Skip to main content

Dynamics of a Kalahari long-lived mega-lake system: hydromorphological and limnological changes in the Makgadikgadi Basin (Botswana) during the terminal 50 ka

Abstract

The Kalahari features a long-lived lacustrine system which may exist since the Early Pleistocene. The emergence of an extant cichlid fish radiation from this (palaeo-) lake during the Middle Pleistocene indicates an ancient lake character. The early history of the system remains speculative, but it is established that lake extensions matching modern Lake Victoria in size have occurred during the Late Pleistocene. It has been assumed that the hydrographical dynamics chiefly depended on the inflow from the Okavango River and thus on ITCZ-controlled precipitation. Our studies, which focused the hydromorphological and palaeolimnological development of the Makgadikgadi Basin during the last 50 ka, suggest that from c. 46–16 ka it did not receive water from the Okavango River but from palaeo-rivers located in the northern and south-western catchment. A northward shift of the winter rainfall zone during the Last Glacial Maximum sustained a high lake level for a period of c. 6 ka. During Heinrich Event 1 (17–16 ka) the lake probably desiccated abruptly and completely. Higher lake levels, controlled by water from the Okavango river system, were reached again during the Holocene before the lake dried up in the middle of the last millennium.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  • Andersson, C. J., 1857. Lake Ngami; or Explorations and Discoveries During Four Years’ Wanderings in the Wilds of South West Africa. Hurst and Blackett, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Andersson, L., T. Gumbricht, D. Hughes, D. Kniveton, S. Ringrose, H. Savenije, M. Todd, J. Wilk & P. Wolski, 2003. Water flow dynamics in the Okavango River Basin and Delta: a prerequisite for the ecosystems of the Delta. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 28: 1165–1172.

    Google Scholar 

  • Appleton, C. C., 2002. Mollusca. In de Moor, I. J. & J. A. Day (eds), Guides to the Freshwater Invertebrates of Southern Africa, Vol. 6., Arachnida and Mollusca. Water Research Commission, Pretoria: 42–125.

  • Baillieul, T. A., 1975. A reconnaissance survey of the cover sands in the Republic of Botswana. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 45: 494–503.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baillieul, T. A., 1979. Makgadikgadi pans complex of central Botswana: summary. Geological Society of America Bulletin, Part 1, 90: 133–136.

  • Barker, P. A., M. J. Leng, F. Gasse & Y. S. Huang, 2007. Century-to-millennial scale climatic variability in Lake Malawi revealed by isotope records. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 261: 93–103.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Battarbee, W., V. J. Jones, R. J. Flower, N. G. Cameron, H. Bennion, L. Carvalho & S. Juggins, 2001. Diatoms. In Smol, J. P., et al. (eds), Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments, Vol. 3. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht: 155–202.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bolaji, D. A., C. A. Edokpayi, O. B. Samuel, R. O. Akinnigbagbe & A. A. Ajulo, 2011. Morphological characteristics and salinity tolerance of Melanoides tuberculatus (Muller, 1774). World Journal of Biological Research 4(2): 1–11.

    Google Scholar 

  • Breyer, B., 1982. Reconnaissance geomorphological terrain classification, lower Boteti region, northern Botswana. ITC Journal 1982–3: 317–323.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brook, G. A., P. Srivastava & E. Marais, 2006. Characteristics and OSL minimum ages of relict fluvial deposits near Sossus Vlei, Tsauchab River, Namibia, and a regional climate record for the last 30 ka. Journal of Quaternary Science 21: 347–362.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brook, G. A., E. Marais, P. Srivastava & T. Jordan, 2007. Timing of lake-level changes in Etosha Pan, Namibia, since the middle Holocene from OSL ages of relict shorelines in the Okondeka region. Quaternary International 175: 29–40.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brook, G. A., L. Scott, L. B. Railsback & E. A. Goddard, 2010. A 35 ka pollen and isotope record of environmental change along the southern margin of the Kalahari from a stalagmite and animal dung deposits in Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 74: 870–884.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brook, G. A., L. B. Railsback & E. Marais, 2011. Reassessment of carbonate ages by dating both carbonate and organic material from Etosha Pan (Namibia) stromatolite: evidence of humid phases during the last 20 ka. Quaternary International 229: 24–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, D., 1994. Freshwater Snails of Africa and Their Medical Importance. Taylor and Francis, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burney, D. A., G. A. Brook & J. B. Cowart, 1994. A Holocene pollen record for the Kalahari Desert of Botswana from U-series dated speleothem. The Holocene 4: 225–232.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burrough, S. L. & D. S. G. Thomas, 2008. Late Quaternary lake level fluctuations in the Mababe Depression: middle Kalahari palaeolakes and the role of Zambezi inflows. Quaternary Research 69: 388–403.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burrough, S. L., D. S. G. Thomas, P. A. Shaw & R. M. Bailey, 2007. Multiphase Quaternary highstands at Lake Ngami, Kalahari, northern Botswana. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 253: 280–299.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burrough, S. L., D. S. G. Thomas & R. M. Bailey, 2009a. Mega-Lake in the Kalahari: a late Pleistocene record of the Palaeolake Makgadikgadi system. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 1392–1411.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burrough, S. L., D. S. G. Thomas & J. S. Singarayer, 2009b. Late Quaternary hydrological dynamics in the Middle Kalahari: forcing and feedbacks. Earth-Science Reviews 96: 313–326.

