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Simulation of Holocene lake fluctuations in Lake Turkana, Kenya

PROJECT REPORT ~ 2009 ~ Ramona Banut 1677284

MSc Paleoclimate and Geo-Ecosystems, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (FALW), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Foreword: This research project is done as part of MSc programme Palaeoclimatology and Geoecosystems, under the supervision of Dr. Hans Renssen and Dr.Hubert Vonhof.This project builds up on B.C. Lougheed’s research project for Caspian Sea in the Earth Science Masters programme at the Vrije Universiteit and P.Ward and Moel work on paleodischarge modeling. This study was developed under the influence of the VUA Turkana Lake PhD project: “Paleoclimate in the late Pliocene - early Pleistocene Turkana Basin and its implications for hominid evolution and migration" , carried out by José Joordens, with thesis advisors Hubert Vonhof and Dick Kroon , Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (FALW ) . The aim of this project is to provide high - resolution paleoclimate reconstructions in the Turkana Basin, which allows testing of hypotheses on climate and H. erectus evolution/migration. The following is my report on the relation between climate variations and Lake Turkana changes in water balance. Furthermore the set-up and calibration of a coupled climatehydrological and Lake Model is described. The results address to improve upon it further as is the first attempt in this type of approach.

I wish to express my gratitude to Dr.Hans Renssen for his endless patience and I greatly appreciate the help of Philip Ward, without I could not have succeeded to have successful results.


This paper represents a research study conducted within the Paleoclimate and Geo-ecosystems master module. Main focus of the study is to reconstruct the Holocene lake level- fluctuations of Turkana Lake, Kenya, and to determine to what extent the climate variations are linked to changes in water balance of the lake. Lakes respond to climate - induced changes in the hydrological balance by changing depth and area. Since Turkana Lake is a closed basin, the water level is determined by the balance between input (influx from river Omo river discharge and precipitation over the lake) and output (evaporation from the lake surface). For this scope a version of the existing STREAM hydrological model is set up for this specific case, coupled offline with a climatic model of intermediate complexity (ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE). The output of this specific Turkana model is compared with available instrumental and paleodata, collected from literature. The results show that changes in lake area are in tandem with the trend of climatic variations of Holocene long- term forcings, and even at the centennial and decadal scale. Although this study was somewhat hampered by scarce available resources and insufficient information on current environmental conditions, this study shows that hydrological modeling can be used to support different types of proxies in paleo-reconstructions.


..………..21 3.5..1.4.………………………………………………...………………….…………….……………………. Summary of all time slices ………………………………………..………….35 4. Modeling approach ……….………………...The climate model………………………………………….1....……….45 6..…………………………………..………………………….…………………………………. Rationale behind this project……. Conclusion………...Calibration.…………………….3.…….5 1. Regional settings of Lake Turkana…………….…….…………. 3400-3000 years BP…….………………………………. Lake level water balance…………..4.………….2.……………….………..….………….………………………………………….……….2 ...……………………29 3.…………….Table of Contents 1.21 3.…………. Historical and instrumental Lake level fluctuations .……….….……….……………………10 2.……………………………... Historical and instrumental period……....………. Introduction…….…………. Critical remarks … …..2.3.…….1.6.42 4.44 5..…………………….. Time frame selection…...………….10 2..…………………………………………..……..16 2.. The hydrological model …. Results and Discussion………………………………………….23 3..33 4..………………. Future lake levels ...……………7 1.3. Appendices………..………………………………………….….. Lake level Water balance ….………………………….……….….……………….10 2.……...……………...5..…………………………………………….………18 2.………………. …...47 8.………………………………………………………………..39 4..……. Future research …………………………………………….……20 3...…………….. Research goals………………………………………………………………………7 2.…... Mid Holocene (6200-5800 BP)…………………….…………………………………….48 9...1.. Holocene Lake level fluctuations……...4........……………. Bibliography………………....….………………………….46 7..….55 49 .………………..….………………….…………….. Methods…………………………………………………………….……………………………………….………………..…………21 3.. Study area………….……35 4.2.……………………26 3.

