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Project C1: Paleoclimate reconstruction for the East African Rift from geochemical studies of mammalian teeth

Fossil tooth enamel of hippopotamidae from different localities in the East African rift will be studied for stable isotope (O, C), radiogenic isotope (Sr, Nd, Pb) and trace element compositions. Screening for signs of alteration in tooth enamel using several mineralogical and geochemical methods is a relevant task in this project. δ18O and δ13C values will be used to reconstruct temperatures of palaeometeoric waters and habitat vegetation to constrain the palaeoclimate and its changes over time. Radiogenic isotope and trace element ratios will be measured to test for correlations with the stable isotope palaeoclimate proxies in order to link tooth enamel composition with changing soil chemistry during a changing climate in East Africa. Results from the three localities will be correlated and combined to yield constraints on the hypothesis that the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains influenced the climate in East Africa.


Project members:

Prof. Dr. D.F. Mertz
Prof. Dr. T. Brachert
Prof. Dr. F. Schrenk
Dr. G. Brügmann
Dr. D. Jacob
Dr. O. Kullmer

Contact information available via Team

RiftLink Theme C Project C1
  RiftLink Theme C Project C1