica, as well as Arabia and Africa. It is presently observed in the Gulf of California, the Aegean and in the East African Rift. Despite its significance, the degree to which oblique lithospheric extension affects first-order rift and passive margin properties like surface stress pattern, fault azimuths, and basin geometry, is still not entirely clear. This contribution provides insight in crustal stress patterns and fault orientations by applying a 3D numerical rift model to oblique extensional settings. The presented forward experiments cover the whole spectrum of oblique extension (i.e. rift-orthogonal extension, low obliquity, high obliquity, strike-slip deformation) from initial deformation to breakup. They are conducted using an elasto-visco-plastic finite element model and involve crustal and mantle layers accounting for self-consistent necking of the lithosphere. Results are thoroughly compared to previous analogue experiments, which yields many similarities but also distinct differences for late rift stages and for high obliquity. Even though the model

  6. Kantis: A new Australopithecus site on the shoulders of the Rift Valley near Nairobi, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mbua, Emma; Kusaka, Soichiro; Kunimatsu, Yutaka; Geraads, Denis; Sawada, Yoshihiro; Brown, Francis H; Sakai, Tetsuya; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Saneyoshi, Mototaka; Omuombo, Christine; Muteti, Samuel; Hirata, Takafumi; Hayashida, Akira; Iwano, Hideki; Danhara, Tohru; Bobe, René; Jicha, Brian; Nakatsukasa, Masato

    2016-05-01

    Most Plio-Pleistocene sites in the Gregory Rift Valley that have yielded abundant fossil hominins lie on the Rift Valley floor. Here we report a new Pliocene site, Kantis, on the shoulder of the Gregory Rift Valley, which extends the geographical range of Australopithecus afarensis to the highlands of Kenya. This species, known from sites in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and possibly Kenya, is believed to be adapted to a wide spectrum of habitats, from open grassland to woodland. The Kantis fauna is generally similar to that reported from other contemporaneous A. afarensis sites on the Rift Valley floor. However, its faunal composition and stable carbon isotopic data from dental enamel suggest a stronger C4 environment than that present at those sites. Although the Gregory Rift Valley has been the focus of paleontologists' attention for many years, surveys of the Rift shoulder may provide new perspective on African Pliocene mammal and hominin evolution. PMID:27178456

  7. Kantis: A new Australopithecus site on the shoulders of the Rift Valley near Nairobi, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mbua, Emma; Kusaka, Soichiro; Kunimatsu, Yutaka; Geraads, Denis; Sawada, Yoshihiro; Brown, Francis H; Sakai, Tetsuya; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Saneyoshi, Mototaka; Omuombo, Christine; Muteti, Samuel; Hirata, Takafumi; Hayashida, Akira; Iwano, Hideki; Danhara, Tohru; Bobe, René; Jicha, Brian; Nakatsukasa, Masato

    2016-05-01

    Most Plio-Pleistocene sites in the Gregory Rift Valley that have yielded abundant fossil hominins lie on the Rift Valley floor. Here we report a new Pliocene site, Kantis, on the shoulder of the Gregory Rift Valley, which extends the geographical range of Australopithecus afarensis to the highlands of Kenya. This species, known from sites in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and possibly Kenya, is believed to be adapted to a wide spectrum of habitats, from open grassland to woodland. The Kantis fauna is generally similar to that reported from other contemporaneous A. afarensis sites on the Rift Valley floor. However, its faunal composition and stable carbon isotopic data from dental enamel suggest a stronger C4 environment than that present at those sites. Although the Gregory Rift Valley has been the focus of paleontologists' attention for many years, surveys of the Rift shoulder may provide new perspective on African Pliocene mammal and hominin evolution.

  8. An integrated geophysical study of the northern Kenya rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariita, Nicolas O.; Keller, G. Randy

    2007-06-01

    The Kenyan part of the East African rift is among the most studied rift zones in the world. It is characterized by: (1) a classic rift valley, (2) sheer escarpments along the faulted borders of the rift valley, (3) voluminous volcanics that flowed from faults and fissures along the rift, and (4) axial and flank volcanoes where magma flow was most intense. In northern Kenya, the rift faults formed in an area where the lithosphere was weakened and stretched by Cretaceous-Paleogene extension, and in central and southern Kenya, it formed along old zones of weakness at the contact between the Archean Tanzania craton and the Proterozoic Mozambique orogenic belt. Recent geophysical investigations focused on the tectonic evolution of the East African rift and on exploration for geothermal energy in the southern portion of the Kenyan rift provide considerable information and insight on the structure and evolution of the lithosphere. In the north, a variety of other data exist. However, the lack of an integrated regional analysis of these data was the motivation for this study. Our study began with the collection and compilation of gravity data, and then we used the seismic refraction results from the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP), published seismic reflection data, aeromagnetic data, and geologic and drilling data as constraints in the construction of integrated gravity models. These models and gravity anomaly maps provide insight on spatial variations in crustal thickness and upper mantle structure. In addition, they show the distribution of basins and help characterize the distribution of magmatism along the axis of the northern sector of the rift. Our main observations are the following: (1) the region of thinning and anomalous mantle widens northward in agreement with previous studies showing that the crust thins from about 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; (2) as observed in the south, gravity highs observed along the axis are due to mafic

  9. Metallogeny of the midcontinent rift system of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicholson, S.W.; Cannon, W.F.; Schulz, K.J.

    1992-01-01

    The 1.1 Ga Midcontinent rift system of North America is one of the world's major continental rifts and hosts a variety of mineral deposits. The rocks and mineral deposits of this 2000 km long rift are exposed only in the Lake Superior region. In the Lake Superior region, the rift cuts across Precambrian basement terranes ranging in age from ??? 1850 Ma to more than 3500 Ma. Where exposed, the rift consists of widespread tholeiitic basalt flows with local interlayered rhyolite and clastic sedimentary rocks. Beneath the center of Lake Superior the volcanic and sedimentary rocks are more than 30 km deep as shown by recent seismic reflection profiles. This region hosts two major classes of mineral deposits, magmatic and hydrothermal. All important mineral production in this region has come from hydrothermal deposits. Rift-related hydrothermal deposits include four main types: (1) native copper deposits in basalts and interflow sediments; (2) sediment-hosted copper sulfide and native copper; (3) copper sulfide veins and lodes hosted by rift-related volcanic and sedimentary rocks; and (4) polymetallic (five-element) veins in the surrounding Archean country rocks. The scarcity of sulfur within the rift rocks resulted in the formation of very large deposits of native metals. Where hydrothermal sulfides occur (i.e., shale-hosted copper sulfides), the source of sulfur was local sedimentary rocks. Magmatic deposits have locally supported exploration and minor production, but most are subeconomic presently. These deposits occur in intrusions exposed near the margins of the rift and include CuNiPGE and TiFe (V) in the Duluth Complex, U-REE-Nb in small carbonatites, and breccia pipes resulting from local hydrothermal activity around small felsic intrusions. Mineralization associated with some magmatic bodies resulted from the concentration of incompatible elements during fractional crystallization. Most of the sulfide deposits in intrusions, however, contain sulfur derived from

  10. Continental rifting: a planetary perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Muehlberger, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    The only inner planet that has abundant evidence of regional extension, and the consequent generation of rifts in the earth. The absence of plate motion on the other inner planets limits their rifts to localized bulges or subsidence areas. The rifting of oceanic lithosphere is seldom preserved in the geological record. Thus, such rifting must be inferred via plate tectonic interpretation: if there is rifting, then there must be subduction whose results are commonly well preserved. Modern continental rifts are found in many tectonic settings: continental breakup, extension transverse to collisional stresses, or wide regions of nearly uniform extension. Recognition of these settings in older rocks becomes more difficult the farther back in geologic time you travel. Rift basin fillings typically show rapid lateral and vertical facies and thickness changes, bimodal volcanism, and distinctive rift-drift sequences. Proterozoic rifts and aulacogens are well-documented in North America; ex. Keweenawan, western margin of Labrador fold belt, Belt-Uinta and the Wopmay-Athapuscow regions. Documented Archean rifts are rare. In Quebec, the truncated margin of the Minto craton bounded on the south by a 2.8 Ga greenstone belt implies an earlier rift event. The oldest proposed rift dated at 3.0 Ga contains the Pongola Supergroup in southeastern Africa. The presence of Archean dikes demonstrates a rigid crust and andesites as old as 3.5 Ga imply plate tectonics and thus, at least, oceanic rifting.

  11. Constraining the African pole of rotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asfaw, Laike M.

    1992-08-01

    In the absence of well defined transform faults in the East African rift system for constraining the plate kinematic reconstruction, the pole of relative motion for the African (Nubian) and Somalian plates has been determined from residual motion. If Africa and Somalia are to continue to drift apart along the East African rift system (which would then evolve into a series of ridges offset by transform faults) then incipient transform faults that may reflect the direction of relative motion should already be in place along the East African rift system. The incipient transforms along the East African rift system are characterized by shear zones, such as the Zambezi shear zone in the south and the Aswa and Hamer shear zones in the north. Some of these shear zones have been associated with recent strike-slip faulting in the NW-SE direction during periods of earthquakes. Provided that these, consistently NW-SE oriented, strike-slip movements in the shear zones give the direction of relative motion of the adjacent plates, then they can be used to constrain the position of the Africa-Somalia Euler pole. Due to the fact that identifying transform faults in the East African rift system is difficult and because the genesis of transform faults characterizing a plate boundary at an inception stage is not well known, the discussion here is limited to the northern segment of the East African rift system where shear zones are better characterized by the existing geophysical data. The characterizing features vary with latitude, indicating the complexity of the problem of the genesis of transform faults. I believe, however, that the relatively well defined intra-continental transform fault in the northern East African rift system, which is characterized by strike-slip faulting and earthquakes, constrains the pole of relative motion for the African and Somalian plates to a position near 1.5°S and 29.0°E.

  12. Magmatic constraints on rift development and the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foley, Stephen; Link, Klemens; Tiberindwa, John; Barifaijo, Erasmus

    2010-05-01

    The northern end of the western branch of the East African rift valley in western Uganda is located at the junction between a Proterozoic belt to the south and continuous Archaean crust of the Congo-Tanzania craton to the north (1). The difficulty of rift propagation through the thick Archaean lithosphere may explain the lack of a connection with the eastern rift branch around Lake Turkana. The >5,000m-high Rwenzori Mountains form a block lodged between two rift arms at this junction (2). The location and composition of Pleistocene to Recent volcanic rocks can be used to constrain models for the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains that explain uplift by delamination of a lithosphere block beneath the rift (3). Six small volcanic fields are located in the Toro Ankole area east and southeast of Rwenzori; they contain carbonatite either as lava flows or as components in lapilli tuffs, as well as unusual K2O-rich, SiO2-poor melt compositions akin to leucitites and potassic melilitites that increase in importance towards the south. Their major and trace element and Sr-, Nd-, Hf-, and Os-isotope compositions are consistent with a source composed not just of peridotite, but also containing mica- and clinopyroxene-rich ultramafic assemblages (4). The requirement for assemblages of this type is greater than for potassic melilitites and nephelinites further south in the rift, and this agrees with their greater abundance as xenoliths in the lavas of the Toro Ankole area. The xenoliths contain no evidence for metasomatic replacement of pre-existing peridotite minerals, but rather appear to be formed by crystallization as liquidus minerals on the walls of magma channelways within the upper mantle. Some are zoned and contain vein margins, indicating more than one episode of melt infiltration. Re-melting of such assemblages partially meets the geochemical requirements of the volcanics (4) and has been shown to produce melts with similar major element compositions in experiments (5

  13. Mastacembelid eels support Lake Tanganyika as an evolutionary hotspot of diversification

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Lake Tanganyika (LT) is the oldest of the African Rift Lakes and is one of the richest freshwater ecosystems on Earth, with high levels of faunal diversity and endemism. The endemic species flocks that occur in this lake, such as cichlid fishes, gastropods, catfish and crabs, provide unique comparative systems for the study of patterns and processes of speciation. Mastacembelid eels (Teleostei: Mastacembelidae) are a predominately riverine family of freshwater fish, occurring across Africa and Asia, but which also form a small species flock in LT. Methods Including 25 species across Africa, plus Asian representatives as outgroups, we present the first molecular phylogenetic analysis for the group, focusing particularly on the evolutionary history and biodiversity of LT mastacembelid eels. A combined matrix of nuclear and mitochondrial genes based on 3118 bp are analysed implementing different phylogenetic methods, including Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood. Results LT Mastacembelus are recovered as monophyletic, and analyses reveal the rapid diversification of five main LT lineages. Relaxed molecular clock dates provide age estimates for the LT flock at ~7-8 Myr, indicating intralacustrine diversification, with further speciation events coinciding with periods of lower lake level. Our analyses also reveal as yet undescribed diversity of lacustrine and riverine species. A Southern-Eastern African clade, that is younger than the LT flock, is also recovered, while West African taxa are basal members of the African mastacembelid clade. Conclusions That the LT species flock of mastacembelid eels appears to have colonised and immediately diversified soon after the formation of the lake, supports the view of LT as an evolutionary hotspot of diversification. We find evidence for biogeographic clades mirroring a similar pattern to other ichthyological faunas. In addition, our analyses also highlight a split of African and Asian mastacembelid eels at ~19

  14. [The Great Rift Valley. Parasitological results].

