Lothagam – a geologist’s wonderland
Lothagam- basaltic lava flows, lahars, faulting, volcanic ash, erosion, river channel deposits, muddy floodplains and ancient soils, lake deposits, shell beds, oyster reefs, more volcanic ash, more faults, more erosion, more deposition, and so much more!
Dylan’s gazes out of the lowry as we approach Lothagam.
Our hike begins.
First look at the Lothagam landscape.
Heading over the west ridge.
Dr. Feibel points out the Kerio River in the distance as we stand on top of lahar deposits from the Middle Miocene.
Rachel, Aileen, and Page pose for a picture with columnar basalts behind them.
Page and Jayde race up the sand dune. That was tiring!
The group takes a water break along the Lothagam fault.
Rock climbers, Anna and Rachel, scale the footwall of the Lothagam fault.
Professor Reynolds creates a sketch of the fault in Jayde’s notebook.
Lunch time braiding. Even Dylan is getting his hair braided.
Beginning our afternoon hike.
Check out those red beds!
Another view of those red beds.
Mike and Kate admire the erosion.
Dr. Feibel points out a Miocene tuff. The debris flow layer above contained car-sized rip-up clasts of the lower tuff.
Group wave at an outcrop.
Rachel, Jayde, and Larisa love Lothagam. They didn’t want to leave.
Kate and Page also pose for a picture in this beautiful place.
Dr. Feibel pauses to ask students to be careful in this area they will visit next- it is rich with Holocene artifacts and fossils.
Jayde smiles with a flake she found….but she put it back down where she found it.
Larisa examines the Middle Holocene stone pillar site.
Sam. There’s no mountain she can’t climb.
At the end of the day, Sam finds a hippo mandible.
Back to camp and time to roll out our sleeping mats and hang up our mosquito nets. Was a great first day!
Long hike to the waterhole.
Late Miocene casts of giraffe footprints.
Anna examines the footprints that originally occurred in the lower mudstone and had been filled in by the sandstone.
Jayde poses with a sandstone block that shows the giraffe had slid in the mud.
Dr. Feibel points out a fault in the area. This time the fault surface was beneath their feet.
It appears that Mike is teaching Kate how to use a camera.
Linda congratulates James on a good fossil find.
Jayde, Anna, and Sam pose with both sides of a rhino mandible.
Page also make a fossil discovery.
Holocene beach deposits. The white layers are shell beds.
Larisa at the top of the Holocene outcrop.
Anna finds a Holocene bone harpoon.
James also find a bone harpoon. It appears that humans were fishing in this area during the Holocene.
One of our camera men and expert fossil hunter, John Ekusi.
Jayde, Anna, and Rachel.
Aileen, Larisa, and Sam.
Aileen and Page are almost to the waterhole.
Kate looks down on the waterhole.
Dr. Feibel discusses the reason for the waterhole in this area and its use by the local Turkana. In addition, he sends them on their way back to camp.
Tired and hungry after that ~10 km+ hike!
Back at camp. Post lunch nap time before our ride back to TBI.
Overall we had a GREAT time at Lothagam. The Geology Module was such a busy/nonstop time of assignments, readings, lectures, and a lot of time in the field. All were sad that it ended so fast but looked forward to new adventures in the next module- Archaeology.