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Sample records for african rift lakes

  1. Sensitivity of the East African rift lakes to climate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olaka, L.; Trauth, M. H.

    2009-04-01

    Lakes in the East African Rift have provided excellent proxies to reconstruct past climate changes in the low latitudes. The lakes occupy volcano-tectonic depressions with highly variable climate and hydrological setting, that present a good opportunity to study the climatic and hydrogeological influences on the lake water budget. Previous studies have used lake floor sediments to establish the sensitivity of the East African rift lakes. This study focuses on geomorphology and climate to offer additional or alternative record of lake history that are key to quantifying sensitivity of these lakes as archives to external and internal climatic forcings. By using the published Holocene lake areas and levels, we analyze twelve lakes on the eastern arm of the East African rift; Ziway, Awassa, Turkana, Suguta, Baringo, Nakuru, Elmenteita, Naivasha, Natron, Manyara and compare with Lake Victoria, that occupies the plateau between the east and the western arms of the rift. Using the SRTM data, Hypsometric (area-altitude) analysis has been used to compare the lake basins between latitude 80 North and 30 South. The mean elevation for the lakes, is between 524 and 2262 meters above sea level, the lakes' hypsometric integrals (HI), a measure of landmass volume above the reference plane, vary from 0.31 to 0.76. The aridity index (Ai), defined as Precipitation/ Evapotranspiration, quantifies the water available to a lake, it encompasses land cover and climatic effects. It is lowest (arid) in the basin between the Ethiopian rift and the Kenyan rift and at the southern termination of the Kenyan Rift in the catchments of lake Turkana, Suguta, Baringo and Manyara with values of 0.55, 0.43, 0.43 and 0.5 respectively. And it is highest (wet) in the catchments of, Ziway, Awassa, Nakuru and Naivasha as 1.33,1.03 and 1.2 respectively, which occupy the highest points of the rift. Lake Victoria has an index of 1.42 the highest of these lakes and receives a high precipitation. We use a

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiercelin, Jean-Jacques; Pflumio, Catherine; Castrec, Maryse; Boulégue, Jacques; Gente, Pascal; Rolet, Joël; Coussement, Christophe; Stetter, Karl O.; Huber, Robert; Buku, Sony; Mifundu, Wafula

    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 °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 NaHCO3-enriched fluid similar to the NaHCO3 thermal fluids from lakes Magadi and Bogoria in the eastern branch off 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 off 219 and 179 °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 °N normal-dextral faults that intersect the north- south major rift trend. The source 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

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

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  11. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

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

  12. The East African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chorowicz, Jean

    2005-10-01

    This overview paper considers the East African rift system (EARS) as an intra-continental ridge system, comprising an axial rift. It describes the structural organization in three branches, the overall morphology, lithospheric cross-sections, the morphotectonics, the main tectonic features—with emphasis on the tension fractures—and volcanism in its relationships with the tectonics. The most characteristic features in the EARS are narrow elongate zones of thinned continental lithosphere related to asthenospheric intrusions in the upper mantle. This hidden part of the rift structure is expressed on the surface by thermal uplift of the rift shoulders. The graben valleys and basins are organized over a major failure in the lithospheric mantle, and in the crust comprise a major border fault, linked in depth to a low angle detachment fault, inducing asymmetric roll-over pattern, eventually accompanied by smaller normal faulting and tilted blocks. Considering the kinematics, divergent movements caused the continent to split along lines of preexisting lithospheric weaknesses marked by ancient tectonic patterns that focus the extensional strain. The hypothesis favored here is SE-ward relative divergent drifting of a not yet well individualized Somalian plate, a model in agreement with the existence of NW-striking transform and transfer zones. The East African rift system comprises a unique succession of graben basins linked and segmented by intracontinental transform, transfer and accommodation zones. In an attempt to make a point on the rift system evolution through time and space, it is clear that the role of plume impacts is determinant. The main phenomenon is formation of domes related to plume effect, weakening the lithosphere and, long after, failure inducing focused upper mantle thinning, asthenospheric intrusion and related thermal uplift of shoulders. The plume that had formed first at around 30 Ma was not in the Afar but likely in Lake Tana region (Ethiopia

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neukirchen, Florian; Finkenbein, Thomas; Keller, Jörg

    2010-12-01

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

  17. 13C/Palynological evidence of differential residence times of organic carbon prior to its sedimentation in East African Rift Lakes and peat bogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  18. 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

  19. Gas isotopic signatures (He, C, and Ar) in the Lake Kivu region (western branch of the East African rift system): Geodynamic and volcanological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, D.; Tassi, F.; Vaselli, O.; Poreda, R. J.; Darrah, T.; Cuoco, E.; Yalire, M. M.

    2010-01-01

    On 17 January 2002, the city of Goma was partly destroyed by two of the several lava flows erupted from a roughly N-S oriented fracture system opened along the southern flank of Mount Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of Congo), in the western branch of the East African rift system. A humanitarian and scientific response was promptly organized by international, governmental, and nongovernmental agencies coordinated by the United Nations and the European Union. Among the different scientific projects undertaken to study the mechanisms triggering this and possible future eruptions, we focused on the isotopic (He, C, and Ar) analysis of the magmatic-hydrothermal and cold gas discharges related to the Nyiragongo volcanic system, the Kivu and Virunga region. The studied area includes the Nyiragongo volcano, its surroundings, and peripheral areas inside and outside the rift. They have been subdivided into seven regions characterized by distinct 3He/4He (expressed as R/Rair) ratios and/or δ13C-CO2 values. The Nyiragongo summit crater fumaroles, whose R/Rair and δ13C-CO2 values are up to 8.73 and from -3.5‰ to -4.0‰ VPDB, respectively, show a clear mantle, mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB)-like contribution. Similar mantle-like He isotopic values (6.5-8.3 R/Rair) are also found in CO2-rich gas emanations (mazukus) along the northern shoreline of Lake Kivu main basin, whereas the 13δC-CO2 values range from -5.3‰ to -6.8‰ VPDB. The mantle influence progressively decreases in (1) dissolved gases of Lake Kivu (2.6-5.5 R/Rair) and (2) the distal gas discharges within and outside the two sides of the rift (from 0.1 to 1.7 R/Rair). Similarly, δ13C-CO2 ratios of the peripheral gas emissions are lighter (from -5.9‰ to -11.6‰ VPDB) than those of the crater fumaroles. Therefore, the spatial distribution of He and C signatures in the Lake Kivu region is mainly produced by mixing of mantle-related (e.g., Nyiragongo crater fumaroles and/or mazukus gases) and crustal-related (e

  20. 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

  1. The Offshore East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  6. 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

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Geochemistry of East African Rift basalts: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furman, Tanya

    2007-06-01

    Mafic lavas erupted along the East African Rift System from the Afar triangle in northern Ethiopia to the Rungwe province in southern Tanzania display a wide range of geochemical and isotopic compositions that reflect heterogeneity in both source and process. In areas with the lowest degree of crustal extension (the Western and Southern Kenya Rifts) primitive lavas record the greatest extent of lithospheric melting, manifest in elevated abundances of incompatible elements and highly radiogenic Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions. Where prolonged extension has removed most or all of the mantle lithosphere (the Turkana and Northern Kenya Rifts), a larger role for sub-lithospheric processes is indicated. At intermediate degrees of extension (the Main Ethiopian Rift) both lithospheric and sub-lithospheric contributions are observed, and crustal assimilation occurs in some cases. Despite the wide compositional range of African Rift basalts, a restricted number of source domains contribute to magmatism throughout the area. These individual domains are: (1) the subcontinental mantle lithosphere; (2) a plume source with high-μ Sr-Nd-Pb-He isotopic affinities, present in all areas within and south of the Turkana Depression; and (3) a plume source with isotopic signatures analogous to those observed in some ocean islands, including high 3He/ 4He values, present throughout the Ethiopian Rift and the Afar region. The two plume sources may both be derived from the South African Superplume, which is likely to be a compositionally heterogeneous feature of the lower mantle.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H. V.

    1978-01-01

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

  14. The offshore East African Rift System: Structural framework at the toe of a juvenile rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

    The Cenozoic East African Rift System (EARS) extends from the Red Sea to Mozambique. Here we use seismic reflection and bathymetric data to investigate the tectonic evolution of the offshore branch of the EARS. The data indicate multiple and time transgressive neotectonic deformations along ~800 km of the continental margin of northern Mozambique. We observe a transition from a mature rift basin in the north to a juvenile fault zone in the south. The respective timing of deformation is derived from detailed seismic stratigraphy. In the north, a ~30 km wide and more than 150 km long, N-S striking symmetric graben initiated as half-graben in the late Miocene. Extension accelerated in the Pliocene, causing a continuous conjugate border fault and symmetric rift graben. Coevally, the rift started to propagate southward, which resulted in a present-day ~30 km wide half-graben, approximately 200 km farther south. Since the Pleistocene, the rift has continued to propagate another ~300 km, where the incipient rift is reflected by subrecent small-scale normal faulting. Estimates of the overall brittle extension of the matured rift range between 5 and 12 km, with an along-strike southward decrease of the extension rate. The offshore portion of the EARS evolves magma poor, similar to the onshore western branch. The structural evolution of the offshore EARS is suggested to be related to and controlled by differing inherited lithospheric fabrics. Preexisting fabrics may not only guide and focus extension but also control rift architecture.

  15. Strain distribution in the East African Rift from GPS measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, S. D.; Saria, E.; Calais, E.; Delvaux, D.; Ebinger, C.; Combrinck, L.

    2008-12-01

    Rifting of continental lithosphere is a fundamental process that controls the growth and evolution of continents and the birth of ocean basins. Most rifting models assume that stretching results from far-field lithospheric stresses from plate motions, but there is evidence that asthenospheric processes play an active role in rifting, possibly through viscous coupling and/or the added buoyancy and thermal weakening from melt intrusions. The distribution of strain during rifting is a key observable to constrain such models but is however poorly known. The East African Rift (EAR) offers a unique opportunity to quantify strain distribution along and across an active continental rift and to compare a volcanic (Eastern branch) and a non-volcanic (Western branch) segment. In 2006, we established and first surveyed a network of 35 points across Tanzania and installed one continuous station in Dar Es Salaam (TANZ), followed in 2008 by a second occupation campaign. We present a preliminary velocity field for the central part of the EAR, spanning both the Western and Eastern rift branches. We compare our results with a recent kinematic model of the EAR (Stamps et al., GRL, 2008) and discuss its significance for understanding rifting processes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-06-01

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

  19. Mantle support of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, S.; van Keken, P. E.; Brandenburg, J. P.; Furman, T.; Bryce, J.

    2007-12-01

    The African Superplume is a region of slow seismic wave velocities in the lower mantle under southern Africa. The uplift, volcanism and rifting that defines the much of eastern and southern Africa suggest a dynamic link between lower mantle dynamics and near-surface processes affecting the African plate. The dynamic link between the lower mantle and the surface, and the structure and dynamics of the upper mantle below the East African Rift System (EARS) remain unclear. As part of a comprehensive geochemical and numerical investigation of basaltic magmatism in the EARS we have modeled the interaction between putative upper mantle plumes and the rifting continental lithosphere. The modeling provides dynamically tested scenarios that explain the observed episodes of Cenozoic volcanism. Results from recent models that provided an explanation for the present day distribution of volcanism (Lin et al., EPSL, 237, 2005) suggest two plumes below Afar and Tanzania whose uplift is influenced by lithospheric topography. In new 3D modeling we provide improved quantification of the mantle involvement in generating EARS volcanism as constrained by the timing of uplift and regional volcanism. The time scales of episodicity of the volcanism observed at Turkana (related to the Tanzania-Kenya plume) since 45 Ma can be explained by deep- seated time-dependent plume activity. We suggest that this time-dependence is due to thermochemical interactions of dense recycled oceanic crust in the thermally hot regions in the African superplume region (Lin and Van Keken, Nature, 436, 2005).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Anomalous deep earthquakes beneath the East African Rift: evidence for rift induced delamination of the lithosphere?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindenfeld, Michael; Rümpker, Georg; Schmeling, Harro; Wallner, Herbert

    2010-05-01

    The over 5000 m high Rwenzori Mountains are situated within the western branch of the East African Rift System, at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They represent a basement block within the rift valley whose origin and relation to the evolution of the EARS are highly puzzling. During 2006/2007 a network of 27 seismological stations was operated in this area to investigate crustal and upper mantle structure in conjunction with local seismicity. The data analysis revealed unexpectedly high microseismic activity. On average more than 800 events per month could be located with magnitudes ranging from 0.5 to 5.1. Hypocentral depths go as deep as 30 km with a pronounced concentration of activity at a depth of about 15 km. This presentation focuses on a cluster of seven earthquakes that were located at anomalous depths between 53 and 60 km. According to our present knowledge these are the deepest events so far observed within the EARS and the African Plate. Their origin might be connected to magmatic intrusions. However, the existence of earthquakes at this depth is enigmatic, especially within a rifting regime were one expects hot and weak material close to the surface, which is not capable of seismogenic deformation. We think that these events are closely related to the evolution of the Rwenzoris. A recent hypothesis to explain the extreme uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains is rift induced delamination (RID) of mantle lithosphere that is captured between two approaching rift segments. By numerical modelling we show that the RID-process is also able to bring material that is cold and brittle enough to release seismic energy into greater depth. Therefore the RID-mechanism gives a consistent explanation for the detected deep events as well as for the uplift of a mountain block in a rift setting.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Indirect detection of subsurface outflow from a rift valley lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darling, W. G.; Allen, D. J.; Armannsson, H.

    1990-02-01

    Naivasha, highest of the Kenya (Gregory) Rift Valley lakes, has no surface outlet. However, unlike other Rift lakes it has not become saline despite high potential evaporation rates, which indicates that there must be some subsurface drainage. The fate of this outflow has been the subject of speculation for many years, especially during the general decline in lake water level during the 1980's. Particularly to the south of the lake, there are few opportunities to obtain information from direct groundwater sampling. However, the stable isotopic composition of fumarole steam from late Quaternary volcanic centres in the area has been used to infer groundwater composition. Using a simple mixing model between Rift-flank groundwater and highly-evaporated lakewater, this has enabled subsurface water flow to be contoured by its lakewater content. By this method, outflow can still be detected some 30 km to the south of the lake. Stable isotope data also confirm that much of the steam used by the local Olkaria geothermal power station is derived from lakewater, though simple balance considerations show that steam use cannot alone be responsible for the fall in lake level observed during the 1980's.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Gravity study of the Central African Rift system: A model of continental disruption 1. The Ngaoundere and Abu Gabra Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browne, S. E.; Fairhead, J. D.

    1983-05-01

    A regional compilation of published and unpublished gravity data for Central Africa is presented and reveals the presence of a major rift system, called here, the Central African Rift System. It is proposed that the junction area between the Ngaoundere and Abu Gabra rift arms in Western Sudan forms an incipient intraplate, triple-junction with the as yet unfractured, but domally uplifted and volcanically active, Darfur swell. It is only the Darfur swell that shows any similarities to the uplift and rift history of East Africa. The other two rifts arms are considered to be structurally similar to the early stages of passive margin development and thus reflect more closely the initial processes of continental fragmentation than the structures associated with rifting in East Africa.

  9. Origins and implications of zigzag rift patterns on lava lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlstrom, Leif; Manga, Michael

    2006-06-01

    The distinctive rift patterns observed on newly formed lava lakes are very likely a product of interaction between heat transfer (cooling of lava) and deformation of the solid crust in response to applied stresses. One common pattern consists of symmetric "zigzag" rifts separating spreading plates. Zigzags can be characterized by two measurable parameters: an amplitude A, and an angle θ between segments that make up the zigzags. Similar patterns are observed in analog wax experiments in which molten wax acts as cooling and solidifying lava. We perform a series of these wax experiments to find the relationship between θ, A, and the cooling rate. We develop a model to explain the observed relationships: θ is determined by a balance of spreading and solidification speeds; the amplitude A is limited by the thickness of the solid wax crust. Theoretical predictions agree well with experimental data; this enables us to scale the model to basaltic lava lakes. If zigzag rifts are observed on the surface of lava lakes, and if physical properties of the lava crust can be measured or inferred by other means, measurements of θ and A make it possible to calculate crust-spreading velocity and crust thickness.

  10. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1972-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. ERTS-1 imagery of the African rift system resolves the major Cenozoic faults, zones of warping, and the associated volcanism. It also clearly depicts the crustal grain of the Precambrian rocks where these are exposed. New structural features, or new properties of known features such as greater extent, continuity, linearity, etc., are revealed by the ERTS-1 imagery. This applies to the NE-SW fracture zones in Yemen, the Aswa mylonite zone at the northern end of the Western Rift, the Nandi fault of western Kenya, the arcuate faults of the Elgeyo escarpment in the Gregory rift, and hemi-basins of warped Tertiary lavas on the Red Sea margin of Yemen, matching those of the Ethiopian plateau-Afar margin. A tentative scheme is proposed, relating the effect on the pattern of Cenozoic faulting of the degree of obliquity to Precambrian structural trend. Some ground-mapped lithological boundaries are obscure on ERTS-1 imagery. The present approaches to mapping of Precambrian terrain in Africa may require radical revision with the input of satellite imagery.

  12. Late Pleistocene-Holocene rise and collapse of Lake Suguta, northern Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcin, Yannick; Junginger, Annett; Melnick, Daniel; Olago, Daniel O.; Strecker, Manfred R.; Trauth, Martin H.

    2009-05-01

    The Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene African Humid Period (AHP) was characterized by dramatic hydrologic fluctuations in the tropics. A better knowledge of the timing, spatial extent, and magnitude of these hydrological fluctuations is essential to decipher the climate-forcing mechanisms that controlled them. The Suguta Valley (2°N, northern Kenya Rift) has recorded extreme environmental changes during the AHP. Extensive outcrops of lacustrine sediments, ubiquitous wave-cut notches, shorelines, and broad terrace treads along the valley margins are the vestiges of Lake Suguta, which once filled an 80 km long and 20 km wide volcano-tectonic depression. Lake Suguta was deep between 16.5 and 8.5 cal ka BP. During its maximum highstand, it attained a water depth of ca 300 m, a surface area of ca 2150 km 2, and a volume of ca 390 km 3. The spatial distribution of lake sediments, the elevation of palaeo-shorelines, and other geomorphic evidences suggest that palaeo-Lake Suguta had an overflow towards the Turkana basin to the north. After 8.5 cal ka BP, Lake Suguta abruptly disappeared. A comparison of the Lake Suguta water-level curve with other reconstructed water levels from the northern part of the East African Rift System shows that local insolation, which is dominated by precessional cycles, may have controlled the timing of lake highstands in this region. Our data show that changes of lake levels close to the Equator seem to be driven by fluctuations of spring insolation, while fluctuations north of the Equator are apparently related to variations in summer insolation. However, since these inferred timings of lake-level changes are mostly based on the radiocarbon dating of carbonate shells, which may have been affected by a local age reservoir, alternative dating methods are needed to support this regional synthesis. Between 12.7 and 11.8 cal ka BP, approximately during the Northern Hemisphere high-latitude Younger Dryas, the water level of Lake Suguta fell by

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  15. Facies distributions within contrasting structural components of a rift lake: Lake Tanganyika, Africa

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-03-01

    Lake Tanganyika is the most widely cited modern analog for interpreting ancient rift lakes; thus, understanding controls on its facies distribution is critical for refining stratigraphic models for rifts. Four recurrent margin types occur along the alternating half-graben structure of the lake: rift axes, platforms, escarpments, and accommodation zones. Data from study sites in the northern part of the lake suggest that predictable facies differences exist between these structural margin types. The rift axis site comprises a low-gradient, clastic (wave/current)-dominated deltaic system, with strong facies asymmetry and minor carbonate accumulations on raised benches. The platform margin site comprises a series of structurally controlled benches over which long, continuous facies tracts occur. Carbonate sands, muds, and shell gravel dominate; clastics are limited to moderate-sized silty deltas and long, narrow shoreface sands. The escarpment margin site is a steep-gradient system along which small ({lt}1 km{sup 2}) fan deltas alternate with cemented talus. The accommodation zone margin sites are also dominated by rugged structural relief, generally small fan deltas, and semicontinuous shoreface sand belts ({gt}5 km) onshore and poorly sorted silts offshore. TOC from fine-grained samples reflects the contrast in margin types. TOC values for the platform and rift axis range from 0.4 - 2.1 wt. % (avg. 1.3%), whereas accommodation zone and escarpment margin values range from 0.5-5.5% (avg. 3.0%). Acid insoluble sulfur shows a similar trend. Although all data are significantly correlated with depth, the relative area of the lake margin above and below the oxicline is directly controlled by the structural style of the lake margin.

  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. Lake Tara lies within a previously recognized asymmetric graben situated on the Ethiopian plateau and about 250 km west of the plateau-Afar margin. ERTS-1 imagery confirms the stronger deformation of the western side of the Tara graben, with intense faulting and some associated monoclinal mapping extending between latitudes 12 deg and 14 deg N, and lying close to meridian 37 deg E. The zone of deformation is gently arcuate in plan, trending NNE in the south NNW in the north. In the north, the Quaternary faulting dies out in the alluvial plains of the Takazze Valley; in the south the faulting appears to die out in coincidence with a large erosional escapement trending S30W from Lake Tara to precisely latitude 11 deg N. This escapement aligns with the massive NE-SW escapement of western Simien, northeast of Lake Tara, and may represent erosional recession from major faulting and tilting much older than that of the superimposed, obliquely trending Tara graben. A 30 km diameter circular feature has been identified from the ERTS-1 imagery of the Tara graben, centered on 13 deg 05 min N, 37 deg 20 min E. ERTS-1 imagery further shows that the Tara graben and its associated young volcanics have no direct connection with the Red Sea or Ethiopian rift valley.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olaka, L. A.

