Plio–Pleistocene lacustrine and fluvial sediments of the Koobi Fora Formation along the east shore of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya (see Fig. 1) and thicker fluvial sediments of the Shungura Formation in the Lower Omo River Basin 100 km to the north have become widely recognised because of their rich hominid and artefact assemblages, together with associated vertebrate fauna1–3. Over the past decade, tuffaceous horizons within these two sedimentary formations have been mapped4,5 and dated by K–Ar6–11 and fission-track techniques12 to provide chronologic control supporting studies of hominid and faunal evolution and archaeology. We report here new 40K–40Ar dates and revised values for previously published dates which give a mean age of 1.8±0.1 Myr for the KBS Tuff. This estimate suggests contemporaneity between the KBS Tuff and Tuff Units H2 and H4 in the Shungura Formation, lower Omo River Basin, Ethiopia, and with Bed I at Olduvai Gorge.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 51 print issues and online access
$199.00 per year
only $3.90 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Coppens, Y., Howell, F. C., Isaac, G. L1. & Leakey, R. E. F. (eds). Earliest Man and Environments in the Lake Rudolf Basin: Stratigraphy, Paleoecology and Evolution (University of Chicago Press, 1976).
Leakey, M. G. & Leakey, R. E. (eds) Fossil Hominids and an Introduction to Their Context: 1968–1974 (Clarendon, Oxford, 1978).
Leakey, R. & Isaac, G. L1. in Human Origins: Louis Leakey and the East African Evidence (eds Isaac, G. LI. & McCown, E. P.) 307–332 (Benjamin, Menlo Park, 1976).
Behrensmeyer, A. K. Nature 226, 225–228 (1970).
Findlater, I. C. in Background to Early Man in Africa (ed. Bishop, W. W.) (Scottish Academic, Edinburgh, 1978).
Fitch, F. J. & Miller, J. A. Nature 226, 226–228 (1970).
Fitch, F. J., Findlater, I. C., Watkins, R. T. & Miller, J. A. Nature 251, 213–215 (1974).
Fitch, F. J. & Miller, J. A. in Earliest Man and Environments in the Lake Rudolf Basin: Stratigraphy, Paleoecology and Evolution (eds Coppens, Y., Howell, F. C., Isaac, G. LI. & Leakey, R. E. F.) 123–147 (University of Chicago Press, 1976).
Curtis, G. H., Drake, R., Cerling, T. E., Cerling, B. W. & Hampel, J. Nature 258, 395–398 (1975).
Fitch, F. J., Hooker, P. J. & Miller, J. A. Nature 263, 740–744 (1976).
Brown, F. H. & Nash, W. P. in Earliest Man and Environments in the Lake Rudolf Basin: Stratigraphy, Paleocology and Evolution (eds Coppens, Y., Howell, F. C., Isaac, G. LI. & Leakey, R. A. F.) 50–63 (University of Chicago Press, 1976).
Hurford, A. J., Gleadow, A. J. W. & Naeser, C. W. Nature 263, 738–740 (1976).
Leakey, R. E. F. Nature 242, 447–450 (1973).
Isaac, G. L1., Leakey, R. E. F. & Behrensmeyer, A. K. Science 173, 1129–1134 (1971).
Lamphere, M. & Dalrymple, G. B. Short Papers of the 4th int. Conf. on Geochronology and Cosmochronology, Isotope Geology, 241–242 (1978).
Leakey, M. D. et al. Nature 262, 460–466 (1976).
Curtis, G. H. & Hay, R. L. in Calibration of Hominid Evolution (eds Bishop, W. W. & Miller,J. A.) 289–301 (Scottish Academic, Edinburgh, 1972).
Aronson, J. L. et al. Nature 267, 323–327 (1977).
Cerling, T. E., Brown, F. H., Cerling, B. W., Curtis, G. H. & Drake, R. E. Nature 279, 118–121 (1979).
Cooke, H. B. S. in Earliest Man and Environments in the Lake Rudolf Basin: Stratigraphy, Paleoecology and Evolution, 261–273 (University of Chicago Press, 1976).
White, T. D. & Harris, J. M. Science 198, 13–21 (1976).
McDougall, I. in The Earth: Its Origins, Structure and Evolution (ed. McElhinny, M. W.) 543–566 (Academic, London, 1979).
Hillhouse, J. W., Ndombi, J. W. M. & Cox, A. Nature 265, 411–415 (1977).
About this article
Cite this article
Drake, R., Curtis, G., Cerling, T. et al. KBS Tuff dating and geochronology of tuffaceous sediments in the Koobi Fora and Shungura Formations, East Africa. Nature 283, 368–372 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1038/283368a0
This article is cited by
African Archaeological Review (1990)
The African Archaeological Review (1983)