Drilling in Lake Challa underway

NESSC-researchers Loes van Bree and Francien Peterse are currently working around the clock as part of the ICDP drilling expedition at the crater lake Challa, situated at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya.

The drilling barge at Lake Challa (photo: Nicolas Waldmann).

Drilling began in earnest a few weeks ago and the first results have been brought in since. Loes and Francien write on their blog:

“The depth record of 21 meters of core collected in 2006 was broken on Tuesday, when the night shift came home with 30 meters of perfectly laminated sediments. The current depth is 120 meter, which roughly corresponds to the past 120.000 years. The drill has hit a hard layer here, which has presumably formed during a low stand of the lake. A second hole has been started, for which a different drilling technique will be used to penetrate this layer and reach the underlying sediment.”

This video shows how drilling continues apace:

In the crater lake, straddling the border of Tanzania and Kenya, sediments have been accumulating for thousands of years. The drilling expedition aims to retrieve hundreds of meters of sediment from the lake floor, which the international group of scientists will use in reconstructing the climate of the past of this region of the world.

A fresh sediment core of Lake Challa (photo: Francien Peterse).

For more updates, you can also check the blog of Loes and Francien or the Deep Challa Facebook page!