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Sample records for african rift lakes

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The Thermal History of the East African Rift Lakes Region Since the Last Glacial Maximum Using TEX86 Paleothermometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berke, M. A.; Johnson, T. C.; Werne, J. P.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J. S.

    2008-12-01

    We present preliminary results from a study using the TEX86 temperature proxy from sediments of East African Rift Lakes (including Lakes Turkana, Albert, and Malawi) to reconstruct the thermal history of tropical Africa for the last ~ 20,000 years at a subcentennial to multicentennial resolution. The TEX86 proxy, based on tetraether membrane lipids produced by lacustrine Crenarchaeota, has been shown to be successful at recording lake surface temperatures of some large lakes, including Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, while providing unreasonable surface temperatures for lakes that receive a large input of soil material. The East African Rift Lakes are climatically sensitive, with the majority of water loss due to evaporation rather than outflow. Thus, they are useful for paleoclimate studies, being sensitive to even small changes in aridity. Temperature records from the northern and central basins of Lake Malawi agree well and fall within modern surface lake temperatures. A 2.5°C cooling is evident during the Younger Dryas in the northern basin record, with no response seen in the central basin. We are currently investigating mechanisms to explain why both records show a gradual cooling of 3°C during the late Holocene. Lake Albert shows an intriguing two-step cooling during the Younger Dryas, reaching temperatures 2.5°C lower than temperatures preceding or following this interval. The temperature record of Lake Turkana shows an interesting ~ 500 year cyclicity of low temperatures punctuated by abrupt warming events. Lakes Turkana and Albert show TEX86 paleotemperatures considerably lower (8°C cooler in Lake Albert and ~ 4°C cooler in Lake Turkana) than modern surface water temperatures. Although these records appear to fall in the range of temporal variability, these temperature discrepancies may indicate varying Crenarcheotal populations between lakes or other influencing factors.

  6. Nocardiopsis mwathae sp. nov., isolated from the haloalkaline Lake Elmenteita in the African Rift Valley.

    PubMed

    Akhwale, Juliah Khayeli; Göker, Markus; Rohde, Manfred; Schumann, Peter; Boga, Hamadi Iddi; Klenk, Hans-Peter

    2016-03-01

    During a screening for novel and biotechnologically useful bacteria in haloalkaline lakes, strain No.156(T) was isolated from a sediment sample from lake Elmenteita in the African Rift Valley and studied by a polyphasic taxonomic approach. The strain was observed to form yellow aerial and substrate mycelia; optimal growth was found to be at 30-35 °C in salt concentrations of 6-9 % (w/v) and at pH 7-9. The DNA G+C content of the novel strain was 71 mol%. Analysis of 16S rRNA sequences indicated that the isolate belongs to the genus Nocardiopsis with sequence similarities below 98 % to the type strains of all other representatives of the genus. Mycolic acids were not detected in whole cell methanolysates. The peptidoglycan was found to contain meso-diaminopimelic acid as the diamino acid with no diagnostic sugars. The main polar lipids were identified as phosphatidylmethylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylinositol but no diphosphatidylglycerol. The predominant menaquinones were MK-11(H8), MK-11(H6), MK-10(H8) and MK-10(H6). Cellular fatty acids were found to consist of saturated and monounsaturated iso- and anteiso-branched acids with 16-18 C-length, tuberculostearic acid (Me18:0), and straight-chain saturated (16:0, 18:0) acids. These characteristics match those of the genus Nocardiopsis. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and phenotypic characteristics, a novel species with the name Nocardiopsis mwathae is proposed. The type strain is No.156(T) (=DSM 46659(T) = CECT 8552(T)). The INSDC accession number for the 16S rRNA gene sequence of strain No.156(T) is KF976731.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Holocene phreatomagmatic eruptions alongside the densely populated northern shoreline of Lake Kivu, East African Rift: timing and hazard implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Sam; Smets, Benoît; Fontijn, Karen; Rukeza, Montfort Bagalwa; De Marie Fikiri Migabo, Antoine; Milungu, Albert Kyambikwa; Namogo, Didier Birimwiragi; Kervyn, François; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-11-01

    The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) represents the most active zone of volcanism in the western branch of the East African Rift System. While the VVP's two historically active volcanoes, Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo, have built scoria cones and lava flows in the adjacent lava fields, several small phreatomagmatic eruptive centers lie along Lake Kivu's northern shoreline, highlighting the potential for explosive magma-water interaction. Their presence in the densely urbanized Sake-Goma-Gisenyi area necessitates an assessment of their eruptive mechanisms and chronology. Some of these eruptive centers possess multiple vents, and depositional contacts suggest distinct eruptive phases within a single structure. Depositional facies range from polymict tuff breccia to tuff and loose lapilli, often impacted by blocks and volcanic bombs. Along with the presence of dilute pyroclastic density current (PDC) deposits, indicators of magma-water interaction include the presence of fine palagonitized ash, ash aggregates, cross-bedding, and ballistic impact sags. We estimate that at least 15 phreatomagmatic eruptions occurred in the Holocene, during which Lake Kivu rose to its current water level. Radiocarbon dates of five paleosols in the top of volcanic tuff deposits range between ˜2500 and ˜150 cal. year bp and suggest centennial- to millennial-scale recurrence of phreatomagmatic activity. A vast part of the currently urbanized zone on the northern shoreline of Lake Kivu was most likely impacted by products from phreatomagmatic activity, including PDC events, during the Late Holocene, highlighting the need to consider explosive magma-water interaction as a potential scenario in future risk assessments.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Turbidite systems of lacustrine rift basins: Examples from the Lake Kivu and Lake Albert rifts, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xuewei; Scholz, Christopher A.

    2015-07-01

    The Holocene turbidite systems of Lake Kivu and the Pliocene turbidite systems of Lake Albert in the East African Rift were examined using high-resolution 2-D and 3-D seismic reflection data and sediment core information. Based on investigations of seismic facies and lithofacies, several key turbidity-flow depositional elements were observed, including channels, overbank levees with sediment waves, and depositional lobes. Analyses of the sources of the recent and ancient turbidite systems in these two extensional basins suggest that flood-induced hyperpycnal flows are important triggers of turbidity currents in lacustrine rift basins. From source to sink, sediment dispersal, facies distribution, and depositional thickness of the turbidite systems are strongly influenced by rift topography. The Lake Kivu and Lake Albert rifts serve as excellent analogues for understanding the sedimentary patterns of lacustrine turbidites in extensional basins.

  14. Evolutionary model of the oblique rift basins- Central African Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Kenn-Ming; Cheng, I.-Wen; Wu, Jong-Chang

    2016-04-01

    The geometry of oblique-rifting basin is strongly related with the angle (α) between the trend of rift and that of regional major extensional stress. The main purpose of this study is to investigate characteristics of geometry and kinematics of structure and tectono-stratigraphy during basin evolution of Central African Rifts (CAS). In this study, we simulated the formation of oblique-rifting basin with Particle Flow Code 3-Dimensions-(PFC 3D) and compared the simulation results with the tectonic settings of a series of basin in CAS. CAS started to develop in Early Cretaceous (130Ma) and lasted until the Late Cretaceous (85Ma-80Ma). The following collision between the African and Eurasian plates imposed compressional stress on CAS and folded the strata in the rift basins. Although the characteristics of rift basin formation remain controversial, palinspastic sections constructed in this study show that, in the Early Cretaceous, the rift basins are mainly characterized by normal faults and half-grabens. In the Late Cretaceous, the morphology of the rift basins was altered by large-scaled tectonic compression with the active Borogop Fault of regional scale. Also, en echelon trend of normal faults in the basins were measured and the angles between the trend with that of the rift axes of each basin were demonstrated, indicating that the development of CAS was affected by the regional extensional stress with a dextral component during the rifting process and, therefore, the rift basins were formed by oblique-rifting. In this study, we simulated the oblique-rifting basin model of various α with Particle Flow Code 3-Dimensions-(PFC 3D). The main theory of PFC 3D is based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM), in which parameters are applied to every particle in the models. We applied forces acting on both sides of rift axis, which α are 45°, 60°, 75° and 90° respectively, to simulate basin formation under oblique-rifting process. The study results of simulation

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Pore water chemistry of an alkaline rift valley lake: Lake Turkana, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Cerling, T.E.; Johnson, T.C.; Halfman, J.D.; Lister, G.

    1985-01-01

    Lake Turkana is the largest closed basin lake in the African rift system. It has evolved through the past 5000 years to become a moderately alkaline lake. Previous mass balance argument suggest that sulfate is removed from the lake by sulfate reduction in the sediments, and that the lake is accumulating in chloride, sodium, and alkalinity. Studies of pore water from 12 meter cores collected in November 1984 show that sulfate is reduced in the sediment column with a net production of alkalinity. Some sodium is lost from the lake and diffuses into the sediment to maintain charge balance. At several meters depth, organic matter is destroyed by methanogenic bacteria, as shown by the high delta /sup 13/C values for dissolved inorganic carbon. Magnesium and calcium molar ratios change with depth; chloride, sodium, and alkalinity also change with depth.

  1. Hydrogeochemical and lake level changes in the Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alemayehu, Tamiru; Ayenew, Tenalem; Kebede, Seifu

    2006-01-01

    The Ethiopian Rift is characterized by a chain of lakes varying in size, hydrological and hydrogeological settings. The rift lakes and feeder rivers are used for irrigation, soda extraction, commercial fish farming and recreation, and support a wide variety of endemic birds and wild animals. The level of some lakes shows dramatic changes in the last few decades. Lakes Abiyata and Beseka, both heavily impacted by human activities, show contrasting lake level trends: the level of Abiyata has dropped by about 5 m over three decades while Beseka has expanded from an area of 2.5-40 km 2 over the same span of time. Changes in lake levels are accompanied by dilution in ionic concentration of lake Beseka and increase in salinity of lake Abiyata. Although the principal hydrogeochemical process in the rift lakes is controlled by the input and output conditions and carbonate precipitation, anthropogenic factors such as water diversion for irrigation and soda ash extraction played important role. The recent changes appear to have grave environmental consequences on the fragile rift ecosystem, which demands an integrated basin-wide water management practice. This paper demonstrates the drastic changes of lake levels and associated changes in lake chemistry of the two studied lakes. It also gives the regional hydrogeochemical picture of the other rift lakes that do not show significant response due to climate change and human impact.

  2. Experimental Rift Valley fever in West African Dwarf sheep.

    PubMed

    Fagbami, A H; Tomori, O; Fabiyi, A; Isoun, T T

    1975-05-01

    West African Dwarf sheep were challenged with a low mouse brain-passaged Rift Valley fever virus (Ib-AR 55172) isolated from Nigeria. Viraemia, mild febrile reaction and neutralising antibodies were demonstrated in inoculated animals.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Kinematics and Dynamics of Observed Along-Rift Surface Motions in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D. S.; Bangerth, W.; Hager, B. H.; Kreemer, C.; Saria, E.

    2015-12-01

    Geodetic observations of Nubian and Somalian plate interiors measure ~E-W divergence across the East African Rift System (EARS), which, in the absence of slab pull forces, is driven by shallow, lithospheric buoyancy and mantle shear tractions. Previous studies indicate the former drives E-W divergence a with minimal role of basal shear. In addition to E-W extension, an increasing number of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations within the deforming zones of the EARS detect an along-rift component of motion that is inconsistent with our current understanding of the EARS. In this work we investigate the kinematics and dynamics of these along-rift motions. We first calculate a strain rate and velocity field by fitting bi-cubic Bessel splines to new and existing GNSS observations. We resolve regions of localized compression and transtension within individual rifts that are corroborated by independent seismic and geologic observations. In a second step we test the competing roles of shallow topographic stresses and sub-lithospheric basal shear stresses acting beneath individual rifts where we observe along-rift surface motions using the finite element code ASPECT to solve for Stokes flow in a 3D regional geodynamic model. We compare predicted surface motions and mantle flow directions from our geodynamic simulations with our new continuous deformation model based on GNSS observations. Our work indicates topside driven upper mantle flow directions correspond with anomalous along-rift surface motions in several key locations, but our modeled rheological structure impedes basal shear stresses (<1-3 MPa) from driving surface deformation where we observe along-rift surface motions. This work suggests along-rift surface motions are decoupled from asthenospheric flow.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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-7692T, 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-7692T 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. PMID:23991249

  14. 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.

  15. Molecular phylogenetic investigations of the Viviparidae (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda) in the lakes of the Rift Valley area of Africa.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Mita E; Kristensen, Thomas K; Madsen, Henry; Jørgensen, Aslak

    2009-09-01

    The freshwater gastropod family Viviparidae is nearly cosmopolitan, but absent from South America. On the African continent, two genera are recognized; the widespread Bellamya and the monotypic Neothauma, which is confined to Lake Tanganyika. Most of the African Bellamya species are confined to the major lakes of the Rift Valley area in Africa, i.e. Lake Albert, Lake Malawi, Lake Mweru, and Lake Victoria. The phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial (COI and 16S) and nuclear (H3, 18S and 28S) DNA inferred three major lake-clades; i.e. Lake Victoria/Kyoga/Albert, Lake Malawi and Lake Mweru/Bangweulu. The endemic B. rubicunda from Lake Albert and B. unicolor from Lake Kyoga were inferred to be part of the Lake Victoria clade. Bellamya capillata as identified by shell characters was polyphyletic in gene trees. The monophyletic Bellamya species radiation in Lake Malawi was most nearly related to the Lake Victoria/Kyoga/Albert-clade. Taxa from the Zambian lakes, Mweru and Bangweulu, were inferred together and placed ancestral to the other lakes. Neothauma tanganyicense was inferred as the sister-group to the Zambian Bellamya. Within the lake-clades the endemic radiations show very low genetic diversities (0-4.1% in COI), suggesting much faster morphological divergence than molecular divergence. Alternatively, Bellamya in Africa constitutes only a few species with several sub-species or eco-phenotypic morphs. The African viviparids were inferred to be the sister-group to a clade comprising Asian species, and the relatively low genetic diversity between the clades (12.6-15.5% in COI) makes a recent Miocene dispersal event from Asia to Africa much more likely than an ancient Gondwana vicarience distribution.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Geochemical evidence for pre- and syn-rifting lithospheric foundering in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2015-12-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is the archetypal active continental rift. The rift branches cut through the elevated Ethiopian and Kenyan domes and are accompanied by a >40 Myr volcanic record. This record is often used to understand changing mantle dynamics, but this approach is complicated by the diversity of spatio-temporally constrained, geochemically unique volcanic provinces. Various sources have been invoked to explain the geochemical variability across the EARS (e.g. mantle plume(s), both enriched and depleted mantle, metasomatized or pyroxenitic lithosphere, continental crust). Mantle contributions are often assessed assuming adiabatic melting of mostly peridotitic material due to extension or an upwelling thermal plume. However, metasomatized lithospheric mantle does not behave like fertile or depleted peridotite mantle, so this model must be modified. Metasomatic lithologies (e.g. pyroxenite) are unstable compared to neighboring peridotite and can founder into the underlying asthenosphere via ductile dripping. As such a drip descends, the easily fusible metasomatized lithospheric mantle heats conductively and melts at increasing T and P; the subsequent volcanic products in turn record this drip magmatism. We re-evaluated existing data of major mafic volcanic episodes throughout the EARS to investigate potential evidence for lithospheric drip foundering that may be an essential part of the rifting process. The data demonstrate clearly that lithospheric drip melting played an important role in pre-flood basalt volcanism in Turkana (>35 Ma), high-Ti "mantle plume-derived" flood basalts and picrites (HT2) from NW Ethiopia (~30 Ma), Miocene shield volcanism on the E Ethiopian Plateau and in Turkana (22-26 Ma), and Quaternary volcanism in Virunga (Western Rift) and Chyulu Hills (Eastern Rift). In contrast, there is no evidence for drip melting in "lithosphere-derived" flood basalts (LT) from NW Ethiopia, Miocene volcanism in S Ethiopia, or Quaternary

  19. 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

  20. Historical volcanism and the state of stress in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wadge, Geoffrey; Biggs, Juliet; Lloyd, Ryan; Kendall, Michael

    2016-09-01

    Crustal extension at the East African Rift System (EARS) should, as a tectonic ideal, involve a stress field in which the direction of minimum horizontal stress is perpendicular to the rift. A volcano in such a setting should produce dykes and fissures parallel to the rift. How closely do the volcanoes of the EARS follow this? We answer this question by studying the 21 volcanoes that have erupted historically (since about 1800) and find that 7 match the (approximate) geometrical ideal. At the other 14 volcanoes the orientation of the eruptive fissures/dykes and/or the axes of the host rift segments are oblique to the ideal values. To explain the eruptions at these volcanoes we invoke local (non-plate tectonic) variations of the stress field caused by: crustal heterogeneities and anisotropies (dominated by NW structures in the Protoerozoic basement), transfer zone tectonics at the ends of offset rift segments, gravitational loading by the volcanic edifice (typically those with 1-2 km relief) and magmatic pressure in central reservoirs. We find that the more oblique volcanoes tend to have large edifices, large eruptive volumes and evolved and mixed magmas capable of explosive behaviour. Nine of the volcanoes have calderas of varying ellipticity, 6 of which are large, reservoir-collapse types mainly elongated across rift (e.g. Kone) and 3 are smaller, elongated parallel to the rift and contain active lava lakes (e.g. Erta Ale), suggesting different mechanisms of formation and stress fields. Nyamuragira is the only EARS volcano with enough sufficiently well-documented eruptions to infer its long-term dynamic behaviour. Eruptions within 7 km of the volcano are of relatively short duration (<100 days), but eruptions with more distal fissures tend to have greater obliquity and longer durations, indicating a changing stress field away from the volcano. There were major changes in long-term magma extrusion rates in 1977 (and perhaps in 2002) due to major along-rift dyking

  1. 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.

  2. Modeling fault kinematics, segment interaction and transfer zone geometry as a function of pre-existing fabrics: the Albertine rift, East African Rift System.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aanyu, Kevin; Koehn, Daniel

    2010-05-01

    This study focuses on the development of the Rwenzori Mountains, an uplift horst block within the northern-most segment of the western branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). Attention is drawn to the role of pre-existing crustal weaknesses left behind by Proterozoic mobile belts that pass around cratonic Archean shields namely the Tanzanian Craton to the southeast and the Congo craton to the northwest. We study how the southward propagating sub-segment of the rift that contains Lake Albert to the north interacts with the northward propagating sub-segment that contains the lakes Edward and George and how this interaction produces the structural geometries observed within and around the Rwenzori horst block. Analogue experiments are used to simulate behavior of the upper crust with pre-cut rubber strips of varying overstep/overlap, placed oblique and/or orthogonal to the extension vector. The points of connection to the basal sheet present velocity discontinuities to localize deformation below the sand. Surface geometry of the developing rifts and section cuts are used to study the kinematics that result from the given boundary conditions. In general we try to model two parallel rifts that propagate towards each other and interact. Results show that greater overstep of rifts produces an oblique shear-dominated transfer zone with deep grabens (max.7.0km) in the adjoining segments. Smaller overlap ends in extension-dominated transfer, offset rift segments without oblique transfer faults to join two adjacent rift arms and produces moderately deep grabens (max.4.6km). When overlap doubles the overstep (SbR5), rifts propagate sub-orthogonal to the extension direction in a rotation-dominated transfer and form shallow valleys (max.2.9km). Whether a block like the Rwenzori Mountains is captured and rotates, depends on the overlap/overstep ratio where the rotation direction of a captured block is determined by the sense of overlap (right- or left-lateral). Fault

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Hydrothermal Petroleum in Active Continental Rift: Lake Chapala, Western Mexico, Initial Results.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarate-del Valle, P. F.; Simoneit, B. R.; Ramirez-Sanchez, H. U.

    2003-12-01

    Lake Chapala in western Mexico is located partially in the Citala Rift, which belongs to the well-known neotectonic Jalisco continental triple junction. The region is characterized by active volcanism (Ceboruco, Volcan de Fuego), tectonic (1995 earthquake, M=8, 40-50 mm to SW) and hydrothermal (San Juan Cosala & Villa Corona spas and La Calera sinter deposit) activities. Hydrothermal petroleum has been described in active continental rift (East African Rift) and marine spreading zones (Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California). In 1868 the Mexican local press reported that manifestations of bitumen were appearing in front of the Columba Cap on the mid south shore of Lake Chapala. This bitumen is linked to the lake bottom and when the water level decreases sufficiently it is possible to access these tar bodies as islands. Because of these manifestations the Mexican oil company (PEMEX) drilled an exploration well (2,348m) at Tizapan El Alto without success. Hydrothermal activity is evident in the tar island zone as three in-shore thermal springs (26.8 m depth, 48.5° C, pH 7.8 and oriented N-S). The preliminary analyses by GC-MS of the tar from these islands indicate hydrothermal petroleum derived from lake sedimentary organic matter, generated at low temperatures (150° -200° C). The tars contain no n-alkanes, no PAH or other aromatics, but a major UCM of branched and cyclic hydrocarbons and mature biomarkers derived from lacustrine biota. The biomarkers consist of mainly 17α (H),21β (H)-hopanes ranging from C27 to C34 (no C28), gammacerane, tricyclic terpanes (C20-C26), carotane and its cracking products, and drimanes (C14-C16). The biomarker composition indicates an organic matter source from bacteria and algae, typical of lacustrine ecosystems. 14C dating of samples from two tar islands yielded ages exceeding 40 kyrs, i.e., old carbon from hydrothermal/tectonic remobilization of bitumen from deeper horizons to the surface. The occurrence of hydrothermal petroleum in

  8. 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

  9. IDEAL Symposium on the East African Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, T. C.; Kelts, K.; Lehman, J. T.; Wuest, A.

    A vast array of interdisciplinary problems presented by the African Great Lakes were highlighted at the International Symposium on the Limnology, Climatology and Paleoclimatology of the East African Lakes, organized by the International Decade for the East African Lakes (IDEAL) February 17-21 in Jinja, Uganda. Approximately 125 scientists attended from North America, Europe, Africa, and New Zealand. Jinja is located on the northern shore of Lake Victoria at the head-waters of the Nile and is the site of the host institution for the symposium, the Uganda Freshwater Fisheries Research Organization (UFFRO). The conveners of the symposium were Tom Johnson of Duke University, George Kitaka of UNESCO-ROSTA, and Eric Odada of the University of Nairobi.

  10. 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.

  11. Crustal and mantle structure and anisotropy beneath the incipient segments of the East African Rift System: Preliminary results from the ongoing SAFARI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.; Liu, K. H.; Massinque, B.; Mdala, H. S.; moidaki, M.; Mutamina, D. M.; Atekwana, E. A.; Ingate, S. F.; Reusch, A.; Barstow, N.

    2013-12-01

    Despite the vast wealth of research conducted toward understanding processes associated with continental rifting, the extent of our knowledge is derived primarily from studies focused on mature rift systems, such as the well-developed portions of the East African Rift System (EARS) north of Lake Malawi. To explore the dynamics of early rift evolution, the SAFARI (Seismic Arrays for African Rift Initiation) team deployed 50 PASSCAL broadband seismic stations across the Malawi, Luangwa, and Okavango rifts of the EARS during the summer of 2012. The cumulative length of the profiles is about 2500 km and the planned recording duration is 2 years. Here we present the preliminary results of systematic analyses of data obtained from the first year of acquisition for all 50 stations. A total of 446 high-quality shear-wave splitting measurements using PKS, SKKS, and SKS phases from 84 teleseismic events were used to constrain fast polarization directions and splitting times throughout the region. The Malawi and Okavango rifts are characterized by mostly NE trending fast directions with a mean splitting time of about 1 s. The fast directions on the west side of the Luangwa Rift Zone are parallel to the rift valley, and those on the east side are more N-S oriented. Stacking of approximately 1900 radial receiver functions reveals significant spatial variations of both crustal thickness and the ratio of crustal P and S wave velocities, as well as the thickness of the mantle transition zone. Stations situated within the Malawi rift demonstrate a southward increase in observed crustal thickness, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the Malawi rift originated at the northern end of the rift system and propagated southward. Both the Okavango and Luangwa rifts are associated with thinned crust and increased Vp/Vs, although additional data is required at some stations to enhance the reliability of the observations. Teleseismic P-wave travel-time residuals show a delay of about

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Magmatic lithospheric heating and weakening during continental rifting: A simple scaling law, a 2-D thermomechanical rifting model and the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmeling, Harro; Wallner, Herbert

    2012-08-01

    Continental rifting is accompanied by lithospheric thinning and decompressional melting. After extraction, melt is intruded at shallower depth thereby heating and weakening the lithosphere. In a feedback mechanism this weakening may assist rifting and melt production. A one-dimensional kinematic lithospheric thinning model is developed including decompressional melting and intrusional magma deposition. The intrusional heating effect is determined as a function of thinning rate and amount, melting parameters, potential temperature, and the depth range of emplacement. The temperature increases approximately proportionally to the square root of the thinning rate and to the square of the supersolidus potential temperature. Simple scaling laws are derived allowing predicting these effects and the surface heat flux for arbitrary scenarios. Two-dimensional thermomechanical extension models are carried out for a multicomponent (crust-mantle) two-phase (melt-matrix) system with a rheology based on laboratory data including magmatic weakening. In good agreement with the 1-D kinematic models it is found that the lithosphere may heat up by several 100 K. This heating enhances viscous weakening by one order of magnitude or more. In a feedback mechanism rifting is dynamically enforced, leading to a significant increase of rift induced melt generation. Including the effect of lateral focusing of magma toward the rift axis the laws are applied to different segments of the East African Rift System. The amount of intrusional heating increases with maturity of the rift from O(10 K) to up to 200 K or 400 K at the Afar Rift depending on the depth range of the magmatic emplacement.

  15. Mapping landslide processes in the North Tanganyika - Lake Kivu rift zones: towards a regional hazard assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dewitte, Olivier; Monsieurs, Elise; Jacobs, Liesbet; Basimike, Joseph; Delvaux, Damien; Draida, Salah; Hamenyimana, Jean-Baptiste; Havenith, Hans-Balder; Kubwimana, Désiré; Maki Mateso, Jean-Claude; Michellier, Caroline; Nahimana, Louis; Ndayisenga, Aloys; Ngenzebuhoro, Pierre-Claver; Nkurunziza, Pascal; Nshokano, Jean-Robert; Sindayihebura, Bernard; Philippe, Trefois; Turimumahoro, Denis; Kervyn, François

    2015-04-01

    The mountainous environments of the North Tanganyika - Lake Kivu rift zones are part of the West branch of the East African Rift. In this area, natural triggering and environmental factors such as heavy rainfalls, earthquake occurrences and steep topographies favour the concentration of mass movement processes. In addition anthropogenic factors such as rapid land use changes and urban expansion increase the sensibility to slope instability. Until very recently few landslide data was available for the area. Now, through the initiation of several research projects and the setting-up of a methodology for data collection adapted to this data-poor environment, it becomes possible to draw a first regional picture of the landslide hazard. 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 the region in terms of recurring impact on the populations, causing fatalities every year. Many landslides are observed each year in the whole region, and their occurrence is clearly linked to complex topographic, lithological and vegetation signatures coupled with heavy rainfall events, which is the main triggering factor. Here we present the current knowledge of the various slope processes present in these equatorial environments. A particular attention is given to urban areas such as Bukavu and Bujumbura where landslide threat is particularly acute. Results and research perspectives on landslide inventorying, monitoring, and susceptibility and hazard assessment are presented.

  16. 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

  17. Orthophosphate turnover in East African lakes.

    PubMed

    Peters, Robert Henry; MacIntyre, Sally

    1976-12-01

    Turnover rates of (32)P-PO4 and concentrations of orthophosphate as soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) were measured in five East African waters. Rapid incorporation of (32)P-PO4 by the seston and orthophosphate concentrations below the limit of detectibility were found in Lakes Elmenteita, Naivasha, and Naivasha Crater Lake. Turnover was slow and orthophosphate concentration high in both Lake Nakuru and the Crescent Island Crater basin of Lake Naivasha. Further experiments in Lake Nakuru indicated that colloidal binding of orthophosphate was limited and that particles retained by an 8.0 μ filter incorporated 66% as much tracer as particles retained by a 0.1 μ filter. These experiments strengthen our conclusion that a large quantity of orthophosphate is available for algal use in Lake Nakuru.

  18. Influence of pre-existing fabrics on fault kinematics and rift geometry of interacting segments: Analogue models based on the Albertine Rift (Uganda), Western Branch-East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aanyu, K.; Koehn, D.

    2011-02-01

    This study aims at showing how far pre-existing crustal weaknesses left behind by Proterozoic mobile belts, that pass around cratonic Archean shields (Tanzania Craton to the southeast and Congo Craton to the northwest), control the geometry of the Albertine Rift. Focus is laid on the development of the Lake Albert and Lake Edward/George sub-segments and between them the greatly uplifted Rwenzori Mountains, a horst block located within the rift and whose highest peak rises to >5000 m above mean sea level. In particular we study how the southward propagating Lake Albert sub-segment to the north interacts with the northward propagating Lake Edward/George sub-segment south of it, and how this interaction produces the structures and geometry observed in this section of the western branch of the East African Rift, especially within and around the Rwenzori horst. We simulate behaviour of the upper crust by conducting sandbox analogue experiments in which pre-cut rubber strips of varying overstep/overlap connected to a basal sheet and oriented oblique and/or orthogonal to the extension vector, are placed below the sand-pack. The points of connection present velocity discontinuities to localise deformation, while the rubber strips represent ductile domain affected by older mobile belts. From fault geometry of developing rift segments in plan view and section cuts, we study kinematics resulting from a given set of boundary conditions, and results are compared with the natural scenario. Three different basal model-configurations are used to simulate two parallel rifts that propagate towards each other and interact. Wider overstep (model SbR3) produces an oblique transfer zone with deep grabens (max. 7.0 km) in the adjoining segments. Smaller overlap (model SbR4) ends in offset rift segments without oblique transfer faults to join the two, and produces moderately deep grabens (max. 4.6 km). When overlap doubles the overstep (model SbR5), rifts propagate sub-orthogonal to the

  19. Passive rifting of thick lithosphere in the southern East African Rift: Evidence from mantle transition zone discontinuity topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, Cory A.; Liu, Kelly H.; Chindandali, Patrick R. N.; Massingue, Belarmino; Mdala, Hassan; Mutamina, Daniel; Yu, Youqiang; Gao, Stephen S.

