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Towuti: Paleoenvironments, Biological Evolution, and Geomicrobiology of a Tropical Pacific Lake

Project Acronym: TOWUTI | State: Completed | Expedition ID: 5055

Lake Towuti’s location in central Indonesia provides an important opportunity to reconstruct long-term terrestrial paleoclimate change in a crucially important yet understudied region- the Western Pacific warm pool, heart of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. Lake Towuti has high rates of floral and faunal endemism and is surrounded by one of the most diverse tropical forests on Earth making it a hotspot of Sotheast Asian biodiversity. The ultramafic (ophiolitic) rocks and lateritic soils surrounding Lake Towuti provide ferruginous metal substrates that feed a diverse, exotic microbial community in the lake and its sediments, potentially analogous to the microbial ecosystems that operated in the Archean Oceans and on Mars.  The Towuti Drilling Program will provide valuable new information to understand the climate, biological, and geomicrobiological evolution of this unique system.

Keywords: Asia, Indonesia, Lake Towuti, Geomicrobiology, Lake Drilling, Paleoclimate, Speciation

Cores are stored at University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Continental Scientific Drilling Facility, USA

Project Details

Project Location

Project Timeline


26 May - 3 July 2015

Full Proposal Approved

Workshop Held

26 - 29 March 2012 in Bandung, Indonesia

Workshop Proposal Approved