    PubMed

    Nozais, J P

    1985-01-01

    East Africa is separated from the continent by the Great Rift Valley which was created at the end of the secondary era limiting then the East Africa under-continent with peculiar fauna and flora features. A several million years long isolation, during the tertiary era, seems to explain that a certain number of protozoan and helminthic diseases present peculiar clinical, epidemiological, therapeutical and parasitological features. The occurrence of those peculiar strains tends to indicate that in this region, for example, the resistance of P. falciparum to amino-4-quinolines is a regional feature which should not largely expand to the rest of the African continent.

  15. Fault evolution in the Potiguar rift termination, Equatorial margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Castro, D. L.; Bezerra, F. H. R.

    2014-10-01

    The transform shearing between South American and African plates in the Cretaceous generated a series of sedimentary basins on both plate margins. In this study, we use gravity, aeromagnetic, and resistivity surveys to identify fault architecture and to analyse the evolution of the eastern Equatorial margin of Brazil. Our study area is the southern onshore termination of the Potiguar rift, which is an aborted NE-trending rift arm developed during the breakup of Pangea. The Potiguar rift is a Neocomian structure located in the intersection of the Equatorial and western South Atlantic and is composed of a series of NE-trending horsts and grabens. This study reveals new grabens in the Potiguar rift and indicates that stretching in the southern rift termination created a WNW-trending, 10 km wide and ~40 km long right-lateral strike-slip fault zone. This zone encompasses at least eight depocenters, which are bounded by a left-stepping, en-echelon system of NW- to EW-striking normal faults. These depocenters form grabens up to 1200 m deep with a rhomb-shaped geometry, which are filled with rift sedimentary units and capped by post-rift sedimentary sequences. The evolution of the rift termination is consistent with the right-lateral shearing of the Equatorial margin in the Cretaceous and occurs not only at the rift termination, but also as isolated structures away from the main rift.

  16. Interactions between climatic forcing of lake level change, tectonics and volcanism in the Rungwe Volcanic Province, SW Highlands of Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, D.; Williamson, D.

    2009-04-01

    The Rungwe Volcanic Province extends between the Rukwa and Nyasa (Malawi) rift lakes, which both experimented marked water level fluctuations (several hundred meters in altitude) during the last 40 ka. The infilling of water reservoirs whether artificial or natural, is known to be able to trigger earthquakes and volcanism (Ambraseys and Sarma, 1968). In the Southwestern Highlands of Tanzania and most especially in the Rungwe Volcanic Province where the western and eastern branches of the East African Rift System meet, a similar link is likely highlighted. Compilation of available data supplemented by new observations allows investigating the time relations between (1) climatically induced, rapid water level fluctuations in the surrounding rift lakes, (2) tectonic activation of the fault systems that extend from the lacustrine depressions to the volcanic area, and (3) deposition of tephra layers in soils and sediments. The latter are considered to reflect the frequency and/or magnitude of explosive eruptions in the Rungwe massif. According to these data, a connexion is suggested between the great lakes level change, tectonics, and volcanic activity for the last glacial - interglacial transition (14 - 11.5 cal. ka BP), and possibly also during the Holocene.

  17. Exploring the contrasts between fast and slow rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Jason P.; de Monserrat, Albert; White, Lloyd; Hall, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Researchers are now finding that extension sometimes occurs at rates much faster than the mean rates observed in the development of passive margins. Examples of rapid and ultra-rapid extension are found in several locations in Eastern Indonesia. This includes in northern and central Sulawesi as well as in eastern- and westernmost New Guinea. The periods of extension are associated with sedimentary basin growth as well as phases of crustal melting and rapid uplift. This is recorded through seismic imagery of basins offshore Sulawesi and New Guinea as well as through new field studies of the onshore geology in these regions. A growing body of new geochronological and biostratigraphic data provide some control on the rates of processes, indicating that rates of extension are typically at least twice as fast and potentially an order of magnitude faster than the fastest rates applied for more commonly studied rift settings (e.g. Atlantic opening, East African Rift, Australia-Antarctica opening). Here we explore a suite of experiments more appropriate for rifting episodes in Eastern Indonesia, and compare the evolution of these 'fast' (20-100 mm/year full rate) rifting models to experiments with the same crustal geometries rifting at ~5-20 mm/year. In particular, we explore to what depths hot lower crust and mantle can be exhumed by fast rifting, and whether we can produce the p-T-t paths implied by recent onshore geological studies.

  18. Continental rifting and the origin of Beta Regio, Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgill, G. E.; Steenstrup, S. J.; Barton, C.; Ford, P. G.

    1981-01-01

    Topographic maps based on Pioneer Venus altimetry suggest that Beta Regio, an elevated feature centered at 27 deg N, 282 deg E, is analogous to domes associated with continental rift systems on earth. This interpretation is consistent with the commonly quoted analogy between the East African rift system and the topography of the region from Beta Regio southward to Phoebe Regio. If Beta Regio is a dome, major structural uplift of the crust of Venus is implied, suggesting a more dynamic upper mantle than would be the case if Beta Regio were simply a large volcanic construct.

  19. Rift-wide correlation of 1.1 Ga Midcontinent rift system basalts: Implications for multiple mantle sources during rift development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicholson, S.W.; Shirey, S.B.; Schulz, K.J.; Green, J.C.

    1997-01-01

    Magmatism that accompanied the 1.1 Ga Midcontinent rift system (MRS) is attributed to the upwelling and decompression melting of a mantle plume beneath North America. Five distinctive flood-basalt compositions are recognized in the rift-related basalt succession along the south shore of western Lake Superior, based on stratigraphically correlated major element, trace element, and Nd isotopic analyses. These distinctive compositions can be correlated with equivalent basalt types in comparable stratigraphic positions in other MRS localities around western Lake Superior. Four of these compositions are also recognized at Mamainse Point more than 200 km away in eastern Lake Superior. These regionally correlative basalt compositions provide the basis for determining the sequential contribution of various mantle sources to flood-basalt magmatism during rift development, extending a model originally developed for eastern Lake Superior. In this refined model, the earliest basalts were derived from small degrees of partial melting at great depth of an enriched, ocean-island-type plume mantle source (??Nd(1100) value of about 0), followed by magmas representing melts from this plume source and interaction with another mantle source, most likely continental lithospheric mantle (??Nd(1100) < 0). The relative contribution of this second mantle source diminished with time as larger degree partial melts of the plume became the dominant source for the voluminous younger basalts (??Nd(1100) value of about 0). Towards the end of magmatism, mixtures of melts from the plume and a depleted asthenospheric mantle source became dominant (??Nd(1100) = 0 to +3).

  20. Model, Proxy and Isotopic Perspectives on the East African Humid Period

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tierney, Jessica E.; Lewis, Sophie C.; Cook, Benjamin I.; LeGrande, Allegra N.; Schmidt, Gavin A.

    2011-01-01

    Both North and East Africa experienced more humid conditions during the early and mid-Holocene epoch (11,000-5000yr BP; 11-5 ka) relative to today. The North African Humid Period has been a major focus of paleoclimatic study, and represents a response of the hydrological cycle to the increase in boreal summer insolation and associated ocean, atmosphere and land surface feedbacks. Meanwhile, the mechanisms that caused the coeval East African Humid Period are poorly understood. Here, we use results from isotopeenabled coupled climate modeling experiments to investigate the cause of the East African Humid Period. The modeling results are interpreted alongside proxy records of both water balance and the isotopic composition of rainfall. Our simulations show that the orbitally-induced increase in dry season precipitation and the subsequent reduction in precipitation seasonality can explain the East African Humid Period, and this scenario agrees well with regional lake level and pollen paleoclimate data. Changes in zonal moisture flux from both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean account for the simulated increase in precipitation from June through November. Isotopic paleoclimate data and simulated changes in moisture source demonstrate that the western East African Rift Valley in particular experienced more humid conditions due to the influx of Atlantic moisture and enhanced convergence along the Congo Air Boundary. Our study demonstrates that zonal changes in moisture advection are an important determinant of climate variability in the East African region.

  1. P Wave Velocity Structure Beneath the Baikal Rift Axis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, R. A.; Nyblade, A. A.; Boman, E. C.

    2001-12-01

    Over 100 p wave travel times from the 1500 km en echelon Baikal Rift system are used in this study.The events range 3 to 13 degrees from Talaya, Russia (TLY) along the axis of southwest northeast trending rift in East Siberia. A Herglotz Wiechert inversion of these events resolved a crust of 6.4 km/s and a gradient in the mantle starting at 35 km depth and 7.7 km/s down to 200 km depth and 8.2 km/s. This is compatible with Gao et al,1994 cross sectional structure which cuts the rift at about 400km from TLY. The Baikal Rift hosts the deepest lake and is the most seismically active rift in the world. It is one of the few continental rifts, it separates the Siberian craton and the Syan-Baikal mobile fold belt. Two events, the March 21 1999 magnitude 5.7 earthquake 638 km from TLY and the November 13th 1995 magnitude 5.9 earthquake 863 km from TLY were modeled for there PnL wave structure using the discrete wavenumber method and the Harvard CMT solutions with adjusted depths from p-pP times. The PnL signals match well. A genetic algorithm will used to perturb the velocity structure and compare to a selection of the events between 3 and 13 degrees many will require moment tensor solutions.

  2. A Revised Holocene History of Lake Kivu, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Votava, J. E.; Johnson, T. C.; Hecky, R. E.

    2013-12-01

    The great lakes of the East African Rift valley are a vast chain of lakes formed in a region of active tectonics. These large, deep lakes are relatively old and many (e.g. Tanganyika, Malawi, and Turkana) have greatly influenced our understanding of terrestrial, tropical East African paleoclimate. Lake Kivu (max depth, 485m) sits at the heart of these rift lakes, north of Lake Tanganyika between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda (roughly 250 km west of Lake Victoria). At over 1,400 meters in elevation, this 2,060 km2 mesotrophic lake has a complex stratification regime imposed by hydrothermal springs and deep waters supersaturated at STP in CO2 and CH4 gasses. The active Virunga Volcanoes to the north of the lake supply heated, high-salinity waters below 280 meters water depth maintaining the modern crenogenic meromixis. Based on detailed studies of diatom assemblages and bulk sedimentology, previous workers have suggested this hydrothermal activity began roughly 5,000 years BP. Unfortunately, dating and stratigraphic correlations of these original cores from the 1970 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's expedition have been problematic. Here we offer an improved chronology and new carbonate analyses from cores recovered in 2012 and 2013. Our AMS radiocarbon ages come from six terrigeneous macrofossils spanning the last 9,100 years (cal BP). These ages suggest a rather high sedimentation rate on the order of 70cm/kyr, and hence, our 8 m-long core provides us with a high-resolution lake history for the past 10,000 years. Most notable over the past 5,000 years in the lake history is the repeated onset and cessation of carbonate deposition, punctuated by organic-rich intervals. Earlier studies of the Woods Hole cores placed the onset of carbonate deposition at ca. 11,000 years BP suggesting changes in lake hydrology (i.e. closed to open), while the abrupt cessation of carbonate was dated at ca. 5,000 years BP and attributed to the beginning of

  3. Westward drift, rift asymmetry and continental uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doglioni, C.; Carminati, E.; Bonatti, E.

    2003-04-01

    Although not predicted by classic plate tectonics theory, the topography of ocean ridges and rifts show a distinct asymmetry, when depth is plotted both vs. distance from the ridge and square root of the age of the oceanic crust. The eastern sides of the East Pacific Rise, of the mid Atlantic ridge, of the NW Indian ridge are in average more elevated than the conjugate flank to the west and eastern sides show slower subsidence rates. A similar asymmetry can be observed across the Red Sea and Baikal rifts. We suggest that depleted and lighter asthenosphere generated by partial melting below the ocean ridges shifts 'eastward' relative to the lithosphere, determining a density deficit below the eastern flank. The 'eastward' migration of the lighter Atlantic asthenosphere under the African continent, could eventually have contributed to the anomalous post-rift uplift of Africa and explain the anomalously higher topography of Africa with respect to other continents. This model suggests that the 'westward' drift of the lithosphere relative to the underlying mantle might be a global phenomenon and not just a mean delay.