    2016-11-01

    To investigate the mechanisms for the initiation and early-stage evolution of the nonvolcanic southernmost segments of the East African Rift System (EARS), we installed and operated 35 broadband seismic stations across the Malawi and Luangwa rift zones over a 2 year period from mid-2012 to mid-2014. Stacking of over 1900 high-quality receiver functions provides the first regional-scale image of the 410 and 660 km seismic discontinuities bounding the mantle transition zone (MTZ) within the vicinity of the rift zones. When a 1-D standard Earth model is used for time-depth conversion, a normal MTZ thickness of 250 km is found beneath most of the study area. In addition, the apparent depths of both discontinuities are shallower than normal with a maximum apparent uplift of 20 km, suggesting widespread upper mantle high-velocity anomalies. These findings suggest that it is unlikely for a low-velocity province to reside within the upper mantle or MTZ beneath the nonvolcanic southern EARS. They also support the existence of relatively thick and strong lithosphere corresponding to the widest section of the Malawi rift zone, an observation that is consistent with strain localization models and fault polarity and geometry observations. We postulate that the Malawi rift is driven primarily by passive extension within the lithosphere attributed to the divergent rotation of the Rovuma microplate relative to the Nubian plate, and that contributions of thermal upwelling from the lower mantle are insignificant in the initiation and early-stage development of rift zones in southern Africa.

  20. The life cycle of continental rifting as a focus for U.S.-African scientific collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.; Atekwana, Estella A.; Keller, G. Randy; Klemperer, Simon L.

    2004-11-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) provides the unique opportunity found nowhere else on Earth, to investigate extensional processes from incipient rifting in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, to continental breakup and creation of proto-oceanic basins 3000 km to the north in the Afar Depression in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.The study of continental rifts is of great interest because they represent the initial stages of continental breakup and passive margin development, they are sites for large-scale sediment accumulation, and their geomorphology may have controlled human evolution in the past and localizes geologic hazards in the present. But there is little research that provides insights into the linkage between broad geodynamic processes and the life cycle of continental rifts: We do not know why some rifts evolve into mid-ocean ridges whereas others abort their evolution to become aulacogens. Numerous studies of the EARS and other continental rifts have significantly increased our understanding of rifting processes, but we particularly lack studies of the embryonic stages of rift creation and the last stages of extension when continental breakup occurs.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Assessment of conventional oil resources of the East African Rift Province, East Africa, 2016

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brownfield, Michael E.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Klett, Timothy R.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Finn, Thomas M.; Le, Phuong A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.

    2017-03-27

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean conventional resources of 13.4 billion barrels of oil and 4.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in the East African Rift Province of east Africa.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. The North American Midcontinent rift beneath Lake Superior from GLIMPCE seismic reflection profiling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.

    1989-01-01

    The Midcontinent rift system is a 1.1-b.y.-old structure extending from Kansas, through the Lake Superior region, and into southern Michigan. The rift is filled with thick sequences of basaltic volcanic rocks and clastic sediments. For most of its extent it is buried beneath Paleozoic rocks but can be traced by its strong gravity and magnetic anomalies. Seismic reflection surveys by the Great Lakes International Multidisciplinary Program on Crustal Evolution in 1986 imaged much of the deep structure of the rift beneath the lake in detail. The reflection profiles across the rift reveal a deep, asymmetrical central graben whose existence and magnitude was not previously documented. They show that, in addition to crustal sagging documented by previous investigations, normal faulting played a major role in subsidence of the axial region of the rift. The sense of asymmetry of the central graben changes along the trend of the rift, documenting the segmented nature of the structure and suggesting the existence of accommodation zones between the segments. -from Authors

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Investigations into early rift development and geothermal resources in the Pyramid Lake fault zone, Western Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Eisses, A.; Kell, A.; Kent, G.; Driscoll, N.; Karlin, R.; Baskin, R.; Louie, J.; Pullammanappallil, S.

    2016-08-01

    A. K. Eisses, A. M. Kell, G. Kent, N. W. Driscoll, R. E. Karlin, R. L. Baskin, J. N. Louie, S. Pullammanappallil, 2010, Investigations into early rift development and geothermal resources in the Pyramid Lake fault zone, Western Nevada: Abstract T33C-2278 presented at 2010 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 13-17 Dec.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. Upper mantle structure of the Congo Craton and the East African Rift from full wave ambient noise tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emry, E.; Shen, Y.; Nyblade, A.; Bao, X.; Flinders, A. F.

    2015-12-01

    The relationship between lithospheric structure, mantle flow, and continental rifting along the East African Rift is the subject of ongoing discussion. The upper mantle beneath the Main Ethiopian Rift and the East African Rift farther south has been seismically imaged following the deployment of several temporary regional arrays. However, due to uneven distribution of seismic arrays, key questions regarding a connection between these upper mantle anomalies at the Turkana Depression and the effect that the thick Congo Craton has on diverting upwelling material towards the East African Rift are poorly resolved. We use overlapping records from several temporary and permanent broadband seismic arrays (1980-2014) located throughout the African continent and surrounding regions in order to image the upper mantle beneath the East African Rift and the Congo Craton where regional seismic arrays have not been deployed. We do this by seismic ambient noise tomography using the recently developed frequency-time normalization (FTN) method to extract empirical Green's functions (EGFs) at periods of 7-250 seconds. We cross correlate the normalized continuous records and stack them to obtain EGFs for each temporally coincident station-station pair. We simulate wave propagation through a spherical Earth using a finite-difference method, measure phase delay times between synthetics and EGFs, and invert them for velocity perturbations with 3D Rayleigh wave sensitivity kernels. We will present results from full-wave ambient noise inversions that illuminate upper mantle structure throughout the continent, with particular focus on the Congo Craton and northern sections of the East African Rift System.

  7. 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.

  8. Small-scale thermal upwellings under the northern East African Rift from S travel time tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    There is a long-standing debate over how many and what types of plumes underlie the East African Rift and whether they do or do not drive its extension and consequent magmatism and seismicity. Here we present a new tomographic study of relative teleseismic S and SKS residuals that expands the resolution from previous regional studies below the northern East African Rift to image structure from the surface to the base of the transition zone. The images reveal two low-velocity clusters, below Afar and west of the Main Ethiopian Rift, that extend throughout the upper mantle and comprise several smaller-scale (about 100 km diameter), low-velocity features. These structures support those of our recent P tomographic study below the region. The relative magnitude of S to P residuals is around 3.5, which is consistent with a predominantly thermal nature of the anomalies. The S and P velocity anomalies in the low-velocity clusters can be explained by similar excess temperatures in the range of 100-200°C, consistent with temperatures inferred from other seismic, geochemical, and petrological studies. Somewhat stronger VS anomalies below Afar than west of the Main Ethiopian Rift may include an expression of volatiles and/or melt in this region. These results, together with a comparison with previous larger-scale tomographic models, indicate that these structures are likely small-scale upwellings with mild excess temperatures, rising from a regional thermal boundary layer at the base of the upper mantle.

  9. 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

  10. Seismicity Patterns and Magmatic Processes in the Rwenzori Region, East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindenfeld, M.; Rumpker, G.; Schmeling, H.; Wallner, H.

    2010-12-01

    The 5000m high Rwenzori Mountains are situated within the western branch of the East African Rift System (EARS), at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They represent a basement block located within the rift valley whose origin and relation to the evolution of the EARS are highly puzzling. During a recent seismological campaign we located more than 800 earthquakes per month with magnitudes ranging from 0.5 to 5.1. Vertical sections across the northern parts of the Rwenzoris show, that west of the mountains (towards the rift valley) the focal depths range from 10 to 20 km, whereas the hypocentres go as deep as 30 km on the eastern side. This is in good agreement with Moho-depths derived from receiver functions and implies that all of these events are located within the crust. However, about 30 km east of the northern mountain ridge we located a cluster of 7 events that exhibit an anomalous depth of about 60 km. We can confidently locate these earthquakes within the mantle lithosphere beneath the rift. The existence of earthquakes at this depth is enigmatic, especially within a rifting regime were one expects hot and weak material relatively close to the surface. We think that these events are possibly related to the evolution of the Rwenzori Mountains. A recent hypothesis to explain the extreme uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains is rift induced delamination (RID) of mantle lithosphere. Here we show that the RID-process is indeed capable of explaining the seismic energy release in the mantle. However, in view of the specific hypocentral location of the event cluster, magmatic impregnation processes associated with dyke propagation into the mantle lithosphere may be a more realistic cause for seismic radiation at the observed depth. Crustal earthquakes northeast of the Rwenzori area are relocated with a double-difference algorithm to improve the spatial resolution of seismicity pattern. Several event clusters in the vicinity of the Fort

  11. Stratigraphic and structural evolution of the Selenga Delta Accommodation Zone, Lake Baikal Rift, Siberia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholz, C.A.; Hutchinson, D.R.

    2000-01-01

    Seismic reflection profiles from the Lake Baikal Rift reveal extensive details about the sediment thickness, structural geometry and history of extensional deformation and syn-rift sedimentation in this classic continental rift. The Selenga River is the largest single source of terrigenous input into Lake Baikal, and its large delta sits astride the major accommodation zone between the Central and South basins of the lake. Incorporating one of the world's largest lacustrine deltas, this depositional system is a classic example of the influence of rift basin structural segmentation on a major continental drainage. More than 3700 km of deep basin-scale multi-channel seismic reflection (MCS) data were acquired during the 1989 Russian and the 1992 Russian–American field programs. The seismic data image most of the sedimentary section, including pre-rift basement in several localities. The MCS data reveal that the broad bathymetric saddle between these two major half-graben basins is underlain by a complex of severely deformed basement blocks, and is not simply a consequence of long-term deltaic deposition. Maximum sediment thickness is estimated to be more than 9 km in some areas around the Selenga Delta. Detailed stratigraphic analyses of the Selenga area MCS data suggest that modes of deposition have shifted markedly during the history of the delta. The present mode of gravity- and mass-flow sedimentation that dominates the northern and southern parts of the modern delta, as well as the pronounced bathymetric relief in the area, are relatively recent developments in the history of the Lake Baikal Rift. Several episodes of major delta progradation, each extending far across the modern rift, can be documented in the MCS data. The stratigraphic framework defined by these prograding deltaic sequences can be used to constrain the structural as well as depositional evolution of this part of the Baikal Rift. An age model has been established for this stratigraphy, by

  12. Evolution of the SW African passive continental margin during the post-rift phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressel, Ingo; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Götze, Hans-Jürgen; Reichert, Christian

    2014-05-01

    The tectonic evolution of the SW African margin and the breakup of the South Atlantic Ocean are still under debate. Furthermore, there are economic interests in terms of hydrocarbon resources. In particular, the understanding of the subsidence history at the SW African passive continental margin can help to investigate the evolution of this margin. For this reason, we aim to reconstruct paleotopographies for three time steps during the post-rift phase (112 Ma to present day). These three time steps are: Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (67 Ma), Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (93 Ma) and start post-rift (112 Ma). We use a recent regional scale 3D structural model (Maystrenko et al., 2013) as base for our subsidence analysis. This model includes the upper mantle, the crystalline crust, four sedimentary units as well as the water column. The sedimentary units comprise sediments of the (1) Cenozoic, (2) base Turonian-base Cenozoic, (3) base Aptian-base Turonian and (4) pre-Aptian sediments. Therefore, our subsidence reconstruction has the particular advantage that we include as much present day information as possible. In order to reconstruct paleotopographies we calculate the subsidence components separately. On the one hand we determine the thermal subsidence due to cooling of the lithosphere. On the other hand, the load induced subsidence exerted by the preserved sedimentary cover is calculated by applying a backstripping method which considers local isostatic rebound and decompaction. Both the amount of thermal subsidence and the amount of load induced subsidence are then subtracted from the total subsidence which is nowadays observed. Subtracting these individual subsidence components leads to the paleotopographies. The paleotopographies provide information about the long-term behavior of the margin area since the beginning of the post-rift phase. Moreover, the paleotopographies provide the opportunity to estimate vertical movements which have occurred during the post-rift

  13. 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.

  14. Investigations into early rift development and geothermal resources in the Pyramid Lake fault zone, Western Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisses, A. K.; Kell, A. M.; Kent, G.; Driscoll, N. W.; Karlin, R. E.; Baskin, R. L.; Louie, J. N.; Pullammanappallil, S.

    2010-12-01

    The Pyramid Lake fault zone is located in a critical region of the Northern Walker Lane where transtension is accommodated through a complex pattern of dextral strike-slip and normal faulting. To the north, Sierra Nevada microplate motion is accommodated through a series of mostly dextral strike-slip faults (e.g., Honey Lake fault zone); in contrast to this more straightforward geometry, transtension to the south is expressed through a series of north-south-striking, normal fault bounded basins (e.g., Lake Tahoe basin) with small amounts of opening or fanning to the north that is accommodated through north-east striking sinstral faulting. The Pyramid Lake basin straddles this critical boundary between these different domains within the Northern Walker Lane, and thus, forms an ideal laboratory to study key aspects in the development of incipient rifting within transtensional systems (i.e., early Gulf of California). In June 2010, the University of Nevada, Reno, Scripps institution of Oceanography, and the USGS, Salt Lake City conducted a ten-day-long, high-resolution seismic CHIRP survey of Pyramid Lake. During this expedition, more than 500 line-kilometers of data were collected, spanning all regions of the lake. The Pyramid Lake fault, which enters the basin from the south, extending along the west side of the lake, near the shoreline, changes from a dextral strike-slip fault system south of the basin, to include a down-to-the-east normal component as it approaches and enters the lake. As the Pyramid Lake fault dies near mid-lake, the East Pyramid Lake fault becomes dominant and displays down-to-the-west motion; thereafter, splays into a series of dextral dip-slip faults on the northwest end of the lake. The Pyramid Lake basin shows strong segmentation and distinct polarity flips between the north and south ends of the lake. This region provides a natural laboratory to understand how strain is partitioned and how it evolves through time within a proto-rift that is

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Istopically Defined Source Reservoirs of Primitive Magmas in the East African Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, T. O.; Furman, T.; Hanan, B.

    2005-12-01

    Extension within the East African Rift is a function of the interaction between plume-driven uplift and far-field stresses associated with plate tectonic processes. Geochemical and isotopic investigation of primitive basalts from the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) reveals systematic spatial variations in the contributions from distinct and identifiable source reservoirs that, in turn help identify the mechanisms by which along-axis rifting has progressed. The Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic characteristics of MER basalts can be described by a three-component mixing model involving the long-lived Afar plume, a depleted mantle component similar to the source region for Gulf of Aden MORB from east of 48° E and a reservoir that is likely lithospheric (sub-continental mantle lithosphere, magmatic underplate or lower crust). Quaternary basalts in the central MER exhibit a systematic decrease in plume influence southward from 9.5° N to 8° N, i.e., away from the modern surface expression of the Afar plume in Djibouti and Erta 'Ale. The composition of the Afar plume component is comparable to the "C" mantle reservoir. This southward decrease in plume influence is coupled with an increase in the influence of the lithospheric and depleted mantle components. Linear arrays observed within Pb-Pb isotopic space at each eruptive center require distinctive ratio of lithospheric + depleted mantle components mixing with variable amounts of the "C"-like plume component. This isotopic evidence suggests the depleted mantle and lithosphere mixed prior to the generation of the recent magmas. To the south, the Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions of Turkana (Kenya) rift basalts record a mix of a similar "C"-like plume component and a fourth HIMU-like source component. Low 3He/4He values observed in the HIMU-dominated lavas from Turkana contrast with the higher ratios found in basalts associated with the "C"-like Afar plume. Further analysis of "C"-HIMU lavas at Turkana is required to fully constrain the He

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. The diagenesis of continental (Karoo-Tertiary?) siliciclastics from an East African rift valley (Rukwa-Tukuyu area), Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dypvik, Henning; Nesteby, Helge

    1992-07-01

    The diagenetic history of the Karoo and Jurassic/Tertiary beds of East African rift valleys is related to the tectonic activity and sedimentary evolution of the rift valley area. In the Karoo beds early diagenetic calcite and hematite formation are succeeded by mechanical compaction and minor quartz, kaolinite and calcite precipitation. Renewed tectonic activity (possible half-graben formation) and exposure of the Karoo beds in Jurassic/Tertiary time resulted in alluvial fan deposition (the Red Sandstone Group) and associated fresh-water flushing, caliche formation and hematite precipitation. Late diagenetic precipitation of potash feldspar and feldspar leaching were the final controls on the porosity and permeability development of the sediments.

  3. Does water hyacinth on East African lakes promote cholera outbreaks?

    PubMed

    Feikin, Daniel R; Tabu, Collins W; Gichuki, John

    2010-08-01

    Cholera outbreaks continue to occur regularly in Africa. Cholera has been associated with proximity to lakes in East Africa, and Vibrio cholerae has been found experimentally to concentrate on the floating aquatic plant, water hyacinth, which is periodically widespread in East African lakes since the late 1980s. From 1994 to 2008, Nyanza Province, which is the Kenyan province bordering Lake Victoria, accounted for a larger proportion of cholera cases than expected by its population size (38.7% of cholera cases versus 15.3% of national population). Yearly water-hyacinth coverage on the Kenyan section of Lake Victoria was positively associated with the number of cholera cases reported in Nyanza Province (r = 0.83; P = 0.0010). Water hyacinth on freshwater lakes might play a role in initiating cholera outbreaks and causing sporadic disease in East Africa.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Short-lived increase in erosion during the African Humid Period: Evidence from the northern Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcin, Yannick; Schildgen, Taylor F.; Torres Acosta, Verónica; Melnick, Daniel; Guillemoteau, Julien; Willenbring, Jane; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2017-02-01

    The African Humid Period (AHP) between ∼15 and 5.5 cal. kyr BP caused major environmental change in East Africa, including filling of the Suguta Valley in the northern Kenya Rift with an extensive (∼2150 km2), deep (∼300 m) lake. Interfingering fluvio-lacustrine deposits of the Baragoi paleo-delta provide insights into the lake-level history and how erosion rates changed during this time, as revealed by delta-volume estimates and the concentration of cosmogenic 10Be in fluvial sand. Erosion rates derived from delta-volume estimates range from 0.019 to 0.03 mm yr-1. 10Be-derived paleo-erosion rates at ∼11.8 cal. kyr BP ranged from 0.035 to 0.086 mm yr-1, and were 2.7 to 6.6 times faster than at present. In contrast, at ∼8.7 cal. kyr BP, erosion rates were only 1.8 times faster than at present. Because 10Be-derived erosion rates integrate over several millennia, we modeled the erosion-rate history that best explains the 10Be data using established non-linear equations that describe in situ cosmogenic isotope production and decay. Two models with different temporal constraints (15-6.7 and 12-6.7 kyr) suggest erosion rates that were ∼25 to ∼300 times higher than the initial erosion rate (pre-delta formation). That pulse of high erosion rates was short (∼4 kyr or less) and must have been followed by a rapid decrease in rates while climate remained humid to reach the modern 10Be-based erosion rate of ∼0.013 mm yr-1. Our simulations also flag the two highest 10Be-derived erosion rates at ∼11.8 kyr BP related to non-uniform catchment erosion. These changes in erosion rates and processes during the AHP may reflect a strong increase in precipitation, runoff, and erosivity at the arid-to-humid transition either at ∼15 or ∼12 cal. kyr BP, before the landscape stabilized again, possibly due to increased soil production and denser vegetation.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Aerosolized Rift Valley Fever Virus Causes Fatal Encephalitis in African Green Monkeys and Common Marmosets

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24335307

  14. Melt globules as micro-magmachambers: Extreme fractionation in peralkaline nephelinite at Nyiragongo, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, Tom; Elburg, Marlina; Erambert, Muriel

    2014-05-01

    Highly peralkaline leucite nephelinite from the active volcano Nyiragongo in the Virunga province of the East African Rift contains globules of iron- and volatile-rich, highly peralkaline silicate glass with (Na+K)/Al up to 18, which has formed as a late differentiate of less peralkaline precursors, probably by fractional crystallization at a shallow level in the volcanic system. Several uncommon minerals coexist with this glass (kalsilite, kirschsteinite, chlorbartonite, götzenite, delhayelite, zirconian cuspidine, rare alkali-barium minerals), while combeite is a near-solidus mineral. Low-variance mineral assemblages define a cooling trend from eruptive temperatures ≥980 ºC to the solidus of extremely peralkaline residual liquids at 600 ºC. Oxygen fugacities well below the QFM buffer (QFM-2 to-3) persisted throughout the magmatic crystallization stage. The oxygen fugacity increased to QFM+1 or higher during the final stage of postmagmatic recrystallization. Highly alkaline, volatile-rich minerals such as delhayelite, götzenite and cuspidine were stabilized by a combination of high peralkalinity and elevated activity of chlorine and fluorine; these conditions persisted to sub-solidus temperatures. The exotic mineralogy in these melt globules is similar to mineral assemblages in agpaitic nepheline syenites. The crystallization hisotory of these globules may be an analogue to fractionation processes in large, agpaitic intrusions (e.g. Ilímaussaq, Greenland), including the interplay of the controlling factors peralkalinity, oxygen- and volatile fugacity.

  15. Extreme peralkalinity in delhayelite- and andremeyerite-bearing nephelinite from Nyiragongo volcano, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, Tom; Elburg, Marlina A.; Erambert, Muriel

    2014-10-01

    Highly peralkaline leucite nephelinite from the active volcano Nyiragongo in the Virunga province of the East African Rift contains globules of iron- and volatile-rich, highly peralkaline silicate glass with (Na + K)/Al up to 18 which has formed as a late differentiate of less peralkaline precursors, probably by fractional crystallization at a shallow level in the volcanic system. A number of uncommon minerals coexist with this glass (kalsilite, kirschsteinite, chlorbartonite, götzenite, delhayelite, umbrianite, zirconian cuspidine, andremeyerite (BaFe2Si2O7), other Ba-Fe-Ti silicate minerals, and unnamed alkali-barium phosphate and Zr-Nb-Ti silicate minerals). These minerals are members of late magmatic assemblages that have survived sub-solidus recrystallization. Combeite occurs as a near-solidus mineral. Low-variance mineral assemblages in Nyiragongo nephelinite define a cooling trend from eruptive temperatures ≥ 980 °C to the solidus of extremely peralkaline residual liquids at ca. 600 °C, followed by sub-solidus recrystallization and metasomatism down to ca. 500 °C. Oxygen fugacity well below the QFM buffer (QFM-2 to -3) persisted throughout the magmatic crystallization stage, but increased to above QFM during the final stage of postmagmatic recrystallization. Highly alkaline, volatile-rich minerals such as delhayelite, götzenite and cuspidine were stabilized by a combination of high peralkalinity and elevated activity of chlorine and fluorine; these conditions persisted to sub-solidus temperatures.

  16. A Review of New and Anticipated High-Resolution Paleoclimate Records from the East African Rift System and Their Implications for Hominin Evolution and Demography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    Our understanding of Late Tertiary/Quaternary climate and environmental history in East Africa has, to date, largely been based on outcrop and marine drill core records. Although these records have proven extremely valuable both in reconstructing environmental change and placing human evolution in an environmental context, their quality is limited by resolution, continuity, uncertainties about superposition and outcrop weathering. To address this problem, long drill core records from extant ancient lakes and lake beds are being collected by several research groups. Long cores (up to 100s of m.) from basin depocenters in both the western and eastern rifts are now available spanning nearly the entire latitudinal range of the East Africa Rift. This network of core records, especially when coupled with outcrop data, is providing an opportunity to compare the nature of important global climate transitions (especially glacial/interglacial events and precessional cycles) across the continent, thereby documenting regional heterogeneity in African climate history. Understanding this heterogeneity is critical for realistically evaluating competing hypotheses of environmental forcing of human evolution, and especially ideas about the dispersal of anatomically modern humans out of Africa in the early Late Pleistocene. In particular, understanding the hydrological and paleoecological history of biogeographic corridors linking eastern Africa, the Nile River Valley and the Levant is likely to be vastly improved through comparative analysis of these new drill cores over the next few years. Because we do not a priori know the primary forcing factors affecting this environmental history, it will essential to develop the best possible age models, employing multiple and novel geochronometric tools to make these comparisons.

  17. 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

  18. Geothermal activity at continental rift Citala, Western Mexico, where Lake Chapala is emplaced: past and present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zárate-del Valle, P. F.

    2003-04-01

    Lake Chapala is a tectonic lake developed on a continental rift named Citala (CRC) which belongs to a tectonically active zone in Western Mexico: the so-called Jalisco continental triple junction. Fossil sinter deposit, thermal spring, hydrothermal (hy) petroleum manifestation and hy alteration halo characterized the Lake Chapala basin. On the SE shore, outcrops a carbonate deposit named ``La Calera" (LC) which consists of a carbonate fossil sinter that measures 2 km in E-W direction and 600 m in N-S direction and overlays andesitic rock. With a thickness of approximately 5 m and a roughly horizontal attitude, the LC is characterized by a two-fold structure: when massive, it is colored in yellow brownish and grey and elsewhere it shows a pseudo-brecciated structure and when banded, yellow and dark millimetre alternated bands can be seen. The LC is marked by vuggy porosity and silica (quartz and chalcedony) vein lets. Under microscope a pseudo-micritic texture is observed; vugs coated by iron oxides, are filled with calcite, and/or quartz, chalcedony and clay minerals. Six samples of LC were analysed (LODC-UParis VI) for their stable isotopes (δ18O and δ13C): From δ13C{PDB} values we have two sets of data: -8.03 to -8.69 ppm that means a no contribution of organic carbon (oc) and -0.35 to -0.75 ppm meaning an important contribution of oc; from δ18O{PDB} values: -8.5 to -10.27 ppm we deduced a deposit in meteoric water with a temperature deposition higher than the surface. The CRC is characterized also by the presence of hydrothermal petroleum (hp): Inside the Chapala and ˜2 km from SE shore (Los Arcos) there are some small spots made of hp which look like islands (<3-4 m^2) linked to the bottom of the lake which consist of solid bitumen. Thermal springs (ths) occur both inside and outside the lake Chapala: the water in out-shore ths is of carbonate type (69^oC; ˜ 240 mg L-1 [HCO_3]^-; with one exception: the ths at the San Juan Cosalá spa (N shore), which is

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Lake level fluctuations synchronize genetic divergences of cichlid fishes in African lakes.

    PubMed

    Sturmbauer, C; Baric, S; Salzburger, W; Rüber, L; Verheyen, E

    2001-02-01

    Water level fluctuations are important modulators of speciation processes in tropical lakes, in that they temporarily form or break down barriers to gene flow among adjacent populations and/or incipient species. Time estimates of the most recent major lowstands of the three African Great Lakes are thus crucial to infer the relative timescales of explosive speciation events in cichlid species flocks. Our approach combines geological evidence with genetic divergence data of cichlid fishes from the three Great East African Lakes derived from the fastest-evolving mtDNA segment. Thereby, we show for each of the three lakes that individuals sampled from several populations which are currently isolated by long geographic distances and/or deep water form clusters of equally closely related haplotypes. The distribution of identical or equally closely related haplotypes in a lake basin allows delineation of the extent of lake level fluctuations. Our data suggest that the same climatic phenomenon synchronized the onset of genetic divergence of lineages in all three species flocks, such that their most recent evolutionary history seems to be linked to the same external modulators of adaptive radiation. A calibration of the molecular clock of the control region was elaborated by gauging the age of the Lake Malawi species flock through the divergence among the utaka-cichlid and the mbuna-cichlid lineages to minimally 570,000 years and maximally 1 Myr. This suggests that the low-lake-level period which established the observed patterns of genetic relatedness dates back less than 57,000 years, probably even to 17,000-12,400 years ago, when Lake Victoria dried up and Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika were also low. A rapid rise of all three lakes about 11,000 years ago established the large-scale population subdivisions observed today. Over that period of time, a multitude of species originated in Lakes Malawi and Victoria with an impressive degree of morphological and ecological

  2. 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.

