Floods and droughts: environmental dynamics in the Upper Zambezi Valley
In central southern Africa there is now significant dated geomorphological evidence of extreme hydrological changes through the last 250,000 years including large megalake events hypothesised to have been driven by extreme hydrological changes in the Okavango and Upper Zambezi catchments. This project systematically targets geomorphological and ecological proxies in western Zambia, an extremely under-researched area of central southern Africa, to provide information on the nature of this hydrological and environmental change. This work will not only help to establish the range and environmental sensitivities but additionally draws on archaeological work to feed into critical questions centred upon human use of Africa’s interior landscapes in the Quaternary period. Using a diverse range of Quaternary archives including dambo and closed depression peat deposits preserving fossil pollen, flood deposits in the Barotse Plain, river terrace sequences and stabilised dune systems and employing both palaeoecological and geomorphological analyses, this project will test hypotheses regarding the nature and variability of past climatic and environmental change in the Upper Zambezi Valley.
Further information for Prof. David Thomas can be found on his departmental site.