  4. Post-caldera faulting of the Late Quaternary Menengai caldera, Central Kenya Rift (0.20°S, 36.07°E)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedl, Simon; Melnick, Daniel; Mibei, Geoffrey K.; Njue, Lucy; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-04-01

    A structural geological analysis of young caldera volcanoes is necessary to characterize their volcanic activity, assess their geothermal potential, and decipher the spatio-temporal relationships of faults on a larger tectonic scale. Menengai caldera is one of several major Quaternary trachytic caldera volcanoes that are aligned along the volcano-tectonic axis of the Kenya Rift, the archetypal active magmatic rift and nascent plate boundary between the Nubia and Somalia plates. The caldera covers an area of approximately 80 km² and is among the youngest and also largest calderas in the East African Rift, situated close to Nakuru - a densely populated urban area. There is an increasing interest in caldera volcanoes in the Kenya Rift, because these are sites of relatively young volcanic and tectonic activity, and they are considered important sites for geothermal exploration and future use for the generation of geothermal power. Previous studies of Menengai showed that the caldera collapsed in a multi-event, multiple-block style, possibly as early as 29 ka. In an attempt to characterize the youngest tectonic activity along the volcano-tectonic axis in the transition between the Central and Northern Kenya rifts we first used a high-resolution digital surface model, which we derived by structure-from-motion from an unmanned aerial vehicle campaign. This enabled us to identify previously unrecognized normal faults, associated dyke intrusions and volcanic eruptive centers, and transfer faults with strike-slip kinematics in the caldera interior and its vicinity. In a second step we verified these structures at outcrop scale, assessed their relationship with known stratigraphic horizons and dated units, and performed detailed fault measurements, which we subsequently used for fault-kinematic analysis. The most important structures that we mapped are a series of north-northeast striking normal faults, which cross-cut both the caldera walls and early Holocene lake

  5. Rift Valley Fever Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a disease of animals and humans that occurs in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A Phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae causes the disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Epidemics occur during years of unusually heavy rainfall that assessment models are being develo...

  6. Continental rifting - Progress and outlook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, B. H.; Morgan, P.

    1981-01-01

    It is noted that in spite of the flood of new data on continental rifts in the last 15 years, there is little consensus about the basic mechanisms and causes of rifting. The remarkable similarities in rift cross sections (shown in a figure), are considered to suggest that the anomalous lithospheric structure of rifts is more dependent on lithosphere properties than the mode of rifting. It is thought that there is a spectrum of rifting processes for which two fundamental mechanisms can be postulated: an active mechanism, whereby thermal energy is transmitted into the lithosphere from the underlying asthenosphere, and a passive mechanism by which mechanical energy is transmitted laterally through the lithosphere as a consequence of plate interactions at a distance. In order to permit the concept of the two fundamentally different mechanisms to be tested, a tentative classification is proposed that divides rifts into two basic categories: active rifting and passive rifting. Here, the magnitude of active rifting will depend on the rate at which lithosphere moves over the thermal source, with rifts being restricted to stationary or slow-moving plates.

  7. When Did Midcontinent Rift Volcanism End and Where Was Laurentia at that Time?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairchild, L. M.; Swanson-Hysell, N.; Ramezani, J.; Sprain, C. J.; Gaastra, K. M.; Bowring, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Data from the North American Midcontinent Rift provide a robust record of Laurentia's (cratonic North America's) paleogeographic position from ca. 1110 to 1080 Ma. The resulting apparent polar wander path (APWP) reveals rapid motion of the continent towards the equator throughout the rift's lifetime. Constraints on the age of the youngest volcanics within the rift and on the paleolatitude of Laurentia at that time are important for quantifying the rate of this motion and its apparent deceleration in the late stage of rift development. Furthermore, precise calibration of the APWP enhances the robustness of paleogeographic reconstructions. The three rift successions with ca. 1090 to 1085 Ma late stage volcanics are the Lake Shore Traps of Michigan, the Michipicoten Island Formation of Ontario and the Schroeder-Lutsen basalts of Minnesota. In past studies, paleomagnetic data from the Schroeder-Lutsen basalts have been grouped with results from the North Shore Volcanic Group, which it unconformably overlies. In this study, we separate these data and add newly developed results from 40 additional flows. New data from the Michipicoten Island Formation allow for a well constrained pole that now includes data from more than 25 flows. High quality paleomagnetic data are published for the Lake Shore Traps, and we complement these with a newly developed high precision U-Pb zircon date as an update to current constraints. Taken altogether, these data strengthen our understanding of the rift's demise and the rate of Laurentia's motion as rift volcanism gave way to post-rift sedimentation.

  8. Mid-lithospheric Discontinuity Beneath the Malawi Rift, Deduced from Gravity Studies and its Relation to the Rifting Process.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njinju, E. A.; Atekwana, E. A.; Mickus, K. L.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Atekwana, E. A.; Laó-Dávila, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The World Gravity Map satellite gravity data were used to investigate the lithospheric structure beneath the Cenozoic-age Malawi Rift which forms the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. An analysis of the data using two-dimensional (2D) power spectrum methods indicates the two distinctive discontinuities at depths of 31‒44 km and 64‒124 km as defined by the two steepest slopes of the power spectrum curves. The shallower discontinuity corresponds to the crust-mantle boundary (Moho) and compares well with Moho depth determined from passive seismic studies. To understand the source of the deeper discontinuity, we applied the 2D power spectrum analysis to other rift segments of the Western Branch as well as regions with stable continental lithospheres where the lithospheric structure is well constrained through passive seismic studies. We found that the deeper discontinuity corresponds to a mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD), which is known to exist globally at depths between 60‒150 km and as determined by passive seismic studies. Our results show that beneath the Malawi Rift, there is no pattern of N-S elongated crustal thinning following the surface expression of the Malawi Rift. With the exception of a north-central region of crustal thinning (< 35 km), most of the southern part of the rift is underlain by thick crust (~40‒44 km). Different from the Moho, the MLD is shallower beneath the axis of the Malawi Rift forming a N-S trending zone with depths of 64‒80 km, showing a broad and gentle topography. We interpret the MLD as representing a sharp density contrast resulting from metasomatized lithosphere due to lateral migration along mobile belts of hot mantle melt or fluids from a distant plume and not from an ascending asthenosphere. These fluids weaken the lithosphere enhancing rift nucleation. The availability of satellite gravity worldwide makes gravity a promising technique for determining the MLD globally.

  9. The virus's tooth: cyanophages affect an African flamingo population in a bottom-up cascade.

    PubMed

    Peduzzi, Peter; Gruber, Martin; Gruber, Michael; Schagerl, Michael

    2014-06-01

    Trophic cascade effects occur when a food web is disrupted by loss or significant reduction of one or more of its members. In East African Rift Valley lakes, the Lesser Flamingo is on top of a short food chain. At irregular intervals, the dominance of their most important food source, the cyanobacterium Arthrospira fusiformis, is interrupted. Bacteriophages are known as potentially controlling photoautotrophic bacterioplankton. In Lake Nakuru (Kenya), we found the highest abundance of suspended viruses ever recorded in a natural aquatic system. We document that cyanophage infection and the related breakdown of A. fusiformis biomass led to a dramatic reduction in flamingo abundance. This documents that virus infection at the very base of a food chain can affect, in a bottom-up cascade, the distribution of end consumers. We anticipate this as an important example for virus-mediated cascading effects, potentially occurring also in various other aquatic food webs.

  10. The virus's tooth: cyanophages affect an African flamingo population in a bottom-up cascade

    PubMed Central

    Peduzzi, Peter; Gruber, Martin; Gruber, Michael; Schagerl, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Trophic cascade effects occur when a food web is disrupted by loss or significant reduction of one or more of its members. In East African Rift Valley lakes, the Lesser Flamingo is on top of a short food chain. At irregular intervals, the dominance of their most important food source, the cyanobacterium Arthrospira fusiformis, is interrupted. Bacteriophages are known as potentially controlling photoautotrophic bacterioplankton. In Lake Nakuru (Kenya), we found the highest abundance of suspended viruses ever recorded in a natural aquatic system. We document that cyanophage infection and the related breakdown of A. fusiformis biomass led to a dramatic reduction in flamingo abundance. This documents that virus infection at the very base of a food chain can affect, in a bottom-up cascade, the distribution of end consumers. We anticipate this as an important example for virus-mediated cascading effects, potentially occurring also in various other aquatic food webs. PMID:24430484

  11. Intracontinental rift comparisons: Baikal and Rio Grande Rift Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipman, P. W.; Logatchev, N. A.; Zorin, Y. A.; Chapman, C. E.; Kovalenko, V.; Morgan, P.

    Both the Baikal rift in Siberia and the Rio Grande rift in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are major intracontinental extensional structures of Cenozoic age that affect regions about 1500 km long and several hundred km wide (Figures 1, 2). In the summer of 1988 these rifts were visited by study groups of U.S. and Soviet geoscientists during cooperative field workshops sponsored by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and U.S. Geological Survey.In the Rio Grande region, we spent 2 weeks examining rift features between El Paso, Tex., and Denver, Colo. Particular emphasis was on the sedimentary record of rift evolution, widespread volcanic activity from inception of rifting to the present, geophysical expression of rift features, and relations between rifting and the larger-scale evolution of the North American Cordillera. In the Baikal region, which presents formidable logistic problems for a workshop, we travelled by bus, truck, helicopter, and ship to examine young seismotectonic features, rift-related basalt, and bounding structures of the Siberian craton that influenced rift development (Figure 3).

  12. North America's Midcontinent Rift: when Rift MET Lip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Kley, J.; Keller, G. R., Jr.; Bollmann, T. A.; Wolin, E.; Zhang, H.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Ola, K.; Wysession, M. E.; Wiens, D.; Alequabi, G.; Waite, G. P.; Blavascunas, E.; Engelmann, C. A.; Flesch, L. M.; Rooney, T. O.; Moucha, R.; Brown, E.

    2015-12-01

    Rifts are segmented linear depressions, filled with sedimentary and igneous rocks, that form by extension and often evolve into plate boundaries. Flood basalts, a class of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), are broad regions of extensive volcanism due to sublithospheric processes. Typical rifts are not filled with flood basalts, and typical flood basalts are not associated with significant crustal extension and faulting. North America's Midcontinent Rift (MCR) is an unusual combination. Its 3000-km length formed as part of the 1.1 Ga rifting of Amazonia (Precambrian NE South America) from Laurentia (Precambrian North America) and became inactive once seafloor spreading was established, but contains an enormous volume of igneous rocks. MCR volcanics are significantly thicker than other flood basalts, due to deposition in a narrow rift rather than a broad region, giving a rift geometry but a LIP's magma volume. Structural modeling of seismic reflection data shows an initial rift phase where flood basalts filled a fault-controlled extending basin, and a postrift phase where volcanics and sediments were deposited in a thermally subsiding basin without associated faulting. The crust thinned during rifting and rethickened during the postrift phase and later compression, yielding the present thicker crust. The coincidence of a rift and LIP yielded the world's largest deposit of native copper. This combination arose when a new rift associated with continental breakup interacted with a mantle plume or anomalously hot or fertile upper mantle. Integration of diverse data types and models will give insight into questions including how the magma source was related to the rifting, how their interaction operated over a long period of rapid plate motion, why the lithospheric mantle below the MCR differs only slightly from its surroundings, how and why extension, volcanism, and compression varied along the rift arms, and how successful seafloor spreading ended the rift phase. Papers

  13. Modularity of the oral jaws is linked to repeated changes in the craniofacial shape of african cichlids.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Kevin J; Cooper, W James; Albertson, R Craig

    2011-01-01

    The African cichlids of the East-African rift-lakes provide one of the most dramatic examples of adaptive radiation known. It has long been thought that functional decoupling of the oral and pharyngeal jaws in cichlids has facilitated their explosive evolution. Recent research has also shown that craniofacial evolution from radiations in lakes Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika has occurred along a shared primary axis of shape divergence, whereby the preorbital region of the skull changes in a manner that is, relatively independent from other head regions. We predicted that the preorbital region would comprise a variational module and used an extensive dataset from each lake that allowed us to test this prediction using a model selection approach. Our findings supported the presence of a preorbital module across all lakes, within each lake, and for Malawi, within sand and rock-dwelling clades. However, while a preorbital module was consistently present, notable differences were also observed among groups. Of particular interest, a negative association between patterns of variational modularity was observed between the sand and rock-dwelling clades, a patter consistent with character displacement. These findings provide the basis for further experimental research involving the determination of the developmental and genetic bases of these patterns of modularity.