  3. Geophysical evidence of Cretaceous volcanics in Logone Birni Basin (Northern Cameroon), Central Africa, and consequences for the West and Central African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loule, Jean-Pierre; Pospisil, Lubomil

    2013-01-01

    Detailed analyses and interpretation realized by combining existing 2D reflection seismic and Gravity/Magnetic data of the Logone Birni Basin (LBB) in the West and Central African Rift System (WCAS) have revealed the distribution of the main buried volcanic bodies as well as their relationships with the structural and tectonic evolution of this basin. The volcanic activity in the LBB is restricted to the Cretaceous period. Three main volcanic episodes are identified and are associated to the Neocomian, Late Albian and Cenomanian-Turonian rifting phases respectively. The volcanic bodies within the Lower Cretaceous are either lying directly on basement or are mainly interbedded with the contemporaneous sediments whereas the Upper Cretaceous bodies are morphologically expressed in the forms of dykes and sills. The volcanic activity was more intense in the western region of the central LBB (Zina sub-basin) along the Cameroon-Nigeria border whereas it was scanty and scattered in the other parts of the basin. The main volcanic dykes are found on the flanks of the major faults bounding basement horsts or in crestal positions in association with syndepositional faults. Although WCAS is associated with large amount of crustal extension and minor volcanism, the intense volcanic activity observed in LBB during the Cretaceous suggests that the intrusive zone during this period was confined to the basement beneath the study area flanked respectively to the north, south and southwest by the Lake Chad, Poli and Chum triple junctions. Tensional stresses generated by this localized domal uplift accounts for most of the observed tectonic structures where major faults transected the entire lithosphere, thus providing conduits for magma migration.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Evolution of bimodal volcanism in Gona, Ethiopia: geochemical associations and geodynamic implications for the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, N.; Basu, A. R.; Gregory, R. T.; Richards, I.; Quade, J.; Ebinger, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    The East African rift system in Ethiopia formed in the Earth's youngest flood basalt province, and provides a natural laboratory to study the geochemistry of bimodal volcanism and its implications for plume-derived magmatism, mantle-lithosphere interactions and evolution of continental rifts from plate extension to rupture. Our geochemical studies of the ~6 Ma to recent eruptive products from Gona within the Afar Rift Zone are understood in context of crustal and upper mantle seismic imaging studies that provide constraints on spatial variations. Geochemical (major element, trace element and isotope) analyses of basalts and rhyolitic tuff from Gona indicate a common magma source for these bimodal volcanics. Light rare earth elements (LREEs) are enriched with a strong negative Eu anomaly and a positive Ce anomaly in some of the silicic volcanic rocks. We observe strong depletions in Sr and higher concentrations of Zr, Hf, Th, Nb and Ta. We hypothesize that the silicic rocks may be residues from a plume-derived enriched magma source, following partial melting with fractional crystallization of plagioclase at shallow magma chambers. The absence of Nb-Ta anomaly shows no crustal assimilation by magmas. Sr isotopes, in conjunction with Nd and Pb isotopes and a strong Ce anomaly could reflect interaction of the parent magma with a deep saline aquifer or brine. Nd isotopic ratios (ɛNd = 1.9 to 4.6) show similarity of the silicic tuffs and basalts in their isotopic compositions except for some ~6 Ma lavas showing MORB-like values (ɛNd = 5 to 8.7) that suggest involvement of the asthenosphere with the plume source. Except for one basaltic tuff, the whole rock oxygen isotopic ratios of the Gona basalts range from +5.8‰ to +7.9‰, higher than the δ values for typical MORB, +5.7. The oxygen isotopes in whole rocks from the rhyolite tuffs vary from 14.6‰ to 20.9‰ while their Sr isotope ratios <0.706, indicative of post-depositional low T alteration of these silicic

  7. Studies on Rift Valley fever in some African murids (Rodentia: Muridae).

    PubMed Central

    Swanepoel, R.; Blackburn, N. K.; Efstratiou, S.; Condy, J. B.

    1978-01-01

    Brains, spleens and livers of 2214 murids, 27 shrews and 7 dormice, trapped at 7 sites in Rhodesia, were tested in 277 pools for the presence of Rift Valley Fever virus. There were no isolations of Rift Valley Fever, but 69 isolations of an unidentified virus were obtained. Sixteen out of 867 sera had low-titre haemagglutination-inhibition activity against Rift Valley Fever antigen, but only one out of 1260 sera had neutralizing antibody. The evidence suggests that murids fail to encounter infection in nature and are unlikely to play a role in circulation and dissemination of Rift Valley Fever virus. Four out of seven widely distributed species of muried, Rhabdomys pumilio, Saccostomys campestris, Aethomys chrysophilus and Lemniscomys griselda, were shown to be capable of circulating amounts of virus likely to be infective for mosquitoes. PMID:632561

  8. Studies on Rift Valley fever in some African murids (Rodentia: Muridae).

    PubMed

    Swanepoel, R; Blackburn, N K; Efstratiou, S; Condy, J B

    1978-04-01

    Brains, spleens and livers of 2214 murids, 27 shrews and 7 dormice, trapped at 7 sites in Rhodesia, were tested in 277 pools for the presence of Rift Valley Fever virus. There were no isolations of Rift Valley Fever, but 69 isolations of an unidentified virus were obtained. Sixteen out of 867 sera had low-titre haemagglutination-inhibition activity against Rift Valley Fever antigen, but only one out of 1260 sera had neutralizing antibody. The evidence suggests that murids fail to encounter infection in nature and are unlikely to play a role in circulation and dissemination of Rift Valley Fever virus. Four out of seven widely distributed species of muried, Rhabdomys pumilio, Saccostomys campestris, Aethomys chrysophilus and Lemniscomys griselda, were shown to be capable of circulating amounts of virus likely to be infective for mosquitoes.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Götzenite- and combeite-bearing mineral assemblages in peralkaline nephelinite at Nyiragongo, East African Rift: Recrystallization around a degassing alkaline magma chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, T.; Elburg, M.; Erambert, M.

    2012-04-01

    In most igneous rocks, the high field strength elements (HFSE) titanium and zirconium reside in minerals such as ilmenite, titanite, zircon and baddelyite. In some highly peralkaline igneous rocks (agpaitic nepheline syenite, elpidite granite) these minerals are not stable, and the HFSE form complex, Na-, Ca- and volatile bearing silicate minerals. The central crater of Nyiragongo volcano in the East African Rift has a semi-permanent lava lake which may be regarded as a high-level magma chamber open to the atmosphere. The lavas and pyroclastic rocks of Nyiragongo range in composition from olivine melilitite to nephelinite and minor alkali olivine basalt. The nephelinites range from metaluminous to peralkaline compositions, including strongly peralkaline combeite nephelinite. In fresh peralkaline nephelinite, titanium is hosted in different minerals or mineral assemblages with titanomagnetite ± perovskite ± Ti-rich clinopyroxene, but in some holocrystalline, thermally metamorphosed nephelinites, götzenite (ideally Na2Ca5Ti(Si2O7)2F4) is the main Ti-bearing mineral. Götzenite is stable with combeite (Na2Ca2Si3O9), diopside and kirschsteinite, which replace primary magmatic minerals and glassy groundmass. The compositions of coexisting nepheline and kalsilite suggest recrystallization temperatures between 500 and 600 °C. A chemographic analysis of the sub-solidus mineral assemblages of götzenite-bearing and götzenite-free peralkaline nephelinite suggests that götzenite is stabilized by elevated fluorine activity combined with moderately high (for nephelinite) silica activity. At increasing peralkalinity, götzenite is likely to break down to perovskite-bearing mineral assemblages coexisting with combeite. The presence of götzenite- and combeite-bearing nephelinite at Nyiragongo is due to the influence of fluorine-rich fluids degassing from magma stored in the lava lake.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Rift Valley fever virus infection in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) herds in rural South Africa: evidence of interepidemic transmission.

    PubMed

    LaBeaud, A Desirée; Cross, Paul C; Getz, Wayne M; Glinka, Allison; King, Charles H

    2011-04-01

    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.

  16. Anomalous seafloor mounds in the northern Natal Valley, southwest Indian Ocean: Implications for the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiles, Errol; Green, Andrew; Watkeys, Mike; Jokat, Wilfried; Krocker, Ralph

    2014-09-01

    The Natal Valley (southwest Indian Ocean) has a complicated and protracted opening history, as has the surrounding southwest Indian Ocean. Recently collected multibeam swath bathymetry and 3.5 kHz seismic data from the Natal Valley reveal anomalous seafloor mounds in the northern Natal Valley. The significance, of these domes, as recorders of the geological history of the Natal Valley and SE African Margin has been overlooked with little attempt made to identify their origin, evolution or tectonic significance. This paper aims to describe these features from a morphological perspective and to use their occurrence as a means to better understand the geological and oceanographic evolution of this basin. The seafloor mounds are distinct in both shallow seismic and morphological character from the surrounding seafloor of the Natal Valley. Between 25 km and 31 km long, and 16 km and 18 km wide, these features rise some 400 m above the sedimentary deposits that have filled in the Natal Valley. Such macro-scale features have not previously been described from the Natal Valley or from other passive margins globally. They are not the result of bottom water circulation, salt tectonics; rather, igneous activity is favoured as the origin for these anomalous seafloor features. We propose a hypothesis that the anomalous seafloor mounds observed in the Natal Valley are related to igneous activity associated with the EARS. The complicated opening history and antecedent geology, coupled with the southward propagation of the East African Rift System creates a unique setting where continental rift associated features have been developed in a marine setting.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. Sedimentation processes and new age constraints on rifting stages in Lake Baikal: results of deep-water drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzmin, M. I.; Karabanov, E. B.; Prokopenko, A. A.; Gelety, V. F.; Antipin, V. S.; Williams, D. F.; Gvozdkov, A. N.

    With this paper we present a first attempt to combine the direct results on lithology, composition and age dating in the boreholes BDP-93, BDP-96 and BDP-97 with geological and seismic data from the areas where those sections were drilled. The sedimentary environments represented by the BDP boreholes are markedly different and possess characteristic lithological features. The results of the deep drilling provide the essential means for testing numerous age models used in geological reconstructions of the Lake Baikal rifting dynamics. Neither the basin-wide unconformity interpreted from seismic data, nor the interpreted change from shallow-water to deep-water facies at the boundary of the seismic stratigraphic complexes were found in the BDP-96 boreholes on Academician Ridge. Also, lithology does not support the proposed reconstructions of intense lake level fluctuations and transgressions during the Pliocene at Academician Ridge. The continuous deep-water hemipelagic sedimentation at Academician Ridge has existed for the past 5Ma. The beginning of an intense rifting phase of the Neobaikalian sub-stage and related drastic changes in sedimentation processes were interpreted on seismic sections as the basin-wide unconformity B10. Different age estimates for this boundary ranged from Late Pliocene (3.5Ma) to Plio-Pleistocene boundary. As shown by BDP-96 borehole, B10 is associated with a lithological change from diatomaceous ooze to dense silty clay and not with an erosional contact. The new age for this boundary in BDP-96 is approximately 2.5Ma. This new age constraint suggests that the upper sedimentary strata of Northern Baikal (1.5-1.7km thick) have formed during the past 2.5Ma with average sedimentation rates of 60-70cm/ka. The BDP-93 boreholes at Buguldeika suggest that uplift in Primorsky Range took place prior to 1.07-1.31Ma, a date which exceeds the age of previous geological models.

  5. Occurrence, distribution, and ecological risk assessment of DDTs and heavy metals in surface sediments from Lake Awassa--Ethiopian Rift Valley Lake.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) and heavy metals are ubiquitous contaminants with high bioaccumulation and persistence in the environment, which can have adverse effects on humans and animals. Although applications of DDTs have been banned in many countries, developing countries like Ethiopia are still using these for agricultural and medicinal purposes. In addition, heavy metals are naturally present in the aquatic environment and distributed globally. In this study, the occurrence, distribution, and ecological risk of DDTs and heavy metals in surface sediments from one of the Ethiopian rift valley lakes were studied. Twenty-five surface sediment samples from Lake Awassa, Ethiopia were collected and analyzed for DDTs and heavy metals. Results showed that concentrations of total DDTs ranged from 3.64 to 40.2 ng/g dry weight. High levels of DDTs were observed in the vicinity of inflow river side and coastal areas with agricultural activities. The heavy metals content were followed the order Zn>Ni>Pb>Cu>Cr>Co>As>Cd>Hg. Correlation analysis and principal components analysis demonstrated that heavy metals were originated from both natural and anthropogenic inputs. The levels of DDE and DDD in surface sediments exceeded the sediment quality guideline values, indicating that adverse effects may occur to the lake. A method based on toxic-response factor for heavy metals revealed that the calculated potential ecological risk indices showed low ecological risk for the water body.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Petrology of combeite- and götzenite-bearing nephelinite at Nyiragongo, Virunga Volcanic Province in the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, Tom; Elburg, Marlina; Erambert, Muriel

    2012-11-01

    The lavas and pyroclastic rocks of Nyiragongo volcano (East African Rift) range in composition from olivine melilitite to nephelinite and minor alkali olivine basalt, and include rare examples of strongly peralkaline combeite nephelinite. In peralkaline nephelinites at Nyiragongo, titanium is hosted in mineral assemblages with Ti-bearing magnetite ± perovskite ± Ti-rich clinopyroxene ± götzenite. Combeite and götzenite occur as groundmass minerals in holocrystalline melilite nephelinite, which also carries kirschsteinite (replacing melilite phenocrysts), recrystallized nepheline + kalsilite phenocryst aggregates and a range of late accessory minerals including delhayelite. The compositions of coexisting nepheline and kalsilite in phenocryst aggregates and groundmass suggest a crystallization temperature of ca. 600 °C for the götzenite- and combeite bearing mineral assemblages. The textural features of the rock agree with an origin of holocrystalline nephelinite (with or without götzenite and combeite) by recrystallization of glass-bearing, nepheline-kalsilite and melilite porphyritic peralkaline nephelinite due to thermal metamorphism and metasomatism within the volcanic edifice. A chemographic analysis of the Ti-bearing mineral assemblages of götzenite-bearing and götzenite-free peralkaline nephelinite suggests that götzenite is stabilized by elevated fluorine activity combined with moderately high (for nephelinite) silica activity. At increasing peralkalinity, götzenite is likely to break down to perovskite-bearing mineral assemblages coexisting with combeite.

  12. Expansion of sugarcane monoculture: associated impacts and management measures in the semi-arid East African Rift Valley, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Beza, Solomon A; Assen, Mohammed A

    2017-03-01

    The study examined the expansion of sugarcane monoculture over the period 1957-2010 and its implications for land degradation and land management measures in the semi-arid northern Main Ethiopian Rift Valley. It used multi-scale and multi-temporal imageries aided by qualitative surveying to investigate the dynamics of land use and cover changes. The study applied both a pixel-based supervised classification and feature extraction methods at subclass levels and merged them into major compatible and comparable land use and cover groups. The results indicated a substantial transformation in the landscape over 53 years (1957-2010), which is attributed to expansion of sugarcane plantation, saline lake water, and smallholder farmland and settlements. The land use and cover changes culminated in reduction of native vegetation cover and biodiversity loss, encroachment of non-native species, and occurrence of soil salinity. Major causes that justify the changes include (1) macro-economic changes and policy shifts towards agricultural development, (2) change in underground hydrology, (3) population growth, and (4) sedentarization of the traditional pastoral community. Proper measures should aim at addressing the trade-off between economic development and environmental sustainability. Moreover, management opportunities should base on the understanding of socioeconomic and biophysical settings and balance the sustenance of the local people and ecological function of the area.

  13. 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

  14. Chow Bahir rift: A “failed” rift in southern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    W-Gabriel, Giday; Aronson, James L.

    1987-05-01

    The Chow Bahir rift system is a major graben in a 300-km-broad rift zone recognized in southern Ethiopia between the Kenyan and Ethiopian domes where the East African rift is not well defined. An extinct (failed) rift discovered along the Omo Canyon to the north and on strike with the Chow Bahir rift ceased activity about 4 m.y. ago. Chow Bahir is in a younger stage of abandonment as the main Ethiopian rift propagates south into this region.

  15. Analysing the temporal water quality dynamics of Lake Basaka, Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olumana Dinka, Megersa

    2017-01-01

    This study presents the general water quality status and temporal quality dynamics of Lake Basaka water in the past about 5 decades. Water samples were collected and analysed for important physico-chemical quality parameters following standard procedures. The result showed that Lake Basaka water is highly saline and alkaline and experiencing a general reducing trends in ionic concentrations of quality parameters due to the dilution effect. About 10-fold reduction of total ionic concentration occurred in the Lake over the period of 2 decades (1960-1980). There was a sharp and fast decline in EC, Cl, SO4, Na, and K ions from early 1960s up to the late 1980s, and then became relatively stable. Some ions (eg. Na, Ca, Mg, Cl, SO4) are showing increment in recent years. This characteristics of the lake water is terrible in relation to its potential to inundate the nearby areas in the near future. The expansion of such quality water has negative effects on the water resources of the region, especially soil quality, drainage and groundwater, in terms of salinity, sodicity and specific ion toxicity. The regimes of soil moisture, solute and groundwater could be affected, concurrently affecting the productivity and sustainability of the sugar estate. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify the potential sources of water and chemicals to the lake and devise an appropriate mitigation and/or remedial measures.

  16. Rift Valley fever among domestic animals in the recent West African outbreak.

    PubMed

    Ksiazek, T G; Jouan, A; Meegan, J M; Le Guenno, B; Wilson, M L; Peters, C J; Digoutte, J P; Guillaud, M; Merzoug, N O; Touray, E M

    1989-01-01

    Severe haemorrhagic disease among the human population of the Senegal River Basin brought the Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) outbreak of 1987 to the attention of science. As in previous RVFV outbreaks, local herdsmen reported a high incidence of abortion and disease in their livestock. Serum samples were obtained from domestic animal populations from areas near Rosso, the best studied focus of human infection, as well as other areas distant from known human disease. Among animals from the area of high incidence of human disease, antibody prevalence was as high as 85%, with approximately 80% of the sera positive for both RVFV IgG- and viral-specific IgM antibodies. In contrast, human populations in the same area had lower RVFV antibody prevalences, 40% or less, with 90% also being IgM-positive. Sera from livestock in coastal areas 280 km south of the epidemic area were negative for RVFV antibodies. Thus, the detection of RVFV specific IgG and IgM antibodies provided evidence of recent disease activity without the requirement to establish pre-disease antibody levels in populations or individuals and without viral isolation. Subsequently, detection of modest levels of IgG and IgM in the Ferlo region, 130 km south of the Senegal River flood plain, established that RVFV transmission also occurred in another area of the basin. Similar serological testing of domestic ungulates in The Gambia, 340 km south of Rosso, demonstrated antibody prevalence consistent with a lower level of recent transmission of RVFV, i.e., 24% IgG-positive with 6% of the positive sera also having RVFV-specific IgM.

  17. Helium isotope ratios in Ethiopian Rift basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarsi, P.; Craig, H.

    1996-11-01

    Helium isotope ratios were measured in olivine and pyroxene phenocrysts from basalts of the Ethiopian Rift Valley and Afar Depression between 6° and 15°N and 37° and 43°E. 3He/4He ratios range from 6 to 17 times the atmospheric value (RA = 1.4 × 10-6), that is, from ratios less than typical MORB (depleted mantle) helium (R/RA= 8 ± 1) to ratios similar to high-3He hotspots and to the Yellowstone hotspot (R/RA= 16.5). The high 3He/4He ratios occur all along the Ethiopian Rift and well up into the Afar Depression, with a maximum value of 17.0 RA at 8°N in the Rift Axis and a high value of 14.2 RA in the central Tat'Ali sector of the Afar Depression. The ratios decrease to MORB-like values near the edge of the Red Sea, and to sub-MORB ratios (5-6 RA) at the northern end of the Rift (Zula Peninsula) and at the southern end, at lakes Abaya and Chamo. The Ethiopian Rift provides the only continental hotspot terrain in which helium isotope ratios can be compared in detail between volcanic lavas and associated geothermal and volcanic gases, a primary motivation for this work. Comparison with our previously measured ratios in fluids and gases (range 2-15 RA) shows excellent agreement in the areas sampled for both lavas and fluids, and indicates that high-temperature volcanic fluids can be used for establishing helium isotope signatures in such terrains. The high-3He values in both fluids and basalts show that a Primitive Mantle (PM) component is required and that a Lower Mantle High-3He plume is strongly involved as a driving force in the rifting process of the East African Rift System.

  18. Comparative pathogenicity and antigenic cross-reactivity of Rift Valley fever and other African phleboviruses in sheep.

    PubMed Central

    Swanepoel, R.; Struthers, J. K.; Erasmus, M. J.; Shepherd, S. P.; McGillivray, G. M.; Shepherd, A. J.; Hummitzsch, D. E.; Erasmus, B. J.; Barnard, B. J.

    1986-01-01

    Homologous and heterologous haemagglutination-inhibition (HAI), complement-fixation (CF), immunodiffusion (ID) and mouse neutralization tests were performed with the Lunyo (LUN) and a Zimbabwean strain of Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus, the prototype and a South African strain of Arumowot (AMT) virus and prototype strains of Gordil (GOR), Saint-Floris (SAF) and Gabek Forest (GF) viruses, using immune mouse ascitic fluids prepared against these viruses. Reactions of identity occurred in all tests between LUN and the Zimbabwean strains of RVF and between the two strains of AMT virus. Otherwise, cross-reactions occurred between all the phleboviruses in HAI tests, while reactions in CF, ID and neutralization tests were monospecific for virus serotypes, except that weak cross-reaction occurred between GOR and SAF viruses in CF and ID tests. Four sheep infected subcutaneously with the Zimbabwean strain of RVF virus developed transient fever, viraemia, leucopaenia, relative thrombocytopaenia, haemoconcentration and raised serum enzyme levels, which indicated that the sheep had developed necrotic hepatitis. Disseminated focal necrotic hepatitis was confirmed in a sheep killed for examination on day 4 post-infection. The other three sheep recovered uneventfully after only mild depression and anorexia. Groups of three sheep infected with SAF, GOR, AMT and GF viruses had no demonstrable viraemia or other sign of infection or illness, except that the sheep infected with AMT developed mild fever lasting less than 24 h. Antibody responses were monitored at intervals over a period of 24 weeks in all sheep by homologous and heterologous HAI, CF and cell culture neutralization (CPENT) tests. Homologous antibody responses were marked in the RVF-infected sheep and their sera cross-reacted strongly in HAI tests with antigens of the other viruses. The sera of the RVF-infected sheep cross-reacted less markedly in CF and CPENT tests. Homologous antibody responses were poor in all the

  19. 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.

  20. The GLIMPCE seismic experiment: Onshore refraction and wide-angle reflection observations from a fan line over the Lake Superior Midcontinent Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epili, Duryodhan; Mereu, Robert F.

    The 1986 GLIMPCE experiment (Great Lakes International Multidisciplinary Program for Crustal Evolution) was a combined on-ship seismic reflection and onshore seismic refraction experiment designed to determine the structure of the crust beneath the Great Lakes. The main tectonic targets of interest were the Midcontinent Rift System, the Grenville Front, the Penokean and Huronian Fold Belts and the Michipicoten Greenstone Belt. The source of the seismic energy came from a large air gun array fired at closely spaced intervals (50-350 m) over several long lines (150-350 km) crossing the lakes. Major participants of this experiment were the Geological Survey of Canada, the United States Geological Survey and a number of universities and research institutes on both sides of the border. The University of Western Ontario (UWO) collected data at five separate land stations using portable seismic refraction instruments. In this paper we present the results of a fan profile which was recorded from a UWO station on Michipicoten Island for the N-S line A which crossed the axis of the Lake Superior Synclinal Basin. The azimuth and distance ranges for this profile were 237 to 321 degrees and 120 to 170 km respectively. Detailed observations of the record sections show that p. is not a simple arrival but forms a rather complex pattern of irregular multiple arrivals. The wide-angle PmP reflection signals from the Moho are strong and well obilerved only for the shots fired near the ends of the line. The signals from the middle of the profile arrive relatively late and form very weak complex wave trains. These results indicate that the Moho in that area is probably greatly disrupted and gives added support to the rift theory for the structure under the lake. The observations also support the results of earlier crustal studies of Lake Superior which showed that the crust under the eastern part of the lake was exceedingly thick.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. European Cenozoic rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Peter A.

    1992-07-01

    The European Cenozoic rift system extends from the coast of the North Sea to the Mediterranean over a distance of some 1100 km; it finds its southern prolongation in the Valencia Trough and a Plio-Pleistocene volcanic chain crossing the Atlas ranges. Development of this mega-rift was paralleled by orogenic activity in the Alps and Pyrenees. Major rift domes, accompanied by subsidence reversal of their axial grabens, developed 20-40 Ma after beginning of rifting. Uplift of the Rhenish Shield is related to progressive thermal lithospheric thinning; the Vosges-Black Forest and the Massif Central domes are probably underlain by asthenoliths emplaced at the crust/mantle boundary. Evolution of this rift system, is thought to be governed by the interaction of the Eurasian and African plates and by early phases of a plate-boundary reorganization that may lead to the break-up of the present continent assembly.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. Environmental controls on branched tetraether lipid distributions in tropical East African lake sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tierney, J. E.; Russell, J. M.; Eggermont, H.; Hopmans, E. C.; Verschuren, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J. S.

    2010-09-01

    Quantifying past continental temperature changes is an important aspect of paleoclimate research as it allows us to constrain the amplitude of natural variability, test predictive climate models, and provide a proper context for changes that may arise in response to anthropogenically-induced climate change. The recently developed biomarker-based methylation index of branched tetraethers/cyclization ratio of branched tetraethers (MBT/CBT) proxy shows potential as a new method for continental temperature reconstruction, but thus far it has only been applied successfully in ocean margin sediments. To assess whether this proxy is also applicable to the sedimentary record in tropical lacustrine systems, we investigated the distribution of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) in recently deposited sediments from 46 lakes in tropical East Africa. These lakes span a substantial range in surface elevation (770-4500 m above sea level), and thus also a wide gradient of mean annual temperature. We find that, saline lakes excepted, branched GDGTs are universally abundant in the lakes investigated and can be used to predict mean annual air temperature (MAAT) with a high degree of accuracy. However, the existing global MBT/CBT calibration for MAAT based on soils predicts inaccurate temperatures when applied to our African lake dataset. This observation, together with the fact that surface water pH, and to lesser extent, lake depth appear to influence the distribution of branched GDGTs among sites, leads us to conclude that in situ production of branched GDGTs in lakes is likely. The robust relationship between branched GDGT distribution and the temperature and pH of African freshwater lakes makes these compounds suitable for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, however we urge caution in using branched GDGTs in lake sediments to infer past temperatures, unless their exact origin can be determined.

  12. Application of P- and S-receiver functions to investigate crustal and upper mantle structures beneath the Albertine branch of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gummert, Michael; Lindenfeld, Michael; Wölbern, Ingo; Rümpker, Georg; Kasereka, Celestin; Batte, Arthur

    2014-05-01

    The Rwenzori region at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is part of the western (Albertine) branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). The region is characterized by a horst structure, the Rwenzori Mountains, reaching elevations of more than 5 km and covering an area of about 120 km by 50 km. The unusual location of the mountain range, between two segments of the Albertine rift, suggests complex structures of the crust and the upper mantle below. In our study, we employ P- and S-receiver functions in order to investigate the corresponding discontinuities of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system. The analyses are based on recordings from a dense network of 33 seismic broadband stations operating in the region for a period of nearly two years, from September 2009 until August 2011. The crustal thickness is analysed by using P-receiver functions and the grid search method of Zhu & Kanamori (2000) which involves the stacking of amplitudes of direct converted (Ps) and multiple phases (PpPs and PpSs) originating from the Moho. The method of S-receiver functions is more effective in analysing deeper discontinuities of the upper mantle, such as the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). The latter method also has the advantage that the interfering influence of multiple phases from shallower discontinuities is avoided. To simplify the analysis of the S-receiver functions, we use an automatic procedure to determine incidence angles used in the rotation from the ZNE system to the ray-centered LQT system. We apply this approach to confirm and significantly extend results from the study of Wölbern et al. (2012), which provided evidence for an intra-lithospheric discontinuity at depths between 54 km and 104 km and the LAB between 135 km and 210 km. Our results provide evidence for significant variations of crustal thickness beneath the region. The Moho depth varies between 20 km beneath the rift valley and 39 km beneath the adjacent rift

  13. 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.

  14. Spatio-temporal trends in normal-fault segmentation recorded by low-temperature thermochronology: Livingstone fault scarp, Malawi Rift, East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortimer, Estelle; Kirstein, Linda A.; Stuart, Finlay M.; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2016-12-01

    The evolution of through-going normal-fault arrays from initial nucleation to growth and subsequent interaction and mechanical linkage is well documented in many extensional provinces. Over time, these processes lead to predictable spatial and temporal variations in the amount and rate of displacement accumulated along strike of individual fault segments, which should be manifested in the patterns of footwall exhumation. Here, we investigate the along-strike and vertical distribution of low-temperature apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) cooling ages along the bounding fault system, the Livingstone fault, of the Karonga Basin of the northern Malawi Rift. The fault evolution and linkage from rift initiation to the present day has been previously constrained through investigations of the hanging wall basin fill. The new cooling ages from the footwall of the Livingstone fault can be related to the adjacent depocentre evolution and across a relay zone between two palaeo-fault segments. Our data are complimented by published apatite fission-track (AFT) data and reveal significant variation in rock cooling history along-strike: the centre of the footwall yields younger cooling ages than the former tips of earlier fault segments that are now linked. This suggests that low-temperature thermochronology can detect fault interactions along strike. That these former segment boundaries are preserved within exhumed footwall rocks is a function of the relatively recent linkage of the system. Our study highlights that changes in AHe (and potentially AFT) ages associated with the along-strike displacement profile can occur over relatively short horizontal distances (of a few kilometres). This is fundamentally important in the assessment of the vertical cooling history of footwalls in extensional systems: temporal differences in the rate of tectonically driven exhumation at a given location along fault strike may be of greater importance in controlling changes in rates of vertical exhumation

  15. Anatomy of a river drainage reversal in the Neogene Kivu Nile Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holzförster, F.; Schmidt, U.

