Skip to main content Accessibility help

Paleoevaporation and Paleoprecipitation in the Tanganyika Basin at 18,000 Years B.P. Inferred from Hydrologic and Vegetation Proxies

  • Laurent Bergonzini (a1), Francoise Chalié (a1) and Francoise Gasse (a1)


Paleo-hydrologic and -vegetation proxy data from the Tanganyika basin are integrated in energy and water balance equations to infer past evaporation and precipitation during the last glacial maximum (LGM). Our approach is first validated on the modern system. Large variations are assigned to input variables to simulate the interannual precipitation variability. Equations are then applied to the LGM. We first change those input parameters inferred from proxies (basin and lake surfaces, temperature, and land albedo). Our LGM simulation suggests (in percent of modern mean values) decreases in evaporation from the lake [El: −5% (between −13% and +3%)] and land [Ec: −8% (−19/+5)] bodies, in precipitation [P: −11% (−21/0)] and (P − Ec): −42% (−44/−40). Decreases in P and E are amplified [El: −8% (−16/0); Ec: −14% (−24/−2); P: −17% (−26/−6)] when including empirical changes in atmospheric transmission coefficient and Bowen ratio. Sensitivity runs suggest that even large changes in cloud cover and air humidity should not modify these trends. The results suggest that the Earth's glacial/interglacial boundary conditions play a significant role on climate of subequatorial southern Africa.



