40Ar/39Ar dating of Plio-Pleistocene Drill Cores from East Africa

East Africa provides the opportunity to acquire unique evidence toward understanding the influence of climate and environmental change on the evolution of the human lineage and technology during the Plio-Pleistocene. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) has extracted a total of 2 km of sediment drill core from the Rift Valley of East Africa, in paleolake basins adjacent to fossil hominin and archaeological sites of major significance. 40Ar/39Ar dating and chronology modeling of four of these sites will be discussed. Sites in the southern Kenya Rift will be compared to outcrop geology of the Olorgesailie area, which exhibits some of the earliest Middle Stone Age archaeology.

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Alan Deino, Berkeley Geochronology Center, California.

Alan Deino is a geochronologist at the Berkeley Geochronology Center, Berkeley, California. His career has been devoted to the application of the 40Ar/39Ar dating method to problems of volcanology, tectonics, climate change, faunal evolution, and hominin origins on several continents, but with recurring emphasis on East Africa.

 

 

 

Date: 14/06/2017, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.40, Biozentrum (Building 301), Zülpicher Str. 47a, Cologne
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Quaternary fluvial environments in NE Morocco inferred from geochronological and sedimentological investigations

Fluvial terrace formations of the Lower Moulouya River, showing three Holocene terraces as well as three distinct levels of Pleistocene fluvial deposits (view to the north).

Fluvial terrace formations of the Lower Moulouya River, showing three Holocene terraces as well as three distinct levels of Pleistocene fluvial deposits (view to the north).

Melanie Bartz is a PhD student in the C2 project “Early Holocene Contacts between Africa and Europe and their Palaeoenvironmental Context” of the CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe” of the University of Cologne, at the Institute of Geography supervised by Prof. H. Brückner.

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The prehistoric site of Ifri n’Ammar (NE Morocco), a rock shelter dated back to Middle and Late Palaeolithic times and characterised by periodic settling, reveals human activity since 170 ka. Fluvial systems provide direct information for the reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental changes; they also serve as indicators for the regional climate evolution.

Melanie Bartz, PhD Candidate in C2.

Melanie Bartz, PhD Candidate in C2.

In her PhD research, Melanie focuses on two fluvial systems of different scales to reconstruct palaeoenvironmental features in NE Morocco: (i) the ephemeral stream Wadi Selloum in the direct vicinity of Ifri n’Ammar, and (ii) on fluvial terraces of the larger Moulouya River drainage. The major tools to reach this goal are the application of geochronological techniques [luminescence (OSL, IRSL) and electron spin resonance (ESR) dating] as well as sedimentological analyses [e.g. micromorphology, scanning electron microscopy (SEM)].

(i) Wadi Selloum deposits have been dated between 102±8 ka and 1.3±0.2 ka, covering different morphodynamically stable and active phases, respectively. Periods of enhanced aggradation occurred ~100 ka, ~75 ka, ~55 ka, ~21 ka, and ~14 ka, as well as during the Holocene. Fine-grained overbank deposits were distinguished by high amounts of allochthonous minerals, such as quartz, K-feldspar and plagioclase, which indicate aeolian input into the limestone-dominated catchment. Landscape stability is evidenced by a Pleistocene palaeosol and two Holocene soils, characterised by the pronounced formation of soil structure, pedogenic calcite and frequent biogenic pedofeatures.

(ii) The Moulouya River drains an area characterised by crustal deformation during the Late Cenozoic. As a consequence of crustal shortening, contrasting fluvial environments occur on each side of a thrust zone: stacked terraces build up >37 m-thick aggradational deposits in the footwall, while a terrace staircase complex composed of at least three distinct levels form the hanging wall system. SEM analyses revealed a high contribution of fluvially transported mineral grains besides a minor contribution of aeolian input which gives information about the sediment history. ESR dating yielded ages of Early Pleistocene times.

This study provides first insights into the palaeoenvironment around the Ifri n’Ammar rock shelter during the Quaternary. By presenting the first numerical ages of fluvial records in this region, this project is a major contribution to unravelling the landscape evolution in the time of human occupation and even beyond.

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Date, Time: 13/06/2016, 15:30 h – 16:15 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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Geochronological investigation of loess-paleosol sequences in southeastern Europe

banner_bösken_2016Janina Bösken is a PhD-student working within the B project, which deals with the so called eastern trajectory of early modern human migration to Europe.

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Janina Bösken, Project B1

The B1 team from Aachen investigates the paleoenvironmental conditions during this migration and Janina’s focus lies on luminescence dating. She investigates mainly loess-paleosol sequences, but also fluvial sands within an archeological excavation are part of her research. Also, the analysis and visualization with GIS is an important aspect of her PhD.

In this presentation she will elaborate the investigation of the B1 team in Hungary, Serbia and Romania and she will show how geochronology contributes to this. Furthermore, several profiles and their timing will be shown and the challenges and implications will be explained. Finally, some examples of the GIS analysis will be presented.

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Date, Time: 02/05/2016, 14:00 h – 14:45 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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Analysis of Migration Processes due to Environmental Conditions between 40,000 and 14,000 a BP in the Balkan region through Luminescence Dating

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This PhD topic lies within the B1 project, which deals with the paleoenvironmental conditions during modern human migration through southeastern Europe. A multi-proxy approach combining sedimentology, geochemistry, rock magnetism and luminescence dating is applied on loess-paleosol sequences on geoarchives in Hungary, Serbia and Romania.

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Quaternary fluvial environments in the eastern Rif (Morocco) inferred from geochronological and geoarchaeological investigations

Moulouya River
Melanie Bartz is a PhD student in the C2 projectEarly Holocene Contacts between Africa and Europe and their Palaeoenvironmental Context” of the CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe” of the University of Cologne, at the Institute of Geography. The prehistoric site of Ifri n’Ammar, a rock shelter dated back to Middle and Late Palaeolithic times and characterised by periodic settling, reveals human activity since 170 ka.

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Advances in microanalyses of archaeological materials

 

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Prof. Rainer Grün

The strength of the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University has always been the development of state-of-the-art micro-analytical facilities and utilising their unique capabilities to advance earth science research. In recent years, we have established laboratories for laser ablation analysis, a sensitive high resolution micro probe dedicated to light stable isotopes and a single stage accelerator for radiocarbon dating.

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Quaternary Geochronology

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Prof. Rainer Grün

This course provides an overview of the principal techniques deployed in modern archaeology and palaeoanthropology to place the material remains of the human past and the human environment in a chronological context, from earliest human origins to quite recent times.

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