    2015-12-01

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

  18. 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., Jr.; 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah; Roberts, Eric

    2015-04-01

    Due to rapid population growth and urbanization of many parts of East Africa, it is increasingly important to quantify the risk and possible destruction from large-magnitude earthquakes along the tectonically active East African Rift System. However, because comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, historical records, and fault trench investigations are limited for this region, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved soft-sediment deformation features (seismites). Extensive, previously undescribed seismites of centimeter- to dekameter-scale were identified by our team in alluvial and lacustrine facies of the Late Quaternary-Recent Lake Beds Succession in the Rukwa Rift Basin, of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania, primarily exposed at two, correlative outcrop localities ~35 km apart. This includes a remarkable, clastic 'megablock complex' that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced breccia megablocks, some in excess of 20 m-wide. The megablock complex is comprised of (1) a 5m-tall by 20m-wide injected body of volcanic ash and silt that hydraulically displaced (2) an equally sized, semi-consolidated, volcaniclastic megablock; both of which are intruded by (3) a clastic injection dyke. Evidence for breaching at the surface and for the fluidization of cobbles demonstrates the susceptibility of the substrate in this region to significant deformation via seismicity. Thirty-five km to the north, dekameter-scale asymmetrical/recumbent folds occur in a 3 m-thick, flat lying lake floor unit of the Lake Beds Succession. In between and surrounding these two unique sites, smaller-scale seismites are expressed, including flame structures; cm- to m-scale folded beds; ball-and-pillow structures; syn-sedimentary faults; sand injection features; and m

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Evaporation estimation of rift valley lakes: comparison of models.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Contribution of Transverse Structures, Magma, and Crustal Fluids to Continental Rift Evolution: The East African Rift in Southern Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenhorn, S. A.; Muirhead, J.; Dindi, E.; Fischer, T. P.; Lee, H.; Ebinger, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    The Magadi rift in southern Kenya formed at ~7 Ma within Proterozoic rocks of the Mozambique orogenic belt, parallel to its contact with the Archean Tanzania craton. The rift is bounded to the west by the ~1600-m-high Nguruman border fault. The rift center is intensely dissected by normal faults, most of which offset ~1.4-0.8 Ma lavas. Current E-W extensional velocities are ~2-4 mm/yr. Published crustal tomography models from the rift center show narrow high velocity zones in the upper crust, interpreted as cooled magma intrusions. Local, surface-wave, and SKS-splitting measurements show a rift-parallel anisotropy interpreted to be the result of aligned melt zones in the lithosphere. Our field observations suggest that recent fault activity is concentrated at the rift center, consistent with the location of the 1998 seismic swarm that was associated with an inferred diking event. Fault zones are pervasively mineralized by calcite, likely from CO2-rich fluids. A system of fault-fed springs provides the sole fluid input for Lake Magadi in the deepest part of the basin. Many of these springs emanate from the Kordjya fault, a 50-km-long, NW-SE striking, transverse structure connecting a portion of the border fault system (the NW-oriented Lengitoto fault) to the current locus of strain and magmatism at the rift center. Sampled springs are warm (44.4°C) and alkaline (pH=10). Dissolved gas data (mainly N2-Ar-He) suggests two-component mixing (mantle and air), possibly indicating that fluids are delivered into the fault zone from deep sources, consistent with a dominant role of magmatism to the focusing of strain at the rift center. The Kordjya fault has developed prominent fault scarps (~150 m high) despite being oblique to the dominant ~N-S fault fabric, and has utilized an en echelon alignment of N-S faults to accommodate its motion. These N-S faults show evidence of sinistral-oblique motion and imply a bookshelf style of faulting to accommodate dextral-oblique motion

  7. Structural style of the Turkana Rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Varying styles of magmatic strain accommodation across the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, James D.; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Le Corvec, Nicolas

    2015-09-01

    Observations of active dike intrusions provide present day snapshots of the magmatic contribution to continental rifting. However, unravelling the contributions of upper crustal dikes over the timescale of continental rift evolution is a significant challenge. To address this issue, we analyzed the morphologies and alignments of >1500 volcanic cones to infer the distribution and trends of upper crustal dikes in various rift basins across the East African Rift (EAR). Cone lineament data reveal along-axis variations in the distribution and geometries of dike intrusions as a result of changing tectonomagmatic conditions. In younger (<10 Ma) basins of the North Tanzanian Divergence, dikes are largely restricted to zones of rift-oblique faulting between major rift segments, referred to here as transfer zones. Cone lineament trends are highly variable, resulting from the interplay between (1) the regional stress field, (2) local magma-induced stress fields, and (3) stress rotations related to mechanical interactions between rift segments. We find similar cone lineament trends in transfer zones in the western branch of the EAR, such as the Virunga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The distributions and orientations of upper crustal dikes in the eastern branch of the EAR vary during continental rift evolution. In early-stage rifts (<10 Ma), upper crustal dikes play a limited role in accommodating extension, as they are confined to areas in and around transfer zones. In evolved rift basins (>10 Ma) in Ethiopia and the Kenya Rift, rift-parallel dikes accommodate upper crustal extension along the full length of the basin.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Frolov, Andrey; Akhmetova, Lilia

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26624632

  3. Earthquakes along the East African Rift System: A multiscale, system-wide perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhaohui; Chen, Wang-Ping

    2010-12-01

    On the basis of a comprehensive data set of precisely determined depths of 121 large to moderate-sized earthquakes along and near the entire East African Rift System (EARS), there are three distinct patterns in focal depths which seem to correlate with progressive stages in the development of the largest active rift in the world. First, away from both ends of the western, younger branch of the EARS, very large (Mw ≥ 7) earthquakes occurred in the top 15 km of the crust where surficial expressions of rifting are yet to appear. Curiously, there are unusually deep aftershocks reaching down to 35 ± 3 km. Second, under well-developed but amagmatic rift segments, focal depths show a bimodal distribution, with peaks centered near depths of about 15 ± 5 km and 35 ± 5 km. This pattern is present both under the main axis of the EARS, where rift zone have lengths approaching 1000 km, and beneath rift units 10 times shorter in length. Underside reflections off the Moho indicate that at least part of the second peak in seismicity is due to mantle earthquakes down to 44 ± 4 km, attesting to high differential stress in the mantle lithosphere which is capable of accumulating seismogenic, elastic strain (the "jelly sandwich" rheology). Third, beneath magmatic segments of well-developed rifts, seismicity is largely confined to the upper 15 km of the crust as observed previously, akin to the pattern along mid-ocean ridges where plastic flow due to high temperature inhibits accumulation of shear stress deep in the lithosphere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. The development of the East African Rift system in north-central Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hackman, B. D.; Charsley, T. J.; Key, R. M.; Wilkinson, A. F.

    1990-11-01

    Between 1980 and 1986 geological surveying to produce maps on a scale of 1:250,000 was completed over an area of over 100,000 km 2 in north-central Kenya, bounded by the Equator, the Ethiopian border and longitudes 36° and 38 °E. The Gregory Rift, much of which has the structure of an asymmetric half-graben, is the most prominent component of the Cenozoic multiple rift system which extends up to 200 km to the east and for about 100 km to the west, forming the Kenya dome. On the eastern shoulder and fringes two en echelon arrays of late Tertiary to Quaternary multicentre shields can be recognized: to the south is the Aberdares-Mount Kenya-Nyambeni Range chain and, to the north the clusters of Mount Kulal, Asie, Huri Hills and Marsabit, with plateau lavas and fissure vents south of Marsabit in the Laisamis area. The Gregory Rift terminates at the southern end of Lake Turkana. Further north the rift system splays: the arcuate Kinu Sogo fault zone forms an offset link with the central Ethiopian Rift system. In the rifts of north-central Kenya volcanism, sedimentation and extensional tectonics commenced and have been continuous since the late Oligocene. Throughout this period the Elgeyo Fault acted as a major bounding fault. A comparative study of the northern and eastern fringes of the Kenya dome with the axial graben reinforces the impression of regional E-W asymmetry. Deviations from the essential N-trend of the Gregory Rift reflect structural weaknesses in the underlying Proterozoic basement, the Mozambique Orogenic Belt: thus south of Lake Baringo the swing to the southeast parallels the axes of the ca. 620 Ma phase folds. Secondary faults associated with this flexure have created a "shark tooth" array, an expression of en echelon offsets of the eastern margin of the Gregory Rift in a transtensional stress regime: hinge zones where major faults intersect on the eastern shoulder feature intense box faulting and ramp structures which have counterparts in the rift

  8. 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.

  9. Basement control in the development of the early cretaceous West and Central African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maurin, Jean-Christophe; Guiraud, René

    1993-12-01

    The structural framework of the Precambrian basement of the West and Central African Rift System (WCARS) is described in order to examine the role of ancient structures in the development of this Early Cretaceous rift system. Basement structures are represented in the region by large Pan-African mobile belts (built at ca. 600 Ma) surrounding the > 2 Ga West African, Congo and Sao Francisco cratons. Except for the small Gao trough (eastern Mali) located near the contact nappe of the Pan-African Iforas suture zone along the edge of the West African craton, the entire WCARS is located within the internal domains of the Pan-African mobile belts. Within these domains, two main structural features occur as the main basement control of the WCARS: (1) an extensive network of near vertical shear zones which trend north-south through the Congo, Brazil, Nigeria, Niger and Algeria, and roughly east-west through northeastern Brazil and Central Africa. The shear zones correspond to intra-continental strike-slip faults which accompanied the oblique collision between the West African, Congo, and Sao Francisco cratons during the Late Proterozoic; (2) a steep metamorphic NW-SE-trending belt which corresponds to a pre-Pan-African (ca. 730 Ma) ophiolitic suture zone along the eastern edge of the Trans-Saharian mobile belt. The post-Pan-African magmatic and tectonic evolution of the basement is also described in order to examine the state of the lithosphere prior to the break-up which occurred in the earliest Cretaceous. After the Pan-African thermo-tectonic event, the basement of the WCARS experienced a long period of intra-plate magmatic activity. This widespread magmatism in part relates to the activity of intra-plate hotspots which have controlled relative uplift, subsidence and occasionally block faulting. During the Paleozoic and the early Mesozoic, this tectonic activity was restricted to west of the Hoggar, west of Aïr and northern Cameroon. During the Late Jurassic

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michon, Laurent

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Origins and Implications of Zigzag Rift atterns on the surface of lava lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlstrom, L.; Manga, M.

    2005-12-01

    The distinctive rift patterns observed on newly formed lava lakes are very likely a product of interaction between heat transfer (cooling of lava) and the ability of the solid crust to deform in response to applied stresses. Ragnarsson et al. ( Phys Rev Lett. 1996) observed similar features in analog wax experiments. The experimental setup consisted of a layer of liquid wax heated from below and cooled from above to create a solid crust, which is then pulled apart to form a rift filled with liquid wax. Of particular interest for lava lakes is a regime in which "zigzag" shaped rifts form. We performed a similar series of analog wax experiments designed to characterize the symmetric zigzag rift patterns associated with the cooling and deformation of a newly formed crust layer. The experimental setup is similar to that in Manga and Sinton ( JGR 2004). We vary the wind speed, which controls the cooling rate, and pulling speed. The rifts are characterized by two quantities: the angle between rifts and a line perpendicular to the pulling direction Φ, and the amplitude of the zigzags A. We find experimentally the relationship between Φ, A and cooling rate. We also develop a model to explain the observed relationships: Φ is determined by a balance of pulling and solidification speeds, the latter being governed by wind speed (the primary control on cooling rate); the amplitude A is limited by the thickness of the solid wax crust. The theoretical model is based on a local energy balance in which the conductive heat flux through solidifying crust is balanced by convective and radiative heat loss to the overlying air. Model predictions agree well with experimental results. We can scale this model to basaltic lava lakes. Observed angles are consistent with model predictions. The critical thickness of the solid crust, limiting the amplitude of zigzags (and rift propagation) is a few centimeters, consistent with other estimates (Harris et al., JVGR 2005). The model enables us

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Two Plumes Beneath the East African Rift System: a Geochemical Investigation into Possible Interactions in Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.; van Keken, P. E.; Lin, S.

    2007-12-01

    East African Rift System magmatism began over 40 my ago and has continued through the present. Numerical models have determined two plumes are necessary to create the spatial and temporal distribution of volcanism. Geochemical data support the presence of two chemically distinct plumes initially located beneath the Afar Depression (NE Ethiopia) and the Turkana Depression (SW Ethiopia/N Kenya). The timing and eruptive of the Afar and Kenya plumes are also distinct. While there is growing evidence to support the existence of two dynamically and chemically distinct plumes beneath the East African Rift System, the interactions between them remain unclear. Our study focuses on the geochemistry of mafic shield lavas from three locations on the eastern flank of the Ethiopian plateau. These lavas are spatially located between the surface manifestation of the Afar and Kenya plumes. The majority of the lava is alkaline and has experienced varying degrees of olivine and pyroxene fractionation. The northernmost lavas (9°10'N) are transitional and display the most fractionation. Primitive mantle melts were generated at depths near the fertile mantle garnet-spinel transition zone and deeper (80-100km) and are free of metasomatic influence. Minor HREE depletions also support derivation of melts from a garnet-bearing source. Lavas with lithospheric influence are generated from shallower depths and show minor amphibole influence. Overall, geochemical data show the lavas in this study closely resemble those from various episodes of Kenya plume magmatism with modifications attributed to lithospheric contamination. This interpretation is consistent with current numerical models suggesting episodic northward movement of Kenya plume magmas along the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. The data imply that the Kenya plume has a much larger spatial influence and therefore a larger geodynamic influence in the EARS than previously recognized.

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

    PubMed

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah Louise; Roberts, Eric M

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macgregor, Duncan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-02-01

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

  9. Does Water Hyacinth on East African Lakes Promote Cholera Outbreaks?

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20682884

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiercelin, Jean-Jacques; Thouin, Catherine; Kalala, Tchibangu; Mondeguer, André

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Estimation of Earthquake Source Properties Along the East African Rift Using Full Waveforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, B.; Roecker, S. W.

    2015-12-01

    Recently, the Continental Rifting in Africa: Fluids-Tectonic Interaction (CRAFTI) experiment was conducted in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya as a means to better evaluate the effect of tectonic and magmatic strain along the east African rift. Towards this goal S. Roecker has computed a 3D structural model by joint inversion of gravity, local seismic body wave, and surface wave data. The joint inversion in turn produces a quality estimate of the compressional, shear, and density structure in the region. In the process of tomography of local body wave data it was observed that there exist some anomalously deep seismic events. To better quantify these events we look towards waveform modeling in this new and laterally heterogeneous structural model. It is thought that better quantification of later arriving direct and scattered phases will provide better resolved estimates of the event locations and lower the trade-off between source time and depth uncertainty inherent in travel time inversions. Since our main objective is testing the validity of seismic depths in the travel time inversion we will favor a grid search based approach around the current hypocenters using a method similar Zhao, 2006. To expedite processing, we make use of seismic reciprocity and save the strain wave fields produced by impulsive sources at receiver locations in the vicinity of the initial hypocenters. We then perform a moment tensor inversion at each location around the hypocenter, estimate the corresponding source time function, compute the resulting synthetics, and finally calculate a cumulative waveform misfit objective function for all stations. It is thought this procedure should well sample the objective function in the neighborhood of the initial hypocenters and thereby provide an avenue for resolution analysis of the event depths.

  15. 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

  16. Seismicity, seismotectonics and crustal structure of the southern Kenya Rift-new data from the Lake Magadi area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibs-von Seht, M.; Blumenstein, S.; Wagner, R.; Hollnack, D.; Wohlenberg, J.

    2001-08-01

    Local seismic activity has been monitored in the southern part of the Kenya Rift in the area around Lake Magadi. An earthquake recording network consisting of 15 station sites was operated for 8months from November 1997 to June 1998. During this period, the Magadi area proved to be seismically active. Approximately 10 events per day were detected and found to be equally distributed over the rift floor. The hypocentre depth distribution shows surprisingly large depths of up to 27km in the south and much shallower depths in the northern part of the area. Apart from the background activity, swarm activity with rates of more than 300 events per day was also recorded. The epicentres are clustered and trace a linear structure lying SSW-NNE over a length of 10km north of Lake Magadi. Hypocentres in the region of the earthquake cluster are shallow and exhibit a sharp cut-off at 9km depth. A surface crack that occurred during the recording period is connected to the earthquake swarm. Analysis of the focal mechanisms of selected earthquakes indicates predominantly normal faulting in response to a WNW-ESE-directed tensional stress field. This direction corresponds to the general alignment of the southernmost part of the Kenya Rift and to the surface faulting pattern inside the rift. The crustal structure of the area has been investigated using local earthquake tomography and the spatial distribution of hypocentres. The main results of the tomography are a linear positive velocity anomaly following the rift axis and a negative anomaly at shallow depth underneath Lake Magadi. The high velocities can be explained by mafic material that has intruded into the upper crust. The negative anomaly is attributed to highly fractured rocks. Maximum hypocentre depths indicate a body of low shear strength centred at the rift axis and a general deepening of the brittle-ductile transition from north to south.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Alexei V; Demonterova, Elena I

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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. PMID:21809777

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Steady rifting in northern Kenya inferred from deformed Holocene lake shorelines of the Suguta and Turkana basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

    A comparison of deformation rates in active rifts over different temporal scales may help to decipher variations in their structural evolution, controlling mechanisms, and evolution of sedimentary environments through time. Here we use deformed lake shorelines in the Suguta and Turkana basins in northern Kenya as strain markers to estimate deformation rates at the 103-104 yr time scale and compare them with rates spanning 101-107 yr. Both basins are internally drained today, but until 7 to 5 kyr lake levels were 300 and 100 m higher, respectively, maintained by the elevation of overflow sills connecting them with the Nile drainage. Protracted high lake levels resulted in formation of a maximum highstand shoreline — a distinct geomorphic feature virtually continuous for several tens of kilometers. We surveyed the elevation of this geomorphic marker at 45 sites along > 100 km of the rift, and use the overflow sills as vertical datum. Thin-shell elastic and thermomechanical models for this region predict up to ~ 10 m of rapid isostatic rebound associated with lake-level falls lasting until ~ 2 kyr ago. Holocene cumulative throw rates along four rift-normal profiles are 6.8-8.5 mm/yr, or 7.5-9.6 mm/yr if isostatic rebound is considered. Assuming fault dips of 55-65°, inferred from seismic reflection profiles, we obtained extension rates of 3.2-6 mm/yr (including uncertainties in field measurements, fault dips, and ages), or 3.5-6.7 mm/yr considering rebound. Our estimates are consistent, within uncertainties, with extension rates of 4-5.1 mm/yr predicted by a modern plate-kinematic model and plate reconstructions since 3.2 Myr. The Holocene strain rate of 10- 15 s- 1 is similar to estimates on the ~ 106 yr scale, but over an order of magnitude higher than on the ~ 107 yr scale. This is coherent with continuous localization and narrowing of the plate boundary, implying that the lithospheric blocks limiting the Kenya Rift are relatively rigid. Increasing strain rate

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woldetinsae, G.; Götze, H. J.

    2004-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Streptomyces alkaliphilus sp. nov., isolated from sediments of Lake Elmenteita in the Kenyan Rift Valley.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    A novel strain, designated No. 7(T), was isolated from a sediment sample collected from the alkaline, saline Lake Elmenteita located in the Kenyan Rift Valley. The optimal growth for the strain was found to be at temperature 30-35 °C, at pH 8.0-12.0 in the presence of 7.0-10.0 % (w/v) NaCl. The strain was observed to form a light green beige abundant aerial mycelium on Horikoshi 1 agar and to have morphological and chemotaxonomic characteristics typical of members of the genus Streptomyces. The peptidoglycan was found to contain LL-diaminopimelic acid as the diamino acid, with no diagnostic sugars identified. The predominant menaquinone was identified as MK-9(H6). The main polar lipids were identified as diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol and an unknown phospholipid. Cellular fatty acids were found to consist of saturated branched-chain acids with iso-C(15:0), anteiso-C(15:0), iso-C(16:0) and anteiso-C(17:0) acids predominating. The type strain had a genomic DNA G+C content of 72.8 mol% and formed a distinct phyletic line within the genus Streptomyces. Based on the chemotaxonomic results, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and the low DNA-DNA hybridization value with the type strain of Streptomyces calidiresistens, it is proposed that strain No. 7(T) (= DSM 42118 = CECT 8549) represents a novel species, Streptomyces alkaliphilus. The INSDC accession number for the 16S rRNA gene sequence of strain No. 7(T) is KF976730. PMID:25761860

  17. Seismic tomography of continental rifts revisited: from relative to absolute heterogeneities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Achauer, Ulrich; Masson, Frédéric

    2002-11-01

    Tomographic images for four major continental rift zones, namely the southern Rhine Graben (SRG, Germany/France), the Gregory rift (Kenya) which is the central part of the East African rift system, the Rio Grande rift (RGR) in the United States and the Lake Baikal rift zone (LBR) in Russia have been revisited by calculating and comparing absolute velocity models. The four rifts exhibit strong structural differences in the uppermost mantle down to more than 300-km depth, suggesting major differences in their geodynamic evolution albeit their similarity in age and similar surface expression. The comparative analysis suggests that tomographic images of rift zones can be used to characterize continental rifts, once the corrections to obtain absolute velocities have been carried out. Our results suggest that while the Kenya and the Rio Grande rift may be considered active with large upwelling plumes being the main controlling factor in the evolution, the southern Rhine Graben and the Lake Baikal rift are more likely passive rifts, where complex regional stress fields and inherited structures play the governing role in the evolution.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-05-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

    The Western Branch of the East African Great Rift Valley is pocketed with craters of extinct or dormant volcanoes. Many of the craters are filled with water, and the lakes are inhabited by fishes. The objective of the present study was to determine the amount and nature of genetic variation in haplochromine fishes inhabiting two of these crater lakes, Lake Lutoto and Lake Nshere, and to use this information to infer the origin and history of the two populations. To this end, sequences of mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region, exon 2 of major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) class II B genes, and short interspersed elements (SINEs) were analyzed. The results indicate that the Lake Nshere and Lake Lutoto fishes originated from different but related large founding populations derived from the Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake Edward and Lake George. Some of the genetic polymorphism that existed in the ancestral populations was lost in the populations of the two lakes. The polymorphism that has been retained has persisted for some 50000 generations (years). During this time, new mutations arose and became fixed in each of the two populations in the mtDNA, giving rise to sets of diagnostic substitutions. Each population evolved in isolation after the colonization of the lakes less than 50000 years ago. There appears to be no population structure within the crater lake fishes, and their present effective population sizes are in the order of 104 to 105 individuals. Comparisons with the endemic haplochromine species of Lake Victoria reveal interesting parallels, as well as differences, which may help to understand the nature of the speciation process. PMID:12777512

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  5. Volcanic Centers in the East African Rift: Imaging Volcanic Processes with Long-Period Event Identification and Ambient Noise Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patlan, E.; Wamalwa, A. M.; Hardy, S.; Kaip, G.; Velasco, A. A.

    2014-12-01

    Kenya actively seeks to produce geothermal energy, and the country lies within the East African Rift System (EARS). The EARS, an active continental rift zone, appears to be a developing tectonic plate boundary and thus, has a number of active as well as dormant volcanoes through its extent. These volcanic centers can be used as potential sources for geothermal energy. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) began collaborating to monitor several volcanic centers, which have included passive seismic sensor deployments experiment. A number of seismological techniques will be applied to the data being collected at the four volcanic centers: Menengai, Silali, and Paka, and Korosi. In particular, we will identify long-period signals and tremor local using a time-reversal approach. Low-frequency earthquakes are interpreted as magma passing through conduits of the magma chamber and/or fluid being transported as a function of magma movement or hydrothermal activity. The time-reversal locations will help identify the margin of the volcano and caldera, and faults that could form conduits for fluids. We will also perform ambient noise tomography to image the magma chamber and the conduit feeding the volcanoes. The combination of the velocity snapshots of the magma chamber, low-frequency events, and long period events will help us interpret the activity of the calderas and volcanoes. Overall, all these techniques will help us understand magma movement and volcanic processes in the region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Evolution of the sublacustrine geothermal system at Lake Rotomahana, New Zealand: Effects of the 1886 Tarawera Rift eruption-An introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Ronde, C. E. J.; Scott, B. J.; Leonard, G. S.; Calvert, A. T.

