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Former Lake Levels and Climatic Change in the Rift Valley of Southern Ethiopia

A. T. Grove, F. Alayne Street and A. S. Goudie
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 141, No. 2 (Jul., 1975), pp. 177-194
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/1797205
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1797205
Page Count: 20
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Former Lake Levels and Climatic Change in the Rift Valley of Southern Ethiopia
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Abstract

Lakes in the Ethiopian rift are sensitive indicators of Late Quaternary climates. Lake Stefanie (Chew Bahir), which has been dry most of this century, was 20 m deep about 5660 years ago. Fed from Lakes Abaya and Chamo it probably overflowed to Lake Rudolf at that time and was a part of the Nile system. The four Galla lakes, Ziway, Langano, Abiyata and Shala, were united into one large lake which overflowed to the Awash River in the Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene. Beach deposits contain sub-fossil mollusca, some of which have Palaearctic affinities. Fish remains are abundant in a bed a few metres above Lake Shala between diatomaceous lake floor deposits. A form of Barbus occurs which resembles the North African B. callensis. Algal limestones from Stefanie and the Galla lakes basin are described and their significance discussed.

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