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EU/Th AND <sub>14</sub>C isotope dating of lake sediments from sacred lake and lake Nkunga, Kenya

DO Olago
FA Street-Perrott
RA Perrott
M Ivanovich
DD Harkness


In the tropical regions, lake and swamp sediment core chronologies have traditionally been established solely by radiocarbon dating. In several instances, however, the radiocarbon sampling resolution has been coarse, entailing extrapolations over time periods where there may have been considerable change in sedimentation rates related, for example, to significant, albeit abrupt, palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental change. Moreover, some cores may age-wise exceed the radiocarbon dating limit of ca.40,000 yr, thus entailing tenuous extrapolations of radiocarbon dates obtained in the younger sections of the core in order to obtain a whole core
chronology. In this paper, the chronology of lake sediment cores retrieved from Sacred Lake and Lake Nkunga on the north-eastern flank of Mount Kenya is established using a combination of highresolution radiocarbon dating and experimental U/Th dating to circumvent the drawbacks mentioned
above. The derived chronosequences, which show that these sediment records span almost the whole of the late Quaternary period, demonstrate the efficacy and synergism of these dating techniques.