    2007-07-01

    The Neogene geological history of East Africa is characterised by the doming and extension in the course of development of the East African Rift System with its eastern and western branches. In the centre of the Western Rift Rise Rwanda is situated on Proterozoic basement rocks exposed in the strongly uplifted eastern rift shoulder of the Kivu-Nile Rift segment, where clastic sedimentation is largely restricted to the rift axis itself. A small, volcanically and tectonically controlled depository in northwestern Rwanda preserved the only Neogene sediments known from the extremely uplifted rift shoulder. Those (?)Pliocene to Pleistocene/Holocene fluvio-lacustrine muds and sands of the Palaeo-Nyabarongo River record the influence of Virunga volcanism on the major drainage reversal that affected East Africa in the Plio-/Pleistocene, when the originally rift-parallel upper Nile drainage system became diverted to the East in order to enter the Nile system via Lake Victoria. Sedimentary facies development, heavy mineral distributions and palaeobiological controls, including hominid artefacts, signal a short time interval of <300-350 ka to complete this major event for the sediment supply system of the Kivu-Nile Rift segment.

  16. Stable isotope variation in tooth enamel from Neogene hippopotamids: monitor of meso and global climate and rift dynamics on the Albertine Rift, Uganda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachert, Thomas Christian; Brügmann, Gerhard B.; Mertz, Dieter F.; Kullmer, Ottmar; Schrenk, Friedemann; Jacob, Dorrit E.; Ssemmanda, Immaculate; Taubald, Heinrich

    2010-10-01

    The Neogene was a period of long-term global cooling and increasing climatic variability. Variations in African-Asian monsoon intensity over the last 7 Ma have been deduced from patterns of eolian dust export into the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea as well as from lake level records in the East African Rift System (EARS). However, lake systems not only depend on rainfall patterns, but also on the size and physiography of river catchment areas. This study is based on stable isotope proxy data (18O/16O, 13C/12C) from tooth enamel of hippopotamids (Mammalia) and aims in unravelling long-term climate and watershed dynamics that control the evolution of palaeolake systems in the western branch of the EARS (Lake Albert, Uganda) during the Late Neogene (7.5 Ma to recent). Having no dietary preferences with respect to wooded (C3) versus grassland (C4) vegetation, these territorial, water-dependant mammals are particularly useful for palaeoclimate analyses. As inhabitants of lakes and rivers, hippopotamid tooth enamel isotope data document mesoclimates of topographic depressions, such as the rift valleys and, therefore, changes in relative valley depth instead of exclusively global climate changes. Consequently, we ascribe a synchronous maximum in 18O/16O and 13C/12C composition of hippopotamid enamel centred around 1.5-2.5 Ma to maximum aridity and/or maximum hydrological isolation of the rift floor from rift-external river catchment areas in response to the combined effects of rift shoulder uplift and subsidence of the rift valley floor. Structural rearrangements by ~2.5 Ma within the northern segment of the Albertine Rift are well constrained by reversals in river flow, cannibalisation of catchments, biogeographic turnover and uplift of the Rwenzori horst. However, a growing rain shadow is not obvious in 18O/16O signatures of the hippopotamid teeth of the Albertine Rift. According to our interpretation, this is the result of the overriding effect of evaporation on 18

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Assessment of heavy metals in water samples and tissues of edible fish species from Awassa and Koka Rift Valley Lakes, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Dsikowitzky, Larissa; Mengesha, Mesfin; Dadebo, Elias; de Carvalho, Carlos Eduardo Veiga; Sindern, Sven

    2013-04-01

    The Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes host populations of edible fish species including Oreochromis niloticus, Labeobarbus intermedius and Clarias gariepinus, which are harvested also in other tropical countries. We investigated the occurrence of six heavy metals in tissues of these fish species as well as in the waters of Lake Koka and Lake Awassa. Both lakes are affected by industrial effluents in their catchments, making them ideal study sites. Mercury concentrations were very low in the water samples, but concentrations in the fish samples were relatively high, suggesting a particularly high bioaccumulation tendency as compared with the other investigated metals. Mercury was preferentially accumulated in the fish liver or muscle. It was the only metal with species-specific accumulation with highest levels found in the predatory species L. intermedius. Lower mercury concentrations in O. niloticus could be attributed to the lower trophic level, whereas mercury values in the predatory C. gariepinus were unexpectedly low. This probably relates to the high growth rate of this species resulting in biodilution of mercury. Accumulation of lead, selenium, chromium, arsenic and cadmium did not differ between species, indicating that these elements are not biomagnified in the food chain. Values of cadmium, selenium and arsenic were highest in fish livers, while lead and chromium levels were highest in the gills, which could be related to the uptake pathway. A significant impact of the industrial discharges on the occurrence of metals in the lakes could not be detected, and the respective concentrations in fish do not pose a public health hazard.

  20. Fossil Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) as quantitative indicators of past salinity in African lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggermont, Hilde; Heiri, Oliver; Verschuren, Dirk

    2006-08-01

    We surveyed sub-fossil chironomid assemblages in surface sediments of 73 low- to mid-elevation lakes in tropical East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia) to develop inference models for quantitative paleosalinity reconstruction. Using a calibration data set of 67 lakes with surface-water conductivity between 34 and 68,800 μS/cm, trial models based on partial least squares (PLS), weighted-averaging (WA), weighted-averaging partial least squares (WA-PLS), maximum likelihood (ML), and the weighted modern analogue technique (WMAT) produced jack-knifed coefficients of determination ( r2) between 0.83 and 0.87, and root-mean-squared errors of prediction (RMSEP) between 0.27 and 0.31 log 10 conductivity units, values indicating that fossil assemblages of African Chironomidae can be valuable indicators of past salinity change. The new inference models improve on previous models, which were calibrated with presence-absence data from live collections, by the much greater information content of the calibration data set, and greater probability of finding good modern analogues for fossil assemblages. However, inferences still suffered to a greater (WA, WMAT) or lesser (WA-PLS, PLS and ML) extent from weak correlation between chironomid species distribution and salinity in a broad range of fresh waters, and apparent threshold response of African chironomid communities to salinity change near 3000 μS/cm. To improve model sensitivity in freshwater lakes we expanded the calibration data set with 11 dilute (6-61 μS/cm) high-elevation lakes on Mt. Kenya (Kenya) and the Ruwenzori Mts. (Uganda). This did not appreciably improve models' error statistics, in part because it introduced a secondary environmental gradient to the faunal data, probably temperature. To evaluate whether a chironomid-based salinity inference model calibrated in East African lakes could be meaningfully used for environmental reconstruction elsewhere on the continent, we expanded the calibration data

  1. Recent seismic activity of the Kivu Province, Western Rift Valley of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zana, N.; Kamba, M.; Katsongo, S.; Janssen, Th.

    1989-11-01

    The Kivu Province is located at the junction between the well-defined Ruzizi Valley to the south and the Lake Amin Trough to the north. In this zone, the Rift Valley is characterized by the highest uplift and by complex dislocations of the crust, accompanied by the most intensive volcanism of the East African Rift System. In this paper, we show the recent state of the seismic activity of this zone in connection with the seismic activity generated by the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. The pattern of cumulative energy release by these volcanoes shows a steplike increase that is believed to be a precursor of volcanic eruptions.

  2. Water level changes for Lake Turkana and climate variability during the African Humid Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloszies, C.; Forman, S. L.; Wright, D. K.

    2013-12-01

    The chronology of East African paleoclimate suggests the transition through the African Humid Period (AHP) at ca. 15 to 5 ka was a binary shift from wet conditions in the Late Pleistocene to current aridity. Previous studies indicate that water levels for Lake Turkana for the AHP were stable at ~88 to 98 m above current level with outflow into the White Nile Basin. This study of relict beaches around Lake Turkana indicates surprisingly >50 m variability in water level between 14 and 4 ka. The elevation of past water level is constrained by barometric and GPS-based altimetry of relict beaches and age control by 14C dating of associated mollusks and OSL dating of quartz grains from surrounding littoral and sublittoral deposits. We also include well provenanced lake level data from prior studies to constrain more fully the timing and height of water level fluctuations in the Late Quaternary. Additionally, previous studies indicate that peak water levels may be regionally amplified by increased precipitation causing overflow into the Lake Turkana Basin from the adjacent Suguta and Chew Bahir basins, particularly during high stands at ca. >8.5 ka and at 6.3 ka. Our analysis of the Lake Turkana strandplain reveals that water level may have varied by × 60 m, potentially reaching the outlet elevation at ca.11.3, 10.3, 9.0, 6.3 and 5.1 ka. There are other possible high stands at ca. 13.0, 8.4, 7.8 and 7.0 ka with limited elevational and age constraints; it is unknown if these lake stands reached the outlet elevation. Evidence from relict strand plains indicate that lake level was probably below 20 m since ca. 4.5 ka, though there were two noticeable high stands up to >12 to 18 m at ca. 830 years ago and <100 years, the latter consistent with the historic record of lake levels. Inferences on the source of moisture to sustain these many high stands are based on the isotopic data on leaf wax (δDwax) from lakes Tanganika and Victoria and associated sea surface temperature

  3. Narratives of Stress in Health Meanings of African Americans in Lake County, Indiana.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Mohan; Sastry, Shaunak; Dillard, Sydney; Kumar, Rati; Anaele, Agaptus; Collins, William; Roberson, Calvin; Dutta, Uttaran; Jones, Christina; Gillespie, Tony; Spinetta, Christine

    2016-08-02

    Across the life course, African Americans bear an unequal burden of disease compared to other racial groups. In spite of the widespread acknowledgment of racial health disparities, the voices of African Americans, their articulations of health and their local etiologies of health disparities are limited. In this article, we highlight the important role of communication scholarship to understand the everyday enactment of health disparities. Drawing upon the culture-centered approach (CCA) to co-construct narratives of health with African Americans residents of Lake County, Indiana, we explore the presence of stress in the everyday narratives of health. These narratives voice the social and structural sources of stress, and articulate resistive coping strategies embedded in relationship to structures.

  4. Continental rifts and mineral resources

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, K. . Geosciences Dept.)

    1992-01-01

    Continental rifts are widespread and range in age from the present to 3 b.y. Individual rifts may form parts of complex systems as in E. Africa and the Basin and Range. Rifts have originated in diverse environments such as arc-crests, sites of continental collision, collapsing mountain belts and on continents at rest over the mantle circulation pattern. Continental rift resources can be classified by depth of origin: For example, in the Great Dike, Norilsk and Mwadui magma from the mantle is the host. At shallower depths continental crust partly melted above mafic magma hosts ore (Climax, Henderson). Rift volcanics are linked to local hydrothermal systems and to extensive zeolite deposits (Basin and Range, East Africa). Copper (Zambia, Belt), zinc (Red Dog) and lead ores (Benue) are related to hydrothermal systems which involve hot rock and water flow through both pre-rift basement and sedimentary and volcanic rift fill. Economically significant sediments in rifts include coals (the Gondwana of Inida), marine evaporites (Lou Ann of the Gulf of Mexico) and non-marine evaporites (East Africa). Oil and gas in rifts relate to a variety of source, reservoir and trap relations (North Sea, Libya), but rift-lake sediment sources are important (Sung Liao, Bo Hai, Mina, Cabinda). Some ancient iron ores (Hammersley) may have formed in rift lakes but Algoman ores and greenstone belt mineral deposits in general are linked to oceanic and island arc environments. To the extent that continental environments are represented in such areas as the Archean of the Superior and Slave they are Andean Arc environments which today have locally rifted crests (Ecuador, N. Peru). The Pongola, on Kaapvaal craton may, on the other hand represent the world's oldest preserved, little deformed, continental rift.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-22

    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.

  12. Clinical, virological and serological response of the West African dwarf sheep to experimental infection with different strains of Rift Valley fever virus.

    PubMed

    Tomori, O

    1979-03-01

    West African dwarf sheep were inoculated with three different strains of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). Using infective mouse serum as the source of virus classical RVFV disease characterised by sudden onset, a sharp but transient febrile response, viraemia, abortions and the development of specific RVFV antibodies in surviving animals was observed. The severity of clinical response was, however, dependent on the strain of virus used, with animals inoculated with Smithburn's neuroadapted strain showing a milder response than those inoculated with either the Nigerian or Lunyo strain. The inoculation of sheep with RVFV infective mouse brain material of the three different strains resulted in a mild febrile response with low level viraemia. Immune sera from sheep inoculated with both the Nigerian and Smithburn's neurotropic strains did not neutralise the Lunyo virus strain in a mouse intracerebral neutralisation test; the reverse, however, was not the case. The findings indicate that the West African dwarf sheep is highly susceptible to RVFV infection and that previous reports of only a mild clinical response following inoculation with the Nigerian strain were due to infective mouse brain rather than infective mouse serum.

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  16. Assessing Human Impacts on the Water Balance of Lake Victoria Using GRACE and Altimeters.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swenson, S. C.; Wahr, J. M.

    2008-12-01

    GRACE has provided global estimates of vertically integrated water storage anomalies at monthly intervals with a useful spatial resolution of 300-500 km. Water levels of large lakes are now routinely monitored by satellite altimeters. By combining these datasets, it may be possible to separate the effects of climate and human management on lake levels. During the period 2002-2006, the levels of Lake Victoria dropped about two meters. Water storage changes of Lake Victoria and other large lakes in the East African Rift Valley are compared, and the relative impacts of climate and human management are shown to be of similar magnitude.

  17. Decadal Trends and Common Dynamics of the Bio-Optical and Thermal Characteristics of the African Great Lakes

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. Multiple episodes of rifting in Central and East Africa: A re-evaluation of gravity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Ibrahim, A.

    1994-12-01

    A compilation of new and existing gravity data, as well as geophysical and geological data, is used to assess the cumulative effects of multiple rifting episodes on crustal and upper mantle density structures beneath the Uganda-Kenya-Ethiopia-Sudan border region. This compilation includes new gravity and geological data collected in 1990 in south-western Ethiopia. Variations in the trends and amplitudes of Bouguer gravity anomalies reveal three overlapping rift systems: Mesozoic, Paleogene and Miocene-Recent. Each of these rift systems is a number of 40 100 km long sedimentary basins, and each system is approximately 1000 km long. The Bouguer anomaly patterns indicate that the Ethiopian and East African plateaux and corresponding gravity anomalies are discrete tectonic features. Models of structural and gravity profiles of two basins (Omo and Chew Bahir basins) suggest that pre-Oligocene (Cretaceous?) strata underlie 3 km or more of Neogene-Recent strata within the northern Kenya rift, and that more than 2 km of Neogene-Recent strata underlie parts of the southern Main Ethiopian rift. The superposition of perhaps three rifting episodes in the Lake Turkana (Omo) region has led to 90% crustal thinning (β ≈ 2).

  19. 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

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in fish from Lake Awassa in the Ethiopian Rift Valley: human health risks.

    PubMed

    Deribe, Ermias; Rosseland, Bjørn Olav; Borgstrøm, Reidar; Salbu, Brit; Gebremariam, Zinabu; Dadebo, Elias; Skipperud, Lindis; Eklo, Ole Martin

    2014-08-01

    Dietary intake of fish containing organic contaminants poses a potential threat to human health. In the present work, an assessment has been carried out to look at the human health risk associated with consumption of fish contaminated with organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyles (PCBs) in certain fish species collected from Lake Hawassa, Ethiopia. The health risk assessment was made by comparing the concentrations of OCPs and PCBs in fish muscle tissues with reference doses given in the USEPA guidelines. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), endosulfans, PCBs and chloridanes were identified in fish species collected from Lake Hawassa. The most predominant pesticides were DDTs, with mean concentrations of ΣDDT ranging from 19 to 56 ng g(-1) wet weights. The highest concentrations of DDTs were found in Barbus intermedius, representing the highest trophic level. PCBs, DDT and endosulfan concentrations found in B. intermedius exceeded the reference dose for children between the ages of 0-1 year (with hazard index of above 1.0). Therefore, consumption of fish from a high trophic level (e.g. B. intermedius) from Lake Hawassa may pose a special health risk to children.

  11. Hawaii Rifts

    DOE Data Explorer

    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.

  12. The impact of the African Great Lakes on the regional climate in a dynamically downscaled CORDEX simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiery, Wim; Panitz, Hans-Jürgen; Davin, Edouard; van Lipzig, Nicole

    2014-05-01

    Owing to the strong contrast in albedo, roughness and heat capacity between land and water, lakes significantly influence the exchange of moisture, heat and momentum between the surface and the boundary layer. To investigate this two-way interaction, a correct representation of lakes within regional climate models is essential. To this end, the one-dimensional lake parameterisation scheme FLake was recently coupled to the regional climate model COSMO-CLM (CCLM). One region where lakes constitute a key component of the climate system is the African Great Lakes region. In this study, the CCLM CORDEX-Africa evaluation simulation is dynamically downscaled from 0.44° (50 km) to 0.0625° (7 km) over East-Africa, an unprecedented resolution for this region. The performance of different CCLM configurations are compared for the period 1999-2008: in particular, CCLM is tested for its sensitivity to the choice of the lake surface temperature description (SST, FLake, an improved version of FLake and Hostetler) and the land surface model (Terra and Community Land Model). Model results are evaluated in a three-step procedure. First, the atmospheric state variables near-surface temperature, precipitation, surface energy fluxes, fractional cloud cover and column precipitable water are evaluated using in-situ based and satellite-derived products. Second, a comprehensive set of in-situ water temperature profile observations serves to evaluate the temporal evolution of water temperatures at three sites: Lake Kivu (Ishungu), Lake Tanganyika's northern basin (Kigoma) and southern basin (Mpulungu). Finally, spatial variability of surface temperatures in Lake Kivu and Lake Tanganyika are evaluated on the basis of satellite-derived lake surface temperatures. Subsequently, the preferred model configuration is used to quantify and understand effects by lakes reported for other regions in the world, such as a dampened diurnal temperature range, enhanced evaporation, modified surface layer

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. East African Droughts of the Last 2 Millennia: Insights from Compound-Specific Hydrogen Isotopes at Sacred Lake, Mount Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konecky, B.; Cohen, L. R.; Russell, J. M.; Vuille, M.; Huang, Y.; Street-Perrott, A.

    2010-12-01

    We present a new record of the δD of leaf waxes spanning the last 2 millennia from Sacred Lake, East Africa. Sacred Lake is a small (~1km diameter) crater lake located on the northeastern slope of Mount Kenya, along the equator and at approximately 2,350 meters above sea level. Climate in the region is characterized by a bimodal precipitation pattern driven by the annual migration of the ITCZ through the region, with maximum rainfall occurring October through December. Due to Sacred Lake’s location on the northeast Mt. Kenya slope, precipitation at Sacred Lake is highly sensitive to the intensity of the northeasterly Indian winter monsoon. Modern isotopes of precipitation in the region reflect the intensity of this monsoonal rainfall and, on interannual to decadal timescales, its relationship with the Indian Ocean Dipole (Vuille et. al, 2005). Fluctuations in the δD of precipitation at Sacred Lake, and hence the δD of leaf waxes in its sediments, thus most likely reflect the decadal to centennial scale behavior of the Indian winter monsoon over the last 2 millennia. Our δD record exhibits a long-term trend from more D-enriched leaf waxes at ~1700 years BP to more depleted waxes during the past millennium, consistent with many East African lake records indicating generally wetter conditions in the region following a widespread drought ca. 1,800 years BP (Russell and Johnson, 2005; Verschuren et. al, 2001). This long-term D-depletion may represent a broad intensification of the Indian winter monsoon over the last 2 millennia. Sacred Lake leaf wax isotopes exhibit a step-wise change around ~1200 years BP from more D-enriched (-124 +/- 4‰) to more D-depleted (-133 +/-4‰), followed by considerable decadal-scale δD variability during the past millennium. Significant isotopic enrichment of leaf waxes occurs during the late Little Ice Age, suggesting a weakening of the Indian winter monsoon during that time. However, most of the centennial-scale droughts between

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Neotectonics along the Turkana Rift (North Kenya) from river network analysis, remote sensing and reflection seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vetel, W.; Le Gall, B.; Tiercelin, J.-J.

    2003-04-01

    The NS-trending Turkana Rift (North Kenya) cuts through a N140^oE transverse depressed zone between the Kenyan and Ethiopian domes. It forms a 200 km-long rift segment of the East African Rift System, centered on the Turkana Lake. In this region, widespread rifting occurred during the Oligocene to Mio-Pliocene and opened large NS-trending hemigrabens imaged by seismics to the West of the Turkana Lake. Because the Turkana rifted zone is a low and poorly contrasted topographic area, it is difficult to draw the trace of the active rift, in contrast with 1) the narrow (20 km-wide) N10^o-trending axial trough forming the Suguta valley to the South, and 2) the Chew Bahir faulted basin to the North. Despite a semi-arid climate, the Turkana area shows a dense and widely-distributed river drainage network dominated by the Turkwell, Kerio and Omo first-order rivers. The entire stream pattern has been extracted from Landsat satellite images and then analyzed in terms of drainage anomalies. Major anomalies have been recognized at various scales and assigned to active tectonics. The direct correlation between surface data and the deep structures imaged on seismics allows to precise the inherited (Oligo-Miocene) or newly-formed origin of the active deformation. Evidence for neotectonics are observed along 1) a large-scale transverse (EW) fault rooting at depth along a steep basement discontinuity (Turkwell), 2) a rift-parallel (NS) fault zone probably emplaced during Plio-Pleistocene and actually bounding the Napedet volcanic plateau to the West, and 3) over a round-shaped uplifted zone caused by inversion tectonics (Kalabata). Structural interpretation of offshore high-resolution seismics from Lake Turkana illustrates the existence of recent deformation and also helps complete the overall neotectonic framework of the Turkana rift zone. Finally, this study leads us to regard the Turkana area as a broad (ca. 100 km wide) zone of diffuse extension where active deformation is

  4. 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

  5. Rift induced delamination of mantle lithosphere and crustal uplift: a new mechanism for explaining Rwenzori Mountains' extreme elevation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallner, Herbert; Schmeling, Harro

    2010-10-01

    With heights of 4-5 km, the topography of Rwenzori Mountains, a large horst of old crustal rocks located inside a young passive rift system, poses the question “Why are the Rwenzori Mountains so high?”. The Cenozoic Western Rift branch of the East African Rift System is situated within the Late Proterozoic mobile belts between the Archean Tanzania Craton and Congo Craton. The special geological setting of the massif at a rift node encircled by the ends of the northern Western Rift segments of Lake Albert and Lake Edward suggests that the mechanism responsible for the high elevation of the Rwenzoris is related to the rifting process. Our hypothesis is based on the propagation of the rift tips, surrounding the stiff old lithosphere at Rwenzori region, thereby triggering the delamination of the cold and dense mantle lithosphere (ML) root by reducing viscosity and strength of the undermost lower crust. As a result, this unloading induces fast isostatic pop-up of the less dense crustal Rwenzori block. We term this RID—“ rift induced delamination of Mantle Lithosphere”. The physical consistency of the RID hypothesis is tested numerically. Viscous flow of 2D models is approximated by a Finite Difference Method with markers in an Eulerian formulation. The equations of conservation of mass, momentum and energy are solved for a multi-component system. Based on laboratory data of appropriate rock samples, a temperature-, pressure- and stress-dependent rheology is assumed. Assuming a simple starting model with a locally heated ML, the ML block between the weakened zones becomes unstable and sinks into the asthenosphere, while the overlying continental crust rises up. Thus, RID seems to be a viable mechanism to explain geodynamically the extreme uplift. Important conditions are a thermal anomaly within the ML, a ductile lower crust with visco-plastic rheology allowing significant strength reduction and lateral density variations. The special situation of a two

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Stepwise drying of Lake Turkana at the end of the African Humid Period: a forced regression modulated by solar activity variations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nutz, Alexis; Schuster, Mathieu

    2016-12-01

    Although the timing of the termination of the African Humid Period (AHP) is now relatively well established, the modes and controlling factors of this drying are still debated. Here, through a geomorphological approach, we characterize the regression of Lake Turkana at the end of the AHP. We show that lake level fall during this period was not continuous but rather stepwise and consisted of five episodes of rapid lake level fall separated by episodes marked by slower rates of lake level fall. Whereas the overall regressive trend reflects a decrease in regional precipitations linked to the gradual reduction in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation, itself controlled by orbital precession, we focus discussion on the origin of the five periods of accelerated lake level fall. We propose that these periods are due to temporary reductions in rainfall across the Lake Turkana area associated with repeated westward displacement of the Congo Air Boundary (CAB) during solar activity minima.

  9. How many rifts are there in West Africa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeth, S. J.

    1984-02-01

    The West African Rift System has, for the last ten years, been thought to consist of five interconnected rifts extending from the Gulf of Guinea deep into the heart of Africa. Careful re-examination of the geophysical evidence makes it quite clear that there are only three interconnected rifts in West Africa; the Lower Benue Rift which extends to the northeast from the Gulf of Guinea to a triple junction near Chum, and the Gongola and Yola Rifts which extend to the north and east, respectively, from the Chum triple junction. These three rifts opened during the earlier part of the Mesozoic and were subsequently filled with Cretaceous sediments. The evidence for two further rifts, the Ati Rift and the Fort Archambault Rift which were thought to extend to the northeast and southeast, respectively, from a triple junction at the eastern end of the Yola Rift, does not stand up to re-examination. The "Ati Rift" was thought to follow a major linear positive gravity anomaly which had been mapped beneath the Quaternary sediments of the Chad Basin. The main gravity anomaly is separated from the Yola Rift by over 300 km and is probably due to a linear body of basic volcanic or volcano-clastic rocks associated with a suture of Pan-African age. Within the gap, between the main anomaly and the Yola Rift, there are three localised positive anomalies which relate to a gabbro of Precambrian age, a band of dense meta-sediments within the Basement Complex and an acid igneous complex of Palaeogene age. The anomaly as a whole is therefore a sequence of unrelated anomalies, none of which are due to features of Mesozoic age. The "Fort Archambault Rift" was thought to follow a major linear negative gravity anomaly which has been mapped beneath the Quaternary sediments of the Chad Basin. To a large extent the negative anomaly overlies the fosse de Baké-Birao (Baké-Birao Basin) which is itself part of a far larger structure that extends, parallel to the southern margin of the West African

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Old fossils–young species: evolutionary history of an endemic gastropod assemblage in Lake Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Schultheiß, Roland; Van Bocxlaer, Bert; Wilke, Thomas; Albrecht, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Studies on environmental changes provide important insights into modes of speciation, into the (adaptive) reoccupation of ecological niches and into species turnover. Against this background, we here examine the history of the gastropod genus Lanistes in the African Rift Lake Malawi, guided by four general evolutionary scenarios, and compare it with patterns reported from other endemic Malawian rift taxa. Based on an integrated approach using a mitochondrial DNA phylogeny and a trait-specific molecular clock in combination with insights from the fossil record and palaeoenvironmental data, we demonstrate that the accumulation of extant molecular diversity in the endemic group did not start before approximately 600 000 years ago from a single lineage. Fossils of the genus from the Malawi Rift, however, are over one million years older. We argue that severe drops in the lake level of Lake Malawi in the Pleistocene offer a potential explanation for this pattern. Our results also challenge previously established phylogenetic relationships within the genus by revealing parallel evolution and providing evidence that the endemic Lanistes species are not restricted to the lake proper but are present throughout the Malawi Rift. PMID:19439440

  17. 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.

  18. Mesoclimatic imprints on palaeoclimate records from rift graben sediments: Implications from stable and radiogenic isotope data from mammalian tooth enamel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachert, Thomas; Brügmann, Gerhard; Mertz, Dieter F.; Kullmer, Ottmar; Schrenk, Friedemann; Ssemmanda, Immaculate; Taubald, Herbert

    2010-05-01

    The Neogene of East Africa is regarded as a period of long-term increasing aridity. It has been proposed that this is the result of a cooling of Indian Ocean surface waters or is caused by tectonic processes leading to the updoming of East Africa. However, mesoclimatic effects induced by the dynamics of the formation of rifts involving uplift of the rift shoulder and subsidence of the rift valley have been largely neglected so far. We have studied mesoclimatic variability by monitoring the evolution of the Albertine Rift (western branch of the East African Rift System) for the last 7 Ma using the tooth enamel of hippopotamids (Mammalia) as environmental archive. These non-migratory, water-dependant terrestrial mammals are particularly useful for palaeoclimate reconstructions because they have no dietary preferences with respect to C3 - C4 vegetation. By inhabiting lakes and rivers, Hippopotamids document mesoclimates of topographic depressions such as rift valleys and, therefore, changes of relative valley depth rather than entirely global climate changes. Average stable isotope compositions of oxygen and carbon were obtained from transects along drill cores through enamel. The Sr isotopic composition was determined by laser ablation multi-collector ICP-MS (Nu Plasma). 13C/12C isotope values in enamel imply the presence of pure C3 browsers (delta 13C < -9 per mil VPDB) from 7.0 to 3.0 Ma and pure C4 grazers (delta 13C > -1 per mil VPDB) from 2.3 to 1.0 Ma. This suggests a spread of grasslands during a maximum in aridity from 2.3 to 1.0 Ma. 18O/16O shows a systematic increase from values of -4.5 at 7.0 Ma to +1.4 per mil (delta 18O VPDB) 2.0 Ma ago. The Sr isotopic composition also increases systematically from 0.713 to 0.717 during this time period. This parallel evolution of 18O/16O and 87Sr/86Sr being climate and water provenance proxies, respectively, is interpreted in terms of rift shoulder uplift/subsidence of the rift valley floor. The oxygen isotopic

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Marine Incursion: The Freshwater Herring of Lake Tanganyika Are the Product of a Marine Invasion into West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Anthony B.; Teugels, Guy G.; Meyer, Axel

    2008-01-01

    The spectacular marine-like diversity of the endemic fauna of Lake Tanganyika, the oldest of the African Great Lakes, led early researchers to suggest that the lake must have once been connected to the ocean. Recent geophysical reconstructions clearly indicate that Lake Tanganyika formed by rifting in the African subcontinent and was never directly linked to the sea. Although the Lake has a high proportion of specialized endemics, the absence of close relatives outside Tanganyika has complicated phylogeographic reconstructions of the timing of lake colonization and intralacustrine diversification. The freshwater herring of Lake Tanganyika are members of a large group of pellonuline herring found in western and southern Africa, offering one of the best opportunities to trace the evolutionary history of members of Tanganyika's biota. Molecular phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that herring colonized West Africa 25–50MYA, at the end of a major marine incursion in the region. Pellonuline herring subsequently experienced an evolutionary radiation in West Africa, spreading across the continent and reaching East Africa's Lake Tanganyika during its early formation. While Lake Tanganyika has never been directly connected with the sea, the endemic freshwater herring of the lake are the descendents of an ancient marine incursion, a scenario which may also explain the origin of other Tanganyikan endemics. PMID:18431469

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. An inter-basinal comparison of the sedimentology of Late Holocene to recent sediments in the Rift Valley, Lake Turkana, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olago, D. O.; Odada, E. O.

