, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 319-330

Preliminary evidence of environmental changes at Lake Bambili (Cameroon, West Africa) since 24,000 BP

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Abstract

Preliminary analyses of diatoms, phytoliths, and siliceous protozoan plate records in a 16 m sediment core from Lake Bambili (Cameroon, West Africa; 2264 m AMSL) provide evidence of pronounced climatic changes in the West Cameroon Highlands since ~24,000 14 C yrs BP. Percentages of planktonic diatoms rose with increased precipitation:evaporation ratios around 24,000 BP, ~15,000-9500 BP, and ~2400-2000 BP. Since 15,000 BP, Bambili appears to have experienced climatic changes of comparable timing and magnitude, but with signs in opposition to those registered in the West African lowlands. Much of this pattern may be attributable to variability in montane stratiform cloud formation, which in turn is related to paleo-wind regimes and upwelling dynamics in the Gulf of Guinea.