Climatic changes in the Chalbi Desert, North Kenya

C. K. Nyamweru, D. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The Chalbi flat, located 60 km outside the rift to the east, forms a moist, salt‐clay encrusted playa which also functions as an inland sink for alluvial fans. Residual lacustrine beds, including freshwater carbonates and travertines, crop out along its higher periphery. Mammalian bones of lacustrine and terrestrial elements, and K/Ar dating of the capping lava suggest a lake or a swamp environment 2–2.5 million years ago. Radiocarbon dating of Melanoides tuberculata and Planorbis and a sediment assemblage composed of clotted micrite, calcareous molds, root marks and stromatolites point to an additional early Holocene Chalbi lake or swamps 11000‐9500 yr BP. The data suggest wet environmental conditions outside the rift, which is consistent with the occurrence of a wet period in the early to middle Holocene in intertropical Africa, but out of phase with the climatic conditions in Sinai and Israel and with the high‐latitude maximum lake levels and glacier advance. These relations have probably been caused by migration of climatic belts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989


  • Climatic changes
  • East Africa
  • palaeolakes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Paleontology


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