Geological framework of the Pliocene Hadar Formation (Afar, Ethiopia) with notes on paleontology including hominids

Don C. Johanson, Maurice Taieb, B. T. Gray, Yves Coppens

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Although detailed studies in the central Afar, in particular Hadar, have only recently begun, we feel that it is possible to present a provisional resumé of our research.The Pliocene deposits of Hadar, about 160 m thick, represent a series of lacustrine and perilacustrine sediments with four major marker horizons. These deposits contain a rich and well preserved fossil fauna comprising over 70 species. The nature of the faunal assemblage especially the frequent remains of Nyanzachoerus pattersoni, Notochoerus euilus, Ceratotherium praecox, early Elephas recki, Hipparion cf. primigenium, and the absence of Equus and tetraprotodont Hippopotamus, strongly suggests a biostratigraphic correlation with other sites in eastern Africa considered to be older than 3 million years. Fossil hominid remains, some uniquely complete, have been recovered from nine stratigraphic levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-564
Number of pages16
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
StatePublished - Dec 1 1978
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Geology

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