FIGURE 4.6 Sites (GOA-1 to GOA-6) proposed for Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drilling in the Gulf of Aden. SOURCE: Unpublished IODP drilling proposal 724-FULL; deMenocal et al. (2007).

FIGURE 4.6 Sites (GOA-1 to GOA-6) proposed for Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drilling in the Gulf of Aden. SOURCE: Unpublished IODP drilling proposal 724-FULL; deMenocal et al. (2007).

tial for obtaining such long records is highest. The primary targets for Phase II drilling would include Lakes Turkana, Edward, Albert, Tanganyika, and Malawi.


Terrestrial Drilling In parallel with efforts to drill the modern “extant” lakes, an effort should be made to obtain drill cores from paleolake deposits exposed on-land, located in key sedimentary basins where fossil hominins have been recovered. Many of these basins have been exposed through desiccation and/or uplift, and thus have the logistical advantage over lake drilling that they can be reached by truck-mounted drill rigs, avoiding many of the difficulties and substantial costs associated with lake drilling.

The objectives in targeting terrestrial sites would be to understand paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental conditions in close proximity to the fossils. Typically, these drill cores would record the dominantly organic-rich lacustrine deposits formed in or near the basin depocenters where sedimentation was most likely to be continuous and fast, providing a rich, high-resolution record of past environmental conditions. The targets of such studies could be of any age—there is no necessary requirement for drilling though the complete stratigraphic column of an extant lake to reach the target stratigraphic interval if the top of that interval currently lies at or near the surface. Possible targets and their ages for such drilling could include the Chad/Libyan basins (late Miocene), the Middle Ledi and Middle Awash in the Afar (mid-Pliocene), the Tugen Hills-Lake Baringo



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