Climate and environmental history of East Africa since the origin of modern humans: recovering a continuous 250.000-year lake sediment sequence from Lake Challa near Mt. Kilimanjaro (DeepCHALLA)

May 2016 to April 2024
climate change
evolutionary biology
lake sediments
Research fields
Biology and Life Sciences
Earth and Environmental Sciences

The research infrastructure that is the subject of this proposal are the lake-sediment cores from Lake Challa to be recovered by ICDP project DeepCHALLA, and which represent a globally unique resource for reconstructing the climate and environmental history of East Africa over the past ~250,000 years. Our specific aim is to retrieve continuous sediment sequences (as cores drilled in consecutive 3-m sections) from 3 sites within Lake Challa, each in triplicate to ensure that the overlapping sections together constitute an uninterrupted sample of the in situ sediment profile. The 3 sites are arranged in a nearshore-offshore transect and drilled to respectively ~25 m, ~100 m and ~210 m depth, thus allowing to determine the influence of near-shore sedimentation dynamics on the signatures of climate and ecosystem proxies preserved in the longest sequence from the lake center. Together these 9 drill cores will amount to ~1000 m of sediment contained in transparent butyrate core liners.