Deep Drilling in the Turkana Basin (DDTB)

Exploring the link between environmental factors and hominin evolution

a) Satellite image of eastern Africa with the position of TB outlined in white. b) structural map with overlay of sediment thickness showing some potential core sites.

The Turkana Basin (TB) in the East African Rift System (EARS) provides an unparalleled opportunity to understand our origins as a species due to its remarkably rich fossil record which has been intensely studied for over six decades (Wood and Leakey, 2011). However, because geologic and paleo-anthropologic research has focused on outcrops, integrating these records involves contending with both spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Working with these two variables complicates the scientific community's ability to parse out the impact of tectonics vs climate on shaping the paleo-environmental context in which hominins evolved over the past 4 Ma.
The project aims to recover a novel long core sedimentary record to minimize the impact of spatial paleoenvironmental variability on paleoclimatic and tectonic reconstructions, and provide insight into the sequence and significance of climate and environmental change over the last 4 Ma in this key paleoanthropologic locality.

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