  14. Modularity of the Oral Jaws Is Linked to Repeated Changes in the Craniofacial Shape of African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Cooper, W. James; Albertson, R. Craig

    2011-01-01

    The African cichlids of the East-African rift-lakes provide one of the most dramatic examples of adaptive radiation known. It has long been thought that functional decoupling of the oral and pharyngeal jaws in cichlids has facilitated their explosive evolution. Recent research has also shown that craniofacial evolution from radiations in lakes Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika has occurred along a shared primary axis of shape divergence, whereby the preorbital region of the skull changes in a manner that is, relatively independent from other head regions. We predicted that the preorbital region would comprise a variational module and used an extensive dataset from each lake that allowed us to test this prediction using a model selection approach. Our findings supported the presence of a preorbital module across all lakes, within each lake, and for Malawi, within sand and rock-dwelling clades. However, while a preorbital module was consistently present, notable differences were also observed among groups. Of particular interest, a negative association between patterns of variational modularity was observed between the sand and rock-dwelling clades, a patter consistent with character displacement. These findings provide the basis for further experimental research involving the determination of the developmental and genetic bases of these patterns of modularity. PMID:21716745

  15. Unraveling rift margin evolution and escarpment development ages along the Dead Sea fault using cosmogenic burial ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matmon, A.; Fink, D.; Davis, M.; Niedermann, S.; Rood, D.; Frumkin, A.

    2014-07-01

    The Dead Sea fault (DSF) is one of the most active plate boundaries in the world. Understanding the Quaternary history and sediments of the DSF requires investigation into the Neogene development of this plate boundary. DSF lateral motion preceded significant extension and rift morphology by ~ 10 Ma. Sediments of the Sedom Formation, dated here between 5.0 ± 0.5 Ma and 6.2- 2.1+ inf Ma, yielded extremely low 10Be concentrations and 26Al is absent. These reflect the antiquity of the sediments, deposited in the Sedom Lagoon, which evolved in a subdued landscape and was connected to the Mediterranean Sea. The base of the overlying Amora Formation, deposited in the terminal Amora Lake which developed under increasing relief that promoted escarpment incision, was dated at 3.3- 0.8+ 0.9 Ma. Burial ages of fluvial sediments within caves (3.4 ± 0.2 Ma and 3.6 ± 0.4 Ma) represent the timing of initial incision. Initial DSF topography coincides with the earliest Red Sea MORB's and the East Anatolian fault initiation. These suggest a change in the relative Arabian-African plate motion. This change introduced the rifting component to the DSF followed by a significant subsidence, margin uplift, and a reorganization of relief and drainage pattern in the region resulting in the topographic framework observed today.

  16. Seismological Investigations of Crustal and Mantle Structures Beneath the Incipient Okavango Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, S. S.; Yu, Y.; Liu, K. H.; Reed, C. A.; Moidaki, M.; Mickus, K. L.; Atekwana, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    Rifting plays a significant role in the evolution of sedimentary basins. However, our current understandings on rifting mechanisms are mostly based on studies of mature rifts. Here we report results from the first teleseismic investigations of the incipient Okavango rift zone (ORZ), which is located at the southwestern terminal of the East African Rift System in northern Botswana. Data used in the study were recorded by the 17 broadband seismic stations deployed along a NW-SE profile traversing the ORZ with a recording duration of 2 years starting in the summer of 2012. Receiver function and shear wave splitting techniques have been employed to explore upper mantle thermal anomalies and anisotropy. The resulting dominantly absolute plate motion-parallel fast polarization orientations and normal mantle transition zone thickness ruled out the possible existence of one or more mantle plumes in the upper mantle or mantle transition zone beneath the ORZ. The Moho beneath the Okavango rift zone is uplifted by 4-5 km and is symmetric with regard to the rift axis, favoring a pure shear model of early-stage continental extension. The observations favor a passive model for rift initiation in which rifts develop inside ancient orogenic zones as the result of relative movements between Archean cratonic blocks.

  17. Geological nature of subglacial Lake Vostok

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitchenkov, G. L.; Masolov, V. N.; Lukin, V. V.; Bulat, S. A.; Kurinin, R. G.; Lipenkov, V. Ya.

    2003-04-01

    Lake Vostok is located at the edge of vast upland of East Antarctic (Precambrian) Crystalline Shield and represents a typical extensionally-induced intracontinental rift zone. Type indicators of rift nature are: width (60-80 km) and length (about 300 km) of the lake depression; several (3-5) kilometers of sediments (modeled from gravity data) infilling the lake graben, considerable amplitudes of faults bounding the lake (up to 2 km in bedrock relief and in excess of 5 km in basement topography), half-graben-like structures (rotated crustal blocks) at flanks of the lake traceable to crustal extension; along-strike segmentation of the depression (the presence of two isolated basins, recognized from seismic and gravity data); knee-shaped spatial configuration of the lake and existence of diagonal fractures (displayed in bedrock topography) normally nascent in conditions of tensional stress. The rift graben of Lake Vostok is considered to be a part (branch) of more spacious rift system, main arm of which stretched from the Prydz Bay trough the Lambert Glacier and the eastern foot of Gamburtsev Mts. to, at least, 110E. This rift system is a result of large-scale extensional event, which occurred in East Antarctica in Late Jurassic - Early Cretaceous prior to East Gondwana break-up. Sedimentary infill of this age is proposed to dominate in Vostok Lake, although postrift, preglacial (Cretaceous - Paleogene) strata can also forms significant part of depositional section. Helium isotopes data give evidence that the Lake Vostok rift is not active. On the other hand, thermophilic bacteria found in accretion ice suggest the possibility of hydrothermal activity in lake bottom. The conduits for warm underwater can be provided by deep crustal faults bordering rift graben. Microseismicity recorded in the area of Lake Vostok suggests the possibility of crustal deformations (likely during more dramatic earthquakes) providing a necessary fault permeability for water seepage from

  18. The Midcontinent rift system in Kansas

    SciTech Connect

    Berendsen, P. . Kansas Geological Survey)

    1993-03-01

    A sequence of rift-related mafic volcanic rocks, volcanoclastic-, and clastic sedimentary rocks are recognized in cuttings and cores from about seventy wells in Kansas. The age (1,097.5 Ma) for gabbro in the Poersch [number sign]1 well in northern Kansas, as well as the general petrographic characteristics of the sedimentary rocks throughout the area favors a correlation with established Keweenawan stratigraphy in the Lake Superior region. Rift-related northeast-trending faults and older northwest-trending faults divide the area up into a number of orthogonal fault blocks or basins. Depending upon the tectonic history of the individual basin all or part of the Keweenawan section may be preserved. It is believed that large amounts of Keweenawan clastic sedimentary rock were eroded from the nemaha uplift east of the central graben of the rift and transported in an easterly direction. Prior to deposition of Paleozoic rocks the area was peneplaned. Correlation of various stratigraphic units over any distance is complicated by tectonic activity occurring at several times during the Precambrian and Paleozoic. Stratabound or stratiform deposits can occur both in the Precambrian as well as the overlying Paleozoic rocks. The possibility of massive sulfides to occur in the mafic intrusive rocks must not be excluded. In the core from the Poersch [number sign]1 well sulfides are recognized in gabbroic sills or dikes. Dark, fissile shale, similar to the Nonesuch Shale in the [number sign]1--4 Finn well averages 0.75% organic carbon. Thermal maturation within the rift probably ranges from within the oil window to over maturity.

  19. US-Africa collaborative research on incipient continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atekwana, E. A.

    2007-12-01

    Since 1999, we have been conducting research in Botswana in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Botswana (UB). Recently, we have expanded our research activities to include the University of Zambia (UNZA). The goal of the collaborative efforts center on investigating geologic processes operating during the initial stages of continental extension. During student training, US students partner with peers from UB and UNZA to conduct field-based research within a multi-disciplinary framework focused on investigating the interplay between neotectonics and surficial processes due to rifting. The student projects are designed to: 1) assess the role of pre-existing structures on rift basin development; 2) determine fault kinematics and direction of rift extension; 3) characterize the geometry of the basins; 4) assess current models for fault growth and propagation and linkage to form border faults; 5) investigate environmental change information preserved in rift basin sediments; 6) determine how magma below the rift basin affects surface water chemical properties; and 7) develop tectonic and geologic models for the evolution of rift basins during the incipient stages of continental extension. Our goal is to provide is to improve research and education in developing countries while providing talented and motivated US students with hands-on field research experience in near surface geophysical surveying, field geologic mapping, GPS mapping, and geochemical and hydrogeologic techniques necessary for addressing basic research questions in the geosciences, as well as resources exploration (e.g., hydrocarbon, water resources, mineral, geothermal, etc.). Our US students acquire an enriching cultural experience, make personal contacts, and build relationships that will form the core of future international research collaborations. At the same time, project activities introduce the African students to state-of the art geophysical equipment and research methodologies

  20. Persistent C3 vegetation accompanied Plio-Pleistocene hominin evolution in the Malawi Rift (Chiwondo Beds, Malawi).

    PubMed

    Lüdecke, Tina; Schrenk, Friedemann; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Kullmer, Ottmar; Bromage, Timothy G; Sandrock, Oliver; Fiebig, Jens; Mulch, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The development of East African savannas is crucial for the origin and evolution of early hominins. These ecosystems, however, vary widely in their fraction of woody cover and today range from closed woodland to open grassland savanna. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon isotope (δ(13)C) record from pedogenic carbonate and Suidae teeth in the southern East African Rift (EAR). These δ(13)C data from the Chiwondo and Chitimwe Beds (Karonga Basin, Northern Malawi) represent a southern hemisphere record in the EAR, a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna, and permit correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominins in today's Somali-Masai Endemic Zone. The sediments along the northwestern shore of Lake Malawi contain fossils attributed to Homo rudolfensis and Paranthropus boisei. The associated hominin localities (Uraha, Malema) are situated between the well-known hominin bearing sites of the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone in the Eastern Rift and the Highveld Grassland in southern Africa, and fill an important geographical gap for hominin research. Persistent δ(13)C values around -9‰ from pedogenic carbonate and suid enamel covering the last ∼4.3 Ma indicate a C3-dominated closed environment with regional patches of C4-grasslands in the Karonga Basin. The overall fraction of woody cover of 60-70% reflects significantly higher canopy density in the Malawi Rift than the Eastern Rift through time. The discrepancy between the two savanna types originated in the Late Pliocene, when the Somali-Masai ecosystem started to show increasing evidence for open, C4-dominated landscapes. Based on the Malawi δ(13)C data, the evolution of savanna ecosystems in Eastern Africa followed different patterns along the north-south extent of the EAR. The appearance of C4-grasses is considered a driver of evolutionary faunal shifts, but despite the difference of ecosystem evolution in the north, similar

  1. Persistent C3 vegetation accompanied Plio-Pleistocene hominin evolution in the Malawi Rift (Chiwondo Beds, Malawi).

    PubMed

    Lüdecke, Tina; Schrenk, Friedemann; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Kullmer, Ottmar; Bromage, Timothy G; Sandrock, Oliver; Fiebig, Jens; Mulch, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The development of East African savannas is crucial for the origin and evolution of early hominins. These ecosystems, however, vary widely in their fraction of woody cover and today range from closed woodland to open grassland savanna. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon isotope (δ(13)C) record from pedogenic carbonate and Suidae teeth in the southern East African Rift (EAR). These δ(13)C data from the Chiwondo and Chitimwe Beds (Karonga Basin, Northern Malawi) represent a southern hemisphere record in the EAR, a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna, and permit correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominins in today's Somali-Masai Endemic Zone. The sediments along the northwestern shore of Lake Malawi contain fossils attributed to Homo rudolfensis and Paranthropus boisei. The associated hominin localities (Uraha, Malema) are situated between the well-known hominin bearing sites of the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone in the Eastern Rift and the Highveld Grassland in southern Africa, and fill an important geographical gap for hominin research. Persistent δ(13)C values around -9‰ from pedogenic carbonate and suid enamel covering the last ∼4.3 Ma indicate a C3-dominated closed environment with regional patches of C4-grasslands in the Karonga Basin. The overall fraction of woody cover of 60-70% reflects significantly higher canopy density in the Malawi Rift than the Eastern Rift through time. The discrepancy between the two savanna types originated in the Late Pliocene, when the Somali-Masai ecosystem started to show increasing evidence for open, C4-dominated landscapes. Based on the Malawi δ(13)C data, the evolution of savanna ecosystems in Eastern Africa followed different patterns along the north-south extent of the EAR. The appearance of C4-grasses is considered a driver of evolutionary faunal shifts, but despite the difference of ecosystem evolution in the north, similar