    2016-03-01

    Modern Lake Rotomahana was formed during the 1886 Tarawera Rift eruption. Explosive phreatomagmatic eruptions excavated a 16-km long series of deep, interconnected craters across the Tarawera Volcanic Complex and through low land to the southwest (Nairn, 1979). Shortly thereafter, water started to infill the southwestern craters, drowning them to form the present-day lake, an area about five times the size of the original lake (Healy, 1975a and 1975b). The modern lake area lies in a down-faulted collapse embayment in the southwestern portion of the Okataina Caldera (Cole, 1970; Nairn et al., 1994; Nairn, 2002). Elsewhere, boundaries for the southern caldera are poorly defined.

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

    PubMed

    Mollel, Godwin F; Swisher, Carl C

    2012-08-01

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

  10. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Blackwelder, B.W.

    1989-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Use of Paleomagnetic Secular Variation, Excursion, and Reversal Records to Correlate African Lake Climate Records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, J.; Heil, C.; Peck, J.; Scholz, C.; Shanahan, T.; Overpeck, J.

    2005-12-01

    Geomagnetic secular variation, excursions, and reversal records can provide an excellent means for high resolution correlation of sedimentary climate records. Recent drilling projects on Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana, and Lake Malawi, Malawi, have provided the opportunity to study long African climate records (<1 Ma). Magnetic studies of these sedimentary archives indicate that high quality SV records are preserved through most of the sequence despite the fact that anoxia is the usual condition of bottom waters in both lakes. We compare the magnetic records of Lake Bosumtwi and Lake Malawi to test our ability to correlate between West African and East African lakes. In addition, we compare the magnetic record of Lake Malawi to records from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa and the Indian Ocean region, and the record of Lake Bosumtwi to that of Lake Barombi Mbo in West Africa. Correlations within regions are straightforward and highly useful for intrasite correlation. Correlation between East and West Africa is also possible, although the resolution of the correlation is more limited.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Present-day strain rates and dynamics of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    The forces and physical processes at work during continental rifting remain to be fully understood and quantified. We investigate the balance of large-scale forces affecting present-day rifting in East Africa using a thin sheet approach to quantify strain rates and deviatoric stresses. We develop a strain rate model constrained by a combination of GPS-derived kinematic models and seismic moment tensors (CMT catalog) for our region of interest. We estimate a total deviatoric stress field by combining (1) stresses caused by gravitational potential energy (GPE) gradients within the crust and (2) a buoyancy signal present in the topography that we use to compute stresses. To estimate internal body forces, we assume crustal thicknesses and lateral density variations modeled in Crust 2.0 (G. Laske and G. Masters, http://mahi.ucsd.edu/Gabi/sediment.html, 2000). In our preferred model of deviatoric stresses, we estimate and remove the dynamic topography buoyancy signal by allowing the mantle lithosphere density to vary, compensating the lithosphere to a given reference depth. To test the reliability of our total deviatoric stress field, we compare tensor patterns of deviatoric stresses, with and without contributions from the mantle, to tensor patterns from kinematic deformation indicators. Our results to date suggest that horizontal buoyancy forces arising from variable crustal thicknesses and lateral density variations within the lithosphere contribute significantly to the diverging plate boundary forces of the EAR but do not account for the entire budget of force needed to produce present-day deformation.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-08-01

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

  8. How strong ist the impact of changing topography of the East African Rift System on regional climate?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prömmel, Kerstin; Kaspar, Frank; Cubasch, Ulrich

    2010-05-01

    The evolution of the East African Rift System (EARS) leads to a topography change at the surface and the impact of this change on climate in this region can easily be analysed with climate models. In the present study both global and regional climate models are applied. The global climate model is the coupled atmosphere ocean general circulation model ECHO-G and the regional climate model is the non-hydrostatic CLM, which is the climate version of the numerical weather prediction model of the German Meterorological Service. At the lateral boundaries the regional model is driven by the simulations performed with the global model. Different topographical situations representing possible conditions in the past, are simulated with the global and the regional climate model. One assumption affects only the highest peaks of the EARS south of the Turkana Channel by reducing them to 1200 m. The other assumptions affect a much larger area covering the whole of Southern and Eastern Africa. Over this region topography is reduced by 25%, 50%, 75% and 95%. These different topography reductions have an impact on circulation and therefore also on moisture transport. This leads to changes in the precipitation patterns over Africa. One strong effect is the decrease in orographic precipitation windward of the mountains. Wetter conditions can be found over the east coast of Africa, where moisture is transported from the Indian Ocean farther into the continent due to the lower barrier. Both global and regional models show similar results on the continental scale, however the results of the regional model are much more detailed due to the higher horizontal resolution (50 km) compared to the global model (~350 km).

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:25460947

  11. Methane in lake kivu: new data bearing on its origin.

    PubMed

    Deuser, W G; Degens, E T; Harvey, G R; Rubin, M

    1973-07-01

    Lake Kivu, an African rift lake, contains about 50 cubic kilometers of methane (at standard temperature and pressure) in its deep water. Data resulting from two recent expeditions to the lake and a reevaluation of earlier data suggest that most of the methane was formed by bacteria from abiogenetic carbon dioxide and hydrogen, rather than being of volcanic origin or having formed from decomposing organic matter. PMID:17769824

  12. Methane in Lake Kivu: New data bearing on its origin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Deuser, W.G.; Degens, E.T.; Harvey, G.R.; Rubin, M.

    1973-01-01

    Lake Kivu, an African rift lake, contains about 50 cubic kilometers of methane (at standard temperature and pressure) in its deep water. Data resulting from two recent expeditions to the lake and a reevaluation of earlier data suggest that most of the methane was formed by bacteria from abiogenetic carbon dioxide and hydrogen, rather than being of volcanic origin or having formed from decomposing organic matter.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:26124133

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wright, Jeremy J

    2011-02-01

    Biological mimicry has long been viewed as a powerful example of natural selection's ability to drive phenotypic evolution, although continuing debates surround the mechanisms leading to its development and the nature of these mimetic relationships. Müllerian mimicry, in which unpalatable species derive a mutual selective benefit through evolved phenotypic similarity, has alternatively been proposed to evolve through either a two-step process initiated by a large mutational change, or through continuous gradual evolution toward a common aposematic phenotype. I exposed a model predatory fish species to two species of endemic Lake Tanganyikan Synodontis to provide evidence for aposematism and the presence of Müllerian mimicry in these species. Predators quickly became conditioned to avoid the venomous catfish and did not discriminate between the two species when they were switched, supporting a hypothesis of functional Müllerian mimicry in this group of similarly colored fish. Ancestral state reconstructions and statistical comparisons of color pattern divergence in Tanganyikan Synodontis indicate that Müllerian mimicry in these catfish has developed through diversification of an aposematic common ancestor with subsequent conservative mutualistic coevolution among its daughter lineages, rather than advergent evolution of a mimic toward a nonrelated model, as assumed by widely accepted models of Müllerian mimicry evolution. PMID:20964683

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The Hominin Sites And Paleolakes Drilling Project: Using High Resolution Paleoclimate Records From African Lake Deposits To Interpret Human Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, A. S.; Arrowsmith, R.; Behrensmeyer, K.; Campisano, C. J.; Feibel, C. S.; Fisseha, S.; Johnson, R. A.; Kingston, J.; Kubsa, Z.; Lamb, H.; Mbua, E.; Olago, D.; Potts, R.; Renaut, R.; Schaebitz, F.; Tiercelin, J.; Trauth, M. H.; Woldegabriel, G. W.; Umer, M.

    2009-12-01

    For many years paleoanthropologists and earth scientists have explored and debated the potential role of climate and environmental forcing in human evolution. Although no consensus has emerged as to the importance of climate history in understanding human origins, there is broad agreement that obtaining high quality records of paleoclimate is critical for evaluating any proposed relationships. Recent workshops on the subject have converged on the central role that scientific drilling could play in obtaining such records. Records with high continuity and resolution with implications for human evolution can be retrieved from marine or lacustrine sediments, and the latter can be obtained from both extant (ancient) lakes or by drilling lake beds now exposed on land. We report here on a new initiative to obtain drill core records from on-land sites in the East African Rift Valley region. Our objective is to recover continuous cores both directly from the paleolake deposits in the depocenters of basins where important hominin fossils or artifacts have been recovered, and from basins in close proximity to fossil and artifact sites. An initial on-land drilling campaign, using off-the-shelf technology will target five of the most important basins for hominin fossil and archaeological records in East Africa, collectively spanning the last ~4Ma (N. Awash R. and the Chew Bahir Basin in Ethiopia, and W. Turkana, Tugen Hills and the Olorgesailie/L. Magadi areas in Kenya). HSPDP work to date has involved collecting subsurface geophysical data, and combining this with outcrop, prior coring and basin geometry information to identify optimal drilling targets at each area. The overall project objective is to provide detailed paleoenvironmental records across a spatial and temporal range of sites that can address hypotheses of climate/human evolution relationships at local to regional scales, through a combination of core data collection and modeling efforts. In the long term, such

  14. Near-Real Time Monitoring of African Lakes and Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birkett, C.; Beckley, B.; Brenner, A.; Koblinsky, C.

    2003-04-01

    Satellite radar altimetry has the ability to monitor variations in surface water height (stage) for large lakes and reservoirs. A clear advantage is the provision of data where traditional gauges are lacking or where there is restricted access to ground-based measurements. As part of a new USDA-funded program, near-real time altimetric monitoring of the largest lakes and reservoirs in Africa will begin in October,2002. Data ingestion and manipulation will closely follow the path of the NASA Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project and will concentrate in the first phase on incoming data from the Jason-1 mission. As the project progresses, other data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON and ENVISAT missions will also be included, and the target selection will expand to observe other reservoirs in Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and Iraq. The project will begin by utilizing the IGDR data with its expected <10cm orbit accuracy and delivery time of <4days after satellite overpass. The team aims to produce graphic and text products, revealing the variation in lake height, within 24hrs of data availability. These will be delivered to the Foreign Agricultural Service's, Precipitation Estimation and Crop Assessment Division for observation of flood/drought conditions, and for analysis of reservoir volume and irrigation potential.

  15. 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

  16. A Pan African age for the HP-HT granulite gneisses of Zabargad island: implications for the early stages of the Red Sea rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lancelot, Joël R.; Bosch, Delphine

    1991-12-01

    Up to now the age of granulite gneisses intruded by the Zabargad mantle diapir has been an unsolved problem. These gneisses may represent either a part of the adjacent continental crust primarily differentiated during the Pan African orogeny, or new crust composed of Miocene clastic sediments deposited in a developing rift, crosscut by a diabase dike swarm and gabbroic intrusions, and finally metamorphosed and deformed by the mantle diapir. Previous geochronological results obtained on Zabargad island and Al Lith and Tihama-Asir complexes (Saudi Arabia) suggest an Early Miocene age of emplacement for the Zabargad mantle diapir during the early opening of the Red Sea rift. In contrast, Sm sbnd Nd and Rb sbnd Sr internal isochrons yield Pan African dates for felsic and basic granulites collected 500-600 m from the contact zone with the peridotites. Devoid of evidence for retrograde metamorphic, minerals from a felsic granulite provide well-defined Rb sbnd Sr and Sm sbnd Nd dates of 655 ± 8 and 699 ± 34 Ma for the HP-HT metamorphic event (10 kbar, 850°C). The thermal event related to the diapir emplacement is not recorded in the Sm sbnd Nd and Rb sbnd Sr systems of the studied gneisses; in contrast, the development of a retrograde amphibolite metamorphic paragenesis strongly disturbed the Rb sbnd Sr isotopic system of the mafic granulite. The initial 143Nd/ 144Nd ratio of the felsic granulite is higher than the contemporaneous value for CHUR and is in agreement with other Nd isotopic data for samples of upper crust from the Arabian shield. This result suggests that source rocks of the felsic granulite were derived at 1.0 to 1.2 Ga from either an average MORB-type mantle or a local 2.2 Ga LREE-depleted mantle. Zabargad gneisses represent a part of the disrupted lower continental crust of the Pan African Afro-Arabian shield. During early stages of the Red Sea rifting in the Miocene, these Precambrian granulites were intruded and dragged upwards by a rising peridotite

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muravyeva, Natalya; Belyatsky, Boris; Senin, Valeriy

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Understanding Natural and Human-induced Impacts on the Hydrology of Central Rift Valley Lakes in Ethiopia Using Hydrologic Modeling and Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seyoum, W. M.; Milewski, A.

    2013-12-01

    In the past decades lake level fluctuations have been observed in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) lakes of Ethiopia, specifically Lake Abiyata, which is receding at an alarming rate. The cause is largely unknown and thus this research identifies and quantifies the causes and effects of climate variability and human-induced factors on the CRV lakes in Ethiopia using ground data, remote sensing, and hydrologic modeling. The CRV is a closed basin with an area of 10,185 sq. km. and contains three major surficially interconnected lakes: Lake Abiyata, Lake Langano and Lake Ziway. Remote sensing data (e.g. LANDSAT and TRMM) and ground data (e.g. river discharge, lake levels) was analyzed to understand the impact of climate variability on the lakes. Image processing such as radiometric correction and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) was performed to calculate the surface area of the lakes and understand the temporal variation. The semi-distributed physically based hydrologic model, Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), was employed to estimate the total surface runoff to the lakes. SWAT was simulated from 1980 to 2010 and monthly preliminary calibration was performed from 1985 to 2000 using two river gauging stations. The preliminary R2 and Nash-Sutcliffe simulation efficiency values are 0.65 and 0.60, and 0.61 and 0.60. The output from SWAT, total runoff, along with precipitation and evaporation is used to calculate the water budget of each lake. Changes in the total volume of lake water were converted to changes in water heights using the geometry data of lakes (e.g. bathymetry data). The modeled lake level time series, which does not take into account the abstraction rates, are compared with the remote sensing and ground observed data. Surface area mapping from satellite imagery shows that the surface Area of L. Ziway and L. Langano remained unchanged throughout the period 1985 - 2010, whereas the surface area of L. Abiyata is decreasing from approximately 180 sq. km

  19. Understanding Natural and Human-induced Impacts on the Hydrology of Central Rift Valley Lakes in Ethiopia Using Hydrologic Modeling and Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seyoum, W. M.; Milewski, A.

    2011-12-01

    In the past decades lake level fluctuations have been observed in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) lakes of Ethiopia, specifically Lake Abiyata, which is receding at an alarming rate. The cause is largely unknown and thus this research identifies and quantifies the causes and effects of climate variability and human-induced factors on the CRV lakes in Ethiopia using ground data, remote sensing, and hydrologic modeling. The CRV is a closed basin with an area of 10,185 sq. km. and contains three major surficially interconnected lakes: Lake Abiyata, Lake Langano and Lake Ziway. Remote sensing data (e.g. LANDSAT and TRMM) and ground data (e.g. river discharge, lake levels) was analyzed to understand the impact of climate variability on the lakes. Image processing such as radiometric correction and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) was performed to calculate the surface area of the lakes and understand the temporal variation. The semi-distributed physically based hydrologic model, Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), was employed to estimate the total surface runoff to the lakes. SWAT was simulated from 1980 to 2010 and monthly preliminary calibration was performed from 1985 to 2000 using two river gauging stations. The preliminary R2 and Nash-Sutcliffe simulation efficiency values are 0.65 and 0.60, and 0.61 and 0.60. The output from SWAT, total runoff, along with precipitation and evaporation is used to calculate the water budget of each lake. Changes in the total volume of lake water were converted to changes in water heights using the geometry data of lakes (e.g. bathymetry data). The modeled lake level time series, which does not take into account the abstraction rates, are compared with the remote sensing and ground observed data. Surface area mapping from satellite imagery shows that the surface Area of L. Ziway and L. Langano remained unchanged throughout the period 1985 - 2010, whereas the surface area of L. Abiyata is decreasing from approximately 180 sq. km

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. Magmatic expression of lithospheric thinning across continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, R. N.; Gibson, S. A.

    1994-05-01

    the context of the most recent published models of their geophysical structures to depths > 200 km. Teleseismic and gravity studies identify lithospheric thinning beneath the Rio Grande, East African and Baikal rifts across zones 700-800 km wide. The failure of the southern Rhine graben to show a similar deep seismic structure may be a result of efficient buoyant migration of low-viscosity mafic alkalic melt out of the underlying mantle during the 7 Ma period since magmatism ceased, causing seismically defined asthenosphere to revert to lithosphere. A 700 km geochemical traverse across the Rio Grande rift at ~ 37°N, focusing on Oligocene-Miocene magmatism minimally affected by post-genesis processes, shows a clear symmetrical pattern of relatively sodic volcanics at the rift axis and mafic, ultrapotassic magmatism on its outer flanks. The geochemistry of these contrasting magma types is consistent with the view that they originated predominantly within the convecting mantle and SCLM, respectively. The same geochemical pattern is detectable in the volcanism within the equatorial segment of the East African rift system but it is complicated in two zones: east of the Gregory rift and southwest of Lake Kivu, by the effects of previous Cretaceous-Palaeogene magmatism. Limited, published, appropriate, geochemical data show that regional compositional variation in the volcanics associated with the Baikal rift appear to fit the pattern proposed here as a general model for rifting-related magmatism.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmel, B.; Jacobs, J.

    2003-04-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:25256664

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

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

  7. 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. PMID:25788592

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  11. 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. PMID:22821322

  12. Genetic Evidence for Rift Valley Fever Outbreaks in Madagascar Resulting from Virus Introductions from the East African Mainland rather than Enzootic Maintenance▿†‡

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21507967

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  14. Analysis of the hydrological response of a tropical terminal lake, Lake Abiyata (Main Ethiopian Rift Valley) to changes in climate and human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legesse, Dagnachew; Vallet-Coulomb, Christine; Gasse, Françoise

    2004-02-01

    Integrated dynamic water and chloride balance models with a catchment-scale hydrological model (PRMS) are used to investigate the response of a terminal tropical lake, Lake Abiyata, to climate variability and water use practices in its catchment. The hydrological model is used to investigate the response of the catchment to different climate and land-use change scenarios that are incorporated into the lake model. Lake depth-area-volume relationships were established from lake bathymetries. Missing data in the time series were filled using statistical regression techniques. Based on mean monthly data, the lake water balance model produced a good agreement between the simulated and observed levels of Lake Abiyata for the period 1968-83. From 1984 onwards the simulated lake level is overestimated with respect to the observed one, while the chloride concentration is largely underestimated. This discrepancy is attributed to human use of water from the influent rivers or directly from the lake. The simulated lake level and chloride concentration are in better agreement with observed values (r2 = 0.96) when human water use for irrigation and salt exploitation are included in the model. A comparison of the simulation with and without human consumption indicates that climate variability controls the interannual fluctuations and that the human water use affects the equilibrium of the system by strongly reducing the lake level. Sensitivity analysis based on a mean climatic year showed that, after prolonged mean climatic conditions, Lake Abiyata reacts more rapidly to an abrupt shift to wetter conditions than to dry conditions. This study shows the significant sensitivity of the level and salinity of the terminal Lake Abiyata to small changes in climate or land use, making it a very good recorder of environmental changes that may occur in the catchment at different time scales.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-20

    Drinking water samples were collected throughout the Ethiopian part of the Rift Valley, separated into water drawn from deep wells (deeper than 60 m), shallow wells (<60 m deep), hot springs (T>36 degrees C), springs (T<32 degrees C) and rivers. A total of 138 samples were analysed for 70 parameters (Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Bi, Br, Ca, Cd, Ce, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Dy, Er, Eu, F, Fe, Ga, Gd, Ge, Hf, Hg, Ho, I, In, K, La, Li, Lu, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Nb, Nd, Ni, NO(2), NO(3), Pb, Pr, Rb, Sb, Se, Si, Sm, Sn, SO(4), Sr, Ta, Tb, Te, Th, Ti, Tl, Tm, U, V, W, Y, Yb, Zn, Zr, temperature, pH, conductivity and alkalinity) with ion chromatography (anions), spectrometry (ICP-OES and ICP-MS, cations) and parameter-specific (e.g. titration) techniques. In terms of European water directives and WHO guidelines, 86% of all wells yield water that fails to pass the quality standards set for drinking water. The most problematic element is fluoride (F), for which 33% of all samples returned values above 1.5 mg/l and up to 11.6 mg/l. The incidence of dental and skeletal fluorosis is well documented in the Rift Valley. Another problematic element may be uranium (U)-47% of all wells yield water with concentrations above the newly suggested WHO maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 2 microg/l. Fortunately, only 7% of the collected samples are above the 10 microg/l EU-MAC for As in drinking water. PMID:12826384

  17. Deep crustal earthquakes in North Tanzania, East Africa: Interplay between tectonic and magmatic processes in an incipient rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albaric, Julie; Déverchère, Jacques; Perrot, Julie; Jakovlev, Andrey; Deschamps, Anne

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we explore the origin of lower crustal seismicity and the factors controlling rift propagation using seismological data recorded within the youngest part of the East African Rift System, the North Tanzanian Divergence (NTD). Most earthquakes below Lake Manyara occur at depth ranging between 20 and 40 km and have a swarm-like distribution. Focal mechanisms of 26 events indicate a combination of strike-slip and normal faulting involving Archaean basement structures and forming a relay zone. The derived local stress regime is transtensive and the minimum principal stress is oriented N110°E. Crustal seismic tomography reveals low-velocity anomalies below the rifted basins in the NTD, interpreted as localized thermomechanical perturbations promoting fluid release and subsequent seismicity in the lower crust. SKS splitting analysis in the NTD indicates seismic anisotropy beneath 17 stations most likely due to aligned magma lenses and/or dikes beneath the rift and to the lithospheric fabrics. Our results favor a strain pattern intermediate between purely mechanical and purely magmatic. We suggest that melt products arising from a large asthenospheric thermal anomaly enhance lithospheric weakening and facilitate faulting and creeping on critically oriented inherited structures of the Precambrian lower crust. Although the crust is unlikely weakened at a point comparable to other parts of the East African Rift System, this deep-seated thermomechanical process is efficient enough to allow slow rift propagation within the eastern Tanzanian cratonic edge.

  18. 3D object-oriented image analysis in 3D geophysical modelling: Analysing the central part of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadel, I.; van der Meijde, M.; Kerle, N.; Lauritsen, N.

