Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 401–416 | Cite as

A diatom record of recent environmental change in Lake Duluti, northern Tanzania

  • Helena ÖbergEmail author
  • Thorbjørn J. Andersen
  • Lars-Ove Westerberg
  • Jan Risberg
  • Karin Holmgren
Original paper


Lake Duluti is a small, topographically closed crater lake located on the flanks of Mt Meru, northern Tanzania. Analyses of diatoms in three short sediment cores and four modern samples from Lake Duluti were used to infer past environmental changes. 210Pb and 137Cs activity profiles combined with AMS 14C dates provide the chronological framework. Weak agreement between the 210Pb and 14C records, together with dating uncertainty, precludes construction of precise age models. The modern diatom flora, from plankton and three periphytic habitats, is dominated by Aulacoseira ambigua (Grunow) Simonsen, Gomphonema parvulum (Kützing) Grunow and Nitzschia amphibia Grunow. All three cores display similar stratigraphic succession, but the relative ratio of habitats represented by the diatoms varies substantially between cores. Diatoms indicate that the oldest part of the record is characterized by relatively low lake level and swampy vegetation. In the late nineteenth or early twentieth century there was a rapid lake level rise and the swamp turned into an open-water lake. High lake levels have prevailed since that time.


Diatoms Crater lake Tanzania Lake level change 210Pb 



We thank Dr. Alfred Muzuka and his team from the Institute of Marine Science, University of Dar es Salaam, for the joint fieldwork. Fieldwork in Tanzania was kindly authorised by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), and was assisted by Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA). Field assistance was also provided by Dr. Maria Ryner, Olof Sveonni and Eva Svensson. Rainfall data were provided by the Tanzania Meteorological Agency. This project was financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), with additional funding from the Carl Mannerfelts Fond and The Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography (SSAG). Inga Labuhn helped draw Fig. 1. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for valuable and constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena Öberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thorbjørn J. Andersen
    • 2
  • Lars-Ove Westerberg
    • 1
  • Jan Risberg
    • 1
  • Karin Holmgren
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary GeologyBert Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Geography and GeologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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