Our team’s main objective is to determine and model Miocene landscape evolution in the Turkana region associated with the developing East African Rift System.

We employ field, laboratory, and numerical modeling methods to document the spatial and temporal distribution of sediments, basins, and paleoenvironments.  

  •  Stratigraphy and sedimentology: We conduct in situ analyses of rocks and sediments to determine paleoenvironment change (e.g., fluvial vs. lacustrine) through time, using lithostratigraphic and chronostratigraphic correlations to assess the relationship between Miocene sites.
  • Tectonic modeling: A 30 Myr time-dependent kinematic and dynamic model of eastern Africa, coupled with climate data, simulates regional landscape evolution to evaluate uplift and erosion, as well as the deposition of sediments.  
  • Geochronology and geochemistry: Geochronologic analyses of volcanic rocks produce numerical ages used to determine the timing of sediments and rates of tectonic processes. Paleomagnetic data provide additional methods for the correlation of strata and further constrains the timing of deposition. Elemental analysis by X-ray fluorescence of volcanic/igneous rocks yields critical information on the relationship between volcanism and rifting.

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