Lake Tanganyika Drilling Project

Paleoclimatology, Tectonics And Evolutionary Ecology In Africa's Oldest Lake

Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, Zaire and Zambia - June 1985

Lake Tanganyika (East Africa) is the one of the oldest, largest, and deepest lakes found anywhere on Earth and provides a truly outstanding opportunity to transform our understanding of processes controlling tropical climate, biological diversification, and Earth surface (source-to-sink) processes in rift basins.  Lake Tanganyika contains the only known sedimentary sequence in the tropics that continuously spans the last ~8-10 Ma at drillable depths, and the lake’s sediments are an established world-class archive of high-fidelity records of precipitation, temperature, lake level, vegetation, and atmospheric dynamics.  Drill-cores will allow us to test the response of African climate to fundamentally important reorganizations of the Earth System, such as the response of tropical climates to Miocene-present changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, mid-Pliocene termination of a permanent El Niño, and the onset, intensification, and changes in the periodicity of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation.

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