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Insights into East African continental climate variability over 3.5 Ma: tropical climate dynamics and their impacts on major turnovers in human evolution

English title Insights into East African continental climate variability over 3.5 Ma: tropical climate dynamics and their impacts on major turnovers in human evolution
Applicant Stockhecke Mona
Number 158501
Funding scheme Advanced Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Klima- und Umweltphysik Physikalisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.03.2016 - 28.02.2019
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Keywords (12)

East Africa; human evolution; XRF records; tropical paleoclimate/paleoenvironment; Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project; Plio/Pleistocene; International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP); Rift Valley; limnogeology; X-radiography; proxy records; climate variability/cycles

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Einblick in die Klimavariabilität in Ostafrika über die letzten 3.5 Miollionen Jahre: Klimadynamiken und dessen Auswirkungen auf die menschlichen EvolutionDieses Forschungsprojekt verfolgt das Ziel, die Umwelt- und Klimavariabilität über die letzten 3.5 Millionen Jahren in Ostafrika mittels Sediment-Bohrkernen zu rekonstruieren. Die Sedimentkerne wurden innerhalb des einzigartigen Bohrprojekts „Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP)“ im Rahmen des International Continental Scientific Drilling Programs (ICDP) während fünf mehrwöchigen Kampagnen zwischen 2013 und 2015 gewonnen. In diesem Forschungsprojekt werden die Sedimentkerne geochemisch analysiert und Klimaproxies ermittelt, um die Umweltvariabilität in Ostafrika seit dem Pliozän zu dokumentieren.
Lay summary

2. Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Bohrkerne von fünf verschiedenen Sedimentationsbecken und ehemaligen Seen entlang des Riftsystems in Kenia und Äthiopien, die eine Vielzahl an hominiden Fossilienfunden aufweisen, wurden mittels des HSPDP Projekt geborgen. Die halbierten HSPDP Bohrkerne werden mittels Mikro-Röntgenfluoreszensanalyse (Messung mit dem ITRAX Core Scanner am Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minnesota) untersucht und somit kontinuierlich die geochemischen Veränderungen über die Kerntiefe bestimmt. Die auf diese Weise gewonnen hochaufgelösten Klimaproxies zusammen mit den lithologischen Beschreibungen bilden das Rückrat, um die Kontinuität der Klimaarchive zu überprüfen, und sie erlauben, diskreten Proxyanalysen mit geringerer Auflösung in einen kontinuierlichen Kontext zu stellen. Der verfolgte Ansatz (multi-site und multi-proxy) wird erlauben, das tropische Klima während der globalen Klimaveränderungen im Pliozän und Pleistozän seit der Vereisung der nördlichen Hempishäre im Detail zu charakterisieren.

 

3. Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Die Evolution des Menschen beschäftigt die Wissenschaft seit der Zeit von Charles Darwins. Dank des HSDPP Projekts wurden Sediment-Bohrkerne an anthropologischen Fundstellen menschlicher Fossilien geborgen, um den Lebensraum unserer Vorfahren möglichst hochaufgelöst und kontinuierlich zu rekonstruieren. Die Analyse und Interpretation der gewonnen Klimaproxies wird Aufschluss geben, unter welchen Umweltbedingungen (Klima und Tektonik) unsere Vorfahren lebten und in welchen Zusammenhang Klimadynamiken und die menschlichen Evolution während der letzten 3.5 Millionen Jahre standen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 20.11.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
John Kingston United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Achim Bechtel Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Sebastian Watt Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Bernie Owen China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Catherine Beck United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Christoph Campisano United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Francien Peterse Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Chad Jost United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Peter Fawcett United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Blas Valero-Garces Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Rene Dommain Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Craig Feibel United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Daniel Deocampo United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Scott Anderson United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Byron Steinmann United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Jennifer Scott Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Carsten Schubert Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Beatriz Ortega-Guerrero Mexico (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Alan Deino United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Rick Potts United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Joint 70th Rocky Mountain Annual Section Meeting Talk given at a conference The Stoneman Lake Drilling Project: Preliminary Results of Paleoenvironmental change in Central Arizona over the last ~ 1.5 million years 15.05.2018 Flagstaff, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
Paleoanthropology Society meeting Poster The rise and expansion of anatomically modern humans out of Africa in the context of climate variability using new quantifying methods and a multi-regional approach 10.04.2018 Austin, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
Pages Open Science Meeting Poster MexiDrill, the Basin of Mexico Drilling Project: Exploring a lacustrine record of climate and environmental change in subtropical North America since the mid-Pleistocene 09.05.2017 Zaragoza, Spain Stockhecke Mona;
Pages Open Science Meeting Poster Late Pliocene East African climate variability reconstructed from the Baringo Basin (Kenya) HSPDP drill core 09.05.2017 Zaragoza, Spain Stockhecke Mona;
Pages Young Science Meeting Talk given at a conference Late Pliocene East African climate variability reconstructed from the Baringo Basin (Kenya) HSPDP drill core 07.05.2017 Zaragoza, Spain Stockhecke Mona;
XRF Core Scanning 2017 Talk given at a conference Calibration of light element XRF data from carbonaceous sediments 20.03.2017 Taiwan, Taiwan Stockhecke Mona;
XRF Core Scanning 2017 Poster Characterization of paleosol maturity using XRF scanning data 20.03.2017 Taiwan, Taiwan Stockhecke Mona;
American Geophysical Union Ann. Mtg. Poster A ~600 kyr duration Early Pleistocene record from the West Turkana (Kenya) HSPDP drill site: elemental XRF variability to reconstruct climate change in Turkana Boy’s backyard 14.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
American Geophysical Union Ann. Mtg. Talk given at a conference The Long Pleistocene Paleoclimate Record from Stoneman Lake, Arizona: an Update 12.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
Geo. Soc. Amer. Ann. Mtg. Poster Developing timeseries from lithostratigraphic complex records from ancient lakes beds in East Africa: XRF records from the Olorgesailie drill cores (Kenya) 11.11.2016 Baltimore, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
Geo. Soc. Amer. Ann. Mtg. Talk given at a conference Seeing deeper into the mud: Insights from the WTK13 Core, West Turkana, Kenya 11.11.2016 Baltomore, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
Geo. Soc. Amer. Ann. Mtg. Poster Microfacies analysis and high-resolution XRF scanning of a laminated Pleistocene lacustrine sequence from East Africa 01.11.2016 Baltimore, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
Geo. Soc. Amer. Ann. Mtg. Talk given at a conference Identifying and utilizing those pesky paleosols in a lacustrine sequence: examples from the Koora Graben Pleistocene paleolake 25.09.2016 Denver, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
Geo. Soc. Amer. Ann. Mtg. Talk given at a conference MexiDrill, the Basin of Mexico Drilling Project: Updates and Progress 25.09.2016 Denver, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
Multiproxy approach to the reconstruction of the Pliocene climate. PlioPleist Climate Workshop Poster Future insights into East African continental climate variability and human evolution over 3.5 Ma: the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) 17.09.2016 Barcelona, Spain Stockhecke Mona;
Spanish Geological Congress Talk given at a conference MexiDrill: the Basin of Mexico Drilling Project, Preliminary Report. Informe preliminar del proyecto MexiDrill: Perforación de la Cuenca de México 27.08.2016 Huelva, Spain Stockhecke Mona;
International Limnogeology Congress (ILIC) Poster Scanning x-ray fluorescence results from a ~1 Ma paleoenvironmental record adjacent to the Olorgesailie archeological sites (Kenya) 15.06.2016 Reno, United States of America Stockhecke Mona;
European Geosciences Union Ann. Mtg. Poster An Early Pleistocene high-resolution paleoclimate reconstruction from the West Turkana (Kenya) HSPDP drill site. 17.04.2016 Vienna, Austria Stockhecke Mona;
European Geosciences Union Ann. Mtg. Poster An Early Pleistocene high-resolution paleoclimate reconstruction from the West Turkana (Kenya) HSPDP drill site 17.04.2016 Vienna, Austria Stockhecke Mona;


Abstract

This proposal seeks funding to support a postdoctoral research program comprised of 20 months at the Large Lakes Observatory (Duluth, Minnesota/US), 4 months at the University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona/US) and a 12-month return period at the Oeschger Centre of Climate Research (Bern, Switzerland). The project is envisaged for a four year research period; funding of the first year (Feb 2015-Jan 2016) will be provided by the host institution in the USA. The project goal is to reconstruct at high-resolution paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate variability in eastern Africa over 3.5 Ma using lacustrine records of five different basins in vicinity to key anthropological sites in the Kenyan and Ethiopian rift valleys that are being drilled through the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP). Major motivation of the HSPDP project is to understand how and when humans and our close relatives evolved and what conditions (e.g., climate, tectonics) drove our history. HSPDP sediment cores will be scanned with X-ray fluorescence and X-radiography in order to obtain high-resolution and continuous records. The high-resolution, continuous elemental records in combination with lithological logs are the backbone for the investigation of the suitability and consistency of the lacustrine records and will allow the other lower resolution proxy records measured by collaborative HSPDP investigators to be placed in a continuous context. This research project makes essential contributions to the overarching HSPDP project goals and fosters the exchange among the lake drilling project scientists.The proposed multisite and multiproxy approach will give fundamental insights into 1) the impact of regional environmental and climate variability on human evolution and 2) the behavior of tropical climatic during major global climatic transitions of the Pliocene/Pleistocene and in response to millennial-scale variability since the onset of Northern Hemispheric Glaciation.
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