    Google Scholar 

  • Butzer, K. W., 1984. Late Quaternary environments in South Africa. In Vogel, J. (ed.), Late Cainozoic Palaeoclimates of the Southern Hemisphere. Balkema, Rotterdam: 1–64.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carney, J. N., D. T. Aldiss & N. P. Lock, 1994. The Geology of Botswana. Geological Survey Department Botswana Bulletin 37: 1–113.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carr, A. S., D. S. G. Thomas, M. D. Batema, M. E. Meadows & B. Chase, 2006. Late Quaternary palaeoenvironments of the winter-rainfall zone of southern Africa: palynological and sedimentological evidence from the Agulhas Plain. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 239: 147–165.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chase, B. M. & M. E. Meadows, 2007. Late Quaternary dynamics of southern Africa’s winter rainfall zone. Earth-Science Reviews 84: 103–138.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chase, B. M. & S. Brewer, 2009. Last Glacial Maximum dune activity in the Kalahari desert of southern Africa: observations and simulations. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 301–307.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chase, B. M., M. E. Meadows, A. S. Carr & P. J. Reimer, 2010. Evidence for progressive Holocene aridification in southern Africa recorded in Namibian hyrax middens: implications for African Monsoon dynamics and the “African Humid Period”. Quaternary Research 74: 36–45.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chase, B. M., L. Scott, M. E. Meadows, G. Gil-Romera, A. Boom, A. S. Carr, P. J. Reimer, L. Truc, V. Valsecchi & L. J. Quick, 2012. Rock hyrax middens: a palaeoenvironmental archive for southern African drylands. Quaternary Science Reviews 56: 107–125.

    Google Scholar 

  • Connelly, R. J. & J. Gibson, 1985. Dewatering of the open pits at Lethlakane and Orapa diamond mines, Botswana. International Journal of Mine Water 4: 25–41.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cooke, H. J., 1979. The origin of the Makgadikgadi Pans. Botswana Notes and Records 11: 37–42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cooke, H. J., 1980. Landform evolution in the context of climatic change and neo-tectonism in the Middle Kalahari of north-central Botswana. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 5: 80–99.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cooke, H. J. & H. T. Verstappen, 1984. The landforms of the western Makgadikgadi basin in northern Botswana, with consideration of the chronology of the evolution of Lake Palaeo-Makgadikgadi. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 28: 1–19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cordier, S., D. Harmand, T. Lauer, P. Voinchet, J. J. Bahain & M. Frechen, 2012. Geochronological reconstruction of the Pleistocene evolution of the Sarre valley (France and Germany) using OSL and ESR dating techniques. Geomorphology 165–166: 91–106.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dupont, L. M., H. Behling & J. Kim, 2008. Thirty thousand years of vegetation development and climate change in Angola (Ocean Drilling Program Site 1078). Climate of the Past Discussions 4: 111–147.

    Google Scholar 

  • Du Toit, A. L., 1933. Crustal movement as a factor in the geographical evolution of South Africa. South African Geographical Journal 16: 3–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dziewonski, A. M. & D. L. Anderson, 1981. Preliminary reference Earth model. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 25: 297–356.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ebert, J. I. & R. K. Hitchcock, 1978. Ancient lake Makgadikgadi, Botswana: mapping, measurement and palaeoclimatic significance. Palaeoecology of Africa 10: 47–56.