    2015-03-01

    Non-uniqueness of satellite gravity interpretation has traditionally been reduced by using a priori information from seismic tomography models. This reduction in the non-uniqueness has been based on velocity-density conversion formulas or user interpretation of the 3D subsurface structures (objects) based on the seismic tomography models and then forward modelling these objects. However, this form of object-based approach has been done without a standardized methodology on how to extract the subsurface structures from the 3D models. In this research, a 3D object-oriented image analysis (3D OOA) approach was implemented to extract the 3D subsurface structures from geophysical data. The approach was applied on a 3D shear wave seismic tomography model of the central part of the East African Rift System. Subsequently, the extracted 3D objects from the tomography model were reconstructed in the 3D interactive modelling environment IGMAS+, and their density contrast values were calculated using an object-based inversion technique to calculate the forward signal of the objects and compare it with the measured satellite gravity. Thus, a new object-based approach was implemented to interpret and extract the 3D subsurface objects from 3D geophysical data. We also introduce a new approach to constrain the interpretation of the satellite gravity measurements that can be applied using any 3D geophysical model.

  19. The impact of the African Great Lakes on the regional climate in a dynamically downscaled CORDEX simulation (COSMO-CLM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiery, W.; Panitz, H.; van Lipzig, N.

    2013-12-01

    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. The performance of two lake modules within CCLM are compared for the period 1999-2008: the default FLake scheme and the alternative 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 stability, increased downwind precipitation, stronger winds, and the formation of local circulation patterns. This is achieved through comparison to a model integration excluding lake effects.

  20. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-07-01

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

  2. 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).

  3. Microbiology of Lonar Lake and other soda lakes

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-22

    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

  6. Magmatic Processes Beneath the East African Rift System (EARS): Insights From Melt Inclusions in Lavas of Turkana, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waters, C. L.; Bryce, J. G.; Furman, T.

    2004-05-01

    The EARS is an ideal site to study the magmatic processes relevant to continental basaltic volcanism. Within the EARS, the Turkana Depression exhibits maximum extension and crustal thinning [1, 2]. Whole rock elemental and isotopic analyses of Turkana lavas demonstrate heterogeneity that is unlikely due to crustal assimilation during magma transport or storage and is instead attributed to mixing between mantle sources (plume and lithosphere) [3]. In other sites of continental basaltic volcanism, compositional studies of olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MIs) lend perspective on magma chamber processing and source diversity (e.g., [4,5]). MIs hosted in primitive olivine (ol) phenocrysts often sample numerous, discrete melts that existed prior to melt aggregation and homogenization within the continental lithosphere. Thus, ol-hosted MIs from Turkana may also provide insight into magmatic processes beneath continental rifts. Furthermore, Turkana lavas afford an unusual opportunity to study MIs that are likely unaffected by crustal assimilation and provide direct evidence of mantle heterogeneity. We present major element compositional data on ol-hosted MIs from a suite of lavas from the Turkana Depression. To test for geographical control on source heterogeneity beneath the Turkana Rift, analyses in progress encompass basaltic lavas that have been sampled from South and Central Islands and the Barrier. Olivine-hosted MIs in a South Island transitional basalt (MgO= 14.10 wt%, K2O/TiO2= 0.37, K2O/P2O5= 2.08; data from [3]) are dominantly alkaline in composition. Incompatible element ratios between MIs in separate, primitive ol grains (Fo= 83.8-86.7) display significant variability (K2O/TiO2= 0.32-0.63, K2O/P2O5= 1.02-4.36). Also, primitive ol grains (e.g., Fo= 86.2) host multiple MIs that consistently display similar incompatible element variability (e.g., K2O/TiO2= 0.33-0.59, K2O/P2O5=1.27-2.04). These data suggest that melt homogenization occurs at relatively shallow

  7. Kinematics of Rift-Parallel Deformation Along the Rukwa Rift, Western Branch, and Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D.; Koehn, D.; Burke, K. C.; d'Oreye, N.; Saria, E.; Xu, R.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift System spans N-S ~5000 km and currently experiences E-W extension. Previous kinematic studies of the EARS delineated 3 relatively rigid sub-plates (Victoria, Rovuma, and Lwandle) between the Nubian and Somalian plates. GPS observations of these block interiors confirm the rigid plate model, but we also detect a systematic along-rift deformation pattern at GPS stations located within rift zones bounding the western Victoria block and continuing north between the Nubian and Somalian plates. Here we present a kinematic model of present-day rift-parallel deformation along the Western branch, Rukwa Rift, and Main Ethiopian Rift constrained by a new GPS solution, earthquake slip vectors, and mapped active fault structures. We test the roles of block rotation, elastic deformation, and anelastic deformation by varying block geometry, fault slip distribution parameters, estimating permanent strain rate, and scoring each model with GPS observations. We also explore how the present-day deformation patterns relate to longer-term paleostress indicators. Observations of slickensides and offsets in seismic reflection profiles in the northern Western branch (Albertine rift) indicate a change from ~NNE trending normal faulting to include strike-slip motion within the past 7 My that may be related to previously studied stress changes in the Turkana rift. Preliminary results from the kinematic modeling demonstrate simple elastic strain accumulation on major border faults cannot explain an observed systematic northward component in GPS velocities relative to the Victoria block and the Nubian plate.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Hawaii Rifts

    SciTech Connect

    Nicole Lautze

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Rift propagation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parmentier, E. M.; Schubert, G.

    1989-01-01

    A model for rift propagation which treats the rift as a crack in an elastic plate which is filled from beneath by upwelling viscous asthenosphere as it lengthens and opens. Growth of the crack is driven by either remotely applied forces or the pressure of buoyant asthenosphere in the crack and is resisted by viscous stresses associated with filling the crack. The model predicts a time for a rift to form which depends primarily on the driving stress and asthenosphere viscosity. For a driving stress on the order of 10 MPa, as expected from the topography of rifted swells, the development of rifts over times of a few Myr requires an asthenosphere viscosity of 10 to the 16th Pa s (10 to the 17th poise). This viscosity, which is several orders of magnitude less than values determined by postglacial rebound and at least one order of magnitude less than that inferred for spreading center propagation, may reflect a high temperature or large amount of partial melting in the mantle beneath a rifted swell.

  18. Drilling to Resolve the Evolution of the Corinth Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeill, Lisa; Sakellariou, Dimitris; Nixon, Casey

    2014-05-01

    The initiation and evolution of continental rifting, ultimately leading to rifted margin and ocean basin formation, are major unanswered questions in solid Earth-plate tectonics. Many previous insights have come from mature rifted margins where activity has ceased or from computer models. The Gulf of Corinth Rift in central Greece presents an ideal laboratory for the study of young, highly active rifting that complements other rift zones (e.g., the East African and Gulf of California rifts). Exposure and preservation of syn-rift stratigraphy, high rates of extension, and an existing network of offshore seismic data offer a unique opportunity to constrain the rift history and basin development at exceptionally high resolution in the Gulf of Corinth.

  19. Seismicity of southern Lake Tanganyika

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Rio Grande rift: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, Kenneth H.; Scott Baldridge, W.; Callender, Jonathan F.

    1987-11-01

    The Rio Grande rift of the southwestern United States is one of the world's principal continental rift systems. It extends as a series of asymmetrical grabens from central Colorado, through New Mexico, to Presidio, Texas, and Chihuahua, Mexico—a distance of more than 1000 km. Although the Rio Grande rift is closely related in timing and structural style to the contiguous Basin and Range extensional province, the two can be distinguished by a variety of geological and geophysical signatures. Rifts (both oceanic and continental) can be defined as elongate depressions overlying places where the entire lithosphere has ruptured in extension. The lithosphere of the Rio Grande rift conforms to this definition, in that: (1) the crust is moderately thinned—Moho depths range from about 45 km under the flanks to about 33 km beneath the rift axis. (2) anomalously low P n velocities (7.6-7.8 km s -1) beneath the rift and a long wavelength gravity low suggest that the asthenosphere is in contact with the base of the crust. The P-velocity is abnormally low (6.4-6.5 km s -1) in the lower half of the crust beneath the rift, suggesting high crustal temperatures. However, associated seismic and volcanologic data indicate the sub-rift lower crust is not dominated by a massive composite mafic intrusion such as is sometimes inferred for the East African rifts. Seismic and magnetotelluric data suggest the presence of a thin (< 1 km) sill-like contemporary midcrustal magma body which may perhaps extend intermittently along much of the length of the rift. Seismic and structural studies indicate a dominant horizontal fabric in the upper and middle crust. The brittle-ductile transition is at depths -15 km except for the major volcanic fields, where it rises to 2-3 km. Structural development of the rift occurred mainly during two time intervals: the early phase beginning at -30 Ma. and lasting 10-12 m.y., and the late phase extending from -10 to 3 Ma. The early phase involved extensive

  1. 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.

  2. Thermal variations in the gregory rift of southern Kenya (?)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Kathleen

    1981-04-01

    A compilation of thermal and seismic data collected over the last sixty years allows one to infer that tectonic phenomena and heat emanation could be linked in an oscillatory mode up and down the Kenyan part of the East African Rift. The seismic period is approximately 20-30 years during which time the loci of maximum intensity earthquakes move in a rhythmic pattern from south to north and back to south. Temperatures measured from hot springs also fluctuate over this time span increasing or decreasing in different sections of the rift. Spatial variations were measured by infrared radiometers from low altitude aircraft or high-altitude satellites. These reveal that individual thermal springs ranging from 35°C to 80°C, warm up greater than 5 km2 of the lake bottom of Magadi (only a slightly active thermal region which, however, yields greater then 300 MW). The heated area is large enough to detect by satellite imagery, making it possible to monitor the heat budget and flux over time and relate it to tectonic activity in the rift.

  3. Distribution of incompatible trace elements between the constituents of spinel peridotite xenoliths: ICP-MS data from the East African rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-11-01

    To constrain the geochemical models of the lithospheric mantle, we have carried out a detailed study of the distribution of incompatible trace elements between the various constituents of spinel peridotites. Predominant and accessory minerals were separated in 12 mantle xenoliths from Mega (East African Rift, Sidamo region, SE Ethiopia). The samples range in composition from cpx-rich lherzolites to refractory harzburgites and are devoid of modal metasomatism, except for minor amount of apatite in some of them. Their trace element concentration encompasses almost the whole range reported in the literature for basalt-born xenoliths. Mineral separates (ol, opx, cpx, spinel and apatite) and their leachates were analyzed by ICP-MS, for rare earth elements (REE) and several incompatible trace elements (Rb, Sr, Ba, Zr, Hf, Nb, Ta, Th, U, and Ti). Spinel surfaces were investigated by SEM and EPMA to determine the composition of the attached micro-phases. Mass-balance inversion shows that the trace element composition of whole rocks is controlled by five distinct components: 1). the silicate minerals which account for the total HREE abundance, and 50-90% of LREE, Sr, and Zr-Hf, in the apatite-free peridotites; 2). the mineral-hosted fluid inclusions which play a significant role for Rb (20-25%), and to a lesser degree for the other LILEs; 3). a pervasive grain-boundary component selectively enriched in highly incompatible elements, which contributes 25-90% of the whole-rock budget for Ba, Th and U, and 10-50% for Nb and LREE, in the apatite-free samples; 4). thin reaction layers (<10 μm thick) coating the surfaces of spinel grains and mainly composed of Ti-oxides and phlogopite. They are the predominant repository of Nb-Ta (45-60%) and Rb-Ba (30-80%) in all the studied xenoliths; 5). apatite which largely predominates the budget of Th, U, Sr and LREE (25-75%) in the samples containing this mineral. Compared to the other peridotite constituents, fluid-derived inclusions in

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Human evolution in a variable environment: the amplifier lakes of Eastern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trauth, Martin H.; Maslin, Mark A.; Deino, Alan L.; Junginger, Annett; Lesoloyia, Moses; Odada, Eric O.; Olago, Daniel O.; Olaka, Lydia A.; Strecker, Manfred R.; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2010-11-01

    The development of the Cenozoic East African Rift System (EARS) profoundly re-shaped the landscape and significantly increased the amplitude of short-term environmental response to climate variation. In particular, the development of amplifier lakes in rift basins after three million years ago significantly contributed to the exceptional sensitivity of East Africa to climate change compared to elsewhere on the African continent. Amplifier lakes are characterized by tectonically-formed graben morphologies in combination with an extreme contrast between high precipitation in the elevated parts of the catchment and high evaporation in the lake area. Such amplifier lakes respond rapidly to moderate, precessional-forced climate shifts, and as they do so apply dramatic environmental pressure to the biosphere. Rift basins, when either extremely dry or lake-filled, form important barriers for migration, mixing and competition of different populations of animals and hominins. Amplifier lakes link long-term, high-amplitude tectonic processes and short-term environmental fluctuations. East Africa may have become the place where early humans evolved as a consequence of this strong link between different time scales.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Climatic, volcanic and tectonic events recorded in recent sediments of the Rukwa rift, Western Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, D.; Mees, F.; Williamson, D.; Macheyeki, A. S.

    2009-04-01

    Lake Rukwa is now a shallow lake occupying the floor of the closed Rukwa depression in the western branch of the East African Rift System. Sediment records of the paleo-lake level show that during the Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene, Lake Rukwa reached the level of the overflow sill, 180 m higher than its present level, and was overflowing into Lake Tanganyika. Lacustrine sediments from this period are now exposed on the margin of the depression, and in particular along the Songwe River, where several large sections up to 35 meters high can be studied. Investigation of selected sections reveals a complex evolution in alternating fluvio-deltaic to lacustrine environment, punctuated by episodic inflow of volcanic material from the nearby Rungwe Volcanic Province. Macroscopic description of the sedimentary packages and their geometry, combined with C14 dating, diatom analysis, and optical microscopy allow to propose a preliminary evolution scheme in which climatically induced lake level change, volcanic input and tectonic influence can be reconstructed. In particular, correlations between sections at different altitudes allow to better constrain the lake level fluctuation than previous estimates based on drill core analysis.

  13. 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

  14. Prebreakup geology of the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean: Its relation to Triassic and Jurassic rift systems of the region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartok, Peter

    1993-01-01

    A review of the prebreakup geology of west central Pangea, comprising northern South America, the 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 prebreakup 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 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. Similar aged orogenies in the Appalachians are compared. 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 Guayana craton and West African and eastern North American cratons. Mesozoic rifling closely followed either the Precambrian trends or the late Paleozoic orogenic belt. The Triassic component focused 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 "Hispanic Corridor" that permitted Tethyan and Pacific marine faunas to mix at a time when the Gulf of Mexico underwent continental sedimentation.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [Ontogenetic Mechanisms of Explosive Morphological Divergence in the Lake Tana (Ethiopia) Species Flock of Large African Barbs (Labeobarbus; Cyprinidae; Teleostei)].

    PubMed

    Shkila, F N; Lazebny, O E; Kapitanova, D V; Abdissa, Belay; Borisov, V B; Smirnov, S V

    2015-01-01

    Species flock of Lake Tana (Ethiopia) large African barbs (Labeobarbus; Cyprinidae; Teleostei) was studied as a model system for investigating ontogenetic mechanisms of the explosive morphological divergence often accompanying sympatric speciation in bony fishes. Comparative morphological analysis carried out with the use ofgeometric morphometric techniques revealed quantitative differences in the head shapes of species under study. Comparative analysis of skull development revealed significant interspecies differences in the temporal characteristics of craniogenesis in these species. These two lines of evidence suggest that heterochronies in craniogenesis underlie divergence in the head shapes of adult Tana barbs. This prediction was verified via experimental changes of temporal characteristics of craniogenesis in L. intermedius, a putative ancestor for the Lake Tana species flock. For this aim, timing and rate of skull development were changed by artificial manipulation of thyroid hormone levels. In sum, it was shown that it is heterochronies that underlie an explosive morphological divergence of the Lake Tana barbs species flock. Our findings together with those reported in the literature suggest variability in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis to contribute to these heterochronies. PMID:26606829

  1. Understanding the performance of the FLake model over the African Great Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiery, W.; Martynov, A.; Darchambeau, F.; Descy, J.-P.; Plisnier, P.-D.; Sushama, L.; van Lipzig, N. P. M.

    2013-10-01

    The ability of the one-dimensional lake model FLake to represent the mixolimnion temperatures for tropical conditions was tested for three locations in East Africa: Lake Kivu, Lake Tanganyika's northern and southern basins. Meteorological observations from surrounding Automatic Weather Stations were corrected and used to drive FLake, whereas a comprehensive set of water temperature profiles served to evaluate the model at each site. Careful forcing data correction and model configuration allowed to reproduce the observed mixed layer seasonality at Lake Kivu and Lake Tanganyika (northern and southern basins), with correct representation of both the mixed layer depth and temperature structure. At Lake Kivu, mixolimnion temperatures predicted by FLake were found sensitive both to minimal variations in the external parameters (lake depth and water transparency) as to small changes in the meteorological driving data, in particular wind velocity. In each case, small modifications may already lead to a regime switch from the correctly represented seasonal mixed layer deepening to either completely mixed (down to the model lake bottom) or permanently stratified (from ~10 m downwards) conditions. In contrast, model temperatures are found robust close to the surface, with acceptable predictions of near-surface water temperatures even when the seasonal mixing regime is not reproduced. FLake can thus be a suitable tool to parameterize tropical lake water surface temperatures within atmospheric prediction models, but may be less appropriate, in its current form, to study complex limnological processes within tropical lakes. Furthermore, a study of different initial conditions showed that for tropical lakes lacking reliable initial data, a fully mixed, artificially warm initialisation is to be preferred, but only if the model is allowed to spin up until convergence is reached. Finally, FLake was used to attribute the seasonal mixing cycle at Lake Kivu to variations in the near

  2. Understanding the performance of the FLake model over two African Great Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiery, W.; Martynov, A.; Darchambeau, F.; Descy, J.-P.; Plisnier, P.-D.; Sushama, L.; van Lipzig, N. P. M.

    2014-02-01

    The ability of the one-dimensional lake model FLake to represent the mixolimnion temperatures for tropical conditions was tested for three locations in East Africa: Lake Kivu and Lake Tanganyika's northern and southern basins. Meteorological observations from surrounding automatic weather stations were corrected and used to drive FLake, whereas a comprehensive set of water temperature profiles served to evaluate the model at each site. Careful forcing data correction and model configuration made it possible to reproduce the observed mixed layer seasonality at Lake Kivu and Lake Tanganyika (northern and southern basins), with correct representation of both the mixed layer depth and water temperatures. At Lake Kivu, mixolimnion temperatures predicted by FLake were found to be sensitive both to minimal variations in the external parameters and to small changes in the meteorological driving data, in particular wind velocity. In each case, small modifications may lead to a regime switch, from the correctly represented seasonal mixed layer deepening to either completely mixed or permanently stratified conditions from ∼ 10 m downwards. In contrast, model temperatures were found to be robust close to the surface, with acceptable predictions of near-surface water temperatures even when the seasonal mixing regime is not reproduced. FLake can thus be a suitable tool to parameterise tropical lake water surface temperatures within atmospheric prediction models. Finally , FLake was used to attribute the seasonal mixing cycle at Lake Kivu to variations in the near-surface meteorological conditions. It was found that the annual mixing down to 60 m during the main dry season is primarily due to enhanced lake evaporation and secondarily to the decreased incoming long wave radiation, both causing a significant heat loss from the lake surface and associated mixolimnion cooling.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Understanding the performance of the FLake model over the East-African Great Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiery, Wim; Martynov, Andrey; Darchambeau, François; Plisnier, Pierre-Denis; Descy, Jean-Pierre; van Lipzig, Nicole

    2013-04-01

    As a one-dimensional lake parameterisation scheme, FLake has already been coupled to a large number of numerical weather prediction systems, regional climate models and general circulation models. However, even though FLake has therewith become a vital tool to investigate and predict climate change impacts on lacustrine ecosystems, it has never been thoroughly tested for tropical conditions. In this study, the ability of FLake to represent tropical mixolimnion temperatures is investigated for three locations in East-Africa: Lake Kivu, Lake Tanganyika's northern and southern basins. Meteorological observations from surrounding automatic weather stations are corrected and subsequently used to drive FLake, whereas a comprehensive set of water temperature profiles serves to evaluate the model at each site. Careful input data correction and model configuration allows to reproduce the observed mixed layer seasonality at Lake Kivu and Lake Tanganyika (northern and southern basins), with correct representation of both the mixed layer depth and temperature structure. In contrast, when FLake is forced with uncorrected meteorological observations or with ERA-Interim reanalysis data, a correct mixing cycle is predicted only for Lake Tanganyika's southern basin: this is mainly due to an underestimation of wind velocities. At Lake Kivu, an extensive sensitivity study reveals that FLake's water column temperatures are sensitive both to minimal variations in the external parameters (lake depth and water transparency) and to small changes in the meteorological driving data, in particular wind velocity. In each case, small modifications may already lead to a regime switch from the correctly represented seasonal mixolimnion deepening to either completely mixed or permanently stratified conditions. Near-surface water temperatures are however more robust, with acceptable predictions even when the seasonal mixing regime is not reproduced. Furthermore, a study of different initial

  6. 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.

  7. Continental Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosendahl, B. R.

    Continental Rifts, edited by A. M. Quennell, is a new member of the Benchmark Papers in Geology Series, edited in toto by R. W. Fairbridge. In this series the individual volume editors peruse the literature on a given topic, select a few dozen papers of ostensibly benchmark quality, and then reorder them in some sensible fashion. Some of the original papers are republished intact, but many are chopped into “McNuggets™” of information. Depending upon the volume editor, the chopping process can range from a butchering job to careful and prudent pruning. The collecting, sifting, and reorganizing tasks are, of course, equally editor-sensitive. The end product of this series is something akin to a set of Reader's Digest of Geology.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Iowa portion of rift trend hosts wildcats

    SciTech Connect

    McCaslin, J.C.

    1984-05-07

    Definite signs point to an exploratory effort beginning at the far southwestern end of Iowa's Keweenawan rift - a new frontier for oil and gas hunters. This new round of wildcatting is located on the Midcontinent rift trend, a major geological feature extending to great depths under parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota (the Keweenawan rift system), Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. Recent reports hint that leasing is underway in Minnesota, with interest developing in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska sectors. Geophysical evidence has led to the delineation of a rift system active during the Proterozoic Y era. Geologists have traced this system by the Midcontinent gravity high and corresponding aeromagnetic signature from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through the northern Midcontinent states.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo

    2009-09-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Rift initiation with volatiles and magma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Mesozoic and early Tertiary rift tectonics in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1992-08-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Genomic islands of speciation separate cichlid ecomorphs in an East African crater lake.

    PubMed

    Malinsky, Milan; Challis, Richard J; Tyers, Alexandra M; Schiffels, Stephan; Terai, Yohey; Ngatunga, Benjamin P; Miska, Eric A; Durbin, Richard; Genner, Martin J; Turner, George F

    2015-12-18

    The genomic causes and effects of divergent ecological selection during speciation are still poorly understood. Here we report the discovery and detailed characterization of early-stage adaptive divergence of two cichlid fish ecomorphs in a small (700 meters in diameter) isolated crater lake in Tanzania. The ecomorphs differ in depth preference, male breeding color, body shape, diet, and trophic morphology. With whole-genome sequences of 146 fish, we identified 98 clearly demarcated genomic "islands" of high differentiation and demonstrated the association of genotypes across these islands with divergent mate preferences. The islands contain candidate adaptive genes enriched for functions in sensory perception (including rhodopsin and other twilight-vision-associated genes), hormone signaling, and morphogenesis. Our study suggests mechanisms and genomic regions that may play a role in the closely related mega-radiation of Lake Malawi. PMID:26680190

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. )

    1996-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R.