  2. Next-generation Geotectonic Data Analysis: Using pyGPlates to quantify Rift Obliquity during Supercontinent Dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butterworth, Nathaniel; Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon; Müller, Dietmar

    2015-04-01

    Fragmentation of a supercontinent by rifting is an integral part of plate tectonics, yet the dynamics that govern the success or failure of individual rift systems are still unclear. Recently, analytical and thermo-mechanical modelling has suggested that obliquely activated rifts are mechanically favoured over orthogonal rift systems. Hence, where two rift zones compete, the more oblique rift proceeds to break-up while the less oblique one stalls and becomes an aulacogen. This implies that the orientation and shape of individual rift systems affects the relative motion of Earth's continents during supercontinent break-up. We test this hypothesis using the latest global plate tectonic reconstructions for the past 200 million years. The analysis is performed using pyGPlates, a recently developed Python library that allows script-based access to the plate reconstruction software GPlates. We quantify rift obliquity, extension velocity and their temporal evolution for all small-scale rift segments that constituted a major rift system during the last 200 million years. Boundaries between continental and oceanic crust (COBs) mark the end of rifting and the beginning of sea floor spreading, which is why we use a global set of updated COBs in order to pinpoint continental break-up and as a proxy for the local trend of former rift systems. Analysing the entire length of all rift systems during the last 200 My, we find a mean obliquity of ~40° (measured as the angle between extension direction and local rift trend normal), with a standard deviation of 25°. More than 75% of all rift segments exceeded an obliquity of 20° highlighting the fact that oblique rifting is the rule, not the exception. More specifically, East and West Gondwana split along the East African coast with a mean obliquity of 45°. While rifting of the central and southern South Atlantic segment involved a low obliquity of 10°, the Equatorial Atlantic opened under a high angle of 60°. The separation of

  3. Complex seismicity patterns in the Rwenzori region: insights to rifting processes at the Albertine Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindenfeld, M.; Rümpker, G.; Wölbern, I.; Batte, A. G.; Schumann, A.

    2012-04-01

    Numerous seismological studies in East Africa have focused on the northern and eastern branches of the East African Rift System (EARS). However, the seismic activity along the western branch is much more pronounced. Here, the Rwenzori Mountains are located within the Albertine rift valley, at the border between Uganda and D.R. Congo. During a seismic monitoring campaign between February 2006 and September 2007 we have recorded more than 800 earthquakes per month in the Rwenzori area. The earthquake distribution is highly heterogeneous. The majority of located events lie within faults zones to the East and West of the Rwenzoris with the highest seismic activity observed in the northeastern area, were the mountains are in contact with the rift shoulders. The hypocentral depth distribution peaks at 16 km depth and extends down to the Moho which was found at 20 - 32 km depths by teleseismic receiver functions. Local magnitudes range from -0.5 to 5.1 with a b-value of 1.1. Fault plane solutions of 304 events were derived from P-polarities and SV/P amplitude ratios. More than 70% of the source mechanisms exhibit normal faulting. T-axis trends are highly uniform and oriented WNW-ESE, which is perpendicular to the rift axis and in good agreement with kinematic rift models. The area of highest seismic activity NE of the Rwenzoris is characterized by the occurrence of several earthquake clusters in 5 -20 km depth. They have stable positions throughout time and form elongated pipes with 1-2 km diameter and vertical extensions of 3-5 km. From petrological considerations we presume that these earthquake swarms are triggered by fluids and gasses which originate from a magmatic source below the crust. The existence of a magmatic source within the lithosphere is supported by the detection of a shear-wave velocity reduction in 55-80 km depth from receiver-function analysis and the location of mantle earthquakes at about 60 km. We interpret these observations as indication for an

  4. The Proto-Indian Ocean and a probable paleozoic/mesozoic triradial rift system in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannon, R. T.; Simiyu Siambi, W. M. N.; Karanja, F. M.

    1981-02-01

    established until the displacement of Madagascar away from Africa, probably in the Cretaceous. Accepting the above northern position of Madagascar, the writers also postulate that in East Africa the fault-bounded Karroo depositional basins (troughs) were located within a major triradial rift system extending from Lake Malawi at least as far as eastern Kenya (some 1600 km). This rift system, if valid, was established within Gondwanaland over a period ˜100 m.y. in the Paleozoic/Mesozoic (pre-breakup) in marked contrast to the East African Rift System (classical rift valleys) which is mainly a Cainozoic phenomenon (post-breakup). It is, therefore, considered that there is a fundamental difference in origin between the two rift systems.

  5. African sedimentary basins - Tectonic controls on prospectivity

    SciTech Connect

    Bunter, M.A.G.; Crossley, R.; Hammill, M.; Jones, P.W.; Morgan, R.K.; Needham, D.T.; Spaargaren, F.A. )

    1991-03-01

    An important prerequisite for the evaluation of any sedimentary basin is the understanding of its regional tectonic setting. This is especially so in the underexplored regions of Africa. The majority of African sedimentary basins developed in an extensional setting although some have undergone subsequent compressional or transpressional deformation. The geometry and evolution of these basins is often influenced by basement structure. The extensional phase of basin development controls not only the distribution of syn-rift sediments but also the magnitude of post-rift regional subsidence and the preservation or removal of pre-rift sediments. This has important consequences for exploration models of syn-rift and pre-rift source rocks and reservoirs. Post-rift basin inversion and uplift provide crucial controls on the preservation of mature source rocks and quality of reservoirs. The distribution, nature, timing, and possible mechanisms of this uplift in Africa will be addressed. The hydrocarbon prospectivity of African basis appears to be highly variable although the limited exploration of some regions makes the exact extent of this variability unclear. Basins considered potentially prospective range from late Precambrian to Tertiary in age. The various tectonic controls outlined above, and criteria for the evaluation of underexplored areas, will be demonstrated by reference to basins studied by The Robertson Group. Examples described include basins from Bagon, Angola, Namibia, East Africa, Tertiary Rift and Karoo Rifts, and North Africa (Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco).

  6. Tectonic controls on rift basin morphology: Evolution of the northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Deino, A. L.; Tesha, A. L.; Becker, T.; Ring, U.

    1993-01-01

    Radiometric (K-Ar and Ar-40/Ar-39) age determinations of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, combined with structural, gravity, and seismic reflection data, are used to constrain the age of sedimentary strata contained within the seismically and volcanically active northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift and to characterize changes in basin and flank morphologies with time. Faulting and volcanism within the Tukuyu-Karonga basin began at approximately 8.6 Ma, when sediments were deposited in abroad, initially asymmetric lake basin bounded on its northeastern side by a border fault system with minor topographic relief. Extensions, primarily by a slip along the border fault, and subsequent regional isostatic compensation led to the development of a 5-km-deep basin bounded by broad uplifted flanks. Along the low-relief basin margin opposite border fault, younger stratigraphic sequences commonly onlap older wedge-shaped sequences, although their internal geometry is often progradational. Intrabasinal faulting, flankuplift, and basaltic and felsic volcanism from centers at the northern end of the basin became more important at about 2.5 Ma when cross-rift transfer faults developed to link the Tukuyu-Karonga basin to the Rukwa basin. Local uplift and volcanic construction at the northern end of the basin led to a southeastward shift in the basin's depocenter. Sequence boundaries are commonly erosional along this low-relief (hanging wall) margin and conformable in the deep lake basin. The geometry of stratigraphic sequences and the distribution of the erosion indicate that horizontal and vertical crustal movements both across and along the length of the rift basin led to changes in levels of the lake, irrespective of paleoclimatic fluctuations.

  7. Crustal structure beneath the Kenya Rift from axial profile data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mechie, J.; Keller, Gordon R.; Prodehl, C.; Gaciri, S.; Braile, L.W.; Mooney, W.D.; Gajewski, D.; Sandmeier, K.-J.

    1994-01-01

    Modelling of the KRISP 90 axial line data shows that major crustal thinning occurs along the axis of the Kenya Rift from Moho depths of 35 km in the south beneath the Kenya Dome in the vicinity of Lake Naivasha to 20 km in the north beneath Lake Turkana. Low Pn velocities of 7.5-7.7 km/s are found beneath the whole of the axial line. The results indicate that crustal extension increases to the north and that the low Pn velocities are probably caused by magma (partial melt) rising from below and being trapped in the uppermost kilometres of the mantle. Along the axial line, the rift infill consisting of volcanics and a minor amount of sediments varies in thickness from zero where Precambrian crystalline basement highs occur to 5-6 km beneath the lakes Turkana and Naivasha. Analysis of the Pg phase shows that the upper crystalline crust has velocities of 6.1-6.3 km/s. Bearing in mind the Cainozoic volcanism associated with the rift, these velocities most probably represent Precambrian basement intruded by small amounts of igneous material. The boundary between the upper and lower crusts occurs at about 10 km depth beneath the northern part of the rift and 15 km depth beneath the southern part of the rift. The upper part of the lower crust has velocities of 6.4-6.5 km/s. The basal crustal layer which varies in thickness from a maximum of 2 km in the north to around 9 km in the south has a velocity of about 6.8 km/s. ?? 1994.

  8. Trematodes indicate animal biodiversity in the chilean intertidal and Lake Tanganyika

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, R.F.; Lafferty, K.D.; Kuris, A.M.

    2008-01-01

    Trematode communities in populations of estuarine snails can reflect surrounding animal diversity, abundance, and trophic interactions. We know less about the potential for trematodes to serve as bioindicators in other habitats. Here, we reanalyze data from 2 published studies concerning trematodes, 1 in the Chilean rocky intertidal zone and the other from the East African rift lake, Lake Tanganyika. Our analyses indicate that trematodes are more common in protected areas and that in both habitats they are directly and positively related to surrounding host abundance. This further supports the notion that trematodes in first intermediate hosts can serve as bioindicators of the condition of free-living animal communities in diverse ecosystems. ?? American Society of Parasitologists 2008.

  9. Correlations of Scientific Drillcores and Seismic Reflection Data from Lake Malawi, Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, R. P.; Scholz, C. A.; King, J. W.; Johnson, T. C.; Cohen, A. S.

    2005-12-01

    generated to add synthetic traces to the data set to enhance correlations at the bandwidth of the seismic reflection data. The ongoing development of an age model will constrain the timing of the drastic changes in lake level interpreted from the seismic-drillcore correlation, and will provide a continuous record of hydrologic, limnologic and climate change in the East African Rift System over the past ~1Ma.

  10. Speculations on the origin of the North American Midcontinent rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.; Hinze, W. J.

    1992-01-01

    The Midcontinent rift is an example of lithospheric extension and flood basalt volcanism induced when a new mantle plume arrived near the base of the lithosphere. Very large volumes of basaltic magma were generated and partly erupted before substantial lithospheric extension began. Volcanism continued, along with extension and deep rift subsidence, for the ensuing 15 m.y. Much of the basaltic magma, including some of the earliest flows, was formed by partial melting of isotopically primitive asthenosphere contained in the plume head. The intense but relatively short duration of rifting and magmatism is a result of the dissipation of thermal and mechanical energy in the plume head. As the plume head spread beneath the lithosphere, it stretched the overlying lithosphere radially away from the Lake Superior region, the triple junction of the rift system, and partially melted to form the great volume of basalt and related intrusive rocks of the region. The plume arrived beneath a continent that was under compression as a result of the ongoing Grenville orogeny that affected a large region east of the rift. That compression prevented full continental separation and eventually returned the region to compressional tectonics as the energy of the plume head waned. ?? 1992.

  11. The MOZART Project - MOZAmbique Rift Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonseca, J. F.; Chamussa, J. R.; Domingues, A.; Helffrich, G. R.; Fishwick, S.; Ferreira, A. M.; Custodio, S.; Brisbourne, A. M.; Grobbelaar, M.