    Google Scholar 

  • Eckardt, F. D., R. G. Bryant, G. McCulloch, B. Spiro & W. W. Wood, 2008. The hydrochemistry of a semi-arid pan basin case study: Sua Pan, Makgadikgadi, Botswana. Applied Geochemistry 23: 1563–1580.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • ESRI Inc., 2010. ArcGIS Desktop 10. ESRI Inc., Redlands.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fontes, J. C., F. Gasse & E. Gibert, 1996. Holocene environmental changes in Lake Bangong basin (Western Tibet). Part 1: chronology and stable isotopes of carbonates of a Holocene lacustrine core. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 120: 25–47.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gasse, F., 2000. Hydrological changes in the African tropics since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 19: 189–211.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gasse, F., F. Chalié, A. Vincens, M. A. J. Williams & D. Williamson, 2008. Climatic patterns in equatorial and southern Africa from 30,000 to 10,000 years ago reconstructed from terrestrial and near-shore proxy data. Quaternary Science Reviews 27: 2316–2340.

    Google Scholar 

  • Genner, M. J., O. Seehausen, D. H. Lunt, D. A. Joyce, P. W. Shaw, G. R. Carvalho & G. F. Turner, 2007. Age of cichlids: new dates for ancient fish radiations. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24: 1269–1282.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Grey, D. R. C. & H. J. Cooke, 1977. Some problems in the Quaternary evolution of the landforms of northern Botswana. Catena 4: 123–133.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grove, A. T., 1969. Landforms and climatic change in the Kalahari and Ngamiland. The Geographical Journal 135: 191–212.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gumbricht, T., T. S. McCarthy & C. L. Merry, 2001. The topography of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and its tectonic and sedimentological implications. South African Journal of Geology 104: 243–264.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haddon, I. & T. McCarthy, 2005. The Mesozoic–Cenozoic interior sag basins of Central Africa: The Late-Cretaceous–Cenozoic Kalahari and Okavango basins. Journal of African Earth Sciences 43: 316–333.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heine, K., 1978. Radiocarbon chronology of late Quaternary lakes in the Kalahari, southern Africa. Catena 5: 145–149.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Heine, K., 1981. Aride und pluviale Bedingungen während der letzten Kaltzeit in der Südwest-Kalahari (südliches Afrika). Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Neue Folge, Supplementband 38: 1–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heine, K., 1982. The main stages of late Quaternary evolution of the Kalahari region, southern Africa. Palaeoecology of Africa 15: 53–76.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heine, K., 1987. Zum Alter jungquartärer Seespiegelschwankungen in der Mittleren Kalahari, südliches Afrika. Palaeoecology of Africa 18: 73–101.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heine, K., 1988. Southern African palaeoclimates 35–25 ka ago: a preliminary summary. Palaeoecology of Africa 19: 305–315.

    Google Scholar 

  • Helgren, D. M., 1984. Historical geomorphology and geoarchaeology in the southwestern Makgadikgadi Basin, Botswana. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 74: 298–307.

    Google Scholar 

  • Helgren, D. M. & A. S. Brooks, 1983. Geoarchaeology at Gi, a Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age Site in the Northwest Kalahari. Journal of Archaeological Science 10: 181–197.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hibbitt, D., B. Karlsson & P. Sorensen, 2005. Getting started with ABAQUS-Version (6.5). Hibbitt, Karlsson & Sorensen, Inc.

  • Holmgren, K., S. E. Lauritzen & G. Possnert, 1994. 230Th/234U and 14C dating of a late Pleistocene stalagmite in Lobatse II Cave, Botswana. Quaternary Geochronology 13: 111–119.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holmgren, K., W. Karlén, S. E. Lauritzen, J. A. Lee-Thorp, T. C. Partridge, S. Piketh, P. Repinski, C. Stevenson, O. Svanered & P. D. Tyson, 1999. A 3000-year high-resolution stalagmite-based record of palaeoclimate for northeastern South Africa. The Holocene 9: 295–309.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holmgren, K., J. A. Lee-Thorp, G. R. J. Cooper, K. Lundblad, T. C. Partridge, L. Scott, R. Sithaldeen, A. S. Talma & P. D. Tyson, 2003. Persistent millennial-scale climatic variability over the past 25,000 years in southern Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 22: 2311–2326.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holzkämper, S., K. Holmgren, J. Lee-Thorp, S. Talma, A. Mangini & T. Partridge, 2009. Late Pleistocene stalagmite growth in Wolkberg Cave, South Africa. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 282: 212–221.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hughes, D. A., 2006. Comparison of satellite rainfall data with observations from gauging station networks. Journal of Hydrology 327: 399–410.