    2000-08-01

    Grain size variations, sediment chemistry and general mineralogical assemblages of sediments in Lake Turkana reflect provenance. Allogenic sediments in Lake Turkana are mainly supplied by the Omo and Kerio-Turkwel Rivers. Minor inputs are from seasonal streams and strong southeasterly winds. The depth profiles of the grain size distributions in lake sediment cores exhibit enantiomorphism, which is interpreted as being diagnostic both of shifts in the equilibrium energy regime of the transporting media and of the dominant provenance of particular size grades within the specific basins of the lake. The North Sub-basin is dominated by fine-grained sediments, which reflect the texture of the volcanic rocks of the Omo River drainage basin. The Central Sub-basin sediments reflect, as sources, the coarser metamorphic terrane of the Kerio-Turkwel Rivers drainage basin. Kaolinite and fine-grained iron oxides are brought into the lake mainly by the two large fluvial input systems: the Omo River in the North Sub-basin and the Kerio-Turkwel Rivers in the Central Sub-basin. Some fine-grained overflow of this material makes its way into the South Sub-basin. Illite in the North and Central Sub-basins is strongly related to transport of material from near-shore sediments and, in the Central Sub-basin and northern reaches of the South Sub-basin, from the Kerio and Turkwel Rivers input. Smectite and calcite are mainly authigenic. In the South Sub-basin, however, the relatively coarser detrital particles are derived from silt and sand-sized in situ biogenic (calcitic and siliceous) debris and ˦olian-transported particles from regions southeast of the lake. The ˦olian fraction accounts largely for the ubiquitous and distinct very fine sand size grade, and consists of quartz, feldspar and blue-green amphiboles.

  15. The balance between deposition and subsidence (tectonics) in a rift basin playa and its effect on the climatic record of an area: Evidence from Bristol Dry Lake, California

    SciTech Connect

    Rosen, M.R. )

    1991-03-01

    Two continuous core intervals drilled in Bristol Dry Lake, a large (150 km{sup 2}) playa in the central Mojave Desert of California, penetrated over 500 m of sediment and did not reach basement. The repetitious nature of the alternating shallow brine pond halite and siliciclastic and the consistency of the carbonate isotopic data from the surface and core indicate a relatively stable brine composition for most of the history of Bristol Dry Lake. All sedimentary structures and primary halite fabrics in the core indicate shallow-water, brine-pond halite alternated with halite-saturated siliciclastic muds in the basin center. A delicate balance of subsidence and mechanical and chemical deposition of evaporite and siliciclastic minerals was necessary to maintain the largely ephemeral lake environment of deposition through over 550 m of basin fill. The alternating brine pond/saline lake setting in Bristol Dry Lake is not directly related to climatic influences, and the sediments do not record major climatic events demonstrated in other closed-basin lakes. The reason for this insensitivity to climatic events is explained by the interior location of the basin, the low relief of the mountains surrounding the catchment, the large surface area of the catchment, and the low average sedimentation rates. All of the above criteria are at least partially controlled by the tectonics of the area, which, in turn, affect the sedimentation rate and supply water to the basin. Therefore, it is important to consider the influence of the above factors in determining global versus local, or regional, climate curves for a particular basin.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. How many species of cichlid fishes are there in African lakes?

    PubMed

    Turner, G F; Seehausen, O; Knight, M E; Allender, C J; Robinson, R L

    2001-03-01

    The endemic cichlid fishes of Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria are textbook examples of explosive speciation and adaptive radiation, and their study promises to yield important insights into these processes. Accurate estimates of species richness of lineages in these lakes, and elsewhere, will be a necessary prerequisite for a thorough comparative analysis of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing rates of diversification. This review presents recent findings on the discoveries of new species and species flocks and critically appraises the relevant evidence on species richness from recent studies of polymorphism and assortative mating, generally using behavioural and molecular methods. Within the haplochromines, the most species-rich lineage, there are few reported cases of postzygotic isolation, and these are generally among allopatric taxa that are likely to have diverged a relatively long time in the past. However, many taxa, including many which occur sympatrically and do not interbreed in nature, produce viable, fertile hybrids. Prezygotic barriers are more important, and persist in laboratory conditions in which environmental factors have been controlled, indicating the primary importance of direct mate preferences. Studies to date indicate that estimates of alpha (within-site) diversity appear to be robust. Although within-species colour polymorphisms are common, these have been taken into account in previous estimates of species richness. However, overall estimates of species richness in Lakes Malawi and Victoria are heavily dependent on the assignation of species status to allopatric populations differing in male colour. Appropriate methods for testing the specific status of allopatric cichlid taxa are reviewed and preliminary results presented.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Seismic anisotropy beneath the incipient Okavango rift: Implications for rifting initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Youqiang; Gao, Stephen S.; Moidaki, Moikwathai; Reed, Cory A.; Liu, Kelly H.

    2015-11-01

    This study represents the first shear-wave splitting investigation of the Okavango rift zone (ORZ), an incipient continental rift belonging to the East African rift system in northern Botswana. Analysis of broadband seismic data recorded along a 750 km long profile of 22 stations traversing the ORZ and adjacent Congo and Kalahari cratons and several Precambrian orogenic zones reveals dominantly NE-SW fast orientations, which are parallel to both the absolute plate motion direction (based on the NNR-NUVEL-1A model) and the trend of most tectonic boundaries, including that of the ORZ. Spatial coherence analysis of the splitting parameters and correspondence between the observed fast orientations and the trend of tectonic features indicate that the main source of observed anisotropy is most likely in the upper asthenosphere, probably due to simple shear associated with the relative movement of the lithosphere against the asthenosphere. The presence of consistently rift-parallel fast orientations and normal splitting times in the ORZ and most parts of southern Africa implies that neither an upper mantle plume nor small-scale convection is the dominant source for rift initiation and development. The first shear-wave splitting measurements in the vicinity of the ORZ favor a model in which continental rifting develops in response to intra-plate relative movement of continental blocks along zones of weakness produced by ancient tectonic events.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Tropical African climate variability during the last glacial/interglacial transition: the molecular record from Lake Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castañeda, I. S.; Werne, J. P.; Johnson, T. C.

    2003-12-01

    In general, information regarding tropical African climate variability is relatively limited, especially in comparison with high-latitude studies. Unlike the high-latitudes where climate change is often expressed by fluctuations in temperature, low-latitude climate change is often expressed as variability in zonal circulation, which can result in hydrological fluctuations. Lake Malawi, situated in low-latitude tropical Africa (9-14° S), contains a continuous and high-resolution sedimentary record of the past 22ka BP and is anoxic below 250m, which enhances preservation of organic matter (OM). For these reasons, L. Malawi is an excellent location to examine the response of low-latitude African climate to global climate change. The climate of Malawi is strongly influenced by the position and seasonal migration of the ITCZ. During the rainy season from November to March, the ITCZ is positioned over L. Malawi (12-13° S) and the dominant winds are weak and northerly. Between April and May the ITCZ moves northward towards the equator and strong southerly winds prevail (Jury & Mwafulirwa, 2002). Previous studies of L. Malawi have shown responses to global climatic events, such as the Younger Dryas. Additionally, studies have demonstrated the response of L. Malawi to local or regional events, such as variability in the ITCZ. Based on BSi MAR, diatom, phosphorus, and trace metal data, Johnson et al. (2002) proposed that at times more frequent or stronger northerly winds promoted upwelling in the northern basin of L. Malawi, and suggested more southerly migrations of the ITCZ (reaching latitudes of >13\\deg S) as the cause of these increased winds. Additionally, a recent study of L. Malawi based on multiple bulk geochemical proxies provides evidence for both southward and northward displacements of the ITCZ during the past 23ka BP (Filippi and Talbot, submitted). In this study the molecular biomarker record of L. Malawi is examined. Previous studies of Lake Malawi have

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Turbidite Megabeds in an Oceanic Rift Valley Recording Jökulhlaups of Late Pleistocene Glacial Lakes of the Western United States.

    PubMed

    Zuffa; Normark; Serra; Brunner

    2000-05-01

    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 approximately 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 jökulhlaups, from the glacial lakes probably continued flowing as hyperpycnally generated turbidity currents on entering the sea at the mouth of the Columbia River.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Evaluating the Impact of Gilgel Gibe Dam on the Lake Turkana Water Levels: An Illustration from an Endorheic Lake in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velpuri, N.; Senay, G. B.

    2010-12-01

    Lake Turkana is one of the lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Africa. This lake has no outlet hence it is considered as closed or endorheic lake. To meet the demand of electricity in the east African region, Ethiopia is currently building Gilgel Gibe-III dam on the Omo River, which supplies up to 80% of the inflows to the Lake Turkana. On completion, this dam would be the tallest dam in Africa with a height of 241 m. As Lake Turkana is highly dependent on the inflows from the Omo River, the construction of this dam could potentially pose a threat to the downstream river valley and to Lake Turkana. This hydroelectric project is arguably one of the most controversial projects in the region. The impact of the dam on the lake is evaluated using Remote Sensing datasets and hydrologic modeling. First, lake water levels (1998-2007) were estimated using the Simplified Lake Water Balance (SLAB) approach which takes in satellite based rainfall estimates, modeled runoff and evapotranspiration data over the Turkana basin. Modeled lake levels were validated against TOPEX/POSIEDON/Jason-1 satellite altimeter data. Validation results showed that the model could capture observed trends and seasonal variations in lake levels. The fact that the lake is endorheic makes it easy to model the lake levels. Using satellite based estimates for the years 1998-2009, future scenarios for rainfall and evapotranspiration were generated using the Monte Carlo simulation approach and the impact of Gilgel Gibe-III dam on the Lake Turkana water levels is evaluated using SLAB approach. Preliminary results indicate that the impact of the dam on the lake would vary with the initial water level in the lake at the time of dam commissioning. It was found that during the initial period of dam/reservoir filling the lake level would drop up to 2-3 m (95% confidence interval). However, on average the lake would stabilize within 10 years from the date of commissioning. The variability within the lake levels due

  3. 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.

  4. Magma-compensated crustal thinning in continental rift zones.

    PubMed

    Thybo, H; Nielsen, C A

    2009-02-12

    Continental rift zones are long, narrow tectonic depressions in the Earth's surface where the entire lithosphere has been modified in extension. Rifting can eventually lead to rupture of the continental lithosphere and creation of new oceanic lithosphere or, alternatively, lead to formation of wide sedimentary basins around failed rift zones. Conventional models of rift zones include three characteristic features: surface manifestation as an elongated topographic trough, Moho shallowing due to crustal thinning, and reduced seismic velocity in the uppermost mantle due to decompression melting or heating from the Earth's interior. Here we demonstrate that only the surface manifestation is observed at the Baikal rift zone, whereas the crustal and mantle characteristics can be ruled out by a new seismic profile across southern Lake Baikal in Siberia. Instead we observe a localized zone in the lower crust which has exceptionally high seismic velocity and is highly reflective. We suggest that the expected Moho uplift was compensated by magmatic intrusion into the lower crust, producing the observed high-velocity zone. This finding demonstrates a previously unknown role for magmatism in rifting processes with significant implications for estimation of stretching factors and modelling of sedimentary basins around failed rift structures.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. The Pathogenesis of Rift Valley Fever

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Tetsuro; Makino, Shinji

    2011-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging zoonotic disease distributed in sub-Saharan African countries and the Arabian Peninsula. The disease is caused by the Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) of the family Bunyaviridae and the genus Phlebovirus. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, and virus replication in domestic ruminant results in high rates of mortality and abortion. RVFV infection in humans usually causes a self-limiting, acute and febrile illness; however, a small number of cases progress to neurological disorders, partial or complete blindness, hemorrhagic fever, or thrombosis. This review describes the pathology of RVF in human patients and several animal models, and summarizes the role of viral virulence factors and host factors that affect RVFV pathogenesis. PMID:21666766

  9. The pathogenesis of Rift Valley fever.

    PubMed

    Ikegami, Tetsuro; Makino, Shinji

    2011-05-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging zoonotic disease distributed in sub-Saharan African countries and the Arabian Peninsula. The disease is caused by the Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) of the family Bunyaviridae and the genus Phlebovirus. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, and virus replication in domestic ruminant results in high rates of mortality and abortion. RVFV infection in humans usually causes a self-limiting, acute and febrile illness; however, a small number of cases progress to neurological disorders, partial or complete blindness, hemorrhagic fever, or thrombosis. This review describes the pathology of RVF in human patients and several animal models, and summarizes the role of viral virulence factors and host factors that affect RVFV pathogenesis.

  10. Preliminary TEX86 temperatures and a lake level record of tropical climate extremes derived from sediment cores and seismic stratigraphy from Lake Turkana, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrissey, A. J.; Scholz, C. A.; Russell, J. M.

    2012-12-01

    Lake Turkana is the largest lake in the Eastern Branch of the East African Rift System and records hydrologic conditions of a region spanning nearly 2.5 degrees of latitude (~2.0 - 4.5 degrees N) in the African tropics. New data suggest the Turkana region likely experienced much wetter and cooler climate over several intervals since the latest Pleistocene. Lake level was extremely low twice during the latest Pleistocene, evidenced by depositional hiatuses in high-resolution CHIRP seismic reflection data that correlate with sediments that have low water-content, abundant sand, and low total organic carbon (TOC as low as <0.7%). Lake Turkana, like many lakes in northern tropical Africa, had a wetter climate during the African Humid Period. Intervals of high lake levels (up to ~440 m amsl) are indicated by flat-lying, laterally continuous, low-amplitude reflections that correlate in sediment cores to dark, fine-grained, laminated sediment with high TOC (up to ~6%). Calcium carbonate accumulation during this time period is nearly 0%, and combined with evidence of laminated, unbioturbated sediment suggests a fresh, stratified lake with anoxic bottom waters. During the early mid-Holocene, lake level began to fall to close to present levels (~365 m amsl). Sediments deposited during this time period have low but variable organic carbon content (~0.5 - ~2%) and are much higher in inorganic carbon (from fine-grained calcite precipitation). A moderate lowstand during the late Holocene is indicated by an erosional unconformity seen down to ~40 m below the current lake surface in several seismic profiles. This record of lake level extremes suggests highly variable rainfall patterns, forced by migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone) across tropical East Africa over the last 20,000 years. More than 50 sediment samples from 3 piston cores represent a continuous record of TEX86 temperature from ~20,000 years ago to modern. The generally low (<0.25) BIT index for the

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Structural Evolution of the Incipient Okavango Rift Zone, NW Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atekwana, E. A.; Kinabo, B. D.; Modisi, M. P.; Hogan, J. P.; Wheaton, D. D.

    2005-05-01

    Studies of the East African Rift System (EARS) and other continental rifts have significantly improved our understanding of rifting processes; however, we particularly lack studies of the embryonic stages of rift creation. The Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ), NW Botswana is one of few places worldwide where one can study the early stages of continental extension prior to the accumulation of significant amounts of sediments, volcanism, and multiphase deformation that obscure the investigation of these early time processes in more evolved continental rift zones. In this study, gravity and aeromagnetic data have been used to examine the initiation and development of the nascent ORZ. The Okavango basin in NW Botswana is located at the southern tip of the southwestern branch of the EARS. The rift is hosted within the Proterozoic fold and thrust belt of the Ghanzi-Chobe formation. Our objectives include (1) assessing the role of pre-existing structures on the development of rift faults and basin architecture, (2) Examining fault linkage patterns and boarder fault development, and (3) determining the shallow subsurface basin geometry. Aeromagnetic data from the ORZ suggest two main structural trends: 1) northeast-southwest (030- 070o) and 2) northwest - southeast (290 - 320o). The 030- 070o structures occur within the rift zone and throughout the surrounding basement. They form the main bounding fault system of this incipient rift. The NE - SW orientations of rift faults mirror the fold axes and foliation of the basement rocks, suggesting that the basement fabric played an important role in localizing the development of faults within the stress regime present during the initiation of this rift. Additionally, the greatest throw (~400- ~700 m) occurs along the Kunyere (NW dipping) and Tsau faults (SE dipping), defining a full graben as observed on gravity models. This differs from the half-graben model typical of most continental rift zones. Thus, it appears the basin geometry was

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Palynological evidence for gradual vegetation and climate changes during the "African Humid Period" termination at 13° N from a Mega-Lake Chad sedimentary sequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaral, P. G. C.; Vincens, A.; Guiot, J.; Buchet, G.; Deschamps, P.; Doumnang, J.-C.; Sylvestre, F.

    2012-06-01

    Located at the transition between the Saharian and Sahelian zones, at the center of one of the largest endoreic basins, the Lake Chad is ideally located to record regional environmental changes that occurred in the past. However, until now, no continuous archive from Lake Chad covering the Holocene has been studied. In this paper, we present pollen data from the first Holocene sedimentary sequence collected in Lake Chad (13° N; 14° E; Sahel region). Dated between ca. 6700 and ca. 5000 cal yr BP, this record encompasses the termination of the African Humid Period (AHP). Vegetational reconstructions are based on standard analyses of the pollen diagrams and are strengthened by quantitative approaches. Potential biomes that occurred at that time around Mega-Lake Chad are reconstructed using the biomization method and mean annual precipitation is estimated using the modern analogues technique. Results show that between ca. 6700 and ca. 6050 cal yr BP, a vegetation close to humid woodland or humid savanna, including elements currently found much further southward, thrived in the vicinity and/or the extra-local environment of the Mega-Lake Chad in place of the modern steppe, dry woodland and desert vegetation observed today. At the same time, montane forest populations extended further southward on the Adamawa plateau. This vegetation distribution is supported by biome reconstructions as well as by mean annual precipitation estimates of ca. 800 (-400/+700) mm for the period. The high abundance of lowland humid pollen taxa is interpreted as the result of a northward migration of the corresponding plants during the AHP driven by more favorable climatic conditions. Our interpretation in favor of a regional vegetation response to climatic changes is supported by other pollen data from several Northwestern African records. However, we cannot rule out that an increase of Chari-Logone inputs into the Mega-Lake Chad due to variations in hydrological regime might have

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. Rift Valley fever vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Tetsuro; Makino, Shinji

    2009-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), which belongs to the genus Phlebovirus, family Bunyaviridae, is a negative-stranded RNA virus carrying a tripartite RNA genome. RVFV is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes large outbreaks among ruminants and humans in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Human patients develop an acute febrile illness, followed by a fatal hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis or ocular diseases, whereas ruminants experience abortions during outbreak. Effective vaccination of both humans and ruminants is the best approach to control Rift Valley fever. This article summarizes the development of inactivated RVFV vaccine, live attenuated vaccine, and other new generation vaccines. PMID:19837291

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Volcanism at Rifts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Robert S.; McKenzie, Dan P.

    1989-01-01

    Investigates the nature of catastrophic volcanism and the rifting process. Describes two kinds of evidence: quantitative descriptions of rock melting and a wide range of observations. Discusses examples of continent growth in the North Atlantic, India and the Seychelles islands, and the South Atlantic. (YP)

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Continental rifting - Progress and outlook

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, B.H.; Morgan, P.

    1981-07-21

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. On the geodynamics of the Aegean rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agostini, Samuele; Doglioni, Carlo; Innocenti, Fabrizio; Manetti, Piero; Tonarini, Sonia

    2010-06-01

    The Aegean rift is considered to be either a classic backarc basin, or the result of the westward escape of Anatolia, or the effect of a gravitational collapse of an over-thickened lithosphere. Here these models are questioned. We alternatively present a number of geodynamic and magmatic constraints suggesting a simple model for the genesis of the extension as being related to the differential advancement of the upper lithosphere over a heterogeneous lower African plate. The Greek microplate overrides the Ionian oceanic segment of the African plate faster than the Anatolian microplate over the thicker Levantine more continental segment. This setting is evidenced by GPS-velocity gradient in the hangingwall of the Hellenic-Cyprus subduction system and requires a zone of rifting splitting the hangingwall into two microplates. This mechanism is unrelated to the replacement of retreated slab by the asthenosphere as typically occurs in the backarc of west-directed subduction zones. The supposed greater dehydration of the Ionian segment of the slab is providing a larger amount of fluids into the low velocity channel at the top of the asthenosphere, allowing a faster decoupling between the Greek microplate and the underlying mantle with respect to the Anatolian microplate. Slab ruptures associated with the differential retreat controlled by the inherited lithospheric heterogeneities in the lower plate and the proposed upwelling of the mantle suggested by global circulation models would explain the occurrence and coexistence of slab-related and slab-unrelated magmatism.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. [Rift valley fever].

    PubMed

    Markin, V A; Pantiukhov, V B; Markov, V I; Bondarev, V P

    2012-01-01

    In the last quarter of century virus of Rift valley fever (RVF) sharply extended its distribution by moving from Africa to Asia and evolving from low- to high pathogenic for humans causing severe hemorrhagic disease, practically equaling in this respect with some members ofa group of extremely dangerous pathogens. Morbidity and epidemics of RVF are analyzed. Evolution of epidemic development of the infection is examined. Necessity of development of means and methods for diagnostics, prophylaxis and therapy of RVF is underlined.

  2. The Fenwei rift and its recent periodic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jing-Ming

    1987-02-01

    , ground fissuring, epeirogenic movement, shifting of streams or lakes and climatic changes which have occurred in the historic period. Seven highly periodic cycles of seismicity are recognized from available historic records of the earthquakes that have occurred in the rift region during the last 4000 yrs. Each cycle appears to begin with a period of intense seismicity consisting of a series of violent shocks chiefly of M6-8 and lasting approximately 200 yrs, and then passes on to a prolonged period of quiescence of about 600 yrs during which only minor seismic events occur. The 22 events of ground-fissuring recorded in the historic annals are also concentrated in several distinctive periods of intense activity which coincide with seven corresponding periods of active seismicity, suggesting that seismic events and ground fissures resulted from the same cause, both being indications of periodic tectonic activity of the rift. Moreover, periodic and coincident with periods of tectonic activity are the occurrences of the natural phenomena related to rifting such as the appearance and disappearance of lakes, the shifting of streams and changes of river water from clear to turbid.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Rifts in the tectonic structure of East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golynsky, Dmitry; Golynsky, Alexander

    2010-05-01

    coal-bearing basins in the Rajmahal Hills of East India, respectively, in the Antarctic continent. These structures can also be considered as major drainage feeders of terrigenous sediments onto the Davis Sea continental margin. Preliminary analysis of the RADARSAT imagery shows that the Denman Glacier occupies a linear fault system (> 400 km), whereas southward continuation of the Scott Glacier area represents a continuous system of horsts that bound a wide central depression.The Scott Glacier together with graben-like structures hidden by ice and with the graben of Lake Vostok may represent an extensive rift system developed as a result of large-scale pre-breakup extension of Gondwana. We speculate that the Gaussberg rift may be considered as a hypothetical accommodation zone of the Carboniferous-Permian intracontinental rift along 4000 km of the west Australian and east Indian margins, which filled with thick Permian-Triassic sediment including alluvial coals.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Topographic and Structural Analysis of Devana Chasma, Venus: A Propagating Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiefer, W. S.; Swafford, L. C.

    2003-12-01

    Devana Chasma is a rift system on Venus that formed due to extensional stresses from the Beta Regio and Phoebe Regio mantle plumes. Devana has often been compared to the East African Rift system on Earth. Here, we focus on the portion of Devana in the lowland plains between Beta and Phoebe, 20 North - 4 South, a distance of 2500 km. Over this region, Devana is typically 150 to 250 km wide. Recent gravity modeling (Kiefer and Peterson, Geophys. Res. Lett., Jan. 2003) demonstrated that most of this segment of the rift is presently underlain by hot, low density mantle material. The rift has a 600 km lateral offset near 8 North latitude, where the gravity results show no evidence for hot mantle. This lead Kiefer and Peterson to propose that Devana is actually two propagating rifts, one propagating southward from Beta Regio and the other propagating northward from Phoebe Regio. As a test of this hypothesis, we have examined the detailed structural geology of this section of the rift using topographic profiles and radar imagery from the Magellan mission. We constructed a series of topographic transects spaced at approximately 50 km intervals along the rift and measured the average flank height and the maximum rift depth. We measured the total vertical offset along faulted surfaces and converted this to horizontal extension assuming a characteristic normal fault dip of 60 degrees. Plots of these quantities as a function of distance along the rift reveals several characteristic zones. Average flank height has maximum values near the edges of Beta Regio (3.5 km) and Phoebe Regio (2.75 km) and decreases rapidly as the rift crosses the intervening plains. This is consistent with the rift forming due to thermal anomalies centered at Beta and Phoebe. The virtual absence of elevated rift flanks in the offset region near 8 North is consistent with the absence of hot mantle in this region, as inferred from the gravity model. The horizontal extension decreases strongly with

  13. Propagating rifts on midocean ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hey, Richard; Duennebier, Frederick K.; Morgan, W. Jason

    1980-07-01

    Spreading center jumps identified west of the Galapagos Islands near 95°W occur in a pattern consistent with the propagating rift hypothesis. A new rift is gradually breaking through the Cocos plate. Each successive jump is slightly longer than the preceding jump. The new spreading center grows at a new azimuth toward the west as the old one dies. The jumps are a manifestation of rift propagation. We extend the analysis of propagating rifts to the case of continuous propagation and predict patterns of magnetic anomalies and bathymetry consistent with the observed patterns. In particular, we correctly predict the trends of fossil spreading centers and V patterns of magnetic anomaly offsets required by the propagating rift hypothesis. Similar V patterns have been observed on many other spreading centers and have been interpreted in various ways. The propagating rift hypothesis appears to offer a simple explanation, consistent with rigid plate tectonics, for each of these patterns. This hypothesis may also have important implications for continental rifting.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Modeling along-axis variations in fault architecture in the Main Ethiopian Rift: Implications for Nubia-Somalia kinematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erbello, Asfaw; Corti, Giacomo; Agostini, Andrea; Sani, Federico; Kidane, Tesfaye; Buccianti, Antonella

    2016-12-01

    In this contribution, analogue modeling is used to provide new insights into the Nubia-Somalia kinematics responsible for development and evolution of the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), at the northern termination of the East African Rift system. In particular, we performed new crustal-scale, brittle models to analyze the along-strike variations in fault architecture in the MER and their relations with the rift trend, plate motion and the resulting Miocene-recent kinematics of rifting. The models reproduced the overall geometry of the ∼600 km-long MER with its along-strike variation in orientation to test different hypothesis proposed to explain rift evolution. Analysis of model results in terms of statistics of fault length and orientation, as well as deformation architecture, and its comparison with the MER suggest that models of two-phase rifting (with a first phase of NW-SE extension followed by E-W rifting) or constant NW-SE extension, as well as models of constant ENE-WSW rifting are not able to reproduce the fault architecture observed in nature. Model results suggest instead that the rift has likely developed under a constant, post-11 Ma extension oriented roughly ESE-WNW (N97.5°E), consistent with recent plate kinematics models.

  17. Rift Valley fever.

    PubMed

    Paweska, J T

    2015-08-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic viral disease affecting domestic and wild ruminants, camels and humans. The causative agent of RVF, the RVF virus (RVFV), has the capacity to cause large and severe outbreaks in animal and human populations and to cross significant natural geographic barriers. Rift Valley fever is usually inapparent in non-pregnant adult animals, but pregnant animals and newborns can be severely affected; outbreaks are characterised by a sudden onset of abortions and high neonatal mortality. The majority of human infections are subclinical or associated with moderate to severe, non-fatal, febrile illness, but some patients may develop a haemorrhagic syndrome and/or ocular and neurological lesions. In both animals and humans, the primary site of RVFV replication and tissue pathology is the liver. Outbreaks of RVF are associated with persistent high rainfalls leading to massive flooding and the emergence of large numbers of competent mosquito vectors that transmit the virus to a wide range of susceptible vertebrate species. Outbreaks of RVF have devastating economic effects on countries for which animal trade constitutes the main source of national revenue. The propensity of the virus to spread into new territories and re-emerge in traditionally endemic regions, where it causes large outbreaks in human and animal populations, presents a formidable challenge for public and veterinary health authorities. The presence of competent mosquito vectors in RVF-free countries, the wide range of mammals susceptible to the virus, altering land use, the global changes in climate, and increased animal trade and travel are some of the factors which might contribute to international spread of RVF.

  18. 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

  19. 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 lake, and increases with trophic level, however, the biomagnification rate was generally lower than what has been reported from other areas. Significantly higher concentrations of 4,4'-DDE were found in the top consumer fish in Lake Ziway, C. gariepinus than in O. niloticus (t=2.6, P<0.01), T. zillii (t=2.5, P<0.02) and C. auratus (t=2.2, P<0.03).

  20. No thermal anomalies in the mantle transition zone beneath an incipient continental rift: evidence from the first receiver function study across the Okavango Rift Zone, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Liu, K. H.; Moidaki, M.; Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.