    2012-12-01

    Project MOZART (MOZAmbique Rift Tomography) is an ongoing joint effort of Portuguese, Mozambican and British research groups to investigate the geological structure and current tectonic activity of the southernmost tip of the East African Rift System (EARS) through the deployment of a network of 30 broad band seismic stations in Central and Southern Mozambique. In contrast with other stretches of the EARS to the North and with the Kapvaal craton to the West and South, the lithosphere of Mozambique was not previously studied with a dense seismographic deployment on account of past political instability, and many questions remain unanswered with respect to the location and characteristics of the EARS to the south of Tanzania. In recent years, space geodesy revealed the existence of three microplates in and off Mozambique - Victoria, Rovuma, Lwandle - whose borders provide a connection of the EARS to the South West Indian Ridge as required by plate tectonics. However, the picture is still coarse concerning the location of the rift structures. The 2006 M7 Machaze earthquake in Central Mozambique highlighted the current tectonic activity of the region and added a further clue to the location of the continental rift, prompting the MOZART deployment. Besides helping unravel the current tectonics, the project is expected to shed light on the poorly known Mesoproterozoic structure described by Arthur Holmes in 1951 as the Mozambique Belt, and on the mechanisms of transition from stable craton to rifted continental crust, through the development of a tomographic model for the lithosphere. The MOZART network is distributed South of the Zambezi river at average inter-station spaces of the order of 100 km and includes four stations across the border in South Africa. Data exchange was agreed with AfricaArray. The deployment proceeded in two phases in March 2011, and November and December 2011. Decommissioning is foreseen for August 2013. We report preliminary results for this

  12. Diachronism in the late Neoproterozoic-Cambrian arc-rift transition of North Gondwana: A comparison of Morocco and the Iberian Ossa-Morena Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvaro, J. Javier; Bellido, Félix; Gasquet, Dominique; Pereira, M. Francisco; Quesada, Cecilio; Sánchez-García, Teresa

    2014-10-01

    In the northwestern border of the West African craton (North Gondwana), a transition from late Neoproterozoic subduction/collision to Cambrian rift processes was recorded in the Anti-Atlas (Morocco) and in the Ossa-Morena Zone (Iberia). Cambrian rifting affected both Pan-African and Cadomian basements in a stepwise and diachronous way. Subsequently, both areas evolved into a syn-rift margin episodically punctuated by uplift and tilting that precluded Furongian sedimentation. A comparison of sedimentary, volcanic and geodynamic evolution is made in the late Neoproterozoic (Pan-African and Cadomian) belts and Cambrian rifts trying to solve the apparent diachronous (SW-NE-trending) propagation of an early Palaeozoic rifting regime that finally led to the opening of the Rheic Ocean.

  13. Variation in magma volume along the two arms of the Midcontinent Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino, M.; Keller, G. R.; Stein, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    The 2000km-long Midcontinent Rift System (MCRS) has two major arms meeting in the Lake Superior region. One extends southwestward at least as far as central Kansas, and the other extends southeastward through Michigan. Gravity and magnetic anomalies delimit the rift zone because the highly magnetic and dense mafic igneous rocks filling the central grabens of the rift system have strong susceptibility and density contrasts with adjacent rock formations. Because the rift lies hidden beneath gently dipping Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks except in the Lake Superior region, most models of rift structure have been extrapolated from the few areas that have seismic reflection data. A fundamental question is how the two arms differ. The west arm is more pronounced than the east arm in the gravity data. Whether this difference is due to the east arm being buried by the Michigan Basin or reflects magma volume has implications for the formation of the MCRS. Existing gravity models are not standardized across the rift and therefore cannot be used to directly compare the arms. We have thus conducted gravity modeling with a uniform approach and find that the west arm has significantly more magma and that the magma volume along the west arm increases toward Lake Superior. These results imply that there was more spreading along the western arm and that the spreading on this arm decreased southward, consistent with the arms being boundaries of a microplate rotating with respect to the Superior province with its rotation pole to the southwest.

  14. Initiation and development of the Kivu rift segment in Central Africa by reactivating un-favorably oriented structural weaknesses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Smets, Benoît

    2015-04-01

    The Kivu rift region forms the central segment of the western branch of the East African rift system, between the northern termination of the Tanganyika rift and the southern extension of the Edward-George rift. Its structure and geological evolution has been revised in the light of a compilation of existing data on earthquake epicenters, focal depth, focal mechanisms, thermal springs and neotectonic faults. It has long been shown that the link between the Kivu rift basin and the Northern termination of the Tanganyika rift basin forms an accommodation zone in which the Rusizi tectonic depression occupies a central place (Ebinger, 1989). In addition, our compilation suggests that the NNE-trending Kivu rift basin and the N-S northern half of the Tanganyika rift basin initiated as separated, partly overlapping and differently oriented basins. The orientation and development of the Kivu rift basin was controlled by an inferred Mid-Proterozoic crustal shear zone and a Pan-African reverse fault front. It was not optimally oriented with the general (first-order) stress field characterized by roughly E-W extension. In a later stage, the more optimally N-S oriented North Tanganyika basin progressed towards the North and connected to Kivu rift in its middle in a region now occupied by the town of Bukavu. This accommodation zone is marked by Quaternary volcanism, warm thermal springs, frequent and relatively shallow seismicity. The southwestern part of the Kivu rift became progressively abandoned but it is still seismically active and hosts a number of warm thermal springs. This particular architecture influences the present-day stress field. This work is a contribution to the Belgian GeoRisCA project. Ebinger, C.J. 1989. Geometric and kinematic development of border faults and accommodation zones, Kivu-Rusizi Rift, Africa. Tectonics, 8, 117-133

  15. Upper-mantle seismic structure in a region of incipient continental breakup: northern Ethiopian rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastow, Ian D.; Stuart, Graham W.; Kendall, J.-Michael; Ebinger, Cynthia J.

    2005-08-01

    The northern Ethiopian rift forms the third arm of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden triple junction, and marks the transition from continental rifting in the East African rift to incipient oceanic spreading in Afar. We determine the P- and S-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Ethiopian rift using independent tomographic inversion of P- and S-wave relative arrival-time residuals from teleseismic earthquakes recorded by the Ethiopia Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) passive experiment using the regularised non-linear least-squares inversion method of VanDecar. Our 79 broad-band instruments covered an area 250 × 350 km centred on the Boset magmatic segment ~70 km SE of Addis Ababa in the centre of the northern Ethiopian rift. The study area encompasses several rift segments showing increasing degrees of extension and magmatic intrusion moving from south to north into the Afar depression. Analysis of relative arrival-time residuals shows that the rift flanks are asymmetric with arrivals associated with the southeastern Somalian Plate faster (~0.65 s for the P waves; ~2 s for the S waves) than the northwestern Nubian Plate. Our tomographic inversions image a 75 km wide tabular low-velocity zone (δVP~-1.5 per cent, δVS~-4 per cent) beneath the less-evolved southern part of the rift in the uppermost 200-250 km of the mantle. At depths of >100 km, north of 8.5°N, this low-velocity anomaly broadens laterally and appears to be connected to deeper low-velocity structures under the Afar depression. An off-rift low-velocity structure extending perpendicular to the rift axis correlates with the eastern limit of the E-W trending reactivated Precambrian Ambo-Guder fault zone that is delineated by Quaternary eruptive centres. Along axis, the low-velocity upwelling beneath the rift is segmented, with low-velocity material in the uppermost 100 km often offset to the side of the rift with the highest rift flank topography. Our observations from this magmatic

  16. Paleohydrological change in the Turkana Basin at the termination of the African Humid Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonhof, Hubert; van der Lubbe, Jeroen; Joordens, Josephine; Feibel, Craig; Junginger, Annett; Garcin, Yannick; Krause-Nehring, Jacqueline; Beck, Catherine; Johnson, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    One of the most significant features of Holocene climate change in East Africa is the termination of the African Humid Period (AHP), which occurred at ~ 5 ka. Many lakes in the East African Rift System (EARS) were strongly affected by these climatic changes, generally exhibiting much higher lake levels before the termination of the AHP than after. One of the larger lakes in the EARS, is Lake Turkana which was filled to overflow level for much of the early Holocene and experienced a dramatic ~70 meter lake level drop at ~5 ka, turning it into the terminal lake system as it still is today. The precise hydrological response of Lake Turkana to climate change at the termination of the AHP is potentially complex, because it is situated at the cross roads of two large atmospheric convection systems; the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the Congo Air Boundary (CAB). Shifting of these atmospheric systems at the end of the AHP dramatically re-organised spatial rainfall patterns over the Turkana Basin catchment, causing a shift in runoff contributions from the different sub-catchments of the Turkana Basin. Here, we present a Holocene Turkana lake water Sr isotope reconstruction based on the analysis of well-dated lacustrine ostracods and shells, which reveals consistently high Sr isotope values for the early Holocene, followed by a significant, but gradual drop in Sr isotope ratios across the AHP termination. Since lacustrine Sr isotope ratios are a runoff provenance indicator in this setting, such dramatic lacustrine Sr isotope change points towards a significant (climate-driven) reorganisation of runoff contributions from different sub-catchments to Lake Turkana. In more detail, the Sr isotope reconstruction strongly suggests that changes in runoff patterns at the termination of the AHP in the Turkana Basin were gradual. The higher Sr isotope ratios during the Early Holocene indicate significant runoff contribution from a more radiogenic sub-catchment at that time

  17. Applications of surface geology models to subsurface interpretations in continental rifted basins

    SciTech Connect

    Charpentier, P.; Jarrige, J.; Richert, J. )

    1990-05-01

    Field geology surveys done from 1980 to 1987 along the Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, and in the East African rift led us to (1) compare the two in-extension domains in terms of geometry, mechanism and timing of deformation to point out the structural and sedimentary elements useful to interpret seismic and well data and (2) propose geodynamic models to perform a more efficient exploration in other rifted basins. Field observations show that the fault pattern is controlled by the inherited fabric of the basement, which is reactivated during the rifting process. This fabric defines the location of the oblique-to-the-rift transfer zones which cut the deformed area in losangic blocks limited by antithetic normal faults parallel to the rift. Transfer zones exhibit either strike-slip faults or local compressive structures, or horst-and-graben pattern. The interference between the normal faults and the transfer zones induces the typical zigzag pattern in which petroleum traps will have specific setting. These synsedimentary deformations have a direct influence on the reservoir facies changes. The mechanical evolution is characterized by multistage tectonic deformations in which the doming generally approved as a first rifting initiation is not necessary to explain the observed extension. Sinking of the central trough and uplift of the rift shoulders represents the last stage of the rifting process due only to thermal subsidence. This process is important in hydrocarbon generation and migration.

  18. Magnetotelluric and geomagnetic deep-sounding studies in rifts and adjacent areas: constraints on physical processes in the crust and upper mantle

    SciTech Connect

    Hermance, J.F.

    1982-01-01

    Deep electrical studies are reviewed along with other supportive geophysical/geological investigations of five of the major rift zones of the world: the Baikal rift, and Rhine graben, the East African rift, Iceland and the Rio Grande rift. All of these regions exhibit anomalously low values of electrical resistivity, density and seismic velocity, either within the crust itselt or at high levels in the mantle. Deep electrical studies support a model where ascending masses of material from the mantle are intimately coupled to the fractionation of a basalt melt and its accumulation at higher levels within the earth. In Iceland, an interplate rift, the accumulation and chilling of melt at the base of the crust apparently leads to a significant component of crustal underplating whereas in intraplate rifts such as the Rio Grande rift, the emplacement of basaltic magma at high levels may lead to extensive remelting of the crust, triggering eruptive episodes of silicic magmas.

  19. Parallel evolution of opsin gene expression in African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    O'Quin, Kelly E; Hofmann, Christopher M; Hofmann, Hans A; Carleton, Karen L

    2010-12-01

    Phenotypic evolution may occur either through alterations to the structure of protein-coding genes or their expression. Evidence for which of these two mechanisms more commonly contribute to the evolution of a phenotype can be garnered from examples of parallel and convergent evolution. The visual system of East African cichlid fishes is an excellent system with which to address this question. Cichlid fishes from Lakes Malawi (LM) and Victoria together exhibit three diverse palettes of coexpressed opsins and several important protein-coding mutations that both shift spectral sensitivity. Here we assess both opsin expression and protein-coding diversity among cichlids from a third rift lake, Lake Tanganyika (LT). We found that Tanganyikan cichlids exhibit three palettes of coexpressed opsins that largely overlap the short-, middle-, and long-wavelength-sensitive palettes of LM cichlids. Bayesian phenotypic clustering and ancestral state reconstructions both support the parallel evolution of the short- and middle-wavelength palettes among cichlids from LT and LM. In each case, these transitions occurred from different ancestors that expressed the same long-wavelength palette. We also identified similar but distinct patterns of correlated evolution between opsin expression, diet, and lens transmittance among cichlids from LT and LM as well. In contrast to regulatory changes, we identified few functional or potentially functional mutations in the protein-coding sequences of three variable opsins, with the possible exception of the SWS1 (ultraviolet) opsin. These results underscore the important contribution that gene regulation can make to rapid phenotypic evolution and adaptation.