    Google Scholar 

  • Huntsman-Mapila, P., S. Ringrose, A. W. Mackay, W. S. Downey, M. Modisi, S. H. Coetzee, J. Tiercelin, A. B. Kampunzu & C. Vanderpost, 2006. Use of the geochemical and biological sedimentary record in establishing palaeo-environments and climate change in the Lake Ngami basin, NW Botswana. Quaternary International 148: 51–64.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hürkamp, K., J. Völkel, K. Heine, O. Bens, M. Leopold & J. Winkelbauer, 2011. Late Quaternary environmental changes from aeolian and fluvial geoarchives in the southwestern Kalahari, South Africa: implications for past African climate dynamics. South African Journal of Geology 114: 459–474.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jarvis, A., H. I. Reuter, A. Nelson & E. Guevara, 2008. Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4. International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org.

  • Joyce, D. A., D. H. Lunt, R. Bills, G. F. Turner, C. Katongo, N. Duftner, C. Sturmbauer & O. Seehausen, 2005. An extant cichlid fish radiation emerged in an extinct Pleistocene lake. Nature 435: 90–95.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kampata, J. M., B. P. Parida & D. B. Moalafhi, 2008. Trend analysis of rainfall in the headstreams of the Zambezi River Basin in Zambia. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 33: 621–625.

    Google Scholar 

  • Key, R. M. & N. Ayres, 2000. The 1998 edition of the National Geological Map of Botswana. Journal of African Earth Sciences 30: 427–451.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kinabo, B. D., E. A. Atekwana, J. P. Hogan, M. P. Modisi, D. D. Wheaton & A. B. Kampunzu, 2007. Early structural development of the Okavango rift zone, NW Botswana. Journal of African Earth Sciences 48: 125–136.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kinabo, B. D., J. P. Hogan, E. A. Atekwana, M. G. Abdelsalam & M. P. Modisi, 2008. Fault growth and propagation during incipient continental rifting: insights from a combined aeromagnetic and Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission digital elevation model investigation of the Okavango Rift Zone, northwest Botswana. Tectonics 27: 1–16.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kottek, M., J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf & F. Rubel, 2006. World Map of Köppen–Geiger climate classification updated. Meteorologische Zeitschrift 15: 259–263.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kristen, I., A. Fuhrmann, J. Thorpe, U. Röhl, H. Wilkes & H. Oberhänsli, 2007. Hydrological changes in southern Africa over the last 200 kyr as recorded in lake sediments from the Tswaing impact crater. South African Journal of Geology 110: 311–326.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lancaster, N., 1989. Late Quaternary palaeoenvironments of the southwestern Kalahari. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 70: 367–376.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lee-Thorp, J. A. & P. B. Beaumont, 1995. Vegetation and seasonality shifts during the late Quaternary deduced from 13C/12C ratios of grazers at Equus Cave, South Africa. Quaternary Research 43: 426–432.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lionjanga, A. V., T. Toole & P. A. K. Greening, 1987. The use of calcrete in paved roads in Botswana. In Akinmusuru, J. O., et al. (eds), Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering: Ninth Regional Conference for Africa, Lagos, September 1987, Vol. 1. Balkema, Rotterdam: 489–502.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lister, L. A., 1979. The geomorphic evolution of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Transactions of the Geological Society of South Africa 82: 363–370.

    Google Scholar 

  • Livingstone, D., 1857. Missionary travels and researches in South Africa. Salzwasser Verlag, Bremen, 2010 (reprint of original).

  • Mallick, D. I. J., F. Habgood & A. C. Skinner, 1981. A geological interpretation of Landsat imagery and air photography of Botswana. Overseas Geology and Mineral Resources 56: 1–35.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mazvimavi, D. & P. Wolski, 2006. Long-term variations of annual flows of the Okavango and Zambezi Rivers. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 31: 944–951.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCarthy, T. S., R. W. Green & N. J. Franey, 1993. The influence of neo-tectonics on water dispersal in the northeastern regions of the Okavango swamps, Botswana. Journal of African Earth Sciences 17: 23–32.

    Google Scholar 

  • McFarlane, M. J. & F. D. Eckardt, 2006. Lake Deception: a new Makgadikgadi palaeolake. Botswana Notes & Records 38: 195–201.

    Google Scholar 

  • McHugh, M. & J. C. Rogers, 2001. North Atlantic Oscillation influence on precipitation variability around the Southeast African Convergence Zone. Journal of Climate 14: 3631–3642.

    Google Scholar 

  • McSweeney, C., M. New & G. Lizcano, 2008a. Angola. UNDP Climate Change Country Profiles. http://country-profiles.geog.ox.ac.uk.

  • McSweeney, C., M. New & G. Lizcano, 2008b. Zambia. UNDP Climate Change Country Profiles. http://country-profiles.geog.ox.ac.uk.

  • Modisi, M. P., 2000. Fault system at the southwestern boundary of the Okavango Rift, Botswana. Journal of African Earth Sciences 30: 569–578.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moore, A. & F. Cotterill, 2010. Victoria Falls: Mosi-oa-Tunya – The Smoke That Thunders. In Migoń, P. (ed.), Geomorphological Landscapes of the World. Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Dordrecht: 143–153.

  • Moore, A. E., F. P. D. Cotterill & F. D. Eckardt, 2012. The evolution and ages of Makgadikgadi palaeo-lakes: consilient evidence from Kalahari drainage evolution, Botswana. South African Journal of Geology 115: 385–413.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morton, B., 1986. Corbicula in Asia: an updated synthesis. American Malacological Bulletin Special Edition 2: 113–124.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morton, B. & K. Y. Tong, 1985. The salinity tolerance of Corbicula fluminea (Bivalvia: Corbiculidae) from Hong Kong. Malacological Review 18: 91–95.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nash, D. J. & G. H. Endfield, 2008. “Splendid rains have fallen”: links between El Niño and rainfall variability in the Kalahari, 1840–1900. Climatic Change 86: 257–290.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nash, D. J. & S. J. McLaren, 2003. Kalahari valley calcretes: their nature, origins, and environmental significance. Quaternary International 111: 3–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nash, D. J., P. A. Shaw & D. S. G. Thomas, 1994. Duricrust development and valley evolution: process-landform links in the Kalahari. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 19: 299–317.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nash, D. J., M. E. Meadows & V. L. Gulliver, 2006. Holocene environmental change in the Okavango Panhandle, northwest Botswana. Quaternary Science Reviews 25: 1302–1322.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicholson, S. E., 1996. A review of climate dynamics and climate variability in Eastern Africa. In Johnson, T. C. & E. O. Odada (eds), The Limnology, Climatology and Paleoclimatology of the East African Lakes. Gordon and Breach, Amsterdam: 25–56.

    Google Scholar 

  • Norström, E., L. Scott, T. C. Partridge, J. Risberg & K. Holmgren, 2009. Reconstruction of environmental and climate changes at Braamhoek wetland, eastern escarpment South Africa, during the last 16,000 years with emphasis on the Pleistocene–Holocene transition. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 271: 240–258.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nugent, C., 1990. The Zambezi River: tectonism, climatic change and drainage evolution. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 78: 55–69.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nugent, C., 1992. The Zambezi River: tectonism, climatic change and drainage evolution: reply to discussion. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 91: 178–182.

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Connor, P. W. & D. S. G. Thomas, 1999. The timing and environmental significance of late Quaternary linear dune development in western Zambia. Quaternary Research 52: 44–55.

    Google Scholar 

  • Partridge, T. C. & L. Scott, 2000. Lakes and Pans. In Partridge, T. C. & R. R. Maud (eds), The Cenozoic of Southern Africa. Oxford University Press, New York: 145–161.

    Google Scholar 

  • Partridge, T. C., P. B. DeMenocal, S. A. Lorentz, M. J. Paiker & J. C. Vogel, 1997. Orbital forcing of climate over southern Africa: a 200,000-year rainfall record from the Pretoria saltpan. Quaternary Science Reviews 16: 1125–1133.

    Google Scholar 

  • Partridge, T. C., L. Scott & R. R. Schneider, 2004. Between Agulhas and Benguela: responses of southern African climates of the late Pleistocene to current fluxes, orbital precession and the extent of the Circum-Antarctic Vortex. In Battarbee, R. W., et al. (eds), Past Climate Variability Through Europe and Africa 6. Springer, Dordrecht: 45–68.

    Google Scholar 

  • Passarge, S., 1904. Die Kalahari. Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peel, M. C., B. L. Finlayson & T. A. McMahon, 2007. Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions 4: 439–473.