Hide All
Adams, L. J., Tetzlaff, G., 1985, The extension of lake Chad at about 18,000 yr B. P, Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie, 21, 115123.
Anderson, D. M., Webb, R. S., 1994, Ice-age tropics revisited, Nature, 367, 2324.
Benson, L. V., 1981, Paleoclimatic significance of lake-level fluctuations in the Lahontan basin, Quaternary Research, 16, 390403.
Berger, A., Loutre, M. F., 1991, Insolation values for the climate of the last 10 million years, Quaternary Science Reviews, 10, 297317.
Bergonzini, L., 1995, Les Écoulements de la Lukuga à l'Exutoire du Lac Tanganyika, Département de Géologie et Minéralogie, Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale. Tervuren, Rapport Annuel 1993–1994, 7989.
Bonnefille, R., Roeland, J. C., Guiot, J., 1990, Temperature and rainfall estimates for the past 40,000 years in Equatorial Africa, Nature, 346, 347349.
Bonnefille, R., Chalié, F., Guiot, J., Vincens, A., 1992, Quantitative estimates of full glacial temperatures in Equatorial Africa from palynological data, Climate Dynamics, 6, 251257.
Budyko, M. I., 1974, Climate and life, International Geophysics Series, Academic Press, New York, p. 508.
Bultot, F., 1962, Sur la détermination des moyennes mensuelles et annuelles de l'evaporation réelle et de l'ecoulement dans le Bassin congolais, Bulletin des séances de l'Académie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer Belge, 8, 816838.
Bultot, F., 1965, A propos de l'evaporation du lac Tanganyika, Bulletin des séances de l'Académie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer Belge, N°8, 12261241.
Bultot, F., 1976, Atlas climatique du bassin congolais 1, 2, 3, 4, Institut National pour l'Etude Agronomique du Congo, République Démocratique du Congo .
Bultot, F., 1993, Evaporation from a Tropical lake: Comparison of theory with direct measurements-comment, Journal of Hydrology, 143, 513519.
Capart, A., 1949, Sondage et carte bathymétrique. Exploration hydrobiologique du lac Tanganyika (1946–1947), Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, 2, 116.
Chalié, F., 1995, Paléoclimats du bassin Tanganyika Sud au cours des 25 derniers mille ans. Reconstitution quantitative par le traitement statistique des données polliniques, Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences (Paris), Series 2, 320, 205208.
Science, 241, 1988, 10431052.
Degens, E. T., Herzen, R. P., Wong, H. K., 1971, Lake Tanganyika: water chemistry, sediments, geological structure, Naturwissenshaften, 58, 229241.
Degens, E. T., Hecky, R. E., 1973, Palaeoclimatic reconstruction of late Pleistocene and Holocene based on biogenic sediments from the Black Sea and a tropical African lake, Colloques internationaux du CNRS, 219, 12.
Devroey, E., 1959, Annuaire hydrologique du Congo-belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, Mémoires de l'Académie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-mer, .
Gasse, F., Lédée, V., Massault, M., Fontes, J. -Ch., 1989, Water-level fluctuation of lake Tanganyika in phase with oceanic change during the last glaciation and deglaciation, Nature, 342, 5759.
Gillman, F. G., 1933, Hydrology of lake Tanganyika, Bulletin of Geological Survey, 127.
Griffiths, J. F., 1972, World Survey of Climatology 10, Climates of Africa, J. F. Griffiths Elsevier Publishing Company, p. 604.
Guiot, J., 1990, Methodology of the last climatic cycle reconstruction from pollen data, Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 80, 4969.
Haberyan, K. A., Hecky, R. E., 1987, The Late Pleistocene and Holocene stratigraphy and paleolimnology of Lakes Kivu and Tanganyika, Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 61, 169197.
Hastenrath, S. L., Kutzbach, J. E., 1983, Paleoclimate and water budget of East African lakes, Quaternary Research, 19, 141153.
Hastenrath, S. L., Kutzbach, J. E., 1984, Late Pleistocene climate and water budget of the South American Altiplano, Quaternary Research, 24, 249256.
Hillaire-Marcel, C., Aucour, A. M., Bonnefille, R., Riollet, G., Vincens, A., Williamson, D., 1989, 13 , Quaternary Science Reviews, 8, 207212.
Joussaume, S., 1993, Paleoclimatic Tracers: an investigation using an atmospheric General Circulation Model under Ice Age conditions. 1. Desert dust, Journal of Geophysical Research, 98, 27672805.
Joussaume, S., Taylor, K. E., 1995, Status of the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), WCPR Report, 92, 425430.
Kayinga, T., 1991, Observation of convective activity from satellite data over the lake Victoria region in April 1985, Veille climatique satellitaire, 37, 4455.
Kutzbach, J. E., 1980, Estimate of past climate at paleolake Chad, North Africa, based on a hydrological and energy balance model, Quaternary Research, 14, 210223.
Kutzbach, J. E., Street-Perrott, F. A., 1985, Milankovitch forcing of fluctuations in the level of tropical lakes from 18 to 0 kyr B.P, Nature, 317, 130134.
Kutzbach, J. E., Guetter, P. J., 1986, The influence of changing orbital parameters and surface boundary conditions on climate simulations for the past 18,000 years, Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 41, 17261759.
Lautenschlager, M., Herterich, K., 1990, Atmospheric response to ice-age conditions—climatology near the earth's surface, Journal of Geophysical Research, 95, 246258.
Livingstone, D. A., 1965, Sedimentation and the history of water level change in Lake Tanganyika, Limnology and Oceanography, 10, 607610.
Hydrological year-book, 1980, 364.
Rind, D., 1987, Components of the ice age circulation, Journal of Geophysical Research, 92, 42414281.
Scholz, C. A., Rosendahl, B. R., 1988, Low level stand in lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, East Africa, delineated with multifold seismic data, Science, 240, 16451648.
Stoffers, P., Hecky, R. E., 1978, Late Pleistocene-Holocene evolution of the Tanganyika basin, Spec. Publs. Int. Ass. Sediment., 2, 4355.
Street-Perrott, F. A., Marchand, D. S., Roberts, N., Harrison, S. P., 1989, Global lake-level variations from 18,000 to 0 years ago: A palaeoclimatic analysis, United States Department of Energy Eds., 1213.
Swain, A. M., Kutzbach, J. E., Hastenrath, S. L., 1982, Estimate of Holocene precipitation for Rajasthan, India, based on pollen and lake-level data, Quaternary Research, 19, 117.
Tiercelin, J. J., Scholz, C. A., Mondeguer, A., Rosendahl, B. R., Ravenne, C., 1989, Discontinuités sismiques et sédimentaires dans la série de remplissage du fossé du Tanganyika, rift Est-africain, Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences (Paris) Series 2, 309, 15991606.
Tiercelin, J. J., Soreghan, M., Cohen, A. S., Lezzar, K. E., Bouroullec, J. L., 1992, Sedimentation in large rift lakes: Example from the Middle Pleistocene-Modern deposits of the Tanganyika Trough, East African Rift system, Bull. Centres Rech. Explor.-Prod. Elf Aquitaine, 16, 83111.
Vincens, A., 1991, Late Quaternary vegetational history of the South-Tanganyika basin. Climatic implications in South-Central Africa, Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 86, 207226.
Vincens, A., Chalié, F., Bonnefille, R., Guiot, J., Tiercelin, J. -J., 1993, Pollen-derived rainfall and temperature estimates from lake Tanganyika and their implication for Late Pleistocene water levels, Quaternary Research, 40, 343350.
Voce, R. S., Schmoyer, R. L., Steurer, P. M., Peterson, T. C., Heim, R., Karl, T. R., Eischeid, J. K., The Global Historical Climatology Network: Long-Term Monthly Temperature, Precipitation, Sea Level Pressure, and Station Pressure Data, 1992, .
White, F., 1983, Nat. Resour. Res, The vegetation of Africa, 20, 356.
World Meteorological Organization United Nations Development Programme Hydrometeorological survey of the catchments of lakes Victoria, Kyoga and Albert, 14, 1974,

Paleoevaporation and Paleoprecipitation in the Tanganyika Basin at 18,000 Years B.P. Inferred from Hydrologic and Vegetation Proxies

  • Laurent Bergonzini (a1), Francoise Chalié (a1) and Francoise Gasse (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed