Eocene initiation of Nile drainage due to East African uplift.



Eocene initiation of Nile drainage due to East African uplift.

TitreEocene initiation of Nile drainage due to East African uplift.
Type de publicationJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuteursUnderwood, CJ, King, C, Steurbaut, E
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Date PublishedSeptember
Mots-clésEast Africa, Geology, Paleontology

The Late Eocene and Early Oligocene sedimentary succession in the Fayum, Egypt records the progressive development of northerly flowing Nile-type African drainage. New biostratigraphic dating of these units allows the calibration of the paleomagnetic record, the combination of dating methods enabling a detailed chronology of events to be studied. Between about 38 and 35 Ma there was a dramatic change in sedimentary regime and vast quantities of clasticmaterial were transported into the area, smothering the underlying carbonate platform and initiating a stepwise progradation of clastic units. The sudden change in sediment availability coincideswith the beginning of uplift and volcanic activity in the Turkana region of East Africa, cutting off preexisting easterly drainage from the middle of the continent. The Fayum succession therefore records the initiation of northerly drainage of central and eastern Africa, and the origins of themodern Nile watershed. The development of the current route of the Nile, with the incision of the current Nile Valley, was slightly later and related tomid Oligocene uplift of the Red Sea margins and Messinian base level fall.

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