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Pleistocene Mountain Glaciation in Ethiopia

  • Stefan Hastenrath (a1)

Abstract

During a field survey in High Semyen, northern Ethiopia, two moraine complexes were mapped, the lower one extending down to around 3 750 m. Glacial morphology is best developed in the north-western and western quadrants. Moraines are deeply weathered and carry abundant vegetation. For Mounts Badda, Cilalo, Cacca and Enguolo in southern Ethiopia, possible moraines are inferred from air photographs; there are indications for more pronounced glaciation in the western quadrant, and moraines seem to extend further down than in High Semyen. Highest moraines at Mount Elgon in northern Kenya/ Uganda were found to below 3 600 m. Major moraine complexes in the mountains of Ethiopia and East Africa suggest some spatial correlation in elevation and appearance, but absolute dates are absent.

Résumé

Au cours d'une expédition dans le Haut Semyen, dans le Nord de l'Ethiopie, on a cartographie deux complexes morainiques, le plus bas descendant presque jusque vers 3 750 m d'altitude. La morphologie glaciaire est surtout développée dans les quadrants Nord-Ouest et Ouest. Les moraines sont profondément érodées et supportent une abondante végétation. Pour les monts Badda, Cilalo, Cacca et Enguolo, dans le Sud de l'Ethiopie, on déduit la possibilité de moraines à partir de photographie; aériennes; il y a des indices pour une glaciation plus prolongée dans le quadrant Ouest, les moraines semblent descendre plus bas que dans le Haut Semyen. Les moraines les plus basses au Mont Elgon dans le Nord du Kenya/Ouganda ont été trouvées jusqu'en dessous de 3 600 m. Les principaux complexes dans les montagnes d'Ethiopie et de l'Est Africain suggèrent une certaine corrélation spatiale entre l'altitude et leur apparition, mais on manque de datations absolues.

Zusammenfassung

Während einer Forschungsreise in Hoch-Semien, Nord-Äthiopien, wurden zwei Moränenkomplexe kartiert, deren tieferer sich bis auf etwa 3 750 m herab erstreckt. Glaziale Formen sind am besten in den nördlichen und westlichen Quadranten entwickelt. Die Moränen sind stark verwittert und tragen üppige Vegetation, Aus Luftbildern lassen sich mögliche Moränen an den Bergen Badda, Gilalo, Gacoa und Enguolo in Süd-Äthiopien feststellen: sie weisen auf eine ausgeprägtere Vergletscherung im westlichen Quadranten hin; die Moränen scheinen tiefer herabzureichen als in Hoch-Semien. Die tiefsten Moränen am Ml. Elgon in Nord-Kenia und -Uganda wurden unterhalb von 3 600 m gefunden. Grössere Moränenkomplexe in den Gebirgen von Äthiopien und Ostafrika lassen eine gewisse räumliche Korrelation in der Höhenlage und im Erscheinungsbild erkennen, doch fehlen absolute Daten.

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References

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Pleistocene Mountain Glaciation in Ethiopia

  • Stefan Hastenrath (a1)

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