The Turkana Basin

Lab members Stephen Cox and Sidney Hemming received an internal grant from the Columbia Global Centers (PGIF) that allowed us to initiate a collaborative project in the Turkana Basin in 2017 with international partners at Stony Brook University and the Turkana Basin Institute and several other institutions. The basin is famous for the early hominid fossils that have been found exposed in the sediments due to the dry climate and the extension of the basin due to rifting in the East African Rift System (EARS). The basin around Lake Turkana is uniquely broad and shallow in the EARS, which leads to the exposure of both fossils and the rocks that host them. We are working on improving the chronology of the record in Turkana through 40Ar/39Ar dating of the many rift-associated basalt flows that occur throughout the basin as well as through (U–Th)/He and 4He/3He thermochronology of the basement rocks that are uplifted during the evolution of the rift.

Columbia Affiliations