    2015-08-01

    Mechanisms leading to the initiation and early-stage development of continental rifts remain enigmatic, in spite of numerous studies. Among the various rifting models, which were developed mostly based on studies of mature rifts, far-field stresses originating from plate interactions (passive rifting) and nearby active mantle upwelling (active rifting) are commonly used to explain rift dynamics. Situated atop of the hypothesized African Superplume, the incipient Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) of northern Botswana is ideal to investigate the role of mantle plumes in rift initiation and development, as well as the interaction between the upper and lower mantle. The ORZ developed within the Neoproterozoic Damara belt between the Congo Craton to the northwest and the Kalahari Craton to the southeast. Mantle structure and thermal status beneath the ORZ are poorly known, mostly due to a complete paucity of broad-band seismic stations in the area. As a component of an interdisciplinary project funded by the United States National Science Foundation, a broad-band seismic array was deployed over a 2-yr period between mid-2012 and mid-2014 along a profile 756 km in length. Using P-to-S receiver functions (RFs) recorded by the stations, the 410 and 660 km discontinuities bordering the mantle transition zone (MTZ) are imaged for the first time. When a standard Earth model is used for the stacking of RFs, the apparent depths of both discontinuities beneath the Kalahari Craton are about 15 km shallower than those beneath the Congo Craton. Using teleseismic P- and S-wave traveltime residuals obtained by this study and lithospheric thickness estimated by previous studies, we conclude that the apparent shallowing is the result of a 100-150 km difference in the thickness of the lithosphere between the two cratons. Relative to the adjacent tectonically stable areas, no significant anomalies in the depth of the MTZ discontinuities or in teleseismic P- and S-wave traveltime residuals are

  1. New insights on water level variability for Lake Turkana for the past 15 ka and at 150 ka from relict beaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forman, S. L.; Wright, D.

    2015-12-01

    Relict beaches adjacent to Lake Turkana provide a record of water level variability for the Late Quaternary. This study focused on deciphering the geomorphology, sedimentology, stratigraphy and 14C chronology of strand plain sequences in the Kalokol and Lothagam areas. Nine >30 m oscillations in water level were documented between ca. 15 and 4 ka. The earliest oscillation between ca. 14.5 and 13 ka is not well constrained with water level to at least 70 m above the present surface and subsequently fell to at least 50 m. Lake level increased to ~ 90 m between ca. 11.2 and 10.4 ka, post Younger Dryas cooling. Water level fell by >30 m by 10.2 ka, with another potential rise at ca. 8.5 ka to >70 m above current level. Lake level regressed by > 40 m at 8.2 ka coincident with cooling in the equatorial Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Two major >70 m lake level oscillations centered at 6.6 and 5.2 ka may reflect enhanced convection with warmer sea surface temperatures in the Western Indian Ocean. The end of the African Humid Period occurred from ca. 8.0 to 4.5 ka and was characterized by variable lake level (± > 40 m), rather than one monotonic fall in water level. This lake level variability reflects a complex response to variations in the extent and intensity of the East and West African Monsoons near geographic and topographic limits within the catchment of Lake Turkana. Also, for this closed lake basin excess and deficits in water input are amplified with a cascading lake effect in the East Rift Valley and through the Chew Bahir Basin. The final regression from a high stand of > 90 m began at. 5.2 ka and water level was below 20 m by 4.5 ka; and for the remainder of the Holocene. This sustained low stand is associated with weakening of the West African Monsoon, a shift of the mean position of Congo Air Boundary west of the Lake Turkana catchment and with meter-scale variability in lake level linked to Walker circulation across the Indian Ocean. A surprising observation is

  2. Rift basins - Origin, history, and distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K. C.

    1985-01-01

    Rifts are elongate depressions overlying places where the lithosphere has ruptured in extension. Where filled with sediment they may contain exploitable quantities of oil and gas. Because rits form in a variety of tectonic settings, it is helpful to define the particular tectonic environment in which a specific rift or set of rifts has developed. A useful approach has been to relate that environment to the Wilson Cycle of the opening and the closing of oceans. This appreciation of tectonic setting can help in better understanding of the depositional, structural and thermal history of individual rift systems. The global distribution of rifts can also be related to tectonic environment. For example, rifts associated with continental rupture at a temporary still-stand of a continent over the mantle convective system (rifts like those active in East Africa today) can be distinguished from those associated with continental collision (rifts like the Cenozoic rifts of China).

  3. Insights into rifting from shear wave splitting and receiver functions: an example from Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayele, Atalay; Stuart, Graham; Kendall, J.-Michael

    2004-04-01

    Seismic anisotropy beneath broad-band stations in the vicinity of the East African rift are compared with those on stable cratonic parts of Africa and Arabia. Such measurements offer potential constraints on rift processes, absolute plate motions (APM) and tectonic structure. New SKS shear wave splitting parameters are analysed beneath the broad-band stations of FURI and AAE (Ethiopia), BGCA (Central African Republic) and RAYN (Saudi Arabia). The number of events considered at the four stations varies from 13 to 32 and provides good azimuthal coverage. Stations on or near the rift show the polarization of the fast shear wave (φ) aligned parallel to the rift axis. The magnitude of the splitting delay (δt) increases northward along the East African rift. Previously published measurements in Kenya show the smallest splitting value (1.0 s), whilst the Djibouti station, ATD, shows the largest splitting (1.6 s). The Ethiopian results (δt= 1.38 + 0.03 s, φ= 36°+ 1) show constancy in δt and φ with respect to backazimuth, thus, suggesting a single anisotropic layer beneath the stations. There is no observed correlation of φ with APM direction. Less splitting (δt) is observed beneath cratonic parts of Africa. BGCA in central Africa shows splitting parallel to the inferred direction of transpression, not the APM direction. Receiver-function analysis at FURI and AAE supports evidence from refraction experiments of thick crust (ca 40 km) in the region of continental rifting, however, the analysis shows a deeper interface at a depth of 90 km, also. This interface may mark the base of the lithosphere in this region. One interpretation of the splitting results is that the anisotropy at the Ethiopian stations is the result of aligned melt in this upper 90 km of lithosphere. A < 1 per cent volume fraction of melt aligned in thin (aspect-ratio <0.03) vertical ellipsoidal pockets generates sufficient splitting to explain the data. Higher splitting magnitudes in the north

  4. Cenozoic extension in the Kenya Rift from low-temperature thermochronology: Links to diachronous spatiotemporal evolution of rifting in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres Acosta, Verónica; Bande, Alejandro; Sobel, Edward R.; Parra, Mauricio; Schildgen, Taylor F.; Stuart, Finlay; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-12-01

    The cooling history of rift shoulders and the subsidence history of rift basins are cornerstones for reconstructing the morphotectonic evolution of extensional geodynamic provinces, assessing their role in paleoenvironmental changes and evaluating the resource potential of their basin fills. Our apatite fission track and zircon (U-Th)/He data from the Samburu Hills and the Elgeyo Escarpment in the northern and central sectors of the Kenya Rift indicate a broadly consistent thermal evolution of both regions. Results of thermal modeling support a three-phased thermal history since the early Paleocene. The first phase (~65-50 Ma) was characterized by rapid cooling of the rift shoulders and may be coeval with faulting and sedimentation in the Anza Rift basin, now located in the subsurface of the Turkana depression and areas to the east in northern Kenya. In the second phase, very slow cooling or slight reheating occurred between ~45 and 15 Ma as a result of either stable surface conditions, very slow exhumation, or subsidence. The third phase comprised renewed rapid cooling starting at ~15 Ma. This final cooling represents the most recent stage of rifting, which followed widespread flood-phonolite emplacement and has shaped the present-day landscape through rift shoulder uplift, faulting, basin filling, protracted volcanism, and erosion. When compared with thermochronologic and geologic data from other sectors of the East African Rift System, extension appears to be diachronous, spatially disparate, and partly overlapping, likely driven by interactions between mantle-driven processes and crustal heterogeneities, rather than the previously suggested north-south migrating influence of a mantle plume.

  5. Geophysical evidence of pre-sag rifting and post-rifting fault reactivation in the Parnaíba basin, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes de Castro, David; Hilário Bezerra, Francisco; Adolfo Fuck, Reinhardt; Vidotti, Roberta Mary

    2016-04-01

    This study investigated the rifting mechanism that preceded the prolonged subsidence of the Paleozoic Parnaíba basin in Brazil and shed light on the tectonic evolution of this large cratonic basin in the South American platform. From the analysis of aeromagnetic, aerogravity, seismic reflection and borehole data, we concluded the following: (1) large pseudo-gravity and gravity lows mimic graben structures but are associated with linear supracrustal strips in the basement. (2) Seismic data indicate that 120-200 km wide and up to 300 km long rift zones occur in other parts of the basins. These rift zones mark the early stage of the 3.5 km thick sag basin. (3) The rifting phase occurred in the early Paleozoic and had a subsidence rate of 47 m Myr-1. (4) This rifting phase was followed by a long period of sag basin subsidence at a rate of 9.5 m Myr-1 between the Silurian and the late Cretaceous, during which rift faults propagated and influenced deposition. These data interpretations support the following succession of events: (1) after the Brasiliano orogeny (740-580 Ma), brittle reactivation of ductile basement shear zones led to normal and dextral oblique-slip faulting concentrated along the Transbrasiliano Lineament, a continental-scale shear zone that marks the boundary between basement crustal blocks. (2) The post-orogenic tectonic brittle reactivation of the ductile basement shear zones led to normal faulting associated with dextral oblique-slip crustal extension. In the west, pure-shear extension induced the formation of rift zones that crosscut metamorphic foliations and shear zones within the Parnaíba block. (3) The rift faults experienced multiple reactivation phases. (4) Similar processes may have occurred in coeval basins in the Laurentia and Central African blocks of Gondwana.

  6. Crustal and sub-continental lithospheric mantle decoupling beneath the Malawi Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njinju, Emmanuel Atem

    We analyzed satellite gravity and aeromagnetic data using the two-dimensional (2D) power-density spectrum technique to investigate the lithospheric and thermal structure beneath the magma-starved Malawi Rift, which forms the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We observed: (1) lack of consistent pattern of crustal thinning and elevated heat flow along the surface expression of the rift. Beneath the Rungwe Volcanic Province (RVP) in the north, the crustal thickness ranges between 40 and 45 km and varies between 35 and 40 km along the entire length of the rift. (2) shallow lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) elevated to ˜64 km beneath the entire length of the rift and deeper than 100 km beneath the surrounding Precambrian terranes reaching in places ˜124 km. (3) localized zones of high heat flow (70-75 mWm-2) beneath the RVP, and the central and southern parts of the rift. The central and southern thermal anomalies are due to the presence of uranium deposits in the Karoo sedimentary rocks. We interpret the crustal thickness heterogeneity to have been inherited from pre-existing lithospheric stretching, while strain during the extension of the Malawi Rift is preferentially localized in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). Our interpretation is supported by 2D forward modeling of the gravity data showing uniform stretching of the SCLM by a factor of 1.5 to 1.8 beneath the entire length of the rift. Our results indicate decoupling of the crust from the SCLM during the early stages of the development of the Malawi Rift.

  7. Quantifying the Temporal and Spatial Response of Channel Steepness to Changes in Rift Basin Architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Scott M.

    Quantifying the temporal and spatial evolution of active continental rifts contributes to our understanding of fault system evolution and seismic hazards. Rift systems also preserve robust paleoenvironmental records and are often characterized by strong climatic gradients that can be used to examine feedbacks between climate and tectonics. In this thesis, I quantify the spatial and temporal history of rift flank uplift by analyzing bedrock river channel profiles along footwall escarpments in the Malawi segment of the East Africa Rift. This work addresses questions that are widely applicable to continental rift settings: (1) Is rift-flank uplift sufficiently described by theoretical elliptical along-fault displacement patterns? (2) Do orographic climate patterns induced by rift topography affect rift-flank uplift or morphology? (3) How do uplift patterns along rift flanks vary over geologic timescales? In Malawi, 100-km-long border faults of alternating polarity bound half-graben sedimentary basins containing up to 4km of basin fill and water depths up to 700m. Orographically driven precipitation produces climatic gradients along footwall escarpments resulting in mean annual rainfall that varies spatially from 800 to 2500 mm. Temporal oscillations in climate have also resulted in lake lowstands 500 m below the modern shoreline. I examine bedrock river profiles crossing the Livingstone and Usisya Border Faults in northern Malawi using the channel steepness index (Ksn) to assess importance of these conditions on rift flank evolution. River profiles reveal a consistent transient pattern that likely preserves a temporal record of slip and erosion along the entire border fault system. These profiles and other topographic observations, along with known modern and paleoenvironmental conditions, can be used to interpret a complete history of rift flank development from the onset of rifting to present. I interpret the morphology of the upland landscape to preserve the onset

  8. Small changes in climate can profoundly alter the dynamics and ecosystem services of tropical crater lakes.

    PubMed

    Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Simpson, Kyle G; Efitre, Jackson; Nowlan, Tobias E; Taranu, Zofia E; Chapman, Lauren J

    2014-01-01

    African tropical lakes provide vital ecosystem services including food and water to some of the fastest growing human populations, yet they are among the most understudied ecosystems in the world. The consequences of climate change and other stressors on the tropical lakes of Africa have been informed by long-term analyses, but these studies have largely focused on the massive Great Rift Valley lakes. Our objective was to evaluate how recent climate change has altered the functioning and services of smaller tropical lakes, which are far more abundant on the landscape. Based on a paired analysis of 20 years of high-resolution water column data and a paleolimnological record from a small crater lake in western Uganda, we present evidence that even a modest warming of the air (∼0.9°C increase over 20 years) and changes in the timing and intensity of rainfall can have significant consequences on the dynamics of this common tropical lake type. For example, we observed a significant nonlinear increase (R(2) adj  = 0.23, e.d.f. = 7, p<0.0001) in thermal stability over the past 20 years. This resulted in the expansion of anoxic waters and consequent deterioration of fish habitat and appears to have abated primary production; processes that may impair ecosystem services for a vulnerable human population. This study on a system representative of small tropical crater lakes highlights the far-reaching effects of global climatic change on tropical waters. Increased research efforts into tropical aquatic ecosystem health and the development of sound management practices are necessary in order to strengthen adaptive capabilities in tropical regions.

  9. Small Changes in Climate Can Profoundly Alter the Dynamics and Ecosystem Services of Tropical Crater Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Simpson, Kyle G.; Efitre, Jackson; Nowlan, Tobias E.; Taranu, Zofia E.; Chapman, Lauren J.

    2014-01-01

    African tropical lakes provide vital ecosystem services including food and water to some of the fastest growing human populations, yet they are among the most understudied ecosystems in the world. The consequences of climate change and other stressors on the tropical lakes of Africa have been informed by long-term analyses, but these studies have largely focused on the massive Great Rift Valley lakes. Our objective was to evaluate how recent climate change has altered the functioning and services of smaller tropical lakes, which are far more abundant on the landscape. Based on a paired analysis of 20 years of high-resolution water column data and a paleolimnological record from a small crater lake in western Uganda, we present evidence that even a modest warming of the air (∼0.9°C increase over 20 years) and changes in the timing and intensity of rainfall can have significant consequences on the dynamics of this common tropical lake type. For example, we observed a significant nonlinear increase (R2adj = 0.23, e.d.f. = 7, p<0.0001) in thermal stability over the past 20 years. This resulted in the expansion of anoxic waters and consequent deterioration of fish habitat and appears to have abated primary production; processes that may impair ecosystem services for a vulnerable human population. This study on a system representative of small tropical crater lakes highlights the far-reaching effects of global climatic change on tropical waters. Increased research efforts into tropical aquatic ecosystem health and the development of sound management practices are necessary in order to strengthen adaptive capabilities in tropical regions. PMID:24497954

  10. The geometry of propagating rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenzie, Dan

    1986-03-01

    The kinematics of two different processes are investigated, both of which have been described as rift propagation. Courtillot uses this term to describe the change from distributed to localised extension which occurs during the early development of an ocean basin. The term localisation is instead used here to describe this process, to distinguish it from Hey's type of propagation. Localisation generally leads to rotation of the direction of magnetisation. To Hey propagation means the extension of a rift into the undeformed plate beyond a transform fault. Detail surveys of the Galapagos rift have shown that the propagating and failing rifts are not connected by a single transform fault, but by a zone which is undergoing shear. The principal deformation is simple shear, and the kinematics of this deformation are investigated in some detail. The strike of most of the lineations observed in the area can be produced by such deformation. The mode of extension on the propagating rift appears to be localised for some periods but to be distributed for others. Neither simple kinematic arguments nor stretching of the lithosphere with conservation of crust can account for the observed variations in water depth.

  11. Left-lateral transtension along the Ethiopian Rift and constrains on the mantle-reference plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muluneh, Ameha A.; Cuffaro, Marco; Doglioni, Carlo

    2014-09-01

    We present the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift, in the northern part of East African Rift System, derived from compilation of geodetic velocities, focal mechanism inversions, structural data analysis and geological profiles. In the central Ethiopian Rift, the GPS velocity field shows a systematic magnitude increase in ENE direction, and the incremental extensional strain axes recorded by earthquake focal mechanisms and fault slip inversion show ≈ N100°E orientation. This deviation between direction of GPS velocity vectors and orientation of incremental extensional strain is developed due to left lateral transtensional deformation along the NE-SW trending segment of the rift. This interpretation is consistent with the en-échelon pattern of tensional and transtensional faults, plus the distribution of the volcanic centers, and the asymmetry of the rift itself. We analyzed the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift also relative to the mantle comparing the results in the deep and shallow hotspot reference frames. While the oblique orientation of the rift was controlled by the pre-existing lithospheric fabric, the two reference frames predict different kinematics of Africa and Somalia plates along the rift itself, both in magnitude and direction, and with respect to the mantle. However, the observed kinematics and tectonics along the rift are more consistent with a faster WSW-ward motion of Africa than Somalia observed in the shallow hotspot framework. The faster WSW motion of Africa with respect to Somalia plate is inferred to be due to the lower viscosity in the top asthenosphere (LVZ-low-velocity zone) beneath Africa. These findings have significant implication for the evolution of continental rifting in transtensional settings and provide evidence for the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift in the context of the Africa-Somalia plate interaction in the mantle reference frame.

  12. How oblique extension and structural inheritance control rift segment linkage: Insights from 4D analogue models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido

    2016-04-01

    INTRODUCTION During the early stages of rifting, rift segments may form along non-continuous and/or offset pre-existing weaknesses. It is important to understand how these initial rift segments interact and connect to form a continuous rift system. A previous study of ours (Zwaan et al., in prep) investigated the influence of dextral oblique extension and rift offset on rift interaction. Here we elaborate upon our previous work by using analogue models to assess the added effects of 1) sinistral oblique extension as observed along the East African Rift and 2) the geometry of linked and non-linked inherited structures. METHODS Our set-up involves a base of foam and plexiglass that forces distributed extension in the overlying model materials: a sand layer for the brittle upper crust and a viscous sand/silicone mixture for ductile lower crust. A mobile base plate allows lateral motion for oblique extension. We create inherited structures, along which rift segments develop, with right-stepping offset lines of silicone (seeds) on top of the basal viscous layer. These seeds can be connected by an additional weak seed that represents a secondary inherited structural grain (model series 1) or disconnected and laterally discontinuous (over/underlap, model series 2). Selected models are run in an X-ray computer topographer (CT) to reveal the 3D evolution of internal structures with time that can be quantified with particle image velocitmetry (PIV) techniques. RESULTS Models in both series show that rift segments initially form along the main seeds and then generally propagate approximately perpendicular to the extension direction: with orthogonal extension they propagate in a parallel fashion, dextral oblique extension causes them to grow towards each other and connect, while with sinistral oblique extension they grow away from each other. However, sinistral oblique extension can also promote rift linkage through an oblique- or strike-slip zone oriented almost parallel to

  13. Geophysical studies of the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrendt, J. C.; Lemasurier, W. E.; Cooper, A. K.; Tessensohn, F.; TréHu, A.; Damaske, D.

    1991-12-01

    The West Antarctic rift system extends over a 3000 × 750 km, largely ice covered area from the Ross Sea to the base of the Antarctic Peninsula, comparable in area to the Basin and Range and the East African rift system. A spectacular rift shoulder scarp along which peaks reach 4-5 km maximum elevation marks one flank and extends from northern Victoria Land-Queen Maud Mountains to the Ellsworth-Whitmore-Horlick Mountains. The rift shoulder has maximum present physiographic relief of 5 km in the Ross Embayment and 7 km in the Ellsworth Mountains-Byrd Subglacial Basin area. The Transantarctic Mountains part of the rift shoulder (and probably the entire shoulder) has been interpreted as rising since about 60 Ma, at episodic rates of ˜1 km/m.y., most recently since mid-Pliocene time, rather than continuously at the mean rate of 100 m/m.y. The rift system is characterized by bimodal alkaline volcanic rocks ranging from at least Oligocene to the present. These are exposed asymmetrically along the rift flanks and at the south end of the Antarctic Peninsula. The trend of the Jurassic tholeiites (Ferrar dolerites, Kirkpatric basalts) marking the Jurassic Transantarctic rift is coincident with exposures of the late Cenozoic volcanic rocks along the section of the Transantarctic Mountains from northern Victoria Land to the Horlick Mountains. The Cenozoic rift shoulder diverges here from the Jurassic tholeiite trend, and the tholeiites are exposed continuously (including the Dufek intrusion) along the lower- elevation (1-2 km) section of Transantarctic Mountains to the Weddell Sea. Widely spaced aeromagnetic profiles in West Antarctica indicate the absence of Cenozoic volcanic rocks in the ice covered part of the Whitmore-Ellsworth-Mountain block and suggest their widespread occurrence beneath the western part of the ice sheet overlying the Byrd Subglacial Basin. A German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)-U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) aeromagnetic

  14. Plate kinematics of the Afro-Arabian Rift System with emphasis on the Afar Depression, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottenberg, Helen Carrie

    This work utilizes the Four-Dimensional Plates (4DPlates) software, and Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) to examine plate-scale, regional-scale and local-scale kinematics of the Afro-Arabian Rift System with emphasis on the Afar Depression in Ethiopia. First, the 4DPlates is used to restore the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Afar Depression and the Main Ethiopian Rift to development of a new model that adopts two poles of rotation for Arabia. Second, the 4DPlates is used to model regional-scale and local-scale kinematics within the Afar Depression. Most plate reconstruction models of the Afro-Arabian Rift System relies on considering the Afar Depression as a typical rift-rift-rift triple junction where the Arabian, Somali and Nubian (African) plates are separating by the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Main Ethiopian Rift suggesting the presence of "sharp and rigid" plate boundaries. However, at the regional-scale the Afar kinematics are more complex due to stepping of the Red Sea propagator and the Gulf of Aden propagator onto Afar as well as the presence of the Danakil, Ali Sabieh and East Central Block "micro-plates". This study incorporates the motion of these micro-plates into the regional-scale model and defined the plate boundary between the Arabian and the African plates within Afar as likely a diffused zone of extensional strain within the East Central Block. Third, DInSAR technology is used to create ascending and descending differential interferograms from the Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) C-Band data for the East Central Block to image active crustal deformation related to extensional tectonics and volcanism. Results of the DInSAR study indicate no strong strain localization but rather a diffused pattern of deformation across the entire East Central Block.

  15. Venus: Geology of Beta Regio rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nikishin, A. M.; Borozdin, V. K.; Bobina, N. N.

    1992-01-01

    Beta Regio is characterized by the existence of rift structures. We compiled new geologic maps of Beta Regio according to Magellan data. There are many large uplifted tesserae on beta upland. These tesserae are partly buried by younger volcanic cover. We can conclude, using these observations, that Beta upland formed mainly due to lithospheric tectonic uplifting and was only partly constructed by volcanism. Theia Mons is the center of the Beta rift system. Many rift belts are distributed radially to Theia Mons. Typical widths of rifts are 40-160 km. Rift valleys are structurally represented by crustal grabens or half-grabens. There are symmetrical and asymmetrical rifts. Many rifts have shoulder uplifts up to 0.5-1 km high and 40-60 km wide. Preliminary analysis for rift valley structural cross sections lead to the conclusion that rifts originated due to 5-10 percent crustal extension. Many rifts traverse Beta upland and spread to the surrounding lowlands. We can assume because of these data that Beta rift system has an active-passive origin. It formed due to regional tectonic lithospheric extension. Rifting was accelerated by upper-mantle hot spot origination under the center of passive extension (under the Beta Regio).

  16. Geology of Kubi Algi and Derati mountains, pantellerite bodies of Miocene age from the northern part of the Kenyan Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watkins, R. T.

    The small isolated peaks of Kubi Algi and Derati on the periphery of the Koobi Fora basin, to the north-east of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, are remnants of silicic peralkaline volcanic centres. Detailed geological maps of the areas of the two mountains are presented. Both are massive bodies of generally aphyric, microgranular pantellerite sharing similar petrography and chemistry. Kubi Algi shows evidence of having formed as an extrusive dome and is considered the source of local pantellerite lava flows, here designated the Il Burrka Formation. Derati mountain can best be interpreted as a denuded plug of a second extrusive centre. The volcanoes were active in the middle Miocene towards the end of a period of regional magmatism extending from late-Oligocene times. The pantellerites are holocrystalline and thus contrast with the normally glassy over-saturated peralkaline rocks from the East African rifts, including older pyroclastic pantellerites of the northern Lake Turkana region. Despite being very finely crystalline, they show mineralogical features seen elsewhere in more slowly cooled, deep-seated, peralkaline granites. A very broad range of feldspar compositions present in the rocks is explained by the interaction of groundwater with the rapidly cooling magma. Of additional interest is the abundance of aegirine, present as a product of primary magmatic crystallization and, in the Derati rock, as a hydrothermal mineral. It contains significant but highly variable amounts of titanium and zirconium, the latter broadly equivalent to typical maximum concentrations reported from peralkaline intrusive complexes.

  17. Insights into rifting from SKS splitting and receiver functions: examples from Ethiopia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayele, A.; Kendall, M.; Stuart, G.

    2001-12-01

    Rifting in northern Ethiopia represents a transition from continental- to incipient oceanic- rifting. In an effort to obtain a better understanding of the role of asthenospheric dynamics in this transition, we re-analyse and enhance SKS splitting at stations distributed along the E.African Rift. New observations of shear-wave splitting and receiver functions are investigated at two Ethiopian stations near Addis Ababa, one broad-band (FURI) and the other short-period (AAE) close to the rift. Stations on or near the E. African Rift show the polarisation of the fast shear-wave (φ ) aligned parallel to the rift axis. However, the magnitude of the splitting increases northward and may be explained by the higher melt production observed in the Ethiopian part of the rift. Stations in Kenya show smallest splitting values ( ~ 1s.), whilst the Djibouti station, ATD, shows the largest splitting (1.6s.). The Ethiopian results show a constancy in δ t and φ with respect to backazimuth, thus suggesting a single anisotropic layer beneath the stations. There is no observed correlation in φ with APM direction. Shear-wave splitting in local events recorded at FURI also reveal anisotropy in the crust with a similar orientation to the SKS results. Receiver function analysis at FURI and AAE supports evidence from refraction experiments of thick crust ( ~38km) in the region of continental rifting. There is also evidence for a deeper interface, ~60km below Moho, in the broadband FURI data, but not in the short-period AAE data, thus suggesting this may not be a sharp interface. This interface may mark the base of the lithosphere in this region. Azimuthal asymmetry in the receiver functions suggests the layer is dipping away from the rift and anisotropy may be affecting the results. One interpretation is that the anisotropy is due to aligned melt in upper c.90km of lithosphere. A <1% volume fraction of melt aligned in vertical ellipsoidal pockets generates sufficient splitting to

  18. Tephrochronology of the East African Baringo-Tugen Hills Cores: Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garello, D.; Deino, A. L.; Campisano, C. J.; Kingston, J.; Arrowsmith, R.; Hill, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Baringo/Tugen Hills basin (BTB) in central Kenya is one of five Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) localities targeting lacustrine sediments associated with key fossil hominin sites. The fossiliferous Plio-Pliestocene Chemeron Formation, within the BTB, contains geochemically analyzed outcrop tephras, 8 of which have 40Ar/39Ar dates of 3.2-2.35Ma. Tephras have been crucial in developing chronologies in human evolution, paleontology, archaeology, and rift basin development. The HSPDP paleo-lake cores provide a high resolution and continuous record of sedimentation, as well as additional tephras not found in outcrop. For BTB, approximately 20 vitric tephras have been logged in the cores, including several previously unobserved tephras, providing a more complete record of volcanic activity. Major element geochemical analyses of the BTB tephras collected from the cores are critical for establishing chronostratigraphic links to the outcrop stratigraphy of the Chemeron Formation, as well as correlations outside of BTB. The Chemeron Formation, composed of alternating fluvial and lacustrine sediments, is associated with the onset and intensification of the Cenozoic Northern Hemisphere glaciation and encompasses the period of great hominin diversification of Paranthropus and Homo, as well as the earliest evidence for stone toolmaking. Within the Chemeron stratigraphy, there are sequences of diatomites that record a 23kyr-processional periodicity indicating a dominant climatic forcing. By correlating the BTB tephras, and thereby the BTB climate-forced lacustrine cycles, with other East African rift basins' stratigraphy, we can determine if this climatic wet/dry pattern observed at BTB had occurred in other East African rift basins. This knowledge can help in understanding the influence of climate and tectonics on the evolution of hominins during the Plio-Pleistocene.

  19. Mobilization of arsenic and other naturally occurring contaminants in groundwater of the Main Ethiopian Rift aquifers.