1979 and Tiercelin and Lezzar. source Mercier and al.2006. Figure 4: Precipitation values at Lodwar station. Figure 11: Regional averages of precipitation and temperature in the IPCC 4AR model simulations.. Figure 7: Lake level decline since 1875 AD. Source Gasse. 49 . adapted from Lougheed. 1995 . on Turkwel River. 2001.2000 . 1998. twentieth Century simulations from 1950 to 2000. Adapted from Cerling. Figure 10: Lake Levels during late Holocene.Time is expressed in 14C years . Figure 13: Flow chart with main storage compartments and flows.. source Aerts et al..List of Figures : Figure 1 : Cover photo : satellite image of Lake Turkana http://en. 2005). showing the data . 1999. and A1B scenario.1982. Figure 14: Schematic representation of initial required maps to run STREAM hydrologic model. The arrows indicate the reconstructed levels: Johnson from isotopic composite of authigenic calcite and Halfman from fossil diatoms. Figure 5: ITCZ position over African continent. Figure 17: Omo discharge: annual mean discharge of 19 km³/year and ca .14 km³/year. Figure 18: Omo Monthly discharge: ca.. 2006. Figure 16 : Simplified schematic equation for calculating the Lake Turkana lake level for a given period of time. Source: UNEP. source : Figure 2: Location and tectonic troughs controlling the configuration of Lake Turkana. Figure 12 : Forcings of the climate model : a) insolation at equator (Berger 1978) and b) GHG atmospheric concentrations ( Raynaud et al. Figure 6: Reconstructed historical and instrumental lake level fluctuations after Butzer (1971).. Figure 9: Lake level fluctuation during Holocene.From figure : the dashed line of Johnson corresponds with lake level curve from Owen et al.Station can be located in Figure 3. as shown as well in Halfman. Adapted from Owen et al.437 m³/sec/average monthly mean for entire period. source: Nicholson.wikipedia. source World Lake Database 2007. Figure 8: Lake Variations from satellite altimetry data (LLH =lake level Height fluctuations in m). 2002. see Renssen et al. Simulations from 2000 to 2100. Figure 15 : Relationship between elevation and area.jpg . Figure 3: Lake Turkana drainage basin.

1750-2000 AD. Figure 21: Lake level fluctuations . List of Tables: Table 1: Approximate dimensions of the Lake Turkana basin. Figure 20: Lake level at Omo medium discharge value (14 km³/ year average) .Figure 19: Lake level at Omo higher discharge values (19 km³/ year average). Total annual discharge/Lake Area and calibrated P-E over Lake. 6200-5800 BP. corrected annual average precipitation/ evaporation and average lake levels simulations. source: adapted from Butzer (1971). total river discharge /Lake area. Figure 22: Lake level variation from 1900 to 2000 AD Figure 23: Lake level fluctuations . Table 2: Compendium of lake surface area sources Table 3: Correlation between annual Fw and different variables (1750-1970 AD) Table 4: Correlation between annual Fw and different variables ( 3400 -3000 BP) Table 5: Correlation between annual Fw and different variables (6200 -5800 BP) Table 6: Summary of all time slices included in the report with average values for river discharge. 3400-3000 BP Figure 24: Lake level fluctuations .Total annual discharge/Lake Area and calibrated P-E over Lake. 49 . Total annual discharge/Lake Area and calibrated P-E over Lake .

Since almost all the future scenarios show a visible alteration in precipitation and temperature patterns. If something happened once in a system. Turkana adds value to understanding of climate variation in the tropics where. Sediment. particularly at variations in lake levels . lakes are the principal source of information (Verschuren 2003). changes in rivers discharge and lake levels are expected. It is very likely that these effects will impact less developed countries at a higher degree (Stern report 2008) and the African continent is seen as the most vulnerable region to climate change (IPCC 2007). 1989). The projected temperature increase by 2100 AD may be larger than previously estimated in 2001 IPCC Report and likely to be considerable in tropical region. With a history that goes back as to the late Miocene ( Tiercelin and Lezzar 2002) Lake Turkana has the potential to document the Holocene East African past climate change patterns (Halfman et al.2003 ). among others. Lake Turkana.The modeling approach can be a useful tool to reconstruct past climate and to evaluate the possible scenarios for future climate change.1. in the absence of traditional high –resolution climate proxy such as tree rings and ice cores. In the context of climate change and in order to analyze and understand these expected future changes due to anthropogenetic forcings we have to know and understand the background natural variability in tropical hydrology. Situated in the northern Kenya at the border with southwestern Ethiopia. has attracted much of interest since the discovery of famous early hominids remains. could happen again in similar conditions (Pittock 2005). Lakes provide an excellent source of data for paleoclimatic reconstructions due to organic and inorganic sediments archived over longer time spam (Kiage and Liu 2006). Formerly known as Lake Rudolf. that “water resources are a key area of vulnerability “..The use of lake basins as archives is based on two fundamental assumptions : 1) there is a strong understanding of the relationship between the proxy indicator and the climate system within the basin being studied and 2) coherent patterns of change within proxy indicators can be adequately chronometrically constrained (Bergner et al .. Introduction: 1. Water is present in all components of the climate system and repercussions at different levels and through different mechanisms is expected to occur. geomagnetic. A critical review done by IPCC (2007) stresses. Rationale behind this project The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) project that it is” very likely “that the warming in Africa will be larger than the global annual mean warming throughout the continent and in all seasons. chemical and faunal data indicate the lake value as a source of information regarding the past climate dynamics and point out Lake Turkana as an “interesting geo-chemical laboratory and paleoenvironmental recorder “(Barton and Torgersen 1988).1. 49 . One way is to look at the behavior of tropical lakes in the past.