    1996-12-31

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

  6. 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.

  7. Discussion of Continental Rifts and Their Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    When continental crust rifts, two chief modifications of that crust occur: 1)stretching of older, existing crust; 2)addition of new rift mass--sediments and mantle mafic units. However, paleorifts, such as the Cambrian Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen differ from neorifts, such as the East African. Much of this difference may be reflected in the nature of the lower rift crust. Stretching of the upper crust is accomplished primarily through faulting while the lower crust flows. Concurrently addition of sediments occurs in downdropped faulted blocks in the upper crust, and of mafic magmas risen and emplaced as intrusive layered complexes through the rift and as extrusive flows. All this happens in a regime of higher temperatures and higher heat flow. Consequences of this can include either melting of the stretched existing crust, or direct fractionation of rising mafic magma or melting of already crystallized mafic complexes, forming new silicic magmas. Geochemistry of these different magmatic bodies elucidates which of these possible processes seems dominant. Most geophysical studies of rifts have two results: 1)higher gravity anomalies indicating addition of new mafic masses, usually interpreted to be concentrated in the upper rift crust; and 2)seismic characteristics indicating crustal mottling and layering of the upper rift crust. What is not clearly indicated is nature of the lower crust, and of the mantle-crust contact (M discontinuity). Comparison of paleorifts and neorifts, and later geological history of paleorifts, suggests interesting interpretations of lower rift crust,especially in paleorifts, and some of the difficulties in sorting out answers.

  8. 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.

  9. Gas Geochemistry of Volcanic and Geothermal Areas in the Kenya Rift: Implications for the Role of Fluids in Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Ranka, L. S.; Onguso, B.; Kanda, I.; Opiyo-Akech, N.; Sharp, Z. D.; Hilton, D. R.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Muirhead, J.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is an active continental rift and ideal to investigate the processes of rift initiation and the breaking apart of continental lithosphere. Mantle and crust-derived fluids may play a pivotal role in both magmatism and faulting in the EAR. For instance, large quantities of mantle-derived volatiles are emitted at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano [1, 2]. Throughout the EAR, CO2-dominated volatile fluxes are prevalent [3, 4] and often associated with faults (i.e. Rungwe area, Tanzania, [5, 6]). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between volcanism, faulting and the volatile compositions, focusing on the central and southern Kenyan and northern Tanzanian section of the EAR. We report our analysis results for samples obtained during a 2013 field season in Kenya. Gases were sampled at fumaroles and geothermal plants in caldera volcanoes (T=83.1-120.2°C) and springs (T=40-79.6°C and pH 8.5-10) located near volcanoes, intra-rift faults, and a transverse fault (the Kordjya fault, a key fluid source in the Magadi rift) by 4N-NaOH solution-filled and empty Giggenbach bottles. Headspace gases were analyzed by a Gas Chromatograph and a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer at the University of New Mexico. Both N2/Ar and N2/He ratios of all gases (35.38-205.31 and 142.92-564,272, respectively) range between air saturated water (ASW, 40 and ≥150,000) and MORB (100-200 and 40-50). In addition, an N2-Ar-He ternary diagram supports that the gases are produced by two component (mantle and air) mixing. Gases in the empty bottles from volcanoes and springs have N2 (90.88-895.99 mmom/mol), CO2 (2.47-681.21 mmom/mol), CH4 (0-214.78 mmom/mol), O2 (4.47-131.12 mmom/mol), H2 (0-35.78 mmom/mol), Ar (0.15-10.65 mmom/mol), He (0-2.21 mmom/mol), and CO (0-0.08 mmom/mol). Although some of the samples show an atmospheric component, CO2 is a major component in most samples, indicating both volcanoes and springs are emitting CO2. Gases from volcanoes are enriched in

  10. 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.

  11. Continental rift jumps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Charles A.

    1983-05-01

    Continental rift jumps, analogous to jumps of oceanic spreading ridges, are here proposed to be common. Good examples exist in Iceland and Afar (both transitional from ridge to rift jumps), West Africa (Benue Trough and Cameroon Volcanic Line), and Kenya. Indeed, the Kenya rift appears to have jumped c. 100 km eastward c. 10 m.y. ago and is currently jumping further to the east. Possible jumps exist in the Baikal rift, the Limagne-Bresse rift pair, and parallel to ancient continental margins (e.g., the Triassic basins of the eastern U.S. to Baltimore Canyon and Georges Bank). Continental rifts jump distances that are approximately equal to local lithosphere thickness, suggesting that jumped rifts are controlled by lithosphere fracturing, but there appears to be no reason for the fracturing except migration of hot spots.

  12. 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.

  13. A high-resolution geochemical record from Lake Edward, Uganda Congo and the timing and causes of tropical African drought during the late Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, James M.; Johnson, Thomas C.

    2005-07-01

    High-resolution analyses of the elemental composition of calcite and biogenic silica (BSi) content in piston cores from Lake Edward, equatorial Africa, document complex interactions between climate variability and lacustrine geochemistry over the past 5400 years. Correlation of these records from Lake Edward to other climatically-forced geochemical and lake level records from Lakes Naivasha, Tanganyika, and Turkana allows us to develop a chronology of drought events in equatorial East Africa during the late Holocene. Major drought events of at least century-scale duration are recorded in lacustrine records at about 850, 1500, ˜2000, and 4100 cal year BP. Of these, the most severe event occurred between about 2050 and 1850 cal year BP, during which time Lake Edward stood about 15 m below its present level. Numerous additional droughts of less intensity and/or duration are present in the Lake Edward record, some of which may be correlated to other lacustrine climate records from equatorial East Africa. These events are superimposed on a long-term trend of increasingly arid conditions from 5400 to about 2000 cal year BP, followed by a shift toward wetter climates that may have resulted from an intensification of the winter Indian monsoon. Although the causes of decade- to century-scale climate variability in the East African tropics remain obscure, time-series spectral analysis suggests no direct linkage between solar output and regional rainfall. Rather, significant periods of ˜725, ˜125, 63-72, 31-25, and 19-16 years suggest a tight linkage between the Indian Ocean and African rainfall, and could result from coupled ocean-atmosphere variability inherent to the tropical monsoon system.

  14. Structural and stratigraphic evolution of the Anza rift, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William; Morley, Chris K.

    1994-09-01

    The Anza rift is a large, multi-phase continental rift basin that links the Lamu embayment of southern Kenya with the South Sudan rifts. Extension and deposition of syn-rift sediments are known to have commenced by the Neocomian. Aptian-Albian strata have, thus far, not been encountered during limited drilling campaigns and, in at least one well, are replaced by a significant unconformity. Widespread rifting occurred during the Cenomanian to Maastrichtian, and continued into the Early Tertiary. Marine waters appear to have reached the central Anza rift in the Cenomanian, and a second marine incursion may have occurred during the Campanian. As no wells have yet reached basement in the basinal deeps, the possibility exists that the Anza rift may have initiated in the Late Jurassic, in conjunction with extension to the south in the Lamu embayment and to the north in the Blue Nile rift of Sudan. Structural and stratigraphic evolution in the Anza rift followed a pattern that has now been inferred in several rift settings. Early phases of extension were accommodated by moderately dipping faults that produced large stratal rotations. Sedimentary environments were dominantly fluvial, with associated small lakes and dune fields. Volcanic activity is documented for the early Neocomian, but its extent is unknown. This initial style of deformation and sedimentation may have continued through several of the earliest pulses of rifting. By the Late Cretaceous, a new system of steeply dipping faults was established, that produced a deep basin without significant rotation of strata in the north, and only minor rotation in the south. This basin geometry favored the establishment of large, deep lakes, which occasionally were connected to the sea. The older basins were partly cannibalized during the sedimentary in-filling of these successor basins. Early Senonian volcanism was encountered in one well, and reflection seismic evidence suggests that one or more thick, regionally

  15. A "GLIMPCE" of the deep crust beneath the Great Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Alan G.; Cannon, W. F.; Milkereit, B.; Hutchinson, D. R.; Davidson, A.; Behrendt, J. C.; Spencer, C.; Lee, M. W.; Morel-á-l'Huissier, P.; Agena, W. F.

    layered Keweenawan strata exceeds 30 km beneath some parts of the lake. The geometry of the central basin changes significantly along the axis of the Midcontinent rift system. In western Lake Superior the Keweenawan lavas thicken northward toward a south-dipping growth fault, in the center of the lake they thicken southward toward a northdipping growth fault, and in the eastern part of the lake the structures are relatively symmetric. These mega-grabens and mega-half-grabens with differing asymmetries are separated by transfer faults or accommodation zones recognized on potential field maps. The segmented character of the MRS is similar to that observed along some passive continental margins and the East African rift system.

  16. Active-source seismic imaging below Lake Malawi (Nyasa) from the SEGMeNT project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shillington, D. J.; Scholz, C. A.; Gaherty, J. B.; Accardo, N. J.; McCartney, T.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Kamihanda, G.; Trinhammer, P.; Wood, D. A.; Khalfan, M.; Ebinger, C. J.; Nyblade, A.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Mruma, A. H.; Salima, J.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.

    2015-12-01

    Little is known about the controls on the initiation and development of magmatism and segmentation in young rift systems. The northern Lake Malawi (Nyasa) rift in the East African Rift System is an early stage rift exhibiting pronounced tectonic segmentation, which is defined in the upper crust by ~100-km-long border faults. Very little volcanism is associated with rifting; the only surface expression of magmatism occurs in an accommodation zone between segments to the north of the lake in the Rungwe Volcanic Province. The SEGMeNT (Study of Extension and maGmatism in Malawi aNd Tanzania) project is a multidisciplinary, multinational study that is acquiring a suite of geophysical, geological and geochemical data to characterize deformation and magmatism in the crust and mantle lithosphere along 2-3 segments of this rift. As a part of the SEGMeNT project, we acquired seismic reflection and refraction data in Lake Malawi (Nyasa) in March-April 2015. Over 2000 km of seismic reflection data were acquired with a 500 to 2580 cu in air gun array from GEUS/Aarhus and a 500- to 1500-m-long seismic streamer from Syracuse University over a grid of lines across and along the northern and central basins. Air gun shots from MCS profiles and 1000 km of additional shooting with large shot intervals were also recorded on 27 short-period and 6 broadband lake bottom seismometers from Scripps Oceanographic Institute as a part of the Ocean Bottom Seismic Instrument Pool (OBSIP) as well as the 55-station onshore seismic array. The OBS were deployed along one long strike line and two dip lines. We will present preliminary data and results from seismic reflection and refraction data acquired in the lake and their implications for crustal deformation within and between rift segments. Seismic reflection data image structures up to ~5-6 km below the lake bottom, including syntectonic sediments, intrabasinal faults and other complex horsts. Some intrabasinal faults in both the northern and

  17. Evolution of a magma-driven earthquake swarm and triggering of the nearby Oldoinyo Lengai eruption, as resolved by InSAR, ground observations and elastic modeling, East African Rift, 2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baer, G.; Hamiel, Y.; Shamir, G.; Nof, R.

    2008-07-01

    An earthquake swarm struck the North Tanzania Divergence, East African Rift over a 2 month period between July and September 2007. It produced approximately 70 M > 4 earthquakes (peak magnitude Mw 5.9), and extensive surface deformation, concurrent with eruptions at the nearby Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. The spatial and temporal evolution of the entire deformation event was resolved by Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) observations, owing to a particularly favorable acquisition programming of the Envisat and ALOS satellites, and was verified by detailed ground observations. Elastic modeling based on the InSAR measurements clearly distinguishes between normal faulting, which dominated during the first week of the event, and intermittent episodes of dike propagation, oblique dike opening and dike-induced faulting during the following month. A gradual decline in the intensity of deformation occurred over the final weeks. Our observations and modeling suggest that the sequence of events was initiated by pressurization of a deep-seated magma chamber below Oldoinyo Lengai which opened the way to lateral dike injection, and dike-induced faulting and seismicity. As dike intrusion terminated, silicate magma ascended the volcano conduit, reacted with the carbonatitic magma, and set off a major episode of explosive ash eruptions producing mixed silicate-carbonatitic ejecta. The rise of the silicate magma within the volcano conduit is attributed to bubble growth and buoyancy increase in the magma chamber either due to a temporary pressure drop after the termination of the diking event, or due to the dynamic effects of seismic wave passage from the earthquake swarm. Similar temporal associations between earthquake swarms and major explosive ash eruptions were observed at Oldoinyo Lengai over the past half century.

  18. Melt inclusion evidence for CO2-rich melts beneath the western branch of the East African Rift: implications for long-term storage of volatiles in the deep lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudgins, T. R.; Mukasa, S. B.; Simon, A. C.; Moore, G.; Barifaijo, E.

    2015-05-01

    We present new major element, trace element, and volatile (H2O, CO2, S, F, and Cl) concentrations of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from five high-K, low-silica basanites from the western branch of the East African Rift System and use these data to investigate the generation of H2O- and CO2-rich melts at up to ~150 km depth. Measured H2O and CO2 concentrations reach ~2.5 and ~1 wt%, respectively, representing some of the highest CO2 concentrations measured in a melt inclusion to date. These measurements represent direct evidence of the high CO2 and H2O concentrations required to generate high-K alkaline lavas, and the CO2 that has been previously inferred to be necessary for the low mantle potential temperatures in the area. Ratios of CO2/Nb, CO2/Ba, and CO2/Cl are used to estimate an initial melt CO2 concentration of 5-12 wt%. The measured CO2 concentrations are consistent with CO2 solubilities determined by molecular dynamics calculations and high-pressure experiments for melt generation at 3-6 GPa; the depth of melting suggested by previous studies in the area. These melt inclusions measurements represent direct evidence for the presence of H2O- and CO2-rich melts in the deep upper mantle that have been proposed based on experimental and seismic evidence. Primitive-mantle normalized trace element patterns more closely resemble those found in subduction settings rather than ocean island basalt, and ratios of slab fluid tracers such as Li/Dy and B/Be indicate that the measured volatile abundances may be related to Neoproterozoic subduction during the assembly of Gondwana, implying the storage of volatiles in the mantle by subduction-related metasomatism.

  19. Variations in water level for Lake Turkana in the past 8500 years near Mt. Porr, Kenya and the transition from the African Humid Period to Holocene aridity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forman, Steven L.; Wright, David K.; Bloszies, Christopher

    2014-08-01

    A stratigraphic and geomorphic study of relict beaches up to 80 m above current water level of Lake Turkana reveal four major lake level fluctuations of >50 m between ca 8.5 and 4.5 ka during the transition from the African Humid Period to Holocene aridity. We hypothesize that high stands of Lake Turkana reflect complex hydrological processes with variability in Atlantic and Indian Ocean-derived moisture into East Africa, ultimately linked to changes in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Lake level rise was also amplified regionally by increased precipitation causing overflow from the adjacent Suguta and Chew Bahir basins, particularly during high stands at ca >8.5 ka and at 6.4 ka. The timing of transgressive and regressive events is constrained by 14C dating of carefully selected lacustrine mollusks, incorporation of previous shell ages with sufficient elevational control, and OSL dating of quartz grains from littoral and sublittoral deposits by a multiple aliquot regeneration (MAR) approach. There was a high water level up to at least 70 m at >8.5 ka that probably reached the spillover limit ˜100 m. A brief (<500 yr) high stand up to at least 50 m at ca 7 ka appears to be coincident with warm postglacial SSTs in the western Indian Ocean and thus may reflect a strengthened East African Monsoon, though some precipitation was probably derived from Atlantic sources as well. A pronounced high stand inferred at ca 6.4 ka, possibly up to 100 m, is associated with warming across the Indian Ocean and equatorward compression of the ITCZ, thus reflecting a strengthened East African Monsoon. A high stand occurred at ca 5.5-5.0 ka up to at least 80 m, with a precipitous drop in lake level by 4.6 ka. Evidence from relict Porr strand plain indicate that lake level was probably below 20 m since ca 4.5 ka, though there were two noticeable high stands up to 12-20 m at ca 830 years ago and <100 years, the latter age is consistent with the historic record.

  20. Population Parameters and Biomass of African Buffalo(Syncerus caffer) in Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aremu, O. T.; Onadeko, S. A.; Ola-Adams, B. A.; Inah, E. I.

    The study examined some population parameters such as relative abundance, distribution, population composition and biomass of Syncerus caffer in Kainji Lake National Park. Six, 4x4 km transects were constructed in the Park with an effective study area of 96 km2. Transects were traversed twice a month for 12 months. Estimates were based on direct censusing techniques only. The results revealed that riparian forest and woodland habitat harboured the highest population of Syncerus caffer in both dry and wet seasons 9 and 5 groups, respectively with a total of 149±8.17 individuals, while Diospyros mespliformis dry forest haboured the least of 20±2.84 individuals. Population compositions of Syncerus caffer were significantly difference (p< 0.05) in both dry and wet seasons. A total Syncerus caffer biomass of 54.57±10.9 kg km-2 was recorded in the Park. Measures for adequate conservation of existing Syncerus caffer population in the Park are discussed.

  1. Rayleigh-wave imaging of upper-mantle shear velocities beneath the Malawi Rift; Preliminary results from the SEGMeNT experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardo, N. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Shillington, D. J.; Nyblade, A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kamihanda, G.

    2015-12-01

    The Malawi Rift (MR) is an immature rift located at the southern tip of the Western branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). Pronounced border faults and tectonic segmentation are seen within the upper crust. Surface volcanism in the region is limited to the Rungwe volcanic province located north of Lake Malawi (Nyasa). However, the distribution of extension and magma at depth in the crust and mantle lithosphere is unknown. As the Western Rift of the EARS is largely magma-poor except for discrete volcanic provinces, the MR presents the ideal location to elucidate the role of magmatism in early-stage rifting and the manifestation of segmentation at depth. This study investigates the shear velocity of the crust and mantle lithosphere beneath the MR to constrain the thermal structure, the amount of total crustal and lithospheric thinning, and the presence and distribution of magmatism beneath the rift. Utilizing 55 stations from the SEGMeNT (Study of Extension and maGmatism in Malawi aNd Tanzania) passive-source seismic experiment operating in Malawi and Tanzania, we employed a multi-channel cross-correlation algorithm to obtain inter-station phase and amplitude information from Rayleigh wave observations between 20 and 80 s period. We retrieve estimates of phase velocity between 9-20 s period from ambient noise cross-correlograms in the frequency domain via Aki's formula. We invert phase velocity measurements to obtain estimates of shear velocity (Vs) between 50-200 km depth. Preliminary results reveal a striking low-velocity zone (LVZ) beneath the Rungwe volcanic province with Vs ~4.2-4.3 km/s in the uppermost mantle. Low velocities extend along the entire strike of Lake Malawi and to the west where a faster velocity lid (~4.5 km/s) is imaged. These preliminary results will be extended by incorporating broadband data from seven "lake"-bottom seismometers (LBS) to be retrieved from Lake Malawi in October of this year. The crust and mantle modeling will be

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of Local Farming and Deforestation on Sediment Discharge Inferred From Sediment Accumulation Rates and Patterns in Lake Core Records From Coastal Lake Tanganyika, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strickler, M. L.; Lezzar, K. E.; Soreghan, M.; Cohen, A. S.; Swarzenski, P. W.; Berke, M.; McHeni, M.; Gunderson, K.; Allen, K.; Palke, A.; Modesta, M.; Nkotagu, H.

    2006-12-01

    Lake Tanganyika is the oldest and largest of the East African rift lakes and vital to the economy of the surrounding villages and countries. Deforestation around the lake causes many negative effects from an increased sediment flux and has changed dramatically as a function of population. Increases in inorganic sediment flux from deforested watersheds and an associated decrease in organic sediment flux may negatively impact the viability of littoral habitats in the lake. This study examines the interrelationship between deforestation on streams that feed into Lake Tanganyika and sedimentation offshore. We mapped stream morphology of two distinct streams: Kalande (Gombe Stream National Park), and Ngelwa (deforested). An offshore core was collected from the lake bottom just offshore of the deforested Ngelwa stream at a water depth of 106m and dated using 14C and 210Pb geochronologic methods. In addition, multiple laboratory analyses were performed on the core and within the streams to help constrain sedimentation and deforestation effects. Three distinct units within the core correlate to reflect changes in sedimentation (higher rates as deforestation continues) in addition to a shift from dry, low lake level conditions to wet, high lake levels as evidenced by shifts in core lithologies, diatom taxonomy and content, magnetic susceptibility, and clastic particle size. Streambed and suspended sediment analyses reflect high levels of erosion in deforested watersheds coupled with changes in dissolved nutrients in the water (silica, orthophosphate), which may suggest an overall diminished level of ecosystem function in deforested and heavily farmed watersheds.

  11. 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.

  12. Heat flow in the Keweenawan rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry, C.; Mareschal, J.; Jaupart, C. P.

    2012-12-01

    The emplacement of large volumes of mafic volcanic rocks during the Keweenawan rifting has modified the average crustal composition and affects the present steady state heat flux in the region. We have combined new heat flux measurements in the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield and previously published data to characterize the heat flux field around the Keweenawan rift system. For the Nipigon embayment, North of lake Superior in Ontario, mafic intrusions associated with the Keweenawan rifting have resulted in an increase in the volume of mafic rocks in the crust and caused a very small <3mW m-2 decrease in the mean heat flux. There is a very marked decrease in the heat flux (Δ Q ≈ 20mW m-2) beneath the western half of Lake Superior and to the west. The very low values of the surface heat flux (≈ 22mW m-2 correlate with the maximum Bouguer gravity anomaly. The heat flux at the base of the crust in the Canadian Shield has been determined from surface heat flux, heat production, and crustal stucture to be ≈ 15 mW m-2. In the Keweenawan rift, the surface heat flux is only a few mW m-2 higher than the mantle heat flux, which implies that the contribution of the entire crustal column to the surface heat flux is small and that the crust is exclusively made up of depleted mafic volcanic rocks. In the eastern part and northeast of Lake Superior, there is a marked increase in heat flux that correlates with a lower Bouguer anomaly. Local high heat flux anomalies due to intrusions by felsic rocks are superposed with a long wavelength trend of higher heat flow suggesting a more felsic crustal composition in the eastern part of the Keweenawan rift. Simple models suggest that such a thick dense volcanic pile as accumulated in the Keweenawan rift is almost invariably unstable and that very particular conditions were required for it to stabilize in the crust.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Large-scale variation in lithospheric structure along and across the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Kaminski, W.; Fuchs, K.; Grosse, C.; Hoffmann, H.; Stangl, R.; Stellrecht, R.; Khan, M.A.; Maguire, Peter K.H.; Kirk, W.; Keller, Gordon R.; Githui, A.; Baker, M.; Mooney, W.; Criley, E.; Luetgert, J.; Jacob, B.; Thybo, H.; Demartin, M.; Scarascia, S.; Hirn, A.; Bowman, J.R.; Nyambok, I.; Gaciri, S.; Patel, J.; Dindi, E.; Griffiths, D.H.; King, R.F.; Mussett, A.E.; Braile, L.W.; Thompson, G.; Olsen, K.; Harder, S.; Vees, R.; Gajewski, D.; Schulte, A.; Obel, J.; Mwango, F.; Mukinya, J.; Riaroh, D.

