40Ar/39Ar dating of tuffs and mafic lavas, tephra geochemistry, and paleomagnetic reversal stratigraphy have been used to establish the chronostratigraphy of the Pliocene hominid-bearing fossiliferous succession at Woranso-Mille, a paleontological study area in the western part of the central Afar region of Ethiopia. The succession in the northwestern part of the study area ranges in 40Ar/39Ar age from 3.82-3.570 Ma, encompassed by paleomagnetic subchron C2Ar (4.187-3.596 Ma). One of the major tuff units, locally named the Kilaytoli tuff, is correlative on the basis of age and geochemistry to the Lokochot Tuff of the Turkana Basin. A hominid partial skeleton (KSD-VP-1) was found in strata whose precise stratigraphic position and age is still under investigation, but is believed to correspond to the later part of this interval. Woranso-Mille fills a significant gap in the fossil record of northeastern Africa at the time of the lower to middle Pliocene transition, when many extant species lineages of African fauna were established.
- Ar/Ar Dating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics