40Ar/39Ar dating, paleomagnetism, and tephrochemistry of Pliocene strata of the hominid-bearing Woranso-Mille area, west-central Afar Rift, Ethiopia

Alan L. Deino, Gary R. Scott, Beverly Saylor, Mulugeta Alene, Joshua D. Angelini, Yohannes Haile-Selassie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

40Ar/39Ar dating of tuffs and mafic lavas, tephra geochemistry, and paleomagnetic reversal stratigraphy have been used to establish the chronostratigraphy of the Pliocene hominid-bearing fossiliferous succession at Woranso-Mille, a paleontological study area in the western part of the central Afar region of Ethiopia. The succession in the northwestern part of the study area ranges in 40Ar/39Ar age from 3.82-3.570 Ma, encompassed by paleomagnetic subchron C2Ar (4.187-3.596 Ma). One of the major tuff units, locally named the Kilaytoli tuff, is correlative on the basis of age and geochemistry to the Lokochot Tuff of the Turkana Basin. A hominid partial skeleton (KSD-VP-1) was found in strata whose precise stratigraphic position and age is still under investigation, but is believed to correspond to the later part of this interval. Woranso-Mille fills a significant gap in the fossil record of northeastern Africa at the time of the lower to middle Pliocene transition, when many extant species lineages of African fauna were established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of human evolution
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ar/Ar Dating
  • Afa
  • Ethiopia
  • Hominid
  • Paleomagnetism
  • Pliocene
  • Tephrochemistry
  • Woranso-Mille

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology

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