    1991-01-01

    The Kenya rift is one of the classic examples of a continental rift zone: models for its evolution range from extension of the lithosphere by pure shear1, through extension by simple shear2, to diapiric upwelling of an asthenolith3. Following a pilot study in 19854, the present work involved the shooting of three seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection profiles along the axis, across the margins, and on the northeastern flank of the rift (Fig. 1). These lines were intended to reconcile the different crustal thickness estimates for the northern and southern parts of the rift4-6 and to reveal the structure across the rift, including that beneath the flanks. The data, presented here, reveal significant lateral variations in structure both along and across the rift. The crust thins along the rift axis from 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; there are abrupt changes in Mono depth and uppermost-mantle seismic velocity across the rift margins, and crustal thickening across the boundary between the Archaean craton and PanAfrican orogenic belt immediately west of the rift. These results suggest that thickened crust may have controlled the rift's location, that there is a decrease in extension from north to south, and that the upper mantle immediately beneath the rift may contain reservoirs of magma generated at greater depth.

  16. The Midcontinent Rift and Grenville connection

    SciTech Connect

    Cambray, F.W.; Fujita, K. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1994-04-01

    The Mid-Proterozoic, Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) is delineated by an inverted U shaped gravity and magnetic anomaly. It terminates in southeast Michigan but a less continuous series of anomalies and sediments, the Eastcontinent Rift occur on a north-south line through Ohio and Kentucky. The geometry allows for a north-south opening, the Lake Superior section being orthogonal to opening, the western arm transtensional and the north-south trending eastern arm a transform boundary offset by pull-apart basins. The opening and closing of the rift overlaps in time with the Grenville Orogeny. Grenville age rocks can also be found in the Llano uplift of Texas. The authors propose a model to explain the temporal and geographic association of the opening and closing of the MRS with the Grenville Orogeny that involves irregular suturing between two continental masses. Initiation of Grenville suturing, associated with south dipping subduction, in the northeast and in the Llano area of Texas would leave portion of unclosed ocean in between. Tensional stresses in the continental crust adjacent to the oceanic remnant could lead to its fragmentation and the formation of the MRS. The remaining oceanic lithosphere would eventually subduct, limiting the opening of the MRS. Continued convergence of the plates would induce compressional stresses thus accounting for the deformation of the MRS. An analogy is made with more recent opening of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden Rift System in association with irregular collision along the Zagros-Bitlis Sutures.

  17. Insights into extensional processes during magma assisted rifting: Evidence from aligned scoria cones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, Tyrone O.; Bastow, Ian D.; Keir, Derek

    2011-04-01

    Mechanical and magmatic processes exert first-order control on the architecture and evolution of rifts. As a continental rift develops towards a new oceanic spreading centre, extension that is initially accommodated in a broad zone of faulting and ductile stretching must transition towards a narrow zone of focused magmatic intrusion. The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), part of the East African Rift System, is an ideal location to study this transition because it captures rifting processes during continental breakup. In this contribution we synthesise geochemical data from scoria cones in the Wonji Fault Belt (WFB) and Silti-Debre Zeyit Fault Zone (SDFZ) in the MER to provide new constraints on the development of mantle melting columns and magmatic plumbing systems since the onset of rifting. We utilize the extensive geophysical and geochemical databases, collected in the Ethiopian Rift, to show that geochemical evidence of heterogeneity in the depth of the mantle melting column which produced Quaternary rift basalts correlates with lithospheric structure. When combined with existing observations of asymmetry across the rift in terms of depth of melting column and magmatic plumbing systems, it is evident that the mechanical structure of the rift, defined during the initial stages of breakup, has played a dominant role in the initial development of magma assisted rifting in the MER. Surface structures and crustal-scale geophysical studies have suggested the WFB is analogous to a sea-floor spreading centre. However, the geochemical characteristics of rift basalts are consistent with mantle tomography that shows no evidence beneath the MER for passive magmatic upwelling beneath discrete rift segments as is observed in the ocean basins. Collectively, the Ethiopian data show that the distribution of mantle melts during the initiation of magma assisted rifting is fundamentally influenced by lithospheric structures formed during earlier syn-rift stretching.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Rift Valley Fever (RVF)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Outbreak resources, VHF information for specific groups, virus ecology, references... RVF Distribution Map Rift Valley Fever Transmission ... Outbreaks Outbreak Summaries RVF Distribution Map Resources Virus Ecology File Formats Help: How do I view different ...

  1. 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. PMID:19212408

  2. 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.

    2013-01-01

    Located at the transition between the Saharan and Sahelian zones, at the center of one of the largest endorheic basins, Lake Chad is ideally located to record regional environmental changes that occurred in the past. However, until now, no Holocene archive was directly cored in this lake. In this paper, we present pollen data from the first sedimentary sequence collected in Lake Chad (13° N; 14° E; Sahel region). Dated between ca. 6700 and ca. 5000 cal yr BP, this record is continuous and encompasses part of the termination of the African Humid Period (AHP). Vegetation reconstructions are based on standard analyses of pollen diagrams and are strengthened by quantitative approaches. Potential biomes are reconstructed using the biomization method and mean annual precipitation (Pann) 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 further southward, thrived in the vicinity of the Mega-Lake Chad in place of the modern dry woodland, steppe and desert vegetation. At the same time, montane forest populations extended further southward on the Adamawa Plateau. The high abundance of lowland humid pollen taxa, particularly of Uapaca, is interpreted as the result of a northward migration of the corresponding plants during the AHP. This preferential zonal occurrence of these taxa in Lake Chad Basin (LCB) (rather than extrazonal) is driven by more humid local and regional climate conditions at this latitude, as shown by mean Pann estimated values of ca. 800 (-400/+700) mm during this period. However, we cannot rule out that an increase of the Chari-Logone inputs into the Mega-Lake Chad might have also contributed to control the abundance of these taxa. Changes in the structure and floristic composition of the vegetation towards more open and drier formations occurred after ca. 6050 cal yr BP, following a decrease in mean Pann

  3. 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

  4. The Rwenzori Mountains, a Palaeoproterozoic crustal shear belt crossing the Albertine rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehn, D.; Link, K.; Sachau, T.; Passchier, C. W.; Aanyu, K.; Spikings, A.; Harbinson, R.

    2015-04-01

    This contribution discusses the development of the Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt in the Rwenzori Mountains and its influence on the western part of the East African Rift System in Uganda. The Buganda-Toro belt is composed of several thick-skinned nappes consisting of Archaean Gneisses and Palaeoproterozoic cover units that are thrusted northwards. The high Rwenzori Mountains are located in the frontal unit of this belt with retrograde greenschist facies gneisses towards the north, which are unconformably overlain by metasediments and amphibolites. Towards the south, the metasediments are overthrust by the next migmatitic gneiss unit that belongs to a crustal-scale nappe. The southwards dipping metasedimentary and volcanic sequence in the high Rwenzori Mountains shows an inverse metamorphic grade with greenschist facies conditions in the north and amphibolite facies conditions in the south. Early D1 deformation structures are overgrown by cordierite, which in turn grows into D2 deformation, representing the major northwards directed thrusting event. We argue that the inverse metamorphic gradient develops because higher grade rocks are exhumed in the footwall of a crustal-scale nappe, whereas the exhumation decreases towards the north away from the nappe leading to a decrease in metamorphic grade. The D2 deformation event is followed by a D3 E-W compression, a D4 with the development of steep shear zones with a NNE-SSW and SSE-NNW trend including the large Nyamwamba shear followed by a local D5 retrograde event and D6 brittle reverse faulting. The Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt is relatively stiff and crosses the NNE-SSW running rift system exactly at the node where the highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are situated and where the Lake George rift terminates towards the north. Orientation of brittle and ductile fabrics show some similarities indicating that the cross-cutting Buganda-Toro belt influenced rift propagation and brittle fault development

  5. 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

  6. Antecedent rivers and early rifting: a case study from the Plio-Pleistocene Corinth rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemelsdaël, Romain; Ford, Mary; Malartre, Fabrice

    2016-04-01

    Models of early rifting present syn-rift sedimentation as the direct response to the development of normal fault systems where footwall-derived drainage supplies alluvial to lacustrine sediments into hangingwall depocentres. These models often include antecedent rivers, diverted into active depocentres and with little impact on facies distributions. However, antecedent rivers can supply a high volume of sediment from the onset of rifting. What are the interactions between major antecedent rivers and a growing normal fault system? What are the implications for alluvial stratigraphy and facies distributions in early rifts? These questions are investigated by studying a Plio-Pleistocene fluvial succession on the southern margin of the Corinth rift (Greece). In the northern Peloponnese, early syn-rift deposits are preserved in a series of uplifted E-W normal fault blocks (10-15 km long, 3-7 km wide). Detailed sedimentary logging and high resolution mapping of the syn-rift succession (400 to 1300 m thick) define the architecture of the early rift alluvial system. Magnetostratigraphy and biostratigraphic markers are used to date and correlate the fluvial succession within and between fault blocks. The age of the succession is between 4.0 and 1.8 Ma. We present a new tectonostratigraphic model for early rift basins based on our reconstructions. The early rift depositional system was established across a series of narrow normal fault blocks. Palaeocurrent data show that the alluvial basin was supplied by one major sediment entry point. A low sinuosity braided river system flowed over 15 to 30 km to the NE. Facies evolved downstream from coarse conglomerates to fined-grained fluvial deposits. Other minor sediment entry points supply linked and isolated depocentres. The main river system terminated eastward where it built stacked small deltas into a shallow lake (5 to 15 m deep) that occupied the central Corinth rift. The main fluvial axis remained constant and controlled

  7. 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

  8. Kantis: A new Australopithecus site on the shoulders of the Rift Valley near Nairobi, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mbua, Emma; Kusaka, Soichiro; Kunimatsu, Yutaka; Geraads, Denis; Sawada, Yoshihiro; Brown, Francis H; Sakai, Tetsuya; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Saneyoshi, Mototaka; Omuombo, Christine; Muteti, Samuel; Hirata, Takafumi; Hayashida, Akira; Iwano, Hideki; Danhara, Tohru; Bobe, René; Jicha, Brian; Nakatsukasa, Masato

    2016-05-01

    Most Plio-Pleistocene sites in the Gregory Rift Valley that have yielded abundant fossil hominins lie on the Rift Valley floor. Here we report a new Pliocene site, Kantis, on the shoulder of the Gregory Rift Valley, which extends the geographical range of Australopithecus afarensis to the highlands of Kenya. This species, known from sites in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and possibly Kenya, is believed to be adapted to a wide spectrum of habitats, from open grassland to woodland. The Kantis fauna is generally similar to that reported from other contemporaneous A. afarensis sites on the Rift Valley floor. However, its faunal composition and stable carbon isotopic data from dental enamel suggest a stronger C4 environment than that present at those sites. Although the Gregory Rift Valley has been the focus of paleontologists' attention for many years, surveys of the Rift shoulder may provide new perspective on African Pliocene mammal and hominin evolution. PMID:27178456

  9. Rifting of Continental Interiors: Some New Geophysical Data and Interpretations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, G. R.

    2005-12-01

    Rifting is one of the major processes that affect the evolution of the continents. This process sometimes leads to continental breakup and the formation of new oceans, but more often does not. This is presumably due to extension not progressing sufficiently to form a new plate margin resulting in a structure, which remains isolated in an intra-plate environment. The Southern Oklahoma aulacogen is such a feature, and the continental portion of the East African rift system may be a modern example. As more detailed geophysical and geological studies of rifts have become available in recent years, a complex picture of rift structure and evolution has emerged. Global patterns that reveal the connections between lithospheric structure (deep and shallow), magmatism (amount and style), amount of extension, uplift, and older structures remain elusive. However, our geophysical studies of modern and paleo rifts in North America, East Africa, and Europe makes it possible to make some general observations: 1). Magmatism in rifts is modest without the presence of a (pre-existing?) thermal anomaly in the mantle. 2). Magmatic modification of the crust takes many forms which probably depend on the nature of older structures present and the state of the lithosphere when rifting is initiated (i.e. cold vs. hot; fertility), 3) There is no clear relation between amount of extension and the amount of magmatic modification of the crust. 4) Brittle deformation in the upper crustal is complex, often asymmetrical and older features often play important roles in focusing deformation. However on a lithospheric scale, rift structure is usually symmetrical. 5) A better understanding of rift processes is emerging as we achieve higher levels of integration of a wide variety of geoscience data.

  10. What created the Proterozoic Ladoga rift (SE Baltic shield): Testing rifting versus supercontinent reconfiguration origin by geophysical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemieva, I. M.; Shulgin, A.

    2014-12-01

    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). We provide a complete list of tectonic, magmatic, and geophysical characteristics typical of continental rifts in general and demonstrate that, except for magmatic and, perhaps, some gravity signature, the Lake Ladoga region lacks any other rift features. We also compare the geophysical data from the Lake Ladoga region with a similar in age Midcontinent rift (USA) and the Valday rift (NW Russia), and provide alternative explanations for the Mesoproterozoic geodynamic evolution of the southern Baltic Shield. We propose that Mesoproterozoic mafic intrusions in southern Fennoscandia may be associated with a complex deformation pattern during reconfiguration of (a part of) Nuna (Columbia) supercontinent, which led to magma intrusions as a series of mafic dykes along lithosphere weakness zones and ponding of small magma pockets within the cratonic lithosphere. Consequent magma cooling and its partial transition to eclogite facies could have led to the formation of a series of basement depressions, similar to the intracratonic basins of North America, while spatially heterogeneous thermo-chemical subsidence, with phase transitions locally speeded by the presence of (subduction-related) fluids, could have produced a series of faults bounding graben-like structures.

  11. An integrated geophysical study of the northern Kenya rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariita, Nicolas O.; Keller, G. Randy

    2007-06-01

    The Kenyan part of the East African rift is among the most studied rift zones in the world. It is characterized by: (1) a classic rift valley, (2) sheer escarpments along the faulted borders of the rift valley, (3) voluminous volcanics that flowed from faults and fissures along the rift, and (4) axial and flank volcanoes where magma flow was most intense. In northern Kenya, the rift faults formed in an area where the lithosphere was weakened and stretched by Cretaceous-Paleogene extension, and in central and southern Kenya, it formed along old zones of weakness at the contact between the Archean Tanzania craton and the Proterozoic Mozambique orogenic belt. Recent geophysical investigations focused on the tectonic evolution of the East African rift and on exploration for geothermal energy in the southern portion of the Kenyan rift provide considerable information and insight on the structure and evolution of the lithosphere. In the north, a variety of other data exist. However, the lack of an integrated regional analysis of these data was the motivation for this study. Our study began with the collection and compilation of gravity data, and then we used the seismic refraction results from the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP), published seismic reflection data, aeromagnetic data, and geologic and drilling data as constraints in the construction of integrated gravity models. These models and gravity anomaly maps provide insight on spatial variations in crustal thickness and upper mantle structure. In addition, they show the distribution of basins and help characterize the distribution of magmatism along the axis of the northern sector of the rift. Our main observations are the following: (1) the region of thinning and anomalous mantle widens northward in agreement with previous studies showing that the crust thins from about 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; (2) as observed in the south, gravity highs observed along the axis are due to mafic

  12. Geochemical evidence of mantle reservoir evolution during progressive rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, T. O.; Mohr, P.; Dosso, L.; Hall, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    The Afar region in East Africa, which represents the triple junction of three well-exposed Cenozoic rift systems, is a pivotal domain in the study of rift evolution. The western margin of Afar, defined by a wide transitional region from plateau to rift floor, developed in response to the rifting of the Red Sea commencing shortly after the eruption of the ~31-29 Ma Ethiopian-Yemen flood basalts. The Oligocene lava sequence which covers this rift margin was fed from intensive diking. The dikes and the block-faulting and monoclinal warping that followed provide an opportunity to probe the geochemical reservoirs preserved in the magmatic record and the development of the rifting processes. Argon geochronology reveals that dikes along the western Afar margin 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 and trace element, and isotopic results (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf) from these dikes demonstrate temporal geochemical heterogeneity defined by variable contributions from the Afar plume, depleted mantle and African lithosphere, consistent with studies of Quaternary basalts from the Ethiopian Rift. On a broader scale our results show that as the western Afar margin matures, the initially significant contribution from the Afar plume wanes in favor of shallow asthenospheric and lithospheric reservoirs. The early dikes, which are coincident with the initial weakening of the lithosphere in a magma-assisted rifting model, geochemically resemble the widespread plume-derived flood basalts and shields that constitute the Ethiopian Plateau. Subsequent diking is characterized by a lesser role for the Afar plume and greater contributions from the African lithosphere and depleted mantle. During the terminal stage of dike emplacement, where focused magmatic intrusion accommodated extension, a more significant fraction is derived from the depleted mantle and less of a

  13. Bromine, chlorine and sulfur emission into the free troposphere from a Rift volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bobrowski, N.; Giuffrida, G. B.; Tedeso, D.; Yalire, M. M.; Galle, B.

    2007-12-01

    In June 2007 spectroscopic measurements were carried out at the crater rim of the Niyragongo volcano located 15 km north of the city Goma, North Kivu region (DRC). Niyragongo volcano belongs to the Virunga volcanic chain and it is associated with the Western branch of the Great Rift Valley. The volcanism at Niyragongo is caused by the rifting of the Earth's crust where two parts of the African plates are breaking apart. Niyragongo is a 3470 m high stratovolcano, which a large summit crater usually containing a lava lake inside and it is considered one of the most active volcanoes in Africa. Satellite measurements show an extremely large sulphur dioxide plume since May 2002, and it is considered one of the biggest sulphur dioxide sources on Earth. The ground - based remote sensing technique - MAX-DOAS (Multi Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) using scattered sunlight has been applied during a one week field trip on top of the crater rim of Niyragongo volcano to measure nitrogen oxide, halogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. The used Mini-MAX-DOAS is a lightweight, compact, robust instrument and has very low power consumption which allows to be deployed over several days with some small lead batteries. The measurements provide valuable information of the chemical composition as well its variability within the volcanic plume of the lava lake and allowed also studying chemical transformation processes of the halogens inside the plume. Bromine-sulphur and chlorine-sulphur ratios were investigated and a minimal bromine and chlorine emission flux estimation will be presented.

  14. Magmatic constraints on rift development and the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foley, Stephen; Link, Klemens; Tiberindwa, John; Barifaijo, Erasmus

    2010-05-01

    The northern end of the western branch of the East African rift valley in western Uganda is located at the junction between a Proterozoic belt to the south and continuous Archaean crust of the Congo-Tanzania craton to the north (1). The difficulty of rift propagation through the thick Archaean lithosphere may explain the lack of a connection with the eastern rift branch around Lake Turkana. The >5,000m-high Rwenzori Mountains form a block lodged between two rift arms at this junction (2). The location and composition of Pleistocene to Recent volcanic rocks can be used to constrain models for the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains that explain uplift by delamination of a lithosphere block beneath the rift (3). Six small volcanic fields are located in the Toro Ankole area east and southeast of Rwenzori; they contain carbonatite either as lava flows or as components in lapilli tuffs, as well as unusual K2O-rich, SiO2-poor melt compositions akin to leucitites and potassic melilitites that increase in importance towards the south. Their major and trace element and Sr-, Nd-, Hf-, and Os-isotope compositions are consistent with a source composed not just of peridotite, but also containing mica- and clinopyroxene-rich ultramafic assemblages (4). The requirement for assemblages of this type is greater than for potassic melilitites and nephelinites further south in the rift, and this agrees with their greater abundance as xenoliths in the lavas of the Toro Ankole area. The xenoliths contain no evidence for metasomatic replacement of pre-existing peridotite minerals, but rather appear to be formed by crystallization as liquidus minerals on the walls of magma channelways within the upper mantle. Some are zoned and contain vein margins, indicating more than one episode of melt infiltration. Re-melting of such assemblages partially meets the geochemical requirements of the volcanics (4) and has been shown to produce melts with similar major element compositions in experiments (5

  15. Continental rifting: a planetary perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Muehlberger, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    The only inner planet that has abundant evidence of regional extension, and the consequent generation of rifts in the earth. The absence of plate motion on the other inner planets limits their rifts to localized bulges or subsidence areas. The rifting of oceanic lithosphere is seldom preserved in the geological record. Thus, such rifting must be inferred via plate tectonic interpretation: if there is rifting, then there must be subduction whose results are commonly well preserved. Modern continental rifts are found in many tectonic settings: continental breakup, extension transverse to collisional stresses, or wide regions of nearly uniform extension. Recognition of these settings in older rocks becomes more difficult the farther back in geologic time you travel. Rift basin fillings typically show rapid lateral and vertical facies and thickness changes, bimodal volcanism, and distinctive rift-drift sequences. Proterozoic rifts and aulacogens are well-documented in North America; ex. Keweenawan, western margin of Labrador fold belt, Belt-Uinta and the Wopmay-Athapuscow regions. Documented Archean rifts are rare. In Quebec, the truncated margin of the Minto craton bounded on the south by a 2.8 Ga greenstone belt implies an earlier rift event. The oldest proposed rift dated at 3.0 Ga contains the Pongola Supergroup in southeastern Africa. The presence of Archean dikes demonstrates a rigid crust and andesites as old as 3.5 Ga imply plate tectonics and thus, at least, oceanic rifting.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Crust and Mantle Structure of a Closed Rift System from the Superior Province Rifting Earthscope Experiment (SPREE) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Lee, S.; Wolin, E.; Bollmann, T. A.; Tekverk, K.