    Google Scholar 

  • Piscart, C., J. C. Moreteau & J. N. Beisel, 2005. Biodiversity and structure of macroinvertebrate communities along a small permanent salinity gradient (Meurthe River, France). Hydrobiologia 551: 227–236.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rautenbach, C. J. & I. N. Smith, 2001. Teleconnections between global sea-surface temperatures and the interannual variability of observed and model simulated rainfall over southern Africa. Journal of Hydrology 254: 1–15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reeves, C. V., 1972. Rifting in the Kalahari? Nature 237: 95–96.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reuter, H. I., A. Nelson & A. Jarvis, 2007. An evaluation of void-filling interpolation methods for SRTM data. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 21: 983–1008.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riedel, F., T. von Rintelen, S. Erhardt & A. Kossler, 2009. A fossil Potadoma (Gastropoda: Pachychilidae) from Pleistocene central Kalahari fluvio-lacustrine sediments. Hydrobiologia 636: 493–498.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riedel, F., S. Erhardt, C. Chauke, A. Kossler, E. Shemang & P. Tarasov, 2012. Evidence for a permanent lake in Sua Pan (Kalahari, Botswana) during the early centuries of the last millennium indicated by distribution of Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata) on “Kubu Island”. Quaternary International 253: 67–73.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ringrose, S., B. Downey, D. Genecke, F. Sefe & B. Vink, 1999. Nature of calcareous deposits in the western Makgadikgadi basin, Botswana. Journal of Arid Environments 43: 375–397.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ringrose, S., P. Huntsman-Mapila, A. B. Kampunzu, W. Downey, S. Coetzee, B. Vink, W. Matheson & C. Vanderpost, 2005. Sedimentological and geochemical evidence for palaeo-environmental change in the Makgadikgadi subbasin, in relation to the MOZ rift depression, Botswana. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 217: 265–287.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ringrose, S., P. Huntsman-Mapila, W. Downey, S. Coetzee, M. Fey, C. Vanderpost, B. Vink, T. Kemosidile & D. Kolokose, 2008. Diagenesis in Okavango fan and adjacent dune deposits with implications for the record of palaeo-environmental change in Makgadikgadi–Okavango–Zambezi basin, northern Botswana. Geomorphology 101: 544–557.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ringrose, S., C. Harris, P. Huntsman-Mapila, B. W. Vink, S. Diskins, C. Vanderpost & W. Matheson, 2009. Origins of strandline duricrusts around the Makgadikgadi Pans (Botswana Kalahari) as deduced from their chemical and isotope composition. Sedimentary Geology 219: 262–279.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Robbins, L. H., M. L. Murphy, N. J. Stevens, G. A. Brook, A. H. Ivester, K. A. Haberyan, R. G. Klein, R. Milo, K. M. Stewart, D. G. Matthiesen & A. J. Winkler, 1996. Paleoenvironment and archaeology of Drotsky’s Cave: Western Kalahari Desert, Botswana. Journal of Archaeological Science 23: 7–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robbins, L. H., M. L. Murphy, A. C. Campbell, G. A. Brook, D. M. Reid, K. A. Haberyan & W. S. Downey, 1998. Test excavations and reconnaissance palaeoenvironmental work at Toteng, Botswana. South African Archaeological Bulletin 53: 125–132.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rodríguez-Fonseca, B. & J. A. Xavier, 2009. Angola rainfall reconstruction and rainfall variability during the war period: 1979–2003. Física de la Terra 21: 191–205.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmidt, M., A. C. G. Henderson, A. Kossler, M. Fuchs, E. Shemang & F. Riedel, 2012. Diatom evidence for a MIS 5 megalake high stand in the Kalahari (Botswana). Abstracts 12th International Paleolimnology Symposium, Glasgow SECC 21–24 August, 2012, S13-P-07.