  20. Along-axis transition between narrow and wide rifts: Insights from 3D numerical experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koptev, Alexander; Calais, Eric; Burov, Evgueni; Leroy, Sylvie; Gerya, Taras

    2016-04-01

    Based on performed high-resolution rheologically consistent three-dimensional thermo-mechanical numerical models, we show that there is a significant difference in the influence of the rheological profile on rifting style in the case of dominant active (plume-activated) rifting compared to dominant passive (far-field tectonic stresses) rifting. Narrow rifting, conventionally attributed to cold strong lithosphere in passive rifting mode, may develop in weak hot ultra-stretched lithosphere during active rifting, after plume impingement on a tectonically pre-stressed lithosphere. In that case, initially ultra-wide small-amplitude rift patterns focus, in a few Myr, in large-scale faults that form a narrow rift. Also, wide rifting may develop during ultra-slow spreading of strong lithosphere, and "switch" to the narrow rifting upon plume impingement. For further understanding the mechanisms behind the interactions between the mantle plume and far-field stresses in case of realistic horizontally heterogeneous lithosphere, we have tested our models on the case of the central East African Rift system (EARS). The EARS south of the Ethiopian Rift Valley bifurcates in two branches (eastern, magma-rich and western, magma-poor) surrounding the strong Tanzanian craton. Broad zones of low seismic velocity observed throughout the upper mantle beneath the central part of the EARS are consistent with the spreading of a deep mantle plume. The extensional features and topographic expression of the Eastern rift varies significantly north-southward: in northern Kenya the area of deformation is very wide (some 150-250 km in E-W direction), to the south the rift narrows to 60-70 km, yet further to the south this localized deformation widens again. Here we investigate this transition between localized and wide rifting using thermo-mechanical numerical modeling that couples, in a dynamic sense, the rise of the upper mantle material with the deformation of the African lithosphere below the

  1. Inversion tectonics during continental rifting: The Turkana Cenozoic rifted zone, northern Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; VéTel, W.; Morley, C. K.

    2005-04-01

    Remote sensing data and revised seismic reflection profiles provide new insights about the origin of inverted deformation within Miocene-Recent basins of the Turkana rift (northern Kenya) in the eastern branch of the East African rift system. Contractional structures are dominated by weakly inverted sets of fault blocks within <3.7 Myr old synrift series. Most of reverse extensional faults involve components of oblique-slip, whereas associated hanging wall folds are characterized by large wavelength upright folding. The area of basin inversion is restricted to a 40 × 100 km elongated zone overlying a first-order N140°E trending fault zone in the basement, referred to as the N'Doto transverse fault zone (NTFZ). In the proposed kinematic model, inversion tectonics is assigned to permutation of principal stress axes (σ1/σ2) in addition to the clockwise rotation of extension (from nearly N90°E to N130°E) during Pliocene. The transition from pure extension (Miocene) to a wrench faulting regime (Pliocene) first results in the development of T-type fault networks within a dextrally reactivated shear zone (NTFZ). Inversion tectonics occurred later (<3.7 Ma) in response to a still rotated (˜20°) shortening axis (σ1) oriented N40°E that caused the oblique compression of earlier (NS to N20°E) extensional structures within the NTFZ. The origin of basin inversion and strain concentration in the Turkana rift is thus directly linked to a crustal weakness zone, transverse to the rift axis, and involving steep prerift anisotropies.

  2. Simple shear detachment fault system and marginal grabens in the southernmost Red Sea rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Samson; Ghebreab, Woldai

    2013-11-01

    The NNW-SSE oriented Red Sea rift, which separates the African and Arabian plates, bifurcates southwards into two parallel branches, southeastern and southern, collectively referred to as the southernmost Red Sea rift. The southern branch forms the magmatically and seismo-tectonically active Afar rift, while the less active southeastern branch connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden through the strait of Bab el Mandeb. The Afar rift is characterized by lateral heterogeneities in crustal thickness, and along-strike variation in extension. The Danakil horst, a counterclockwise rotating, narrow sliver of coherent continental relic, stands between the two rift branches. The western margin of the Afar rift is marked by a series of N-S aligned right-lateral-stepping and seismo-tectonically active marginal grabens. The tectonic configuration of the parallel rift branches, the alignment of the marginal grabens, and the Danakil horst are linked to the initial mode of stretching of the continental crust and its progressive deformation that led to the breakup of the once contiguous African-Arabian plates. We attribute the initial stretching of the continental crust to a simple shear ramp-flat detachment fault geometry where the marginal grabens mark the breakaway zone. The rift basins represent the ramps and the Danakil horst corresponds to the flat in the detachment fault system. As extension progressed, pure shear deformation dominated and overprinted the initial low-angle detachment fault system. Magmatic activity continues to play an integral part in extensional deformation in the southernmost Red Sea rift.

  3. Tectonostratigraphic development of the Interior Sudan rifts, Central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McHargue, Tim R.; Heidrick, Tom L.; Livingston, Jack E.

    1992-10-01

    In the Muglad, Melut and Blue Nile rift basins of Interior Sudan three major episodes of rifting, concomitant subsidence and nonmarine/nonvolcanic sedimentation are recognized. These three rifting cycles, which spanned 140 to 95 Ma (Fl), 95 to 65 Ma (F2), and 65 to 30 Ma (F3), resulted in the accumulation of up to 5400, 4200 and 5400 m of sediments, respectively. In the Muglad Basin, the best known and largest of the Sudan rift basins, each rifting cycle consists of (1) a basal sandstone unit (at least near rift margins), that is followed by (2) an upward coarsening section of lacustrine shale grading through marginal lacustrine mudstone and sandstone into fluvial mudstone and sandstone, and (3) a capping blanket of fluvial and alluvial sandstone. The shale-dominated portions of these cycles were deposited in a closed-drainage basin during active faulting. The fluvial and alluvial blanket sands were deposited in an open-drainage basin during the thermal sag phase following each tectonic cycle. The Early Cretaceous F1 intracontinental rifts of Interior Sudan were linked to major rifts/spreading centres in the Proto-South Atlantic by the dextral WSW-trending Central African Shear Zone and to the Indian Ocean via the NW-trending Anza rift in Kenya. In the Muglad Basin, F1 deformation involved high strain rates, rapid syn-rift crustal stretching and subsidence, and the formation of deep, fault-bounded tensional and transtensional pull-apart basins. During the F2 and F3 deformations, the rates of subsidence and stretching were much lower and were focused within smaller geographic areas. Structural elements include asymmetric half-grabens and less common full-grabens with central highs. The three superimposed tectonic episodes resulted in the subsidence of NNW- to NW-trending rift sub-basins; this gave rise to a wide variety of normal fault geometries, displacements, and growth histories. Planar domino-style and listric normal F1 fault arrays are modeled. The rotated F1

  4. Orogenic structural inheritance and rifted passive margin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salazar Mora, Claudio A.; Huismans, Ritske S.

    2016-04-01

    Structural inheritance is related to mechanical weaknesses in the lithosphere due to previous tectonic events, e.g. rifting, subduction and collision. The North and South Atlantic rifted passive margins that formed during the breakup of Western Gondwana, are parallel to the older Caledonide and the Brasiliano-Pan-African orogenic belts. In the South Atlantic, 'old' mantle lithospheric fabric resulting from crystallographic preferred orientation of olivine is suggested to play a role during rifted margin formation (Tommasi and Vauchez, 2001). Magnetometric and gravimetric mapping of onshore structures in the Camamu and Almada basins suggest that extensional faults are controlled by two different directions of inherited older Brasiliano structures in the upper lithosphere (Ferreira et al., 2009). In the South Atlantic Campos Basin, 3D seismic data indicate that inherited basement structures provide a first order control on basin structure (Fetter, 2009). Here we investigate the role of structural inheritance on the formation of rifted passive margins with high-resolution 2D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments. The numerical domain is 1200 km long and 600 km deep and represents the lithosphere and the sublithospheric mantle. Model experiments were carried out by creating self-consistent orogenic inheritance where a first phase of orogen formation is followed by extension. We focus in particular on the role of varying amount of orogenic shortening, crustal rheology, contrasting styles of orogen formation on rifted margin style, and the time delay between orogeny and subsequent rifted passive formation. Model results are compared to contrasting structural styles of rifted passive margin formation as observed in the South Atlantic. Ferreira, T.S., Caixeta, J.M., Lima, F.D., 2009. Basement control in Camamu and Almada rift basins. Boletim de Geociências da Petrobrás 17, 69-88. Fetter, M., 2009. The role of basement tectonic reactivation on the structural evolution

  5. Volcanic architecture of the Afar Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vye, C.; Smith, K.; Bateson, L.; Jordan, C.

    2010-12-01

    A new approach for rapidly mapping large volcanic areas has enabled identification of the spatial relationship between lava flows at the scale of single eruptive units, and the temporal development of faults associated with continental rifting. This integrated geological mapping approach involving remote sensing and three-dimensional image analysis has been applied to the Afar Region of the African Rift. We analyse topography and surface rock chemistry based false colour Landsat, ASTER and Lidar imagery within an immersive three-dimensional visualisation suite using SocetSet and Geovisionary software. This remote data is ground-proofed by the targeted field studies. This method is proving to be particularly successful in producing a subdivision of basaltic lava flows based on surface features and morphology of flow lobes where chemostratigraphic applications fail to identify individual eruption units. The high-resolution record has facilitated investigations of the style and size of fissure eruptions, their source, the processes affecting synchronous basaltic and felsic volcanic activity, and the style and duration of basaltic lava flow emplacement. The success of this technique is particularly significant when working in areas which are difficult to access, and may be applied in the future within environmentally or logistically challenging regions.

  6. Modern and ancient mineralization in the Salton Trough Rift

    SciTech Connect

    McKibben, M.A. . Dept. Earth Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    The Salton Trough of SW North America is an active continental rift, the landward extension of the divergent tectonics of the Gulf of California. Shallow magmatic heat sources, thick porous sediments, tectonic activity and saline lakes interact to yield a variety of Pleistocene to modern hydrothermal systems. The oldest mineralization, the fish Creek evaporite, is a CASO[sub 4] deposit formed by a pre-rift Tertiary marine incursion. 4--5 million years ago the prograding Colorado River delta bisected the Trough, influencing the character of Pliocene and younger hydrothermal activity. The northern part of the Trough became a closed basin filled intermittently by large freshwater lakes. Along the W margin of the rift lies the Modoc hot spring gold deposit. This deposit occurs at the intersection of a range-front growth fault with fossil lake levels, suggesting paleohydrologic control by ancient lakes. Active geothermal systems within the Trough include low-T systems such as Heber and East Mesa, localized along high-angle faults where shallow groundwaters are conductively heated above basement highs. These blind systems have no surface expression and only moderate geophysical anomalies. High-T (> 250 C) active systems occur in sediment filled pull-apart basins developed over spreading center fragments (e.g., Salton Sea, Brawley, Cerro Prieto). These systems exhibit high heat flow, strong gravity and magnetic anomalies, and often have surface manifestations such as Quaternary volcanoes and thermal features. Many contain hot metalliferous brines that have evolved in the saline lake environment of the northern Trough.

  7. Fault evolution in the Potiguar rift termination, equatorial margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Castro, D. L.; Bezerra, F. H. R.

    2015-02-01

    The transform shearing between South American and African plates in the Cretaceous generated a series of sedimentary basins on both plate margins. In this study, we use gravity, aeromagnetic, and resistivity surveys to identify architecture of fault systems and to analyze the evolution of the eastern equatorial margin of Brazil. Our study area is the southern onshore termination of the Potiguar rift, which is an aborted NE-trending rift arm developed during the breakup of Pangea. The basin is located along the NNE margin of South America that faces the main transform zone that separates the North and the South Atlantic. The Potiguar rift is a Neocomian structure located at the intersection of the equatorial and western South Atlantic and is composed of a series of NE-trending horsts and grabens. This study reveals new grabens in the Potiguar rift and indicates that stretching in the southern rift termination created a WNW-trending, 10 km wide, and ~ 40 km long right-lateral strike-slip fault zone. This zone encompasses at least eight depocenters, which are bounded by a left-stepping, en echelon system of NW-SE- to NS-striking normal faults. These depocenters form grabens up to 1200 m deep with a rhomb-shaped geometry, which are filled with rift sedimentary units and capped by postrift sedimentary sequences. The evolution of the rift termination is consistent with the right-lateral shearing of the equatorial margin in the Cretaceous and occurs not only at the rift termination but also as isolated structures away from the main rift. This study indicates that the strike-slip shearing between two plates propagated to the interior of one of these plates, where faults with similar orientation, kinematics, geometry, and timing of the major transform are observed. These faults also influence rift geometry.