    2013-12-01

    The existence of the 1.1 Ga Mid-continent Rift System (MRS) in the Great Lakes region of North America is well known on account of its prominent gravity and magnetic anomalies. These elongated anomalies are associated with dense igneous rocks, which surface in sparse outcrops and are imaged in a handful of active source profiles. Part of the MRS cuts across the Archean Superior Craton while other parts cut through at least three different Proterozoic terranes, though there are indications that offsets between rift segments, such as the Belle Plaine Fault, may follow pre-existing terrane boundaries. The total volume of igneous rock imaged in active source data is consistently estimated as at least one million km3, which is enough for a sea floor of the size of the current Gulf of California, or five times the size of Lake Baikal. However, cessation of rifting and closure of the rift uplifted the igneous rocks along the axes, causing lateral gravity gradients of 150 mgal over 50 km between the gravity high above the uplifted igneous rift axis and the low above the sediment deposits in the original rift flanks. Our seismic experiment (SPREE) covers an area around a one thousand km long segment of the MRS. A long, interrupted line of stations follows the rift axis, another line cuts across this high gravity gradient, yet another line cuts across the Belle Plaine rift axis offset, and a TA-like station group north of Lake Superior complements surrounding Transportable Array coverage. The Superior Province Rifting Earthscope Flexible Array (FA) Experiment (SPREE) has been running for two years with a data return of over 96%. Preliminary SPREE and other analyses show puzzling low velocities along the rift axis and complex Moho structure beneath thickened crust. Other crustal features include a large diversity of sediments, from soggy Quaternary mud through meta-sedimentary Proterozoic rocks. At the time of writing we are quantifying the effects of this complex geological

  19. 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

  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. Crustal Structure of the Ethiopian Rift and Adjacent Plateaus: Results of new integrated interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tadesse, K.; Keller, G. R.

    2006-12-01

    The Ethiopian rift is the large part of the East African Rift system, which represents an incipient divergent plate boundary. This important structure provides excellent opportunities to study the transition from continental to oceanic. As a result, geophysical data are becoming increasingly available but some results are contradictory. We used a newly enhanced gravity database and seismic information to produce an integrated interpretation of the crustal structure beneath the Ethiopian rift and the adjacent plateaus. Wide regions have been covered to assess the regional structures including the Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts and the area covered by the Ethiopian flood basalt. Broad negative Bouguer gravity anomalies are delineated over the Ethiopian Plateaus and the Kenyan dome. Residual gravity anomalies, which parallel the major border faults clearly highlight the segregation between the plateaus and the rift valleys. Results of other filtering techniques have clearly revealed individual volcanic centers within the rift valleys. Positive gravity anomalies outside the rift valleys may be associated with older structures, shield volcanoes, or structures that are related to the initiation and propagation of rifting. A long axial profile from the central part of Kenya to the Afar triple junction has been modeled to investigate along-axis crustal variation of the East African rift system, with emphasis on the Ethiopian rift. This modeling has been constrained using seismic refraction data from the Ethiopian Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) and Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP) results. We are able to see a thin crust (~26 km) in the Afar triangle with a gradual thickening (~40 km) southwards towards the Main Central Ethiopian rift (MER). The crust thickness decreases towards Turkana rift (~22 km), and increases again towards the central eastern rift section in Kenya. Our profile model across the MER has revealed that the eastern rift

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Westward drift, rift asymmetry and continental uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doglioni, C.; Carminati, E.; Bonatti, E.

    2003-04-01

    Although not predicted by classic plate tectonics theory, the topography of ocean ridges and rifts show a distinct asymmetry, when depth is plotted both vs. distance from the ridge and square root of the age of the oceanic crust. The eastern sides of the East Pacific Rise, of the mid Atlantic ridge, of the NW Indian ridge are in average more elevated than the conjugate flank to the west and eastern sides show slower subsidence rates. A similar asymmetry can be observed across the Red Sea and Baikal rifts. We suggest that depleted and lighter asthenosphere generated by partial melting below the ocean ridges shifts 'eastward' relative to the lithosphere, determining a density deficit below the eastern flank. The 'eastward' migration of the lighter Atlantic asthenosphere under the African continent, could eventually have contributed to the anomalous post-rift uplift of Africa and explain the anomalously higher topography of Africa with respect to other continents. This model suggests that the 'westward' drift of the lithosphere relative to the underlying mantle might be a global phenomenon and not just a mean delay.

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. Rift Valley Fever Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a disease of animals and humans that occurs in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A Phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae causes the disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Epidemics occur during years of unusually heavy rainfall that assessment models are being develo...

  11. Geological nature of subglacial Lake Vostok

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitchenkov, G. L.; Masolov, V. N.; Lukin, V. V.; Bulat, S. A.; Kurinin, R. G.; Lipenkov, V. Ya.

    2003-04-01

    Lake Vostok is located at the edge of vast upland of East Antarctic (Precambrian) Crystalline Shield and represents a typical extensionally-induced intracontinental rift zone. Type indicators of rift nature are: width (60-80 km) and length (about 300 km) of the lake depression; several (3-5) kilometers of sediments (modeled from gravity data) infilling the lake graben, considerable amplitudes of faults bounding the lake (up to 2 km in bedrock relief and in excess of 5 km in basement topography), half-graben-like structures (rotated crustal blocks) at flanks of the lake traceable to crustal extension; along-strike segmentation of the depression (the presence of two isolated basins, recognized from seismic and gravity data); knee-shaped spatial configuration of the lake and existence of diagonal fractures (displayed in bedrock topography) normally nascent in conditions of tensional stress. The rift graben of Lake Vostok is considered to be a part (branch) of more spacious rift system, main arm of which stretched from the Prydz Bay trough the Lambert Glacier and the eastern foot of Gamburtsev Mts. to, at least, 110E. This rift system is a result of large-scale extensional event, which occurred in East Antarctica in Late Jurassic - Early Cretaceous prior to East Gondwana break-up. Sedimentary infill of this age is proposed to dominate in Vostok Lake, although postrift, preglacial (Cretaceous - Paleogene) strata can also forms significant part of depositional section. Helium isotopes data give evidence that the Lake Vostok rift is not active. On the other hand, thermophilic bacteria found in accretion ice suggest the possibility of hydrothermal activity in lake bottom. The conduits for warm underwater can be provided by deep crustal faults bordering rift graben. Microseismicity recorded in the area of Lake Vostok suggests the possibility of crustal deformations (likely during more dramatic earthquakes) providing a necessary fault permeability for water seepage from

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Intracontinental rift comparisons: Baikal and Rio Grande Rift Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipman, P. W.; Logatchev, N. A.; Zorin, Y. A.; Chapman, C. E.; Kovalenko, V.; Morgan, P.

    Both the Baikal rift in Siberia and the Rio Grande rift in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are major intracontinental extensional structures of Cenozoic age that affect regions about 1500 km long and several hundred km wide (Figures 1, 2). In the summer of 1988 these rifts were visited by study groups of U.S. and Soviet geoscientists during cooperative field workshops sponsored by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and U.S. Geological Survey.In the Rio Grande region, we spent 2 weeks examining rift features between El Paso, Tex., and Denver, Colo. Particular emphasis was on the sedimentary record of rift evolution, widespread volcanic activity from inception of rifting to the present, geophysical expression of rift features, and relations between rifting and the larger-scale evolution of the North American Cordillera. In the Baikal region, which presents formidable logistic problems for a workshop, we travelled by bus, truck, helicopter, and ship to examine young seismotectonic features, rift-related basalt, and bounding structures of the Siberian craton that influenced rift development (Figure 3).

  15. North America's Midcontinent Rift: when Rift MET Lip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Kley, J.; Keller, G. R., Jr.; Bollmann, T. A.; Wolin, E.; Zhang, H.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Ola, K.; Wysession, M. E.; Wiens, D.; Alequabi, G.; Waite, G. P.; Blavascunas, E.; Engelmann, C. A.; Flesch, L. M.; Rooney, T. O.; Moucha, R.; Brown, E.

    2015-12-01

    Rifts are segmented linear depressions, filled with sedimentary and igneous rocks, that form by extension and often evolve into plate boundaries. Flood basalts, a class of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), are broad regions of extensive volcanism due to sublithospheric processes. Typical rifts are not filled with flood basalts, and typical flood basalts are not associated with significant crustal extension and faulting. North America's Midcontinent Rift (MCR) is an unusual combination. Its 3000-km length formed as part of the 1.1 Ga rifting of Amazonia (Precambrian NE South America) from Laurentia (Precambrian North America) and became inactive once seafloor spreading was established, but contains an enormous volume of igneous rocks. MCR volcanics are significantly thicker than other flood basalts, due to deposition in a narrow rift rather than a broad region, giving a rift geometry but a LIP's magma volume. Structural modeling of seismic reflection data shows an initial rift phase where flood basalts filled a fault-controlled extending basin, and a postrift phase where volcanics and sediments were deposited in a thermally subsiding basin without associated faulting. The crust thinned during rifting and rethickened during the postrift phase and later compression, yielding the present thicker crust. The coincidence of a rift and LIP yielded the world's largest deposit of native copper. This combination arose when a new rift associated with continental breakup interacted with a mantle plume or anomalously hot or fertile upper mantle. Integration of diverse data types and models will give insight into questions including how the magma source was related to the rifting, how their interaction operated over a long period of rapid plate motion, why the lithospheric mantle below the MCR differs only slightly from its surroundings, how and why extension, volcanism, and compression varied along the rift arms, and how successful seafloor spreading ended the rift phase. Papers

  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. Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System, an overview

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, S.D.; Landon, S.M.

    1992-01-01

    The Middle and Late Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) extends across the middle US, from Lake Superior through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska into Kansas on the southwest limb and across upper and lower Michigan on the southeast limb. Exploration for oil and gas generated over 7,000 miles of seismic, a leasehold of near seven million acres, but only three test wells. The initial extension of the MRS was marked by filling with layered basalt. Thickness documented by GLIMPCE suggests crustal separation was nearly achieved. The thick dense basalts and thinned pre-rift crust provide high amplitude gravity anomalies which characterize the rift trend. Extension slowed and eventually ceased, creating a sag phase during which clastic sediments were deposited, including sapropelic shale and siltstone, fluvial sandstones and siltstones, and fluvial/alluvial conglomerates. Tectonic inversion to compressional and transpressional forces occurred late in rift history, possibly during part of the period of clastic fill. The MRS trend is highly segmented, with varied tectonic styles, suggesting complex stress systems in its development. The Nonesuch Formation is marine or lacustrine siltstone and shale containing sufficient organic matter to be an effective source rock for oil and gas. Similar facies have been identified along the extent of the western limb, in the subsurface in Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. TOC values are as high as 3% and maturity ranges from peak oil to advanced. Surface seeps, fluid inclusions, mud log shows and modeling indicate the potential for multiple episodes of generation. Potential reservoir rocks have been identified and seals are present as lacustrine and fluvial shales and possible evaporites. The MRS remains a relatively unexplored frontier hydrocarbon province with giant field potential in the heart of North America.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

    Trematode communities in populations of estuarine snails can reflect surrounding animal diversity, abundance, and trophic interactions. We know less about the potential for trematodes to serve as bioindicators in other habitats. Here, we reanalyze data from 2 published studies concerning trematodes, 1 in the Chilean rocky intertidal zone and the other from the East African rift lake, Lake Tanganyika. Our analyses indicate that trematodes are more common in protected areas and that in both habitats they are directly and positively related to surrounding host abundance. This further supports the notion that trematodes in first intermediate hosts can serve as bioindicators of the condition of free-living animal communities in diverse ecosystems. PMID:18576749

  1. 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.

  2. Complex seismicity patterns in the Rwenzori region: insights to rifting processes at the Albertine Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindenfeld, M.; Rümpker, G.; Wölbern, I.; Batte, A. G.; Schumann, A.

    2012-04-01

    Numerous seismological studies in East Africa have focused on the northern and eastern branches of the East African Rift System (EARS). However, the seismic activity along the western branch is much more pronounced. Here, the Rwenzori Mountains are located within the Albertine rift valley, at the border between Uganda and D.R. Congo. During a seismic monitoring campaign between February 2006 and September 2007 we have recorded more than 800 earthquakes per month in the Rwenzori area. The earthquake distribution is highly heterogeneous. The majority of located events lie within faults zones to the East and West of the Rwenzoris with the highest seismic activity observed in the northeastern area, were the mountains are in contact with the rift shoulders. The hypocentral depth distribution peaks at 16 km depth and extends down to the Moho which was found at 20 - 32 km depths by teleseismic receiver functions. Local magnitudes range from -0.5 to 5.1 with a b-value of 1.1. Fault plane solutions of 304 events were derived from P-polarities and SV/P amplitude ratios. More than 70% of the source mechanisms exhibit normal faulting. T-axis trends are highly uniform and oriented WNW-ESE, which is perpendicular to the rift axis and in good agreement with kinematic rift models. The area of highest seismic activity NE of the Rwenzoris is characterized by the occurrence of several earthquake clusters in 5 -20 km depth. They have stable positions throughout time and form elongated pipes with 1-2 km diameter and vertical extensions of 3-5 km. From petrological considerations we presume that these earthquake swarms are triggered by fluids and gasses which originate from a magmatic source below the crust. The existence of a magmatic source within the lithosphere is supported by the detection of a shear-wave velocity reduction in 55-80 km depth from receiver-function analysis and the location of mantle earthquakes at about 60 km. We interpret these observations as indication for an

  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. Tectonic controls on rift basin morphology: Evolution of the northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Deino, A. L.; Tesha, A. L.; Becker, T.; Ring, U.

    1993-01-01

    Radiometric (K-Ar and Ar-40/Ar-39) age determinations of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, combined with structural, gravity, and seismic reflection data, are used to constrain the age of sedimentary strata contained within the seismically and volcanically active northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift and to characterize changes in basin and flank morphologies with time. Faulting and volcanism within the Tukuyu-Karonga basin began at approximately 8.6 Ma, when sediments were deposited in abroad, initially asymmetric lake basin bounded on its northeastern side by a border fault system with minor topographic relief. Extensions, primarily by a slip along the border fault, and subsequent regional isostatic compensation led to the development of a 5-km-deep basin bounded by broad uplifted flanks. Along the low-relief basin margin opposite border fault, younger stratigraphic sequences commonly onlap older wedge-shaped sequences, although their internal geometry is often progradational. Intrabasinal faulting, flankuplift, and basaltic and felsic volcanism from centers at the northern end of the basin became more important at about 2.5 Ma when cross-rift transfer faults developed to link the Tukuyu-Karonga basin to the Rukwa basin. Local uplift and volcanic construction at the northern end of the basin led to a southeastward shift in the basin's depocenter. Sequence boundaries are commonly erosional along this low-relief (hanging wall) margin and conformable in the deep lake basin. The geometry of stratigraphic sequences and the distribution of the erosion indicate that horizontal and vertical crustal movements both across and along the length of the rift basin led to changes in levels of the lake, irrespective of paleoclimatic fluctuations.

  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. Diachronism in the late Neoproterozoic-Cambrian arc-rift transition of North Gondwana: A comparison of Morocco and the Iberian Ossa-Morena Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvaro, J. Javier; Bellido, Félix; Gasquet, Dominique; Pereira, M. Francisco; Quesada, Cecilio; Sánchez-García, Teresa

    2014-10-01

    In the northwestern border of the West African craton (North Gondwana), a transition from late Neoproterozoic subduction/collision to Cambrian rift processes was recorded in the Anti-Atlas (Morocco) and in the Ossa-Morena Zone (Iberia). Cambrian rifting affected both Pan-African and Cadomian basements in a stepwise and diachronous way. Subsequently, both areas evolved into a syn-rift margin episodically punctuated by uplift and tilting that precluded Furongian sedimentation. A comparison of sedimentary, volcanic and geodynamic evolution is made in the late Neoproterozoic (Pan-African and Cadomian) belts and Cambrian rifts trying to solve the apparent diachronous (SW-NE-trending) propagation of an early Palaeozoic rifting regime that finally led to the opening of the Rheic Ocean.

  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. Upper-mantle seismic structure in a region of incipient continental breakup: northern Ethiopian rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastow, Ian D.; Stuart, Graham W.; Kendall, J.-Michael; Ebinger, Cynthia J.

    2005-08-01

    The northern Ethiopian rift forms the third arm of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden triple junction, and marks the transition from continental rifting in the East African rift to incipient oceanic spreading in Afar. We determine the P- and S-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Ethiopian rift using independent tomographic inversion of P- and S-wave relative arrival-time residuals from teleseismic earthquakes recorded by the Ethiopia Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) passive experiment using the regularised non-linear least-squares inversion method of VanDecar. Our 79 broad-band instruments covered an area 250 × 350 km centred on the Boset magmatic segment ~70 km SE of Addis Ababa in the centre of the northern Ethiopian rift. The study area encompasses several rift segments showing increasing degrees of extension and magmatic intrusion moving from south to north into the Afar depression. Analysis of relative arrival-time residuals shows that the rift flanks are asymmetric with arrivals associated with the southeastern Somalian Plate faster (~0.65 s for the P waves; ~2 s for the S waves) than the northwestern Nubian Plate. Our tomographic inversions image a 75 km wide tabular low-velocity zone (δVP~-1.5 per cent, δVS~-4 per cent) beneath the less-evolved southern part of the rift in the uppermost 200-250 km of the mantle. At depths of >100 km, north of 8.5°N, this low-velocity anomaly broadens laterally and appears to be connected to deeper low-velocity structures under the Afar depression. An off-rift low-velocity structure extending perpendicular to the rift axis correlates with the eastern limit of the E-W trending reactivated Precambrian Ambo-Guder fault zone that is delineated by Quaternary eruptive centres. Along axis, the low-velocity upwelling beneath the rift is segmented, with low-velocity material in the uppermost 100 km often offset to the side of the rift with the highest rift flank topography. Our observations from this magmatic

  9. Granular mechanics and rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reber, Jacqueline E.; Hayman, Nicholas W.; Lavier, Luc L.

    2013-04-01

    Numerical models have proved useful in the interpretation of seismic-scale images of rifted margins. In an effort to both test and further illuminate predictions of numerical models, workers have made some strides using map-scale field relations, microstructures, and strain analyses. Yet, fundamental predictions of modeling and tectonic restorations are not able to capture critical observations. For example, many models and interpretations call on continuous faults with restorable kinematic histories. In contrast, s-reflectors and other interpreted shear fabrics in the middle crust tend to be discontinuous and non-planar across a margin. Additionally, most rift-evolution models and interpretations call on end-member ductile flow laws over a range of mechanical and thermal conditions. In contrast, field observations have found that a range of "brittle" fault rocks (e.g., cataclasites and breccias) form in the deeper crust. Similarly, upper crustal materials in deep basins and fault zones can deform through both distributed and localized deformation. Altogether, there appears to be reason to bring a new perspective to aspects of the structural evolution of rifted margins. A granular mechanics approach to crustal deformation studies has several important strengths. Granular materials efficiently localize shear and exhibit a range of stick-slip behaviors, including quasi-viscous rheological responses. These behaviors emerge in discrete element models, analog-materials experiments, and natural and engineered systems regardless of the specific micromechanical flow law. Yet, strictly speaking, granular deformation occurs via failure of frictional contacts between elastic grains. Here, we explore how to relate granular-mechanics models to mesoscale (outcrop) structural evolution, in turn providing insight into basin- and margin- scale evolution. At this stage we are focusing on analog-materials experiments and micro-to-mesoscale observations linking theoretical predictions

  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. The Albertine Rift, East Africa: Initial rifting, long-term landscape evolution and final surface uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Friederike U.; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Ring, Uwe; Grobe, René W.; Starz, Matthias; Mambo, Vikandy S.

    2013-04-01

    The Albertine Rift and associated Rwenzori Mountains form a striking feature at the north-western portion of the East African Rift System. The Rwenzori Mtns are built up by a dissected Precambrian metamorphic basement block that has been uplifted to heights of more than 5 km. The fundamental subject addressed by this study is the temporal and spatial evolution of the Rwenzori Mtns and adjacent Albertine Rift (western Uganda and Eastern Congo) at different time scales. In order to unlock how and at what time the extreme surface uplift occurred, low-temperature thermochronology methods were applied and combined with thermokinematic modelling. By means of apatite fission-track, apatite and zircon (U-Th-Sm)/He dating, combined with 2D (HeFTy) and 3D (Pecube) thermokinematic modelling different phases of landscape evolution could be determined for the Albertine area, where movements of surface uplift can be traced from Palaeozoic to Neogene times. Since the Palaeozoic several cooling events affected the Albertine area and Rwenzori Mtns, as revealed from samples along the rift shoulders and across the mountain range. Results from low-temperature thermochronology and thermokinematic modelling demonstrate that the Rwenzoris were not exhumed as a coherent block but are composed of distinct decoupled blocks with diverging exhumation histories and block movements along inherited faults. Thus, the evolution of the Rwenzoris was not solely triggered by Neogene rifting; moreover, a Mesozoic topographic Albertine high is conceivable. Since the Miocene renewed rock and surface uplift of distinct blocks with forced movements at the western flank of the Rwenzoris occurred. Rock uplift, thereby, outweighed erosion, resulting in the recent high topography of the Rwenzoris and their asymmetric character. Detrital thermochronology data confirm a Neogene surface uplift and indicate transition of erosional forces in Plio-/Pleistocene times. Thermokinematic modelling, applied to samples

  12. Inversion tectonics during continental rifting: The Turkana Cenozoic rifted zone, northern Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; VéTel, W.; Morley, C. K.

    2005-04-01

    Remote sensing data and revised seismic reflection profiles provide new insights about the origin of inverted deformation within Miocene-Recent basins of the Turkana rift (northern Kenya) in the eastern branch of the East African rift system. Contractional structures are dominated by weakly inverted sets of fault blocks within <3.7 Myr old synrift series. Most of reverse extensional faults involve components of oblique-slip, whereas associated hanging wall folds are characterized by large wavelength upright folding. The area of basin inversion is restricted to a 40 × 100 km elongated zone overlying a first-order N140°E trending fault zone in the basement, referred to as the N'Doto transverse fault zone (NTFZ). In the proposed kinematic model, inversion tectonics is assigned to permutation of principal stress axes (σ1/σ2) in addition to the clockwise rotation of extension (from nearly N90°E to N130°E) during Pliocene. The transition from pure extension (Miocene) to a wrench faulting regime (Pliocene) first results in the development of T-type fault networks within a dextrally reactivated shear zone (NTFZ). Inversion tectonics occurred later (<3.7 Ma) in response to a still rotated (˜20°) shortening axis (σ1) oriented N40°E that caused the oblique compression of earlier (NS to N20°E) extensional structures within the NTFZ. The origin of basin inversion and strain concentration in the Turkana rift is thus directly linked to a crustal weakness zone, transverse to the rift axis, and involving steep prerift anisotropies.

  13. Simple shear detachment fault system and marginal grabens in the southernmost Red Sea rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Samson; Ghebreab, Woldai

    2013-11-01

    The NNW-SSE oriented Red Sea rift, which separates the African and Arabian plates, bifurcates southwards into two parallel branches, southeastern and southern, collectively referred to as the southernmost Red Sea rift. The southern branch forms the magmatically and seismo-tectonically active Afar rift, while the less active southeastern branch connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden through the strait of Bab el Mandeb. The Afar rift is characterized by lateral heterogeneities in crustal thickness, and along-strike variation in extension. The Danakil horst, a counterclockwise rotating, narrow sliver of coherent continental relic, stands between the two rift branches. The western margin of the Afar rift is marked by a series of N-S aligned right-lateral-stepping and seismo-tectonically active marginal grabens. The tectonic configuration of the parallel rift branches, the alignment of the marginal grabens, and the Danakil horst are linked to the initial mode of stretching of the continental crust and its progressive deformation that led to the breakup of the once contiguous African-Arabian plates. We attribute the initial stretching of the continental crust to a simple shear ramp-flat detachment fault geometry where the marginal grabens mark the breakaway zone. The rift basins represent the ramps and the Danakil horst corresponds to the flat in the detachment fault system. As extension progressed, pure shear deformation dominated and overprinted the initial low-angle detachment fault system. Magmatic activity continues to play an integral part in extensional deformation in the southernmost Red Sea rift.