  • Scholz, C. H., T. A. Koczynski & D. G. Hutchins, 1976. Evidence for incipient rifting in southern Africa. Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 44: 135–144.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A., 1985a. Late Quaternary landforms and environmental change in northwest Botswana: the evidence of Lake Ngami and the Mababe depression. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 10: 333–346.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P., 1985b. The desiccation of Lake Ngami: an historical perspective. The Geographical Journal 151: 318–326.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A. & H. J. Cooke, 1986. Geomorphic evidence for the late Quaternary palaeoclimates of the middle Kalahari of northern Botswana. Catena 13: 349–359.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A., 1988. After the flood: the fluvio-lacustrine landforms of northern Botswana. Earth-Science Reviews 25: 449–456.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A. & D. S. G. Thomas, 1988. Lake Caprivi: a late Quaternary link between the Zambezi and middle Kalahari drainage systems. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Neue Folge 32: 329–337.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A. & D. S. G. Thomas, 1992. Geomorphology, sedimentation, and tectonics in the Kalahari Rift. Israel Journal of Earth Sciences 41: 87–94.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A., H. J. Cooke & D. S. G. Thomas, 1988. Recent advances in the study of Quaternary landforms in Botswana. Palaeoecology of Africa 19: 15–25.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A., D. S. G. Thomas & D. J. Nash, 1992. Late Quaternary fluvial activity in the dry valleys (mekgacha) of the Middle and Southern Kalahari, southern Africa. Journal of Quaternary Science 7: 273–281.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A., M. D. Bateman, D. S. G. Thomas & F. Davies, 2003. Holocene fluctuations of Lake Ngami, Middle Kalahari: chronology and responses to climatic change. Quaternary International 111: 23–35.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, P. A., S. Stokes, D. S. G. Thomas, F. B. M. Davies & K. Holmgren, 1997. Palaeoecology and age of a Quaternary high lake level in the Makgadikgadi Basin of the Middle Kalahari, Botswana. South African Journal of Science 93: 273–276.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Shemang, E. M. & L. N. Molwalefhe, 2011. Geomorphic landforms and tectonism along the eastern margin of the Okavango Rift Zone, north western Botswana as deduced from geophysical data in the area. In Sharkov, E.V. (ed.), New frontiers in tectonic research: General problems, sedimentary basins and island arcs. InTech, Rijeka: 169–182.

  • Shi, N., L. M. Dupont, H. Beug & R. Schneider, 2000. Correlation between vegetation in southwestern Africa and oceanic upwelling in the past 21,000 years. Quaternary Research 54: 72–80.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shi, N., R. Schneider, H. Beug & L. M. Dupont, 2001. Southeast trade wind variations during the last 135 kyr: evidence from pollen spectra in eastern South Atlantic sediments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 187: 311–321.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Stager, J. C., D. B. Ryves, B. M. Chase & F. S. R. Pausata, 2011. Catastrophic drought in the Afro-Asian monsoon region during Heinrich Event 1. Science 331: 1299–1302.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Steffen, H. & G. Kaufmann, 2006. Numerical modelling of deformation changes induced by lake-level fluctuations of the Hohenwarte reservoir, Thuringia, Germany. Journal of Geodynamics 41: 411–421.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stokes, S., D. S. G. Thomas & R. Washington, 1997. Multiple episodes of aridity in southern Africa since the last interglacial period. Nature 388: 154–158.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Stokes, S., G. Haynes, D. S. G. Thomas, J. L. Horrocks, M. Higginson & M. Malifa, 1998. Punctuated aridity in southern Africa during the last glacial cycle: the chronology of linear dune construction in the northeastern Kalahari. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 137: 305–322.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stone, A. E. C., D. S. G. Thomas & H. A. Vlies, 2010. Late Quaternary palaeohydrological changes in the northern Namib Sand Sea: new chronologies using OSL dating of interdigitated aeolian and water-lain interdune deposits. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 288: 35–53.

    Google Scholar 

  • Street, F. A. & A. T. Grove, 1976. Environmental and climatic implications of late Quaternary lake-level fluctuations in Africa. Nature 261: 385–390.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stuut, J. B. W. & F. Lamy, 2004. Climate variability at the southern boundaries of the Namib (southwestern Africa) and Atacama (northern Chile) coastal deserts during the last 120,000 yr. Quaternary Research 62: 301–309.

    Google Scholar 

  • Talma, A. S. & J. C. Vogel, 1992. Late Quaternary paleotemperatures derived from a speleothem from Cango Caves, Cape Province, South Africa. Quaternary Research 37: 203–213.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, D. S. G. & P. A. Shaw, 1991. The Kalahari environment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

  • Thomas, D. S. G. & P. A. Shaw, 1992. The Zambezi River: tectonism, climatic change and drainage evolution: is there really evidence for a catastrophic flood? A discussion. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 91: 175–178.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, D. S. G. & P. A. Shaw, 2002. Late Quaternary environmental change in central southern Africa: new data, synthesis, issues and prospects. Quaternary Science Reviews 21: 783–797.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, D. S. G., R. Bailey, P. A. Shaw, J. A. Durcan & J. S. Singarayer, 2009. Late Quaternary highstands at Lake Chilwa, Malawi: frequency, timing and possible forcing mechanisms in the last 44 ka. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 526–539.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, D. S. G., P. W. O’Connor, M. D. Bateman, P. A. Shaw, S. Stokes & D. J. Nash, 2000. Dune activity as a record of Late Quaternary aridity in the Northern Kalahari: new evidence from northern Namibia interpreted in the context of regional arid and humid chronologies. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 156: 243–259.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, D. S. G., G. Brook, P. A. Shaw, M. D. Bateman, K. Haberyan, C. Appleton, D. Nash, S. McLaren & F. Davies, 2003. Late Pleistocene wetting and drying in the NW Kalahari: an integrated study from the Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. Quaternary International 104: 53–67.