    PubMed

    Rango, Tewodros; Vengosh, Avner; Dwyer, Gary; Bianchini, Gianluca

    2013-10-01

    oxyhydroxides minerals were saturated in the groundwater, suggesting that the As reactivity is controlled by adsorption/desorption processes with these minerals. The data show that As and other oxyanion-forming elements such as U, B, Mo, and V had typically higher concentrations at pH > ~8, reflecting the pH-dependence of their mobilization. Based on the geochemical and stable isotope variations we have established a conceptual model for the occurrence of naturally occurring contaminants in MER groundwater: 1) regional groundwater recharge from the Highland, along the Rift margins, followed by lateral flow and water-rock interactions with the aquifer rocks resulted in a gradual increase of the salinity and naturally occurring contaminants towards the center of the valley; and (2) local δ(18)O-rich lake water recharge into adjacent shallow aquifers, followed by additional mobilization of As and other oxyanion-forming elements from the aquifer rocks. We posit that the combined physical-chemical conditions of the aquifers such as oxidizing state, Na-HCO3 composition, and pH>~8 lead to enhanced mobilization of oxyanion-forming elements from Fe-oxides and consequently contamination of local groundwater. These geochemical conditions characterize groundwater resources along the Eastern African Rift and thus constitute a potential threat to the quality of groundwater in larger areas of Eastern Africa.

  20. Teleseismic Investigations of the Malawi and Luangwa Rift Zones: Ongoing Observations From the SAFARI Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    In order to evaluate the influence of crustal and mantle heterogeneities upon the initiation of the Malawi rift zone (MRZ) and reactivation of the Zambian Luangwa rift zone (LRZ) subject to Cenozoic plate boundary stress fields and mantle buoyancy forces, we installed and operated 33 Seismic Arrays For African Rift Initiation (SAFARI) three-component broadband seismic stations in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia from 2012 to 2014. During the twenty-four month acquisition period, nearly 6200 radial receiver functions (RFs) were recorded. Stations situated within the MRZ, either along the coastal plains or within the Shire Graben toward the south, report an average crustal thickness of 42 km relative to approximately 46 km observed at stations located along the rift flanks. This implies the juvenile MRZ is characterized by a stretching factor not exceeding 1.1. Meanwhile, P-to-S velocity ratios within the MRZ increase from 1.71 to 1.82 in southernmost Malawi, indicating a substantial modification of the crust during Recent rifting. Time-series stacking of approximately 5500 RFs recorded by the SAFARI and 44 neighboring network stations reveals an apparent uplift of 10 to 15 km along both the 410- and 660-km mantle transition zone (MTZ) discontinuities beneath the MRZ and LRZ which, coupled with an apparently normal 250-km MTZ thickness, implies a first-order high-velocity contribution from thickened lithosphere. Preliminary manual checking of SAFARI shear-wave splitting (SWS) measurements provides roughly 650 high-quality XKS phases following a component re-orientation to correct station misalignments. Regional azimuthal variations in SWS fast orientations are observed, from rift-parallel in the vicinity of the LRZ to rift-oblique in the MRZ. A major 60° rotation in the fast orientation occurs at approximately 31°E, possibly resulting from the modulation of mantle flow around a relatively thick lithospheric keel situated between the two rift zones.

  1. The Proterozoic Ladoga rift (SE Baltic shield): Linking mantle dynamics to supercontinent cycle and regional tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemieva, Irina; Shulgin, Alexey

    2015-04-01

    Mesoproterozoic mafic magmatism at the southern part of the Baltic Shield (the Lake Ladoga region) is conventionally ascribed to epicratonic rifting. The region hosts a series of mafic dykes and sills of Mesoproterozoic ages, including a ca. 1.53-1.46 Ga sheet-like gabbro-dolerite sills and the Salmi plateau-basalts from the Lake Ladoga region. Based on chiefly geochemical data, the region is conventionally interpreted as an intracratonic Ladoga rift (graben). We question the validity of this geodynamic interpretation by analyzing regional geophysical data (crustal structure, heat flow, Bouguer gravity anomalies, magnetic anomalies, and mantle Vs velocities). Our analysis of characteristics of continental rifts demonstrates that: 1. the topography of the region lacks a linear horst-graben structure typical of modern rifts, however this feature might have been lost by surface erosion; 2. the crust has neither shallow Moho, nor magmatic high-velocity underplated material, and thus is not typical of continental rifts; 3. weakly negative Bouguer gravity anomalies, especially by comparison with adjacent "background" anomalies suggest the presence of high-density material at shallow, near-Moho depths; however, the shape of the anomaly is rounded rather than linear, and may not attest to the paleorifting event; 4. seismic velocities in the upper mantle show a possible weak low-Pn anomaly near Lake Ladoga, and strong positive (+5+7%) Vs anomaly at 75-125 km depth to the NE of the lake, but not in the region of Mesoproterozoic mafic magmatism; 5. no thermal anomaly or lithosphere thickness anomaly is currently present in the lithosphere of the region, which instead is marked by extremely low heat flow; however, given the age of magmatism any thermal anomaly may have long ceased and thus its absence does not disprove rifting origin of magmatism; 6. the absence of linear magnetic anomalies which are preserved in other paleorifts provides strong evidence that this region has

  2. Global Climate Change and Sedimentation Patterns in the Neogene Baringo Basin, Central Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deino, A. L.; Kingston, J. D.; Wilson, K. E.; Hill, A.

    2010-12-01

    The Tugen Hills are part of a ~100 km N-S tilted fault block, just west of Lake Baringo within the Central Kenyan Rift Valley. Sediments exposed in this block span the last 16 Ma and have yielded abundant and diverse fossil assemblages including a number of hominoid and hominid specimens. Much research has also focused on documenting the paleoecology of the succession through analyses of fossil floral, faunal, and biogeochemical proxies. Data from the Tugen Hills have revealed a complex evolutionary history of ecosystems characterized by spatial and temporal heterogeneity with no clear evidence of any long-term trends. While these studies suggest that the patterns of heterogeneity may be shifting at short time-scales (104-105 ka), limited temporal resolution has until now generally precluded assessments of environmental change at these scales. Recently published investigations in the Baringo Basin have provided evidence of orbitally mediated environmental change over periods which include hominid fossil localities (Deino et al., 2006; Kingston et al., 2007). The Baringo data represent the only empirical evidence for significant local environmental shifts that can directly be correlated with insolation patterns in equatorial Africa. Sedimentation patterns in the Baringo Basin between ca. 2.70 and 2.55 Ma, controlled by climatic factors, provide a detailed paleoenvironmental record including a sequence of diatomites that record rhythmic cycling of major freshwater lake systems consistent with ~23 kyr Milankovitch precessional periodicity modulated by eccentricity. The timing of the paleolakes most closely approximates insolation maximum for the June/July 30○N insolation curve, suggesting that precipitation patterns in the region are controlled by the African monsoon system. More recent fieldwork has identified older sequences that similarly demonstrate rhythmic cycling of freshwater lake systems. Preliminary 40Ar/39Ar dating of intercalated tephra reveals that

  3. Size variation in Tachyoryctes splendens (East African mole-rat) and its implications for late Quaternary temperature change in equatorial East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faith, J. Tyler; Patterson, David B.; Blegen, Nick; O'Neill, Chris J.; Marean, Curtis W.; Peppe, Daniel J.; Tryon, Christian A.

    2016-05-01

    This study develops a new proxy for Quaternary temperature change in tropical Africa through analysis of size variation in East African mole-rat (Tachyoryctes splendens). In modern mole-rats, mandibular alveolar length is unrelated to annual precipitation, precipitation seasonality, temperature seasonality, or primary productivity. However, it is inversely correlated with mean annual temperature, in agreement with Bergmann's rule. This relationship is observed at temperatures below ∼17.3 °C, but not at higher temperatures. We apply these observations to late Quaternary mole-rats from Wakondo (∼100 ka) and Kisaaka (∼50 ka) in the Lake Victoria region and Enkapune ya Muto (EYM; ∼7.2-3.2 ka) in Kenya's central rift. The Lake Victoria mole-rats are larger than expected for populations from warm climates typical of the area today, implying cooler temperatures in the past. The magnitude of temperature decline needed to drive the size shift is substantial (∼4-6 °C), similar in magnitude to the degree of change between the Last Glacial Maximum and Holocene, but is consistent with regional temperature records and with scenarios linking equatorial African temperature to northern hemisphere summer insolation. Size changes through time at EYM indicate that rising temperatures during the middle Holocene accompanied and potentially contributed to a decline in Lake Naivasha and expansion of grassland vegetation.

  4. Fluxes and distribution of tetraether lipids in an equatorial African lake: Constraints on the application of the TEX 86 palaeothermometer and BIT index in lacustrine settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

    The distribution of isoprenoid and branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids was studied in material from various sources in and around Lake Challa, a crater lake on the southeastern slope of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), to examine the provenance of GDGTs in lake sediments and their potential application as palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic proxies. The study material included samples collected at monthly intervals in a sediment trap over one complete annual cycle, particles suspended in the stratified water column, profundal surface sediments, and soils surrounding the lake. The sediment trap time series revealed that crenarchaeol and related isoprenoid GDGTs were predominantly produced in January and February, following the locally prominent short rain season (November-December). The TEX 86-inferred temperature derived from sedimenting particles corresponded well with lake surface-water temperature at this time of largest crenarchaeol flux. Molecular ecological analysis showed that Group 1.1a and 1.1b crenarchaeota are the most likely source organisms of these GDGTs. GDGT-0 in the lake sediments does not only originate from lake surface-dwelling crenarchaeota but seems predominantly derived from archaea residing in the deeper, anoxic part of the water column. The main flux of branched GDGTs to the sediment was during the short rain season and is most probably derived from eroded catchment soils in surface run-off. However, a contribution from in-situ production of branched GDGTs in the lake sediment or water, or in groundwater cannot be fully excluded. We conclude that palaeoclimatic reconstruction based on branched GDGT distributions in lake sediments should only be performed when the origin of those branched GDGTs is well constrained.

  5. Cenozoic rift formation in the northern Caribbean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mann, P.; Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

    Rifts form in many different tectonic environments where the lithosphere is put into extension. An outline is provided of the distribution, orientation, and relative ages of 16 Cenozoic rifts along the northern edge of the Caribbean plate and it is suggested that these structures formed successively by localized extension as the Caribbean plate moved eastward past a continental promontory of North America. Evidence leading to this conclusion includes (1) recognition that the rifts become progressively younger westward; (2) a two-phase subsidence history in a rift exposed by upthrusting in Jamaica; (3) the absence of rifts east of Jamaica; and (4) the observation that removal of 1400 km of strike-slip displacement on the Cayman Trough fault system places the Paleogene rifts of Jamaica in an active area of extension south of Yucatan where the rifts of Honduras and Guatemala are forming today.

  6. Radial Anisotropy beneath the Main Ethiopian Rift and Afar Depression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardo, N. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Jin, G.; Shillington, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and Afar uniquely capture the final stages of transition from continental rifting in the broader East African Rift System to incipient seafloor spreading above a mantle hotspot. Studies of the region increasingly point to magmatism as a controlling factor on continental extension. However, the character and depth extent of these melt products remain contentious. Radial anisotropy derived from surface waves provides a unique diagnostic constraint on the presence of oriented melt pockets versus broader oriented anisotropic fabrics. This study investigates the thermal and radially anisotropic structure beneath the broader MER and Afar to resolve the magmatic character of the region and ultimately to understand the role of magmatism in present day rift development. We utilize 104 stations from 4 collocated arrays in the MER/Afar region to constrain radial anisotropy within the upper mantle via the inversion of Love- and Rayleigh-wave observations between 25 and 100 s period. We employ a multi-channel cross-correlation algorithm to obtain inter-station phase and amplitude information. The multi-channel phase observations are inverted for dynamic phase velocity across the array, which are then corrected for focusing and multipathing using the amplitude observations via Helmholtz tomography. We jointly invert Love- and Rayleigh-wave structural phase velocity measurements employing crustal constraints from co-located active source experiments to obtain estimates of Vsv and Vsh between 50 - 170 km depth. Preliminary results readily reveal the distinct shear velocity structure beneath the MER and Afar. Within the MER, shear velocity structure suggests pronounced low velocities accompanied by strong anisotropy between 80 - 140 km depth beneath the western Ethiopian plateau and rift valley. Within Afar, shear velocity structure is more varied with the slowest velocities found at shallow depths (less than 70 km depth), accompanied by weak

  7. Orbitally-driven evolution of Lake Turkana (Turkana Depression, Kenya, EARS) between 1.95 and 1.72 Ma: A sequence stratigraphy perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nutz, Alexis; Schuster, Mathieu; Boës, Xavier; Rubino, Jean-Loup

    2017-01-01

    Lakes act as major archives for continental paleoenvironments, particularly when the evolution of lake levels over time serves as a guide for understanding regional paleohydrology and paleoclimate. In this paper, two sections from the Nachukui Formation (Turkana Depression, East African Rift System) provide a complete record of lake level variability and then paleohydrology for Lake Turkana between 1.95 and 1.72 Ma. This period corresponds to a key time during which important human evolutionary and technological innovations have occurred in East Africa and in the Turkana area. Based on sedimentary facies and sequence analyses on coastal deposits, one long-term regressive-transgressive cycle is identified between 1.95 and 1.72 Ma. Superimposed on this trend, five higher-frequency cycles of lake level change are identified between 1.87 and 1.76 Ma. Origins of these periodicities are attributed to orbital forcings. The extents of bathymetry change and shoreline migration during these periods are explored, suggesting that the period between 1.87 and 1.76 Ma was relatively dry and that climate experienced a relatively low variability. This finding differs strongly from most of the previous paleoenvironmental investigations in the region that argue high climate variability during a relatively wet period. This work emphasizes the importance of using sequence stratigraphy for analyzing lacustrine deposits.

  8. Regional 3D Numerical Modeling of the Lithosphere-Mantle System: Implications for Continental Rift-Parallel Surface Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, S.; Bangerth, W.; Hager, B. H.

    2014-12-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is an active divergent plate boundary with slow, approximately E-W extension rates ranging from <1-6 mm/yr. Previous work using thin-sheet modeling indicates lithospheric buoyancy dominates the force balance driving large-scale Nubia-Somalia divergence, however GPS observations within the Western Branch of the EARS show along-rift motions that contradict this simple model. Here, we test the role of mantle flow at the rift-scale using our new, regional 3D numerical model based on the open-source code ASPECT. We define a thermal lithosphere with thicknesses that are systematically changed for generic models or based on geophysical constraints in the Western branch (e.g. melting depths, xenoliths, seismic tomography). Preliminary results suggest existing variations in lithospheric thicknesses along-rift in the Western Branch can drive upper mantle flow that is consistent with geodetic observations.

  9. Tectonics, orbital forcing, global climate change, and human evolution in Africa: introduction to the African paleoclimate special volume.

    PubMed

    Maslin, Mark A; Christensen, Beth

    2007-11-01

    The late Cenozoic climate of Africa is a critical component for understanding human evolution. African climate is controlled by major tectonic changes, global climate transitions, and local variations in orbital forcing. We introduce the special African Paleoclimate Issue of the Journal of Human Evolution by providing a background for and synthesis of the latest work relating to the environmental context for human evolution. Records presented in this special issue suggest that the regional tectonics, appearance of C(4) plants in East Africa, and late Cenozoic global cooling combined to produce a long-term drying trend in East Africa. Of particular importance is the uplift associated with the East African Rift Valley formation, which altered wind flow patterns from a more zonal to more meridinal direction. Results in this volume suggest a marked difference in the climate history of southern and eastern Africa, though both are clearly influenced by the major global climate thresholds crossed in the last 3 million years. Papers in this volume present lake, speleothem, and marine paleoclimate records showing that the East African long-term drying trend is punctuated by episodes of short, alternating periods of extreme wetness and aridity. These periods of extreme climate variability are characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of large, deep lakes in the East African Rift Valley and paralleled by low and high wind-driven dust loads reaching the adjacent ocean basins. Dating of these records show that over the last 3 million years such periods only occur at the times of major global climatic transitions, such as the intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (2.7-2.5 Ma), intensification of the Walker Circulation (1.9-1.7 Ma), and the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution (1-0.7 Ma). Authors in this volume suggest this onset occurs as high latitude forcing in both Hemispheres compresses the Intertropical Convergence Zone so that East Africa

  10. The Thaumasia "rift", Mars - is it a rift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauber, E.; Kronberg, P.

    2003-04-01

    We describe the morphology of a large and complex graben structure in western Thaumasia which was often ascribed to rifting by previous authors (the Thaumasia "rift" or TR). We consider possible fault geometries, determine extension, and discuss shortly possible models for its origin. The TR is characterized by a strong (half)graben asymmetry. The master fault system changes from the western border in the northern part to the eastern border in the southern part (at ˜21^oS). Several profiles across the TR display features that might indicate a listric master fault, including an overall halfgraben geometry, tilted blocks, and a curvature of the hanging wall which is characteristic of a rollover. For a listric fault, the depth D to a detachment can be determined from the surficial fault dip (α), the tilt of the graben floor (θ), and the vertical offset (d). We measure a scarp height d of ˜2000 m and floor tilts θ between 0.9^o and 2.7^o. For α = 60^o, we obtain values of D between ˜33 km and ˜67 km (θ = 2.0^o and 1.0^o). Interestingly, these values correspond very well with recent estimations of the thickness of the elastic lithosphere T_e in S-Tharsis, as given by Zuber et al. (2000): Valles Marineris ˜60 km, Solis Planum ˜35 km. A listric W-dipping master fault in the middle and southern part of the TR might indicate gravitational gliding of an unstable part of the outward verging fold-and-thrust plateau margin towards W, i.e., toward the foreland of Thaumasia. However, slip along planar faults can also produce tilted graben floors and hanging wall flexure, so the observed morphology does not allow any firm statement about the fault geometry. Extension (assuming planar fault planes) was determined using the vertical displacement at faults. In the N, most of the extension occurred along a few major faults. In the S, it has been distributed among many smaller faults. Extension is 0.5 to 4.5 km (strain 1 to 3%). This is much less than 10 km, as previously

  11. Efficacy of a recombinant Rift Valley fever virus MP-12 with NSm deletion as a vaccine candidate in sheep

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a mosquito-borne virus in the Bunyaviridae family and Phlebovirus genus, causes RVF, a disease of ruminants and man, endemic in Sub-Saharan African countries. However, outbreaks in Yemen and Saudi Arabia demonstrate the ability for RVFV to spread into virgin territory...

  12. East African climate pulses and early human evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslin, Mark A.; Brierley, Chris M.; Milner, Alice M.; Shultz, Susanne; Trauth, Martin H.; Wilson, Katy E.

    2014-10-01

    Current evidence suggests that all of the major events in hominin evolution have occurred in East Africa. Over the last two decades, there has been intensive work undertaken to understand African palaeoclimate and tectonics in order to put together a coherent picture of how the environment of East Africa has varied in the past. The landscape of East Africa has altered dramatically over the last 10 million years. It has changed from a relatively flat, homogenous region covered with mixed tropical forest, to a varied and heterogeneous environment, with mountains over 4 km high and vegetation ranging from desert to cloud forest. The progressive rifting of East Africa has also generated numerous lake basins, which are highly sensitive to changes in the local precipitation-evaporation regime. There is now evidence that the presence of precession-driven, ephemeral deep-water lakes in East Africa were concurrent with major events in hominin evolution. It seems the unusual geology and climate of East Africa created periods of highly variable local climate, which, it has been suggested could have driven hominin speciation, encephalisation and dispersal out of Africa. One example is the significant hominin speciation and brain expansion event at ˜1.8 Ma that seems to have been coeval with the occurrence of highly variable, extensive, deep-water lakes. This complex, climatically very variable setting inspired first the variability selection hypothesis, which was then the basis for the pulsed climate variability hypothesis. The newer of the two suggests that the long-term drying trend in East Africa was punctuated by episodes of short, alternating periods of extreme humidity and aridity. Both hypotheses, together with other key theories of climate-evolution linkages, are discussed in this paper. Though useful the actual evolution mechanisms, which led to early hominins are still unclear and continue to be debated. However, it is clear that an understanding of East African

  13. Geochemical evidence of mantle reservoir evolution during progressive rifting along the western Afar margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, Tyrone O.; Mohr, Paul; Dosso, Laure; Hall, Chris

    2013-02-01

    The Afar triple junction, where the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and African Rift System extension zones converge, is a pivotal domain for the study of continental-to-oceanic rift evolution. The western margin of Afar forms the southernmost sector of the western margin of the Red Sea rift where that margin enters the Ethiopian flood basalt province. Tectonism and volcanism at the triple junction had commenced by ˜31 Ma with crustal fissuring, diking and voluminous eruption of the Ethiopian-Yemen flood basalt pile. The dikes which fed the Oligocene-Quaternary lava sequence covering the western Afar rift margin provide an opportunity to probe the geochemical reservoirs associated with the evolution of a still active continental margin. 40Ar/39Ar geochronology reveals that the western Afar margin dikes span the entire history of rift evolution from the initial Oligocene flood basalt event to the development of focused zones of intrusion in rift marginal basins. Major element, trace element and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf) data demonstrate temporal geochemical heterogeneities resulting from variable contributions from the Afar plume, depleted asthenospheric mantle, and African lithosphere. The various dikes erupted between 31 Ma and 22 Ma all share isotopic signatures attesting to a contribution from the Afar plume, indicating this initial period in the evolution of the Afar margin was one of magma-assisted weakening of the lithosphere. From 22 Ma to 12 Ma, however, diffuse diking during continued evolution of the rift margin facilitated ascent of magmas in which depleted mantle and lithospheric sources predominated, though contributions from the Afar plume persisted. After 10 Ma, magmatic intrusion migrated eastwards towards the Afar rift floor, with an increasing fraction of the magmas derived from depleted mantle with less of a lithospheric signature. The dikes of the western Afar margin reveal that magma generation processes during the evolution of this continental rift margin

  14. Parga Chasma: Coronae and Rifting on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Stofan, E. R.; Buck, W. R.; Martin, P.

    2005-01-01

    The majority of coronae (quasicircular volcano-tectonic features) are found along rifts or fracture belts, and the majority of rifts have coronae [e.g. 1,2]. However, the relationship between coronae and rifts remains unclear [3-6]. There is evidence that coronae can form before, after, or synchronously with rifts [3,4]. The extensional fractures in the rift zones have been proposed to be a result of broad scale upwelling and traction on the lower lithosphere [7]. However, not all rift systems have a significant positive geoid anomaly, as would be expected for an upwelling site [8]. This could be explained if the rifts lacking anomalies are no longer active. Coronae are generally accepted to be sites of local upwelling [e.g. 1], but the observed rifting is frequently not radial to the coronae and extends well beyond the coronae into the surrounding plains. Thus the question remains as to whether the rifts represent regional extension, perhaps driven by mantle tractions, or if the coronae themselves create local thinning and extension of the lithosphere. In the first case, a regional extension model should be consistent with the observed characteristics of the rifts. In the latter case, a model of lithospheric loading and fracturing would be more appropriate. A good analogy may be the propagation of oceanic intraplate volcanoes [9].

  15. Upper mantle P velocity structure beneath the Baikal Rift from modeling regional seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard A.; Nyblade, Andrew A.

    2003-02-01

    Uppermost mantle P wave velocity structure beneath the Baikal rift and southern margin of the Siberian Platform has been investigated by using a grid search method to model Pnl waveforms from two moderate earthquakes recorded by station TLY at the southwestern end of Lake Baikal. The results yielded a limited number of successful models which indicate the presence of upper mantle P wave velocities beneath the rift axis and the margin of the platform that are 2-5% lower than expected. The magnitude of the velocity anomalies and their location support the presence of a thermal anomaly that extends laterally beyond the rift proper, possibly created by small-scale convection or a plume-like, thermal upwelling.

  16. Keweenaw hot spot: Geophysical evidence for a 1. 1 Ga mantle plume beneath the Midcontinent Rift System

    SciTech Connect

    Hutchinson, D.R. ); White, R.S. ); Cannon, W.F.; Schulz, K.J. )

    1990-07-10

    The Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System of North America is remarkably similar to Phanerozoic rifted continental margins and flood basalt provinces. Like the younger analogues, the volcanism within this older rift can be explained by decompression melting and rapid extrusion of igneous material during lithospheric extension above a broad, asthenospheric, thermal anomaly which the authors call the Keweenaw hot spot. Great Lakes International Multidisciplinary Program on Crustal evolution seismic reflection profiles constrain end-member models of melt thickness and stretching factors, which yield an inferred mantle potential temperature of 1,500-1,570C during rifting. Combined gravity modeling and subsidence calculations are consistent with stretching factors that reached 3 or 4 before rifting ceased, and much of the lower crust beneath the rift consists of relatively high density intruded or underplated synrift igneous material. The isotopic signature of Keweenawan volcanic rocks, presented in a companion paper by Nicholson and Shirey (this issue), is consistent with the model of passive rifting above an asthenospheric mantle plume.

  17. Classification of the rift zones of venus: Rift valleys and graben belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guseva, E. N.

    2016-05-01

    The spatial distribution of rift zones of Venus, their topographic configuration, morphometric parameters, and the type of volcanism associating with rifts were analyzed. This allowed the main characteristic features of rifts to be revealed and two different types of rift-forming structures, serving for classification of rift zones as rift valleys and graben belts, to be isolated. These structural types (facies) of rift zones are differently expressed in the relief: rift valleys are individual deep (several kilometers) W-shaped canyons, while graben belts are clusters of multiple V-shaped and rather shallow (hundreds of meters) depressions. Graben belts are longer and wider, as compared to rift valleys. Rift valleys are spatially associated with dome-shaped volcanic rises and large volcanos (concentrated volcanic sources), while graben belts do not exhibit such associations. Volcanic activity in the graben belts are presented by spacious lava fields with no apparent sources of volcanism. Graben belts and rift valleys were formed during the Atlian Period of geologic history of Venus, and they characterized the tectonic style of the planet at the late stages of its geologic evolution. Formation of this or that structural facies of the rift zones of Venus were probably governed by the thickness of the lithosphere, its rheological properties, and the development degree of the mantle diapirs associating with rift zones.

  18. Hyperspectral remote sensing of evaporate minerals and associated sediments in Lake Magadi area, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodikara, Gayantha R. L.; Woldai, Tsehaie; van Ruitenbeek, Frank J. A.; Kuria, Zack; van der Meer, Freek; Shepherd, Keith D.; van Hummel, G. J.

    2012-02-01

    Pleistocene to present evaporitic lacustrine sediments in Lake Magadi, East African Rift Valley, Kenya were studied and mapped using spectral remote sensing methods. This approach incorporated surface mineral mapping using space-borne hyperspectral Hyperion imagery together with laboratory analysis, including visible, near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (VNIR) measurements and X-ray diffraction for selected rock and soil samples of the study area. The spectral signatures of Magadiite and Kenyaite, which have not been previously reported, were established and the spectral signatures of trona, chert series, volcanic tuff and the High Magadi bed were also analyzed. Image processing techniques, MNF (Minimum Noise Fraction) and MTMF (Mixture Tuned Matched Filtering) using a stratified approach (image analysis with and without the lake area), were used to enhance the mapping of evaporates. High Magadi beds, chert series and volcanic tuff were identified from the Hyperion image with an overall mapping accuracy of 84.3%. Even though, the spatial distribution of evaporites and sediments in Lake Magadi area change in response to climate variations, the mineralogy of this area has not been mapped recently. The results of this study shows the usefulness of the hypersspectral remote sensing to map the surface geology of this kind of environment and to locate promising sites for industrial open-pit trona mining in a qualitative and quantitative manner.

  19. Cenozoic extension, volcanism and plateau uplift in eastern Africa and the African Superplume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyblade, A.; O'Donnell, J.; Mulibo, G. D.; Adams, A. N.

    2013-12-01

    Recent body and surface wave studies combine to image mantle velocity structure to a depth of 1200 km beneath eastern Africa using teleseismic earthquake data recorded by the AfricaArray East African Seismic Experiment in conjunction with permanent stations and previously deployed temporary stations. The combined network spans Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi. The 3-D shear wave velocity structure of the uppermost mantle was imaged using fundamental-mode Rayleigh wave phase velocities measured at periods ranging from 20 to 182 s, subsequently inverted for shear velocity structure. When considered in conjunction with mapped seismicity, the shear velocity model supports 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. In eastern Tanzania a low-velocity region 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. The results suggest that existing lithospheric structures exert a significant governing influence on rift development. Sub-lithospheric mantle wave speed variations extending to a depth of 1200 km were tomographically imaged from the inversion of P and S wave relative arrival time residuals. The images shows a low wave speed anomaly (LWA) well developed at shallow depths (100-200 km) beneath the Eastern and Western branches of the rift system and northwestern Zambia, and a fast wave speed anomaly at depths greater than 350 km beneath the central and northern parts of the East African Plateau and the eastern and central parts of Zambia. At depths below 350 km the LWA is most prominent under the central and southern parts of the East African Plateau and dips to the southwest beneath northern Zambia, extending to a depth of at least 900 km. The amplitude of the LWA is

  20. Variations in the reflectivity of the moho transition zone beneath the Midcontinent Rift System of North America: results from true amplitude analysis of GLIMPCE data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hutchinson, Deborah R.; Lee, Myung W.; Behrendt, John C.; Cannon, William F.; Green, Adrian

    1992-01-01

    True amplitude processing of The Great Lakes International Multidisciplinary Program on Crustal Evolution seismic reflection data from the Midcontinent Rift System of North America shows large differences in the reflectivity of the Moho transition zone beneath the axial rift, beneath the rift flanks, and outside of the rift. The Moho reflection from the axial rift has a discontinuous, diffractive character marginally stronger (several decibels) than an otherwise transparent lower crust and upper mantle. Beneath the axial rift, Moho is interpreted to be a synrift igneous feature. Beneath the rift flanks, the reflectivity of the Moho transition is generally well developed with two identifiable boundaries, although in places it is weakly reflective to nonreflective, similar to Moho outside the rift. The two boundaries are interpreted as the base of essentially intact, although stretched, prerift Archean crust (upper boundary) and new synrift Moho 1-2 s (6-7 km) deeper (lower boundary). Beneath the rift flanks, the layered reflection Moho transition results from the preexisting crustal composition and fabric modified by synrift igneous processes and extensional tectonic/metamorphic processes. The geologic evidence for extensive basaltic magmatism in the rift is the basis for interpreting the Moho signature as a Keweenawan structure that has been preserved for 1.1 b.y. Extension and magmatism appear to enhance reflectivity in the lower crust and Moho transition zone only where stretching factors are moderate (rift flanks) and not where they are extreme (axial rift). This leads to the prediction that the reflectivity across analogous volcanic passive continental margins should be greatest beneath the moderately stretched continental shelves and should decrease towards the ocean-continent boundary.