  14. 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

  15. Critical and Demographic Effective Population Size of African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Borgu Sector of Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aremu, O. T.; Onadeko, S. A.; Ola-Adams, B. A.; Inah, E. I.

    Effective population size of African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) was estimated using Franklin and Frankham model. Buffalo relative abundance was calculated using a 4x4 km transect constructed in each of the identified six vegetation communities in the Park, which were traversed once a month for a period of 24 months. The results revealed that the relative abundance of Buffalo in the Park was 0.372±0.03 groups km-2 consisting of 51±5.827 groups representing 242±16.309 individuals which consist of 30 adult males and 70 adult females representing 12.40 and 28.93%, respectively of the total Buffalo population in the Park which was considered to be the effective breeding population size. The composition of the population structure was significantly different (p< 0.05). The effective population size of Buffalo in the Park was estimated to be 581.34±4.91 which was above the recommended value of 100 which shows that the Buffalo population in the Park was not threatened by demographic stochasticity factors but rather by illegal human activities in the Park. Measures to improve conservation and management of the existing Buffalo population in the Park are also discussed.

  16. Introduction - Processes of continental rifting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.; Baker, B. H.

    1983-01-01

    It is thought likely that thermal thinning and/or diapirism can cause the extensional stress required for rifting. The rifting, however, will not occur unless the regional tectonic regime permits the sides of the rift to diverge. Whereas passive plate extension could cause rifting in isolation, the extension and rifting are likely to be localized where the lithosphere is weakest over an existing thermal anomaly. In those cases where asthenospheric diapirism occurs, which is essentially a response to thinning of the lithosphere by thermal thinning or plate extension, the effects of diapirism may completely mask the initiating mechanism. It is believed that anomalous heat transfer into the lithosphere, diapirism, and magmatism must all figure in rifting, along with a deviatoric stress field that will permit extension in a developing rift. Even though the models are useful in permitting idealized processes to be quantified and tested, better knowledge of lithosphere properties is considered necessary, in particular knowledge of mantle viscosity and its temperature dependence.

  17. Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic rifting and its dynamic setting in Eastern China and adjacent areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Jianye; Tamaki, Kensaku; Li, Sitian; Junxia, Zhang

    2002-02-01

    During the Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic, extension was widespread in Eastern China and adjacent areas. The first rifting stage spanned in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous times and covered an area of more than 2 million km 2 of NE Asia from the Lake Baikal to the Sikhot-Alin in EW direction and from the Mongol-Okhotsk fold belt to North China in NS direction. This rifting was characterized by intracontinental rifts, volcanic eruptions and transform extension along large-scale strike-slip faults. Based on the magmatic activity, filling sequence of basins, tectonic framework and subsidence analysis of basins, the evolution of this area can be divided into three main developmental phases. The first phase, calc-alkaline volcanics erupted intensely along NNE-trending faults, forming Daxing'anling volcanic belt, NE China. The second phase, Basin and Range type fault basin system bearing coal and oil developed in NE Asia. During the third phase, which was marked by the change from synrifting to thermal subsidence, very thick postrift deposits developed in the Songliao basin (the largest oil basin in NE China). Following uplift and denudation, caused by compressional tectonism in the near end of Cretaceous, a Paleogene rifting stage produced widespread continental rift systems and continental margin basins in Eastern China. These rifted basins were usually filled with several kilometers of alluvial and lacustrine deposits and contain a large amount of fossil fuel resources. Integrated research in most of these rifting basins has shown that the basins are characterized by rapid subsidence, relative high paleo-geothermal history and thinned crust. It is now accepted that the formation of most of these basins was related to a lithospheric extensional regime or dextral transtensional regime. During Neogene time, early Tertiary basins in Eastern China entered a postrifting phase, forming regional downwarping. Basin fills formed in a thermal subsidence period onlapped the fault

  18. On the origin of the Synodontis catfish species flock from Lake Tanganyika

    PubMed Central

    Day, Julia J; Wilkinson, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Species flocks within Great Lakes provide unique insights into the factors affecting diversification. Lake Tanganyika (LT) is of particular interest because it contains many endemic groups for which general factors affecting diversification can be discerned. Here, we present the first phylogenetic study of the LT Synodontis (Siluriformes, Mochokidae) species flock using mtDNA sequence data. Our data reveal some previously unrecognized species diversity and indicate that the LT species flock is not monophyletic, and that two closely related clades of endemics may have independently colonized LT. Other comparable small species flocks are characterized by a single colonization event. Molecular date estimates of the timing of the initial within-lake diversification of the LT endemics, based on a fossil calibration, are comparable to those reported for other groups, suggesting that extrinsic factors maybe important common causes of clade diversification. The basal divergence in the sampled Synodontis reveals an East–West African faunal split seen in many terrestrial, but few aquatic groups, the timing of which coincides with East African rifting events. PMID:17148285

  19. On the origin of the Synodontis catfish species flock from Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Day, Julia J; Wilkinson, Mark

    2006-12-22

    Species flocks within Great Lakes provide unique insights into the factors affecting diversification. Lake Tanganyika (LT) is of particular interest because it contains many endemic groups for which general factors affecting diversification can be discerned. Here, we present the first phylogenetic study of the LT Synodontis (Siluriformes, Mochokidae) species flock using mtDNA sequence data. Our data reveal some previously unrecognized species diversity and indicate that the LT species flock is not monophyletic, and that two closely related clades of endemics may have independently colonized LT. Other comparable small species flocks are characterized by a single colonization event. Molecular date estimates of the timing of the initial within-lake diversification of the LT endemics, based on a fossil calibration, are comparable to those reported for other groups, suggesting that extrinsic factors maybe important common causes of clade diversification. The basal divergence in the sampled Synodontis reveals an East-West African faunal split seen in many terrestrial, but few aquatic groups, the timing of which coincides with East African rifting events. PMID:17148285

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Tropical Lake Levels and Their Relationship to Rainfall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricko, M.; Carton, J.; Birkett, C. M.

    2009-12-01

    , except Lake Turkana, have pronounced seasonal cycles, with the largest seasonal cycles occurring for the lakes in high rainfall regions: Kainji in Africa, Balbina in South America, and Lake Tonle Sap in Southeast Asia. With the seasonal cycle removed, the east African rift valley lakes (Turkana, Tanganyika, Mweru) show pronounced rises in 1997-8 in response to the combined effects of El Niño and the Indian Ocean dipole. In contrast, the Central and South American lakes (Nicaragua and Balbina) show significant level decrease for the same time period. There is also evidence of rapid increases in lake level in response to tropical cyclones (Nicaragua and Malawi). At short intraseasonal periods, Lake Tonle Sap shows evidence of a 30-60 day fluctuation driven by rainfall fluctuations partly associated with the Madden-Julian Oscillation. These results show noticeable climate impacts on tropical lake levels.

  3. Early Cretaceous rifts of Western and Central Africa: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guiraud, René; Maurin, Jean-Christophe

    1992-10-01

    The structure and evolution of Early Cretaceous rift basins in Western and Central Africa are described. Two stages of rift development and fracturing have been identified: (1) from Neocomian to Early Aptian roughly E-W and NW trending troughs (Upper Benue, N Cameroon, S Chad, Sudan etc.) opened in response to a submeridian extensional regime in Central Africa while in Western Africa the N-S trending transsaharian fault zone acted as a sinistral wrench; (2) from Middle Aptian to Late Albian large northwest trending troughs (E Niger, Sudan, Sirte, etc.) opened in response to a northeast extensional regime while the Central African fault zone (from Benue to Sudan) exhibited strike-slip movements, generating pull-apart basins. These rift and fracture systems delimit three large blocks within the African plate: a Western block, an Arabian-Nubian block and an Austral block. The Arabian-Nubian block tends to separate from the two other blocks, migrating towards the north during the first stage of basin development and then towards the NE during the second stage. The opening of the Atlantic Ocean was the dominant driving force for the Western and Austral blocks while the Arabian-Nubian block probably moved in response to the opening of the Indian Ocean and to the evolution of the Tethyan margin.

  4. New considerations on the stratigraphy and environmental context of the oldest (2.34 Ma) Lokalalei archaeological site complex of the Nachukui Formation, West Turkana, northern Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiercelin, Jean-Jacques; Schuster, Mathieu; Roche, Hélène; Brugal, Jean-Philippe; Thuo, Peter; Prat, Sandrine; Harmand, Sonia; Davtian, Gourguen; Barrat, Jean-Alix; Bohn, Marcel

    2010-09-01

    At the northwest end of the Lake Turkana Basin (northern Kenya Rift), intensive fieldwork conducted on the Plio-Pleistocene fluvio-lacustrine Nachukui Formation by the National Museums of Kenya and the West Turkana Archaeological Project (WTAP), led to the discovery of more than 50 archaeological sites aged between 2.4 and 0.7 Ma. Among them is the Lokalalei archaeological site complex, which includes the two oldest archaeological sites (2.34 Ma) found in the Kenyan segment of the East African Rift System. The environmental background of the two sites was described as a succession of ephemeral streams with floodplain palaeosols in which the archaeological sites are situated, bordering the western bank of a large axial meandering river flowing southward. The Lokalalei 1 (LA1) and Lokalalei 2C (LA2C) archaeological sites are of extreme importance in terms of knowledge of hominins' knapping activities. The stratigraphic position of the LA1 and LA2C sites as well as implications on the technical differences between the two sites have been successively discussed by Roche et al. (1999), Brown and Gathogo (2002), and Delagnes and Roche (2005). In terms of stratigraphic position, Lokalalei 2C was estimated to be slightly higher in the section (i.e. younger) than Lokalalei 1. An alternative stratigraphic correlation was proposed by Brown and Gathogo (2002), who suggested that LA2C site should have been approximately 100,000 years younger than LA1. New considerations on the stratigraphy and environmental context of the Lokalalei sites have been developed following controversy on the stratigraphic position and time interval between the LA1 and LA2C sites. High-resolution lithostratigraphic work based on bed-to-bed field correlations, facies sedimentology and tephra geochemistry confirms that the LA2C site is slightly higher in the section than the LA1 site by about 11.20 m. This represents a time interval of ˜74,000 years based on an assumed sedimentation rate of 152 mm

  5. 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

  6. Cenozoic rifting in the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granot, R.; Cande, S. S.; Stock, J. M.; Clayton, R. W.; Davey, F. J.

    2007-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) experienced two episodes of Cenozoic rifting. Seafloor spreading at the Adare spreading axis, north of the Ross Sea, from Middle Eocene to Late Oligocene time (43 - 26 Ma), was directly linked with motions within the WARS. For this time interval, marine magnetic anomalies within the Adare Basin and structural features within the Ross Sea constrain the motion between East and West Antarctica. During this episode, widespread intrusive activity took place in the continental part of the rift. Subsequent Late Oligocene until present-day (26 - 0 Ma) extension was characterized by a transition to volcanic activity. Yet, the details of extension during this episode have been poorly resolved. We present preliminary results of new seismic reflection and seafloor mapping data acquired on geophysical cruise 07-01 aboard the R/VIB Nathaniel Palmer in the northern part of the rift. Our results suggest that the style of deformation changed from spreading-related faulting into diffuse normal faulting (tilted blocks) that trend NE-SW with little resultant E-W extension. Recent volcanism is distributed throughout but tends to align with the NE-SW trend, into a localized zone. Formation of the Terror Rift, Ross Sea, within the same time frame suggests that the pole of rotation has changed its position, reflecting a change in the relative magnitudes of tensile stresses along the rift. Moreover, this change was accompanied with a sharp decrease of extension rates.

  7. SATELLITE-BASED RIFT VALLEY FEVER FORECASTS PREDICT A LARGE YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC IN SUDAN, 2005

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustained, heavy East African rainfall is associated with Aedes spp. breeding in Kenyan grasslands and Rift Valley Fever (RVF) epidemics. Validated RVF forecasts use satellite measurements of vegetation greenness (which increases after heavy rains) and other eco-climate indicators. These models may ...

  8. The Importance of Magmatic Fluids in Continental Rifting in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Roecker, S. W.; Kianji, G.

    2015-12-01

    The breakup of strong continental lithosphere requires more than far-field tectonic forces. Growing evidence for early-stage cratonic rift zones points to the importance of heat, magma and volatile transfer in driving lithospheric strength reduction. The relative contributions of these processes are fundamental to our understanding of continental rifting. We present a synthesis of results from geological, geochemical and geophysical studies in one of the most seismically and volcanically active sectors of the East African Rift (Kenya-Tanzania border) to investigate the role of fluids during early-stage rifting (<10 Ma). Xenolith data indicate that rifting initiated in initially thick lithosphere. Diffuse soil CO2 flux maxima occur in the vicinity of faults, with carbon isotope values exhibiting a mantle-derived signature. These faults feed aligned sets of hydrothermal springs, which have N2-He-Ar relative abundances also indicating a mantle-derived source. Geochemical and surface faulting information are integrated with subsurface imaging and fault kinematic data derived from the 38-station CRAFTI broadband seismic array. Teleseismic and abundant local earthquakes enable assessment of the state-of-stress and b-values as a function of depth. High Vp/Vs ratios and tomographic imaging suggest the presence of fluids in the crust, with high pore fluid pressures driving failure at lower tectonic stress. Together, these cross-disciplinary data provide compelling evidence that early-stage rifting in East Africa is assisted by fluids exsolved from deep magma bodies, some of which are imaged in the lower crust. We assert that the flux of deep magmatic fluids during rift initiation plays a key role in weakening lithosphere and localizing strain. High surface gas fluxes, fault-fed hydrothermal springs and persistent seismicity highlight the East African Rift as the ideal natural laboratory for investigating fluid-driven faulting processes in extensional tectonic environments.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. Very early rift sedimentation in the Turkana depression (EARS, Kenya): example of the Topernawi Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nutz, A.; Ragon, T.; Schuster, M.; Ghienne, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Sedimentation associated with very early phase of continental rifting remains poorly understood as related deposits lie at deepest part of basins and rarely outcrop at the surface. However, understanding of these sediments are essential first to better-constrain early extensional phase and second in term of potential resources. The Turkana depression is a rift system active since the Paleogene, which makes the connection between Kenyan and Ethiopian domes. The southern area consists of four asymmetrical and juxtaposed grabens: the Lokichar, Turkwell, Kerio and South Lake Basin, which have been intensively documented through oil exploration. The northern part is structured into a single asymmetrical graben, the North Lake basin, less-known even oil exploration started. In this contribution, a sedimentary system preserved on the rift shoulder of the North Lake Basin is presented. Referred to as the Topernawi Fm, it is interpreted as recording the earliest phase of Cenozoic rifting in the area. The Topernawi Fm delineates a relic sedimentary basin of limited extension (3 - 5 km). Boundaries of the basin are inherited from basement structures, more precisely from the reactivation during Late Oligocene to Early Miocene of a previous transfer zone producing N40-50° border faults. Basin fills is up to 80 m thick and includes first alluvial fan associated with the reactivation of these faults and then braided fluvial deposits from axial system. Above, several volcanic events recurrently emplaced pyroclastic deposits, repeatedly reworked by fluvial channels. Subsequently, N-S trend faulting cut the Topernawi system during the development of the North Lake Basin and led to its partial preservation over the present-day rift shoulder. Geological maps, structural sections across Topernawi basin and sedimentary facies are presented. An integrated model is proposed to illustrate the basin evolution. Implications for rifting in Northern Turkana depression are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Tag team tectonics: mantle upwelling and lithospheric heterogeneity ally to rift continents (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.

    2013-12-01

    The configuration of continents we know today is the result of several billion years of active Wilson Cycle tectonics. The rifting of continents and subsequent development of ocean basins is an integral part of long-term planetary-scale recycling processes. The products of this process can be seen globally, and the East African Rift System (EARS) provides a unique view of extensional processes that actively divide a continent. Taken together with the adjoining Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the EARS has experienced over 40 Ma of volcanism and ~30 Ma of extension. While early (pre-rift) volcanism in the region is attributed to mantle plume activity, much of the subsequent volcanism occurs synchronously with continental rifting. Numerous studies indicate that extension and magmatism are correlated: extension leads to decompression melting while magmatism accommodates further extension (e.g. Stein et al., 1997; Buck 2004; Corti 2012). Evaluation of the entire EARS reveals significant geochemical patterns - both spatial and temporal - in the volcanic products. Compositional variations are tied directly to the melt source(s), which changes over time. These variations can be characterized broadly by region: the Ethiopian plateau and Turkana Depression, the Kenya Rift, and the Western Rift. In the Ethiopian plateau, early flood basalt volcanism is dominated by mantle plume contributions with variable input from lherzolitic mantle lithosphere. Subsequent alkaline shield volcanism flanking the juvenile Main Ethiopian Rift records the same plume component as well as contributions from a hydrous peridotitic lithosphere. The hydrous lithosphere does not contribute indefinitely. Instead, young (< 2 Ma) volcanism taps a combination of the mantle plume and anhydrous depleted lithospheric mantle. In contrast, volcanism in the Kenya Rift and the Western Rift are derived dominantly from metasomatized lithospheric mantle rather than mantle plume material. These rifts lie in the mobile

  16. Failure was not an option- the Mid-Continent Rift system succeeded

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino, M.; Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Keller, G. R.; Flesch, L. M.; Jurdy, D. M.

    2013-12-01

    The 1.1 Ga Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) in North America is often viewed as a failed rift formed by isolated midplate volcanism and extension within the ~1.3-~0.98 Ga Grenville orogeny. An alternative view is suggested by analogy with younger and morphologically similar rift systems, whose plate tectonic settings are more easily understood because their surroundings - including seafloor with magnetic anomalies - have not been deformed or destroyed by subsequent collisions and rifting events. In this view, the MCR was part of a larger plate boundary rifting event that resulted in a successful episode of seafloor spreading. This view is motivated by various pieces of evidence. The MCR rifting looks much like rigid plate block motion, such as associated with the West Central African Rift systems formed during the Mesozoic breakup of Africa and South America and the ongoing rifting in the East African Rift region with seafloor spreading in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. This view explains the affinities of the Grenville-age rocks in the central and southern Appalachians to Amazonia rather than Canadian Grenville-age Appalachian rocks. The MCR extends farther to the south than traditionally assumed along the East Continental Gravity High (a buried feature from Ohio to Alabama). This failed portion of the rift system connected to the rift successfully separating Laurentia and Amazonia. The seafloor spreading separating Amazonia from Laurentia may explain the former's relative motion toward Greenland and Baltica. This model is consistent with some of the ~1.1 Ga geological events in Amazonia. A change in the apparent polar wander path for Laurentia during the period of volcanism of the MCR could be attributed to this plate reconfiguration. The extensional phase on the MCR may have ended because motion was taken up by seafloor spreading between Laurentia and Amazonia rather ending due to another continental collision. Later reverse faulting on the MCR normal faults due to

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:24497954

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Colorado Basin Structure and Rifting, Argentine passive margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autin, Julia; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Loegering, Markus; Anka, Zahie; Vallejo, Eduardo; Rodriguez, Jorge; Marchal, Denis; Reichert, Christian; di Primio, Rolando

    2010-05-01

    The Argentine margin presents a strong segmentation with considerable strike-slip movements along the fracture zones. We focus on the volcanic segment (between the Salado and Colorado transfer zones), which is characterized by seaward dipping reflectors (SDR) all along the ocean-continent transition [e.g. Franke et al., 2006; Gladczenko et al., 1997; Hinz et al., 1999]. The segment is structured by E-W trending basins, which differs from the South African margin basins and cannot be explained by classical models of rifting. Thus the study of the relationship between the basins and the Argentine margin itself will allow the understanding of their contemporary development. Moreover the comparison of the conjugate margins suggests a particular evolution of rifting and break-up. We firstly focus on the Colorado Basin, which is thought to be the conjugate of the well studied Orange Basin [Hirsch et al., 2009] at the South African margin [e.g. Franke et al., 2006]. This work presents results of a combined approach using seismic interpretation and structural, isostatic and thermal modelling highlighting the structure of the crust. The seismic interpretation shows two rift-related discordances: one intra syn-rift and the break-up unconformity. The overlying sediments of the sag phase are less deformed (no sedimentary wedges) and accumulated before the generation of oceanic crust. The axis of the Colorado Basin trends E-W in the western part, where the deepest pre-rift series are preserved. In contrast, the basin axis turns to a NW-SE direction in its eastern part, where mainly post-rift sediments accumulated. The most distal part reaches the margin slope and opens into the oceanic basin. The general basin direction is almost orthogonal to the present-day margin trend. The most frequent hypothesis explaining this geometry is that the Colorado Basin is an aborted rift resulting from a previous RRR triple junction [e.g. Franke et al., 2002]. The structural interpretation

  3. 3-D magnetotelluric image of offshore magmatism at the Walvis Ridge and rift basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jegen, Marion; Avdeeva, Anna; Berndt, Christian; Franz, Gesa; Heincke, Björn; Hölz, Sebastian; Neska, Anne; Marti, Anna; Planert, Lars; Chen, J.; Kopp, Heidrun; Baba, Kiyoshi; Ritter, Oliver; Weckmann, Ute; Meqbel, Naser; Behrmann, Jan

    2016-06-01

    The Namibian continental margin marks the starting point of the Tristan da Cunha hotspot trail, the Walvis Ridge. This section of the volcanic southwestern African margin is therefore ideal to study the interaction of hotspot volcanism and rifting, which occurred in the late Jurassic/early Cretaceous. Offshore magnetotelluric data image electromagnetically the landfall of Walvis Ridge. Two large-scale high resistivity anomalies in the 3-D resistivity model indicate old magmatic intrusions related to hot-spot volcanism and rifting. The large-scale resistivity anomalies correlate with seismically identified lower crustal high velocity anomalies attributed to magmatic underplating along 2-D offshore seismic profiles. One of the high resistivity anomalies (above 500 Ωm) has three arms of approximately 100 km width and 300 km to 400 km length at 120° angles in the lower crust. One of the arms stretches underneath Walvis Ridge. The shape is suggestive of crustal extension due to local uplift. It might indicate the location where the hot-spot impinged on the crust prior to rifting. A second, smaller anomaly of 50 km width underneath the continent ocean boundary may be attributed to magma ascent during rifting. We attribute a low resistivity anomaly east of the continent ocean boundary and south of Walvis Ridge to the presence of a rift basin that formed prior to the rifting.