    Google Scholar 

  • United Nations, 2000. Map no. 4032.

  • Van Zinderen Bakker, E. M., 1976. The evolution of Late-Quaternary palaeoclimates of southern Africa. Palaeoecology of Africa 9: 160–202.

    Google Scholar 

  • Verschuren, D., J. S. Sinninghe Damsté, J. Moernaut, I. Kristen, M. Blaauw, M. Fagot, G. H. Haug & CHALLACEA project members, 2009. Half-precessional dynamics of monsoon rainfall near the East African Equator. Nature 462: 637–641.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Vogel, J. C., 1982. The age of the Kuiseb River silt terrace at Homeb. Palaeoecology of Africa 15: 201–209.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wanke, H., 2005. The Namibian Eiseb Graben as an extension of the East African Rift: evidence from Landsat TM 5 imagery. South African Journal of Geology 108: 541–546.

    Google Scholar 

  • White, K. & F. Eckardt, 2006. Geochemical mapping of carbonate sediments in the Makgadikgadi basin, Botswana, using moderate resolution remote sensing data. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 31: 665–681.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wilk, J., D. Kniveton, L. Andersson, R. Layberry, M. C. Todd, D. Hughes, S. Ringrose & C. Vanderpost, 2006. Estimating rainfall and water balance over the Okavango River Basin for hydrological applications. Journal of Hydrology 331: 18–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilson, B. H. & T. Dincer, 1976. An introduction to the hydrology and hydrography of the Okavango Delta. In Proceedings of the symposium on the Okavango Delta and its future utilization. Botswana Society, Gaborone: 33–48.

  • Woltering, M., T. C. Johnson, J. P. Werne, S. Schouten & J. S. Sinninghe Damsté, 2011. Late Pleistocene temperature history of Southeast Africa: a TEX86 temperature record from Lake Malawi. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 303: 93–102.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wu, Y. H., S. J. Li, A. Lücke, B. Wünnemann, L. P. Zhou & P. Reimer, 2010. Lacustrine radiocarbon reservoir ages in Co Ngoin and Zigê Tangco, central Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary International 212: 21–25.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wünnemann, B., D. Demske, P. Tarasov, B. S. Kotlia, C. Reinhardt, J. Bloemendal, B. Diekmann, K. Hartmann, J. Krois, F. Riedel & N. Arya, 2010. Hydrological evolution during the last 15 kyr in the Tso Kar lake basin (Ladakh, India), derived from geomorphological, sedimentological and palynological records. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 1138–1155.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We appreciate the field assistance of Kai Hartmann, Mareike Schmidt, Caroline Seidig, Franziska Slotta, Imke Steinmöller and Shuping Zhang (all FU Berlin, Germany). Sebastian Erhardt (Imperial College, London, UK) conducted D-GPS measurements in 2007 and 2008. Michael Taft (Abenden, Germany) arranged the aerial survey of the Middle Kalahari in 2011. Many thanks go to Klaus Heine (University of Regensburg, Germany) for sharing information on the Makgadikgadi Basin and to Tomasz Goslar (Poznań Radiocarbon Laboratory, Poland) for calculating radiocarbon dates of modern shells in respect of hard water effect. Maike Glos (FU Berlin) processed sediment samples and Jan Evers (FU Berlin) improved Figs. 3 and 4. We are grateful to many helpful people in Botswana providing particular information, to the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water of Botswana for granting a research permit, and to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for financial support.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Frank Riedel.

Additional information

Guest editors: T. von Rintelen, R.M. Marwoto, G.D. Haffner & F. Herder / Speciation in Ancient Lakes – Classic Concepts and New Approaches

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Riedel, F., Henderson, A.C.G., Heußner, KU. et al. Dynamics of a Kalahari long-lived mega-lake system: hydromorphological and limnological changes in the Makgadikgadi Basin (Botswana) during the terminal 50 ka. Hydrobiologia 739, 25–53 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-013-1647-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-013-1647-x

Keywords

  • Southern hemisphere
  • Kalahari Desert
  • Long-lived lacustrine system
  • Basin geomorphology
  • Palaeolimnology
  • Palaeolake modelling