Modern and Ancient Animal Traces in the Extreme Environments of Lake Magadi and Nasikie Engida, Kenya Rift Valley

Jennifer J. Scott, Robin W. Renaut, Luis A. Buatois, R. Bernhart Owen, Emma P. McNulty, Mona Stockhecke, Kennie Leet, Tim K. Lowenstein, M. Gabriela Mángano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Modern Lake Magadi and Nasikie Engida in the inner southern Kenya Rift exemplify the extreme conditions in some continental rift settings, with abundant inflow from hot springs and magmatic CO2, producing high-carbonate-bicarbonate, high-sodium waters with little calcium in a semi-arid closed lake basin. Hypersalinity, hyperalkalinity, and hydrothermal conditions characterize the modern lake and lake margins, and also contributed to the environmental conditions represented by the Pleistocene to Holocene sedimentary record of the basin. Micro- and macro-organisms are restricted in diversity and distribution in the modern lake basin. This study documents modern animal traces present in lake-margin sites around Lake Magadi and Nasikie Engida, and those preserved in Pleistocene and Holocene sediment outcrops in the Magadi Basin. These findings are then applied to the interpretation of examples preserved in drill-cores (HSPDP-MAG14) that span the Pleistocene to recent sedimentary record of Lake Magadi. Observed associations among animal traces, substrates, and environmental conditions in the modern sedimentary lake-margin environments help to interpret ancient lacustrine sediments in the geologic record.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLimnogeology: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities : A Tribute to Elizabeth Gierlowski-Kordesch
EditorsMichael R. Rosen, David B. Finkelstein, Lisa Park Boush, Sila Pla-Pueyo
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages48
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-66576-0
StatePublished - 2021

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags



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