Solar and anthropogenic imprints on Lake Masoko (southern Tanzania) during the last 500 years
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Garcin, Y., Williamson, D., Bergonzini, L. et al. J Paleolimnol (2007) 37: 475. doi:10.1007/s10933-006-9033-6
- 156 Downloads
The Masoko crater-lake in southern Tanzania provides a continuous record of environmental changes covering the last 500 years. Multi-proxy studies were performed on a 52 cm sediment core retrieved from the deepest part of the lake. Magnetic, organic carbon, geochemical proxies and pollen assemblages indicate a dry climate during the ‘Little Ice Age’ (AD 1550–1850), confirming that the LIA in eastern Africa resulted in marked and synchronous hydrological changes. However, the direction of response varies between different African lakes (low versus high lake-levels), indicating strong regional contrasts that prevent the clear identification of climate trends over eastern Africa at this time. Inferred changes in Masoko lake-levels closely resemble the record of solar activity cycles, indicating a possible control of solar activity on the climate in this area. This observation supports previous results from East African lakes, and extends this relationship southward. Finally, anthropogenic impact is observed in the Masoko sediments during the last 60 years, suggesting that human disturbance significantly affected this remote basin during colonial and post-colonial times.