  8. Critical and Demographic Effective Population Size of African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Borgu Sector of Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aremu, O. T.; Onadeko, S. A.; Ola-Adams, B. A.; Inah, E. I.

    Effective population size of African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) was estimated using Franklin and Frankham model. Buffalo relative abundance was calculated using a 4x4 km transect constructed in each of the identified six vegetation communities in the Park, which were traversed once a month for a period of 24 months. The results revealed that the relative abundance of Buffalo in the Park was 0.372±0.03 groups km-2 consisting of 51±5.827 groups representing 242±16.309 individuals which consist of 30 adult males and 70 adult females representing 12.40 and 28.93%, respectively of the total Buffalo population in the Park which was considered to be the effective breeding population size. The composition of the population structure was significantly different (p< 0.05). The effective population size of Buffalo in the Park was estimated to be 581.34±4.91 which was above the recommended value of 100 which shows that the Buffalo population in the Park was not threatened by demographic stochasticity factors but rather by illegal human activities in the Park. Measures to improve conservation and management of the existing Buffalo population in the Park are also discussed.

  9. Massive and prolonged deep carbon emissions associated with continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyunwoo; Muirhead, James D.; Fischer, Tobias P.; Ebinger, Cynthia J.; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Sharp, Zachary D.; Kianji, Gladys

    2016-02-01

    Carbon from Earth’s interior is thought to be released to the atmosphere mostly via degassing of CO2 from active volcanoes. CO2 can also escape along faults away from active volcanic centres, but such tectonic degassing is poorly constrained. Here we use measurements of diffuse soil CO2, combined with carbon isotopic analyses to quantify the flux of CO2 through fault systems away from active volcanoes in the East African Rift system. We find that about 4 Mt yr-1 of mantle-derived CO2 is released in the Magadi-Natron Basin, at the border between Kenya and Tanzania. Seismicity at depths of 15-30 km implies that extensional faults in this region may penetrate the lower crust. We therefore suggest that CO2 is transferred from upper-mantle or lower-crustal magma bodies along these deep faults. Extrapolation of our measurements to the entire Eastern rift of the rift system implies a CO2 flux on the order of tens of megatonnes per year, comparable to emissions from the entire mid-ocean ridge system of 53-97 Mt yr-1. We conclude that widespread continental rifting and super-continent breakup could produce massive, long-term CO2 emissions and contribute to prolonged greenhouse conditions like those of the Cretaceous.

  10. Continental breakup in Africa: From superplume to rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, J. O.; Kendall, J. M.; Bastow, I. D.; Stuart, G. W.; Keir, D.; Ayele, A.; Ebinger, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    The low seismic velocities that underlie the East African continent are a ubiquitous feature of global tomographic images, and can readily explain both observed plateau uplift and the volcanic Cenozoic geological record in the region. However, knowledge of the morphology of the African Superplume, and the nature of the mantle flow-field remain incomplete. Over the last decade East Africa has seen many deployments of seismic stations, with the aim of understanding continental breakup in the region. We have combined data from 5 of these experiments, to enable us to resolve high resolution models of upper mantle P- and S- wave velocities, and seismic anisotropy extending from the Red Sea to Kenya. The tomographic inversions highlight a sheet like upwelling beneath this whole region. It is oriented SW-NE and extends from at least the transition zone to the crust. This is most likely associated with upwelling material associated with the African superplume. In the uppermost 100 km, strong P- and S- wave low velocity anomalies underlie the most recent rift related volcanism and are likely associated with high temperatures and partial melt. High quality SKS splitting results, from a variety of back azimuths, reveal depth variations in anisotropy beneath large parts of Ethiopia. The lower layer parallels the SW-NE trend of the low velocity anomaly, suggesting an LPO fabric due to mantle flow. The upper layer parallels structural features at the surface, including aligned melt in the crust/lithosphere at the rift axis, and Pan-African fabrics in regions not characterised by Quaternary volcanism. These results suggest that thermal instabilities arising from upwelling material provides heat for melting and uplift, but rifting may follow pre-existing weaknesses in the lithosphere.

  11. Seismic structure of the uppermost mantle beneath the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, Gordon R.; Mechie, J.; Braile, L.W.; Mooney, W.D.; Prodehl, C.

    1994-01-01

    A major goal of the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP) 1990 experiment was the determination of deep lithospheric structure. In the refraction/wide-angle reflection part of the KRISP effort, the experiment was designed to obtain arrivals to distances in excess of 400 km. Phases from interfaces within the mantle were recorded from many shotpoints, and by design, the best data were obtained along the axial profile. Reflected arrivals from two thin (< 10 km), high-velocity layers were observed along this profile and a refracted arrival was observed from the upper high-velocity layer. These mantle phases were observed on record sections from four axial profile shotpoints so overlapping and reversed coverage was obtained. Both high-velocity layers are deepest beneath Lake Turkana and become more shallow southward as the apex of the Kenya dome is approached. The first layer has a velocity of 8.05-8.15 km/s, is at a depth of about 45 km beneath Lake Turkana, and is observed at depths of about 40 km to the south before it disappears near the base of the crust. The deeper layer has velocities ranging from 7.7 to 7.8 km/s in the south to about 8.3 km/s in the north, has a similar dip as the upper one, and is found at depths of 60-65 km. Mantle arrivals outside the rift valley appear to correlate with this layer. The large amounts of extrusive volcanics associated with the rift suggest compositional anomalies as an explanation for the observed velocity structure. However, the effects of the large heat anomaly associated with the rift indicate that composition alone cannot explain the high-velocity layers observed. These layers require some anisotropy probably due to the preferred orientation of olivine crystals. The seismic model is consistent with hot mantle material rising beneath the Kenya dome in the southern Kenya rift and north-dipping shearing along the rift axis near the base of the lithosphere beneath the northern Kenya rift. This implies lithosphere

  12. P-wave tomography reveals a westward dipping low velocity zone beneath the Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Yongcheol; Nyblade, Andrew A.

    2006-04-01

    Three teleseismic P-wave travel time data sets (KRISP 1985, 1989-1990 Kenya Broadband Seismic Experiment) have been inverted to obtain a new tomographic model of the upper mantle beneath the Kenya Rift. The model shows a 0.5-1.5% low velocity anomaly below the rift extending to about 150 km depth. Below ~150 km depth, the anomaly broadens to the west toward the Tanzania Craton, suggesting a westward dip to the structure. Tomographic images to the south in Tanzania and to the north in Ethiopia also show westward dipping low velocity anomalies below depths of ~150-200 km. The presence of westward dipping low velocity structures along much of the East African rift (Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania) is difficult to explain with a plume model and is consistent with some models of the African Superplume showing anomalous lower and upper mantle structure connecting at mid-mantle depths under the western side of East Africa.

  13. Choice Issue Opens Rift in Missouri: Tax-Credit Scholarships Divide Black Caucus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viadero, Debra

    2006-01-01

    The debate over a school choice bill in the Missouri legislature has opened a bitter rift among some of the state's top Black elected officials and reflects a larger divide among African-Americans over school choice nationwide. The bill, which is similar to programs that are growing in popularity in other states, would provide tax credits for…

  14. The Importance of Magmatic Fluids in Continental Rifting in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Roecker, S. W.; Kianji, G.

    2015-12-01

    The breakup of strong continental lithosphere requires more than far-field tectonic forces. Growing evidence for early-stage cratonic rift zones points to the importance of heat, magma and volatile transfer in driving lithospheric strength reduction. The relative contributions of these processes are fundamental to our understanding of continental rifting. We present a synthesis of results from geological, geochemical and geophysical studies in one of the most seismically and volcanically active sectors of the East African Rift (Kenya-Tanzania border) to investigate the role of fluids during early-stage rifting (<10 Ma). Xenolith data indicate that rifting initiated in initially thick lithosphere. Diffuse soil CO2 flux maxima occur in the vicinity of faults, with carbon isotope values exhibiting a mantle-derived signature. These faults feed aligned sets of hydrothermal springs, which have N2-He-Ar relative abundances also indicating a mantle-derived source. Geochemical and surface faulting information are integrated with subsurface imaging and fault kinematic data derived from the 38-station CRAFTI broadband seismic array. Teleseismic and abundant local earthquakes enable assessment of the state-of-stress and b-values as a function of depth. High Vp/Vs ratios and tomographic imaging suggest the presence of fluids in the crust, with high pore fluid pressures driving failure at lower tectonic stress. Together, these cross-disciplinary data provide compelling evidence that early-stage rifting in East Africa is assisted by fluids exsolved from deep magma bodies, some of which are imaged in the lower crust. We assert that the flux of deep magmatic fluids during rift initiation plays a key role in weakening lithosphere and localizing strain. High surface gas fluxes, fault-fed hydrothermal springs and persistent seismicity highlight the East African Rift as the ideal natural laboratory for investigating fluid-driven faulting processes in extensional tectonic environments.

  15. Triassic rift-related sedimentary basins in northern Chile (24° 29°S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, M.; Bell, C. M.

    1992-10-01

    Triassic rocks in northern Chile (latitude 24°-29°S) include marine and continental rift-related sedimentary deposits, associated with basaltic, andesitic, and silicic volcanic rocks. Five main successions include the deposits of two marine basins (Profeta and San Félix) separated by three continental basins (Cifuncho, La Ternera, and La Coipa). The marine strata include turbidites and debris flow deposits interpreted as coarse-grained fan-delta sediments. The continental sediments include lacustrine fan delta, open lake, braided river, alluvial fan, and sabkha deposits. The widespread fan-delta systems (both marine and lacustrine), together with abrupt lateral and vertical facies discontinuities and large-scale depositional cycles, are indicative of rift-controlled sedimentation. The associated magmatic activity indicates that this rifting was the product of subduction-related extension or strike-slip movement on the active plate margin. Triassic rifting was followed in Late Triassic to Early Jurassic times by widespread thermotectonic subsidence.

  16. Tropical Lake Levels and Their Relationship to Rainfall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricko, M.; Carton, J.; Birkett, C. M.

    2009-12-01

    , except Lake Turkana, have pronounced seasonal cycles, with the largest seasonal cycles occurring for the lakes in high rainfall regions: Kainji in Africa, Balbina in South America, and Lake Tonle Sap in Southeast Asia. With the seasonal cycle removed, the east African rift valley lakes (Turkana, Tanganyika, Mweru) show pronounced rises in 1997-8 in response to the combined effects of El Niño and the Indian Ocean dipole. In contrast, the Central and South American lakes (Nicaragua and Balbina) show significant level decrease for the same time period. There is also evidence of rapid increases in lake level in response to tropical cyclones (Nicaragua and Malawi). At short intraseasonal periods, Lake Tonle Sap shows evidence of a 30-60 day fluctuation driven by rainfall fluctuations partly associated with the Madden-Julian Oscillation. These results show noticeable climate impacts on tropical lake levels.

  17. Biomagnification of DDT and its metabolites in four fish species of a tropical lake.

    PubMed

    Deribe, Ermias; Rosseland, Bjørn Olav; Borgstrøm, Reidar; Salbu, Brit; Gebremariam, Zinabu; Dadebo, Elias; Skipperud, Lindis; Eklo, Ole Martin

    2013-09-01

    The concentrations and biomagnifications of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites were examined in four fish species (Clarias gariepinus, Oreochromis niloticus, Tilapia zillii, and Carassius auratus) from Lake Ziway, Rift Valley, Ethiopia. Paired stomach content analysis, and stable isotope ratio of nitrogen (δ(15)N, ‰) and carbon (δ(13)C, ‰) were used to study the trophic position of the fish species in the lake. 4,4'-DDE, 4,4'-DDT and 4,4'-DDD were the main DDTs identified in the fish samples, with 4,4'-DDE as the most predominant metabolite, with mean concentration ranging from 1.4 to 17.8 ng g(-1) wet weight (ww). The concentrations of DDTs found in fish from Lake Ziway were, in general lower than those found in most studies carried out in other African Lakes. However, the presence of DDT in all tissue samples collected from all fish species in the lake indicates the magnitude of the incidence. Moreover, the observed mean 4,4'-DDE to 4,4'-DDT ratio below 1 in C. auratus from Lake Ziway may suggest a recent exposure of these species to DDT, indicating that a contamination source is still present. 4,4'-DDE was found to biomagnify in the fish species of the