  1. Assessment and recommendations for two sites with active and potential aquaculture production in Rift Valley and Coast Provinces, Kenya

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Kenya has a long history of local fish consumption. The population in the Lake Victoria area (Rift Valley Province) Northwest of Nairobi and coastal communities (Coast Province) have historically included fish in their diet. Migration from villages to urban areas and increasing commerce has created ...

  2. GPS constraints on broad scale extension in the Ethiopian Highlands and Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birhanu, Yelebe; Bendick, Rebecca; Fisseha, Shimeles; Lewi, Elias; Floyd, Michael; King, Robert; Reilinger, Robert

    2016-07-01

    Measurements from GPS sites spanning the Ethiopian Highlands, Main Ethiopian Rift, and Somali Platform in Ethiopia and Eritrea show that present-day finite strain rates throughout NE Africa can be approximated at the continent scale by opening on the MER. Most sites in the Ethiopian Highlands are consistent with the motion of the Nubian plate at the level of 1 mm/yr with 95% confidence. However, sites at least as far as 60 km west of the rift show higher velocities relative to the stable Nubian frame of 1-2 mm/yr, requiring a combination of localized and distributed deformation to accommodate the African extensional domain. Off-rift velocities are consistent with ongoing strain related to either high gravitational potential energy or intrusive magmatism away from midrift magmatic segments either on the western rift margin or within the Ethiopian Highlands, especially when combined with likely rheological differences between the Ethiopian Rift and Highlands. Velocities from the Somali Platform are less well determined with uncertainties and residuals from a Somali frame definition at the level of 2-3 mm/yr but without spatially correlated residuals.

  3. Lower Crustal Seismicity, Volatiles, and Evolving Strain Fields During the Initial Stages of Cratonic Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, C.; Muirhead, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Tiberi, C.; Roecker, S. W.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kianji, G.; Mulibo, G. D.

    2014-12-01

    The volcanically active East African rift system in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania transects thick cratonic lithosphere, and comprises several basins characterized by deep crustal seismicity. The US-French-Tanzania-Kenya CRAFTI project aims to understand the role of magma and volatile movement during the initiation and evolution of rifting in cratonic lithosphere. Our 38-station broadband network spans all or parts of fault-bounded rift segments, enabling comparison of lithospheric structure, fault kinematics, and seismogenic layer thickness with age and proximity to the deeply rooted Archaen craton. Seismicity levels are high in all basins, but we find profound differences in seismogenic layer thickness along the length of the rift. Seismicity in the Manyara basin occurs almost exclusively within the lower crust, and in spatial clusters that have been active since 1990. In contrast, seismicity in the ~ 5 My older Magadi basin is localized in the upper crust, and the long border fault bounding the west side of the basin is seismically inactive. Between these two basins lies the Natron rift segment, which shows seismicity between ~ 20 and ~2 km depth, and high concentrations at Oldoinyo Lengai and Gelai volcanoes. Older volcanoes on the uplifted western flank (e.g., Ngorongoro) experience swarms of activity, suggesting that active magmatism and degassing are widespread. Focal mechanisms of the frequent earthquakes recorded across the array are spatially variable, and indicate a stress field strongly influenced by (1) Holocene volcanoes, (2) mechanical interactions between adjacent rift basins, and (3) a far-field ESE-WNW extensional stress regime. We explore the spatial correlation between zones of intense degassing along fault systems and seismicity, and examine the influence of high gas pressures on lower and upper crustal seismicity in this youthful cratonic rift zone.

  4. The inverted Triassic rift of the Marrakech High Atlas: A reappraisal of basin geometries and faulting histories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domènech, Mireia; Teixell, Antonio; Babault, Julien; Arboleya, Maria-Luisa

    2015-11-01

    The High Atlas of Morocco is an aborted rift developed during the Triassic-Jurassic and moderately inverted during the Cenozoic. The Marrakech High Atlas, with large exposures of basement and Triassic early syn-rift deposits, is ideal to investigate the geometries of the deepest parts of a rift, constituting a good analogue for pre-salt domains. It allows unraveling geometries and kinematics of the extensional and compressional structures and the influence that they exert over one another. A detailed structural study of the main Triassic basins and basin-margin faults of the Marrakech High Atlas shows that only a few rift faults were reactivated during the Cenozoic compressional stage in contrast to previous interpretations, and emphasizes that fault reactivation cannot be taken for granted in inverted rift systems. Preserved extensional features demonstrate a dominant dip-slip opening kinematics with strike-slip playing a minor role, at variance to models proposing a major strike-slip component along the main basin-bounding faults, including faults belonging to the Tizi n'Test fault zone. A new Middle Triassic paleogeographic reconstruction shows that the Marrakech High Atlas was a narrow and segmented orthogonal rift (sub-perpendicular to the main regional extension direction which was ~ NW-SE), in contrast to the central and eastern segments of the Atlas rift which developed obliquely. This difference in orientation is attributed to the indented Ouzellarh Precambrian salient, part of the West African Craton, which deflected the general rift trend in the area evidencing the major role of inherited lithospheric anisotropies in rift direction and evolution. As for the Cenozoic inversion, total orogenic shortening is moderate (~ 16%) and appears accommodated by basement-involved large-scale folding, and by newly formed shortcut and by-pass thrusting, with rare left-lateral strike-slip indicators. Triassic faults commonly acted as buttresses.

  5. Rift processes and crustal structure of the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica, from 3D potential field modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalberg, Thomas; Gohl, Karsten; Eagles, Graeme; Spiegel, Cornelia

    2015-12-01

    The Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica is of particular interest as it provides critical geological boundary conditions in better understanding the dynamic behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is undergoing rapid ice loss in the Amundsen Sea sector. One of the highly debated hypothesis is whether this region has been affected by the West Antarctic Rift System, which is one of the largest in the world and the dominating tectonic feature in West Antarctica. Previous geophysical studies suggested an eastward continuation of this rift system into the Amundsen Sea Embayment. This geophysical study of the Amundsen Sea Embayment presents a compilation of data collected during two RV Polarstern expeditions in the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica in 2006 and 2010. Bathymetry and satellite-derived gravity data of the Amundsen Sea Embayment complete the dataset. Our 3-D gravity and magnetic models of the lithospheric architecture and development of this Pacific margin improve previous interpretations from 2-D models of the region. The crust-mantle boundary beneath the continental rise and shelf is between 14 and 29 km deep. The imaged basement structure can be related to rift basins within the Amundsen Sea Embayment, some of which can be interpreted as products of the Cretaceous rift and break-up phase and some as products of later propagation of the West Antarctic Rift System into the region. An estimate of the flexural rigidity of the lithosphere reveals a thin elastic thickness in the eastern embayment which increases towards the west. The results are comparable to estimates in other rift systems such as the Basin and Range province or the East African Rift. Based on these results, we infer an arm of the West Antarctic Rift System is superposed on a distributed Cretaceous rift province in the Amundsen Sea Embayment. Finally, the embayment was affected by magmatism from discrete sources along the Pacific margin of West Antarctica in the Cenozoic.

  6. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

    Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon E; Butterworth, Nathaniel P; Müller, R Dietmar

    2016-08-11

    Rifted margins are formed by persistent stretching of continental lithosphere until breakup is achieved. It is well known that strain-rate-dependent processes control rift evolution, yet quantified extension histories of Earth's major passive margins have become available only recently. Here we investigate rift kinematics globally by applying a new geotectonic analysis technique to revised global plate reconstructions. We find that rifted margins feature an initial, slow rift phase (less than ten millimetres per year, full rate) and that an abrupt increase of plate divergence introduces a fast rift phase. Plate acceleration takes place before continental rupture and considerable margin area is created during each phase. We reproduce the rapid transition from slow to fast extension using analytical and numerical modelling with constant force boundary conditions. The extension models suggest that the two-phase velocity behaviour is caused by a rift-intrinsic strength--velocity feedback, which can be robustly inferred for diverse lithosphere configurations and rheologies. Our results explain differences between proximal and distal margin areas and demonstrate that abrupt plate acceleration during continental rifting is controlled by the nonlinear decay of the resistive rift strength force. This mechanism provides an explanation for several previously unexplained rapid absolute plate motion changes, offering new insights into the balance of plate driving forces through time.

  7. Mix and match color vision: tuning spectral sensitivity by differential opsin gene expression in Lake Malawi cichlids.

    PubMed

    Parry, Juliet W L; Carleton, Karen L; Spady, Tyrone; Carboo, Aba; Hunt, David M; Bowmaker, James K

    2005-10-11

    Cichlid fish of the East African Rift Lakes are renowned for their diversity and offer a unique opportunity to study adaptive changes in the visual system in rapidly evolving species flocks. Since color plays a significant role in mate choice, differences in visual sensitivities could greatly influence and even drive speciation of cichlids. Lake Malawi cichlids inhabiting rock and sand habitats have significantly different cone spectral sensitivities. By combining microspectrophotometry (MSP) of isolated cones, sequencing of opsin genes, and spectral analysis of recombinant pigments, we have established the cone complements of four species of Malawi cichlids. MSP demonstrated that each of these species predominately expresses three cone pigments, although these differ between species to give three spectrally different cone complements. In addition, rare populations of spectrally distinct cones were found. In total, seven spectral classes were identified. This was confirmed by opsin gene sequencing, expression, and in vitro reconstitution. The genes represent the four major classes of cone opsin genes that diverged early in vertebrate evolution. All four species possess a long-wave-sensitive (LWS), three spectrally distinct green-sensitive (RH2), a blue-sensitive (SWS2A), a violet-sensitive (SWS2B), and an ultraviolet-sensitive (SWS1) opsin. However, African cichlids determine their spectral sensitivity by differential expression of primarily only three of the seven available cone opsin genes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that all percomorph fish have similar potential.

  8. Kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift and Absolute motion of Africa and Somalia Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muluneh, A. A.; Cuffaro, M.; Doglioni, C.

    2013-12-01

    The Ethiopian Rift (ER), in the northern part of East African Rift System (EARS), forms a boundary zone accommodating differential motion between Africa and Somalia Plates. Its orientation was influenced by the inherited Pan-African collisional system and related lithospheric fabric. We present the kinematics of ER derived from compilation of geodetic velocities, focal mechanism inversions, structural data analysis, and construction of geological profiles. GPS velocity field shows a systematic eastward magnitude increase in NE direction in the central ER. In the same region, incremental extensional strain axes recorded by earthquake focal mechanism and fault slip inversion show ≈N1000E orientation. This deviation between GPS velocity trajectories and orientation of incremental extensional strain is developed due to left lateral transtensional deformation. This interpretation is consistent with the en-échelon pattern of tensional and transtensional faults, the distribution of the volcanic centers, and the asymmetry of the rift itself. Small amount of vertical axis blocks rotation, sinistral strike slip faults and dyke intrusions in the rift accommodate the transtensional deformation. We analyzed the kinematics of ER relative to Deep and Shallow Hot Spot Reference Frames (HSRF). Comparison between the two reference frames shows different kinematics in ER and also Africa and Somalia plate motion both in magnitude and direction. Plate spreading direction in shallow HSRF (i.e. the source of the plumes locates in the asthenosphere) and the trend of ER deviate by about 27°. Shearing and extension across the plate boundary zone contribute both to the style of deformation and overall kinematics in the rift. We conclude that the observed long wavelength kinematics and tectonics are consequences of faster SW ward motion of Africa than Somalia in the shallow HSRF. This reference frame seems more consistent with the geophysical and geological constraints in the Rift. The

  9. P-wave travel-time tomography reveals multiple mantle upwellings beneath the northern East-Africa Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, J. O. S.; Civiero, C.; Goes, S. D. B.; Ahmed, A.; Ayele, A.; Doubre, C.; Goitom, B.; Keir, D.; Kendall, M.; Leroy, S. D.; Ogubazghi, G.; Rumpker, G.; Stuart, G. W.

    2014-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) shows evidence for active magmatism from the eruption of flood basalts 30 Ma to active volcanism associated with rifting today. Mantle plumes have been invoked as the likely cause. However, the nature of mantle upwelling is debated, with proposed models ranging from a single broad plume, the African Superplume, connected to the LLSVP beneath Southern Africa, to multiple distinct sources of upwelling along the East-Africa Rift. We present a new relative travel-time tomography model that images detailed P-wave velocities below the northern East-African rift from the surface to lower mantle depths. Data comes from 439 stations that cover the area from Tanzania to Saudi Arabia. The aperture of the integrated dataset allows us to image for the first time low-velocity structures of ~ 100-km length scales down to depths of 900 km beneath this region. Our images provide evidence of at least two separate low-velocity structures with a diameter of ~200 km that continue through the transition zone and into the lower mantle: the first, and most pronounced, is beneath the Afar Depression, which extends to at least 900 km depth and a second is located beneath the Main Ethiopian Rift that extends to at least 750 km. 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 ~ 100-150 K. Such temperatures are also fully consistent with previous petrological and other geophysical estimates. Furthermore, the separate structures could explain differences in geochemistry of erupted magmas along the rift zone, as well as the dynamic topography seen at the surface. Our findings thus support the involvement of multiple plumes in the evolution of the EAR and a direct connection between lower mantle features and the volcanism at the surface.

  10. Lake Tanganyika—A 'Melting Pot' of Ancient and Young Cichlid Lineages (Teleostei: Cichlidae)?

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Juliane D.; Cotterill, Fenton P. D.; Schliewen, Ulrich K.

    2015-01-01

    A long history of research focused on the East Africa cichlid radiations (EAR) revealed discrepancies between mtDNA and nuclear phylogenies, suggesting that interspecific hybridisation may have been significant during the radiation of these fishes. The approximately 250 cichlid species of Lake Tanganyika have their roots in a monophyletic African cichlid assemblage, but controversies remain about the precise phylogenetic origin and placement of different lineages and consequently about L. Tanganyika colonization scenarios. 3312 AFLP loci and the mitochondrial ND2 gene were genotyped for 91 species representing almost all major lacustrine and riverine haplotilapiine east African cichlid lineages with a focus on L. Tanganyika endemics. Explicitly testing for the possibility of ancient hybridisation events, a comprehensive phylogenetic network hypothesis is proposed for the origin and diversification of L. Tanganyika cichlids. Inference of discordant phylogenetic signal strongly suggests that the genomes of two endemic L. Tanganyika tribes, Eretmodini and Tropheini, are composed of an ancient mixture of riverine and lacustrine lineages. For the first time a strong monophyly signal of all non-haplochromine mouthbrooding species endemic to L. Tanganyika (“ancient mouthbrooders”) was detected. Further, in the genomes of early diverging L. Tanganyika endemics Trematocarini, Bathybatini, Hemibatini and Boulengerochromis genetic components of other lineages belonging to the East African Radiation appear to be present. In combination with recent palaeo-geological results showing that tectonic activity in the L. Tanganyika region resulted in highly dynamic and heterogeneous landscape evolution over the Neogene and Pleistocene, the novel phylogenetic data render a single lacustrine basin as the geographical cradle of the endemic L. Tanganyika cichlid lineages unlikely. Instead a scenario of a pre-rift origin of several independent L. Tanganyika precursor lineages which

  11. The origin of along-rift variations in faulting and magmatism in the Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keir, Derek; Bastow, Ian D.; Corti, Giacomo; Mazzarini, Francesco; Rooney, Tyrone O.

    2015-03-01

    The geological record at rifts and margins worldwide often reveals considerable along-strike variations in volumes of extruded and intruded igneous rocks. These variations may be the result of asthenospheric heterogeneity, variations in rate, and timing of extension; alternatively, preexisting plate architecture and/or the evolving kinematics of extension during breakup may exert first-order control on magmatism. The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) in East Africa provides an excellent opportunity to address this dichotomy: it exposes, along strike, several sectors of asynchronous rift development from continental rifting in the south to incipient oceanic spreading in the north. Here we perform studies of volcanic cone density and rift obliquity along strike in the MER. By synthesizing these new data in light of existing geophysical, geochemical, and petrological constraints on magma generation and emplacement, we are able to discriminate between tectonic and mantle geodynamic controls on the geological record of a newly forming magmatic rifted margin. The timing of rift sector development, the three-dimensional focusing of melt, and the ponding of plume material where the rift dramatically narrows each influence igneous intrusion and volcanism along the MER. However, rifting obliquity plays an important role in localizing intrusion into the crust beneath en echelon volcanic segments. Along-strike variations in volumes and types of igneous rocks found at rifted margins thus likely carry information about the development of strain during rifting, as well as the physical state of the convecting mantle at the time of breakup.

  12. Rift Valley Fever in Namibia, 2010

    PubMed Central

    Monaco, Federica; Pinoni, Chiara; Khaiseb, Siegfried; Calistri, Paolo; Molini, Umberto; Bishi, Alec; Conte, Annamaria; Scacchia, Massimo; Lelli, Rossella

    2013-01-01

    During May–July 2010 in Namibia, outbreaks of Rift Valley fever were reported to the National Veterinary Service. Analysis of animal specimens confirmed virus circulation on 7 farms. Molecular characterization showed that all outbreaks were caused by a strain of Rift Valley fever virus closely related to virus strains responsible for outbreaks in South Africa during 2009–2010. PMID:24274469

  13. Rio Grande rift: problems and perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    Baldridge, W.S.; Olsen, K.H.; Callender, J.F.

    1984-01-01

    Topics and ideas addressed include: (1) the regional extent of the Rio Grande rift; (2) the structure of the crust and upper mantle; (3) whether the evidence for an axile dike in the lower crust is compelling; (4) the nature of faulting and extension in the crust; and (5) the structural and magmatic development of the rift. 88 references, 5 figures.

  14. Rift Valley fever outbreak, southern Mauritania, 2012.

    PubMed

    Sow, Abdourahmane; Faye, Ousmane; Ba, Yamar; Ba, Hampathé; Diallo, Diawo; Faye, Oumar; Loucoubar, Cheikh; Boushab, Mohamed; Barry, Yahya; Diallo, Mawlouth; Sall, Amadou Alpha

    2014-02-01

    After a period of heavy rainfall, an outbreak of Rift Valley fever occurred in southern Mauritania during September-November 2012. A total of 41 human cases were confirmed, including 13 deaths, and 12 Rift Valley fever virus strains were isolated. Moudjeria and Temchecket Departments were the most affected areas.

  15. Rift Valley fever in Namibia, 2010.

    PubMed

    Monaco, Federica; Pinoni, Chiara; Cosseddu, Gian Mario; Khaiseb, Siegfried; Calistri, Paolo; Molini, Umberto; Bishi, Alec; Conte, Annamaria; Scacchia, Massimo; Lelli, Rossella

    2013-12-01

    During May-July 2010 in Namibia, outbreaks of Rift Valley fever were reported to the National Veterinary Service. Analysis of animal specimens confirmed virus circulation on 7 farms. Molecular characterization showed that all outbreaks were caused by a strain of Rift Valley fever virus closely related to virus strains responsible for outbreaks in South Africa during 2009-2010.

  16. Detection and Response for Rift Valley fever

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that impacts domestic livestock and humans in Africa and the Middle East, and poses a threat to military operations in these areas. We describe a Rift Valley fever Risk Monitoring website, and its ability to predict risk of disease temporally and spatially. We al...

  17. Lake Bogoria, Kenya: Hot and warm springs, geysers and Holocene stromatolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCall, Joseph

    2010-11-01

    I carried out the first regional geological survey of the central Gregory Rift Valley in Kenya in 1958-60, and review here the numerous subsequent specialised studies focused on the unique endoreic Lake Bogoria (formerly Hannington), studies which embraced the sedimentology of the Holocene sediments around the lake shores, the hot-spring and geyser activities and the coring of the sediments beneath the lake. I focus on the occurrences of stromatolites in a hydrothermal environment, both in two closely spaced late Holocene (~ 4500 yr BP) generations at the lake margin, associated with algae and cyanobacteria, which represent a final more humid climatic phase after the several interglacial more humid phases (also represented by stromatolite occurrences in other rift valley lakes); and also at present being formed, at the edge of the now highly saline lake, in the very hot springs in association with thermophilic bacteria and with silica. I briefly mention the older occurrences in Lake Magadi to the south, which are quite different; and form three generations; and also present-day occurrences of stromatolites in a flood-plain environment, unlike the present-day environment at Lake Bogoria. Other stromatolite occurrences are mentioned, around Lake Turkana and the former lake in the Suguta River valley to the north. I suggest that the hot waterfall at Kapedo, at the head of the Suguta River, and the central island of Ol Kokwe (with hot springs, amidst the fresh water Lake Baringo) could well be investigated for stromatolite occurrences. Lake Bogoria, an empty wilderness occupied only by flamingos when I mapped it, is now more accessible and provides a unique open-air laboratory for such researches, but like all the Rift Valley lakes, is unique, sui generis. Results of detailed investigations of the type reviewed here, can only be applied to other occurrences of stromatolites elsewhere in the rift system or beyond the rift system with reservation.

  18. Crustal and lithospheric structure of the west Antarctic Rift System from geophysical investigations: a review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1999-01-01

    The active West Antarctic Rift System, which extends from the continental shelf of the Ross Sea, beneath the Ross Ice Shelf and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is comparable in size to the Basin and Range in North America, or the East African rift systems. Geophysical surveys (primarily marine seismic and aeromagnetic combined with radar ice sounding) have extended the information provided by sparse geologic exposures and a few drill holes over the ice and sea covered area. Rift basins developed in the early Cretaceous accompanied by the major extension of the region. Tectonic activity has continued episodically in the Cenozoic to the present, including major uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains. The West Antarctic ice sheet, and the late Cenozoic volcanic activity in the West Antarctic Rift System, through which it flows, have been coeval since at least Miocene time. The rift is characterized by sparse exposures of late Cenozoic alkaline volcanic rocks extending from northern Victoria Land throughout Marie Byrd Land. The aeromagnetic interpretations indicate the presence of > 5 x 105 km2 (> 106 km3) of probable late Cenozoic volcanic rocks (and associated subvolcanic intrusions) in the West Antarctic rift. This great volume with such limited exposures is explained by glacial removal of the associated late Cenozoic volcanic edifices (probably hyaloclastite debris) concomitantly with their subglacial eruption. Large offset seismic investigations in the Ross Sea and on the Ross Ice Shelf indicate a ~ 17-24-km-thick, extended continental crust. Gravity data suggest that this extended crust of similar thickness probably underlies the Ross Ice Shelf and Byrd Subglacial Basin. Various authors have estimated maximum late Cretaceous-present crustal extension in the West Antarctic rift area from 255-350 km based on balancing crustal thickness. Plate reconstruction allowed < 50 km of Tertiary extension. However, paleomagnetic measurements suggested about 1000 km of post

  19. Oil exploration in nonmarine rift basins of interior Sudan

    SciTech Connect

    Schull, T.J.

    1984-04-01

    In early 1975 Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. commenced a major petroleum exploration effort in previously unexplored interior Sudan. With the complete cooperation of the Sudanese Government, Chevron has acquired a vast amount of geologic and geophysical data during the past 9 years. These data include extensive aeromagnetic and gravity surveys, 25,000 mi (40,200 km) of seismic data, and the results of 66 wells. This information has defined several large rift basins which are now recognized as a major part of the Central African rift system. The sedimentary basins of interior Sudan are characterized by thick Cretaceous and Tertiary nonmarine clastic sequences. Over 35,000 ft (10,600 m) of sediment have been deposited in the deepest trough, and extensive basinal areas are underlain by more than 20,000 ft (6100 m) of sediment. The depositional sequence includes thick lacustrine shales and claystones, flood plain claystones, and lacustrine, fluvial, and alluvial sandstones and conglomerates. Those lacustrine claystones which were deposited in an anoxic environment provide oil-prone source rocks. Reservoir sandstones have been found in a wide variety of nonmarine sandstone facies. The extensional tectonism which formed these basins began in the Early Cretaceous. Movement along major fault trends continued intermittently into the Miocene. This deformation resulted in a complex structural history which led to the formation of several deep fault-bounded troughs, major interbasin high trends, and complex basin flanks. This tectonism has created a wide variety of structures, many of which have become effective hydrocarbon traps.

  20. The distribution and hydrogeological controls of fluoride in the groundwater of central Ethiopian rift and adjacent highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayenew, Tenalem

    2008-05-01

    Occurrence of fluoride (F) in groundwater has drawn worldwide attention, since it has considerable impact on human health. In Ethiopia high concentrations of F in groundwaters used for community water supply have resulted in extensive dental and skeletal fluorosis. As a part of a broader study, the distribution of F in groundwater has been investigated, and compared with bedrock geology and pertinent hydrochemical variables. The result indicates extreme spatial variations. High F concentration is often associated with active and sub-active regional thermal fields and acidic volcanics within high temperature rift floor. Variations in F can also be related to changes in calcium concentration resulting from dissolution of calcium minerals and mixing with waters of different chemical composition originated from variable hydrogeological environment across the rift valley. The concentration of F dramatically declines from the rift towards the highlands with the exception of scattered points associated with thermal springs confined in local volcanic centers. There are also interactions of F-rich alkaline lakes and the surrounding groundwater. Meteoric waters recharging volcanic aquifers become enriched with respect to F along the groundwater flow path from highland recharge areas to rift discharge areas. Locally wells drilled along large rift faults acting as conduits of fresh highland waters show relatively lower F. These areas are likely to be possible sources of better quality waters within the rift. The result of this study has important implications on site selection for water well drilling.

  1. Trends and variability in East African rainfall and temperature observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seregina, Larisa; Ermert, Volker; Fink, Andreas H.; Pinto, Joaquim G.

    2014-05-01

    The economy of East Africa is highly dependent on agriculture, leading to a strong vulnerability of local society to fluctuations in seasonal rainfall amounts, including extreme events. Hence, the knowledge about the evolution of seasonal rainfall under future climate conditions is crucial. Rainfall regimes over East Africa are influenced by multiple factors, including two monsoon systems, several convergence zones and the Rift Valley lakes. In addition, local conditions, like topography, modulate the large-scale rainfall pattern. East African rainfall variability is also influenced by various teleconnections like the Indian Ocean Zonal Mode and El Niño Southern Oscillation. Regarding future climate projections, regional and global climate models partly disagree on the increase or decrease of East African rainfall. The specific aim of the present study is the acquirement of historic data from weather stations in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Ruanda and Uganda), the use of gridded satellite (rainfall) products (ARC2 and TRMM), and three-dimensional atmospheric reanalysis (e.g., ERA-Interim) to quantify climate variability in the recent past and to understand its causes. Climate variability and trends, including changes in extreme events, are evaluated using ETCCDI climate change and standardized precipitation indices. These climate indices are determined in order to investigate the variability of temperature and rainfall and their trends with the focus on most recent decades. In the follow-up, statistical and dynamical analyses are conducted to quantify the local impact of pertinent large-scale modes of climate variability (Indian Ocean Zonal Mode, El Niño Southern Oscillation, Sea Surface Temperature of the Indian Ocean).

  2. Crustal Structure beneath the Rwenzori Region of the Albertine Rift using Ambient-Noise Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaviani, A.; Paul, A.; Rumpker, G.

    2015-12-01

    In this study we investigate the crustal structure beneath the Rwenzori region by analyzing a 1-year ambient-noise data set recorded by a network of 33 broadband seismic stations that have operated between September 2009 and August 2011. The Rwenzori region, located between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, is part of the western (Albertine) branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). The region of study is situated between the Albert Rift and the Edward Rift segments and covers an area of approximately 120 km by 50 km. The main objective of the seismological experiment was to address the questions of the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains in an extensional regime and the absence of a crustal root beneath the mountain range. Any model proposed to address these questions requires the knowledge of the structure of the Rwenzori horst and surrounding rift shoulders. Previous results from local travel-time tomography revealed the presence of low-velocity anomalies in the upper crust beneath the mountain range relative to higher velocities in the surrounding shoulders. However, since the stations used in the previous study only covered the northern part of the region, the resolution of the models proposed by the body-wave tomography was very low beneath the Rwenzori Mountains. Hence, the limits of the Rwenzori horst at depth relative to the rift shoulders are still poorly known. The main objective of our ambient-noise tomography (ANT) is to provide an explanation for the building of Rwenzori Mountains. Due to the small aperture of the seismological network, we are mainly interested in the shallow crustal structure including the boundaries between the central Rwenzori horst and the surrounding rift shoulders as well as the variations in the thickness of the sedimentary basins. We expect that the ANT images will be able to delineate the boundaries between the main tectonic features including the limits of the Rwenzori horst at depth.

  3. Evolution of the broadly rifted zone in southern Ethiopia through gravitational collapse and extension of dynamic topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Em