Plio-Pleistocene volcanism of Lower Bed I, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania: transportation mechanisms, volcaniclastic sedimentation and ecological significance

Drittmittelfinanzierte Einzelförderung

Details zum Projekt

Prof. Dr. Harald Stollhofen

Prof. Dr. Harald Stollhofen
Jörg Habermann

Beteiligte FAU-Organisationseinheiten:
Lehrstuhl für Geologie (Exogene Dynamik)

Mittelgeber: DFG-Einzelförderung / Sachbeihilfe (EIN-SBH)
Projektstart: 01.07.2010
Projektende: 30.07.2013
Laufzeitverlängerung bis: 31.07.2016


Klima & Paläoumwelt
Lehrstuhl für Geologie (Exogene Dynamik)

Abstract (fachliche Beschreibung):

The Plio-Pleistocene Bed I succession at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania is renowned for hominin remains, rich artefacts and fossil assemblages. Tuff beds provide the basis for the stratigraphic framework and for the correlation and dating of archaeological finds. The Tuff IA to Tuff IB interval (c. 1.98-1.84 Ma), choosen for this study, is especially important from a multidisciplinary perspective: (a) It provides the earliest record of Homo habilis in the Gorge, (b) it records the earliest antiquity of Human technology, known as Oldowan culture, (c) it is associated with several important occupation floors , and (d) it includes dated Palaeo-lake Olduvai sequences that have records of orbital forcing across the Plio-Pleistocene boundary. The tuff beds themselves provide important archives of (e) the correlation between the eastern and the yet poorly studied western Olduvai Basin, (f) a change from bimodal basaltic-rhyolitic to trachytic-phonolitic compositons, (g) the occurrence of flow-stripping/decoupling effects when pyroclastic flows crossed synsedimentary active faults, (h) the interaction of volcanic systems with the ecologically attractive eastern lake margin zone, and (i) the relative importance of volcanic effects versus regional climate influences on flora and fauna.A detailed dataset is to be developed using high resolution sedimentological logging, facies, petrographic and geochemical analysis. Lateral correlations and process-oriented facies analyses across palaeo-Lake Olduvai will be the critical aim of this research, allowing a thorough understanding of the complex interactions between the volcanics and the ecology of the lake. The project integrates data on palaeoenvironments, palaeoclimate, synsedimentary tectonism and volcanism with hominin land use models contributed by palaeoanthropologists and archaeologists of the multidisciplinary OLAPP research group. OLAPP trenches excavated over the next few years will provide an exceptional opportunity for combined sedimentological, volcanological and palaeoecological studies at an extremely high resolution (mm to cm scale).

Externe Partner

The University of Liverpool
The State University of New Jersey (Rutgers)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
University of the Witwatersrand (WITS)
Indiana University
Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA) / Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
University of California, Berkeley

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Stanistreet, I.G., McHenry, L.J., Stollhofen, H., & de la Torre, I. (2018). Bed II Sequence Stratigraphic context of EF-HR and HWK EE archaeological sites, and the Oldowan/Acheulean succession at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution.
Stanistreet, I.G., Stollhofen, H., Njau, J.K., Farrugia, P., Pante, M.C., Masao, F.T.,... Bamford, M. (2018). Lahar inundated, modified, and preserved 1.88 Ma early hominin (OH24 and OH56) Olduvai DK site. Journal of Human Evolution, 116, 27-42.
Albert, R.M., Bamford, M.K., Stanistreet, I.G., Stollhofen, H., Rivera-Rondón, C.A., Njau, J.K., & Blumenschine, R.J. (2018). River-fed wetland palaeovegetation and palaeoecology at the HWK W site, Bed I, Olduvai Gorge. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 259, 223-241.
de la Torre, I., Albert, R.M., Arroyo, A., Macphail, R., McHenry, L.J., Mora, R.,... Wehr, K. (2017). New excavations at the HWK EE site: Archaeology, paleoenvironment and site formation processes during late Oldowan times at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution.
Reiner, W.B., Masao, F., Sholts, S.B., Songita, A.V., Stanistreet, I., Stollhofen, H.,... Hlusko, L.J. (2017). OH 83: A new early modern human fossil cranium from the Ndutu beds of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 164(3), 533-545.
de la Torre, I., Albert, R.M., Macphail, R., McHenry, L.J., Pante, M.C., Rodríguez-Cintas, Á.,... Stollhofen, H. (2017). The contexts and early Acheulean archaeology of the EF-HR paleo-landscape (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). Journal of Human Evolution.
Habermann, J., Mchenry, L.J., Stollhofen, H., Tolosana-Delgado, R., Stanistreet, I.G., & Deino, A.L. (2016). Discrimination, correlation, and provenance of Bed I tephrostratigraphic markers, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, based on multivariate analyses of phenocryst compositions. Sedimentary Geology, 339, 115-133.
Habermann, J., Stanistreet, I.G., Stollhofen, H., Albert, R.M., Bamford, M.K., Pante, M.C.,... Masao, F.T. (2016). In situ ~2.0 Ma trees discovered as fossil rooted stumps, lowermost Bed I, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution, 90, 74-87.
Albert, R.M., Bamford, M., Stanistreet, I.G., Stollhofen, H., Rivera-Rondón, C., & Rodríguez-Cintas, A. (2015). Vegetation landscape at DK locality, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 426, 34-45.
Mchenry, L.J., Stollhofen, H., & Stanistreet, I.G. (2013). Use of single-grain geochemistry of cryptic tuffs and volcaniclastic sandstones improves the tephrostratigraphic framework of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Quaternary Research, 80, 235-249.

Zuletzt aktualisiert 2018-22-11 um 19:21