3000 yr BP (Butzer et al.. 1986.. the water level is determined by balance between input (influx from river discharge and precipitation over the lake) and output (evaporation from the lake surface).The water storage is directly related to regional hydrologic conditions and provide important insights into the relationships between various components of the catchment :basin geometry. This study represent the first attempt in modeling the Lake Turkana level variations that involves a combination of three.except for brief high.The present records are minimal and brief (Hack 2006). Cerling. climate. surface area and water chemistry can vary significantly and rapidly to shifts in the lake’s hydrologic budget (Street-Perot and Harrisson. vegetation and subsurface conditions (Bergner et al . 1991).. Barton and Torgersen. The lake level reconstruction during the past 10. a hydrological model and lake water balance model. Recent technological advances are facilitating the access and utility to the proxy record (Burrough and Thomas 2009). 49 . generally following the wet and dry phases that occurred in Africa. The lake has been the subject of much discussion (Yuretich and Cerling.Lake Turkana is the largest arid closed-basin lake in the Eastern African Rift.000 to 4. Hastenrath and Kutzbach. Modeling the lake balance could help to improve the mapping of past level changes and explore in detail the relationship of regional and global climate variations. models: a climate model. because there is no overflow.. The main purpose is to relate the modeled lake levels with available reconstructed records in terms of past climate variations.000 yr BP indicate lake high stands from about 50 to 80 meters above the present lake level from 10.stands during the past century (Butzer 1971) and possibly somewhere between 3800.1991) .1982) and intermittent overflow into Nile system basin (Nyamweru 1989). Previous work on Lake Turkana basin shows that it has undergone dramatic change in volume during the Holocene period. 1988) because climatic interpretations were blundered by the lack of absolute dating of events and difficulties in understanding the fullness of hydrological processes involved in large close lakes.000 onwards the lake revels a general trend of decreasing levels ( Halfman et al. The data from these three models are adjusted for the specific needs of this project (as discussed in section 3 of this study) to calculate the water balance for Turkana lake during three times -slices of the Holocene period: 6200-5800 BP.000 yr BP (Butzer et al. Closed basin lakes are very sensitive to climatic variations.. From 4. in Johnson et al. Also the present evolution of Lake Turkana is not fully understood and is underlined by uncertainty in the causes–effect chain ..2003).1972. off-line coupled..1992) with evidence for lake level having been lower than it is at present (Johnson et al. 1981. 1982. 1983. 3400-3000 yr BP and present 1750 -2000 AD. Closed basin lakes can respond dramatically to climatic change: lake level.Owen et al. The lake has fluctuated between high and low levels.1972).

Lougheed in water balance model Moel and P.Ward with respect to modeling paleodischarge and B. Research goals: This research project is build upon the previous work done by H.2.C. The aims and objectives of this paper are to answer to the questions:  Are we able to construct a hydrological model for Lake Turkana that is able to reproduce lake level fluctuations?  What is the relation between climate change and lake-level fluctuations during the Holocene?  What will happen with the lake level in the future. given the anthropogenic climate warming? 49 .

is often called “The jade sea” because of its beautiful water color due to the presence of blue-green algae. As a consequence the lake is divided in two troughs: Kerio-Omo in the North and Suguta in the South. Situated in the northern end of Kenya at the border with Ethiopia .. Cerling 1979). (Figure 2). Adapted from Cerling. Lake Turkana is the largest arid closed –basin lake in the Ethiopian rift (Figure 2) where it occupies the beds of two grabens.. 49 . 1992. Figure 2: Location and tectonic troughs controlling the configuration of Lake Turkana. 2002. formerly known as Lake Rudolf. created during an intense tectonic activity in the early Miocene (Tiercelin and Lezzar. approximate between 3 °N and 36° E.2. Study area: 2. It is elongate in shape with a mean length and width of 260 km and 30 km respectively and a mean depth of 35 m (Halfman et al. 1979 and Tiercelin and Lezzar.1 Regional settings of Lake Turkana: Lake Turkana. 1989). 2002). These basins are connected by a narrow and shallow bathymetric sill (Halfman et al.

49 . source: adapted from Butzer (1971) Figure 3: Lake Turkana drainage basin. It flows southwards from the Ethiopian plateau where it drains relatively moist highlands over an area of about 73.000 24. Turkwel River is now dammed for hydroelectric power (UNEP. On the western shore of relative importance are Turkwel and Kerio rivers which supplies.500 13. 2004. Source: UNEP.000 km² (Butzer. 2000). 10 % of river inflow to the lake (Cerling 1986). and Eastern watershed drainage basin contribution is very small as well (Olago and Odata.500 15. 1983) show that flooding of Omo River raised the lake level by 65 cm and flooding of Kerio and Turkwel raised the lake level only by 8 cm. 2004).000 Table 1: Approximate dimensions of the Lake Turkana basin. The southern part of Lake Turkana catchment’s area is directly linked to precipitation patterns that caused ephemeral runoff around the lake shore. ca. (Table 1).Other streams from western branch are flowing only a few days or even only on days after rain. Omo is the only perennial river and its contribution is more than 85 % of the runoff into the lake (Yuretich and Cerling. 1971). Previous studies in lake level fluctuations via mass balance approach (Yuretich and Cerling.The lake receives runoff from a wide area (Figure 3) but most of the influx comes from the north via Omo River. 1983). with intermittence. Catchment Omo river Turkwel river Kerio river Littoral Turkana Total area in km ² 73.

on Turkwel River. 4-6 weeks.term the influence of local factors is exceeded by regional and global ones (Nicholson 1996). humidity or wind changes. To our knowledge no direct data are available for evaporation. 2. The major rainfall follows the latitudinal position of the sun. Ethiopia experiences two rainy seasons associated with the passage of the ITCZ: one more prolonged during June-September/ October and one short in March –May.Station can be located in Figure 3.3 m/ year that coincides with the available data from recent literature (Ricketts and Johnson 1996). Moisture for these rainfall variations is driven.5 % pasture (World Lake Database). but due to proximity of equator . from Indian Ocean (Trauth et al. the levels of Lake Turkana are expected to reflect the climate of Ethiopian drainage basin (Butzer 1971). The lack of rainfall over Turkana lake is due to orographic influence of the Ethiopian and Kenyan plateau and N-S alignment of the east coast of Africa. 49 . Turkana Lake occupies a hot arid setting with mean annual temperature of 30 ˚C and annual rainfall of less 200 mm. that caused widespread divergence of S-E Monsoon to the north of equator (Nicholson 1996). Studies show that on long .5 % crop field and 47. 1975. The rainfall distribution is mainly controlled by the passage of Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) over equatorial and tropical areas (Figure 5) and the Indian Ocean monsoon system.Land used in the catchments area is 50 % semi-desert woody vegetation. The evaporation rate depends of temperature. via de monsoonal wind system. temperature changes are insignificant in range and interannual variations are considered small (Mercier et al.Ethiopian climate is subject of wide topographic variations. Figure 4: Monthly Precipitation values at Lodwar station. Maximum rainfall usually occurs in April (Figure 4) and the pattern of rainfalls are heretic and unpredictable (UNEP 2004). With the Omo River as main contributor. source World lake database 2007. with the lag of ca. Cerling (1986) provides an estimate of 2. 2001).

Source Gasse. Walker Circulation. East Africa is in phase with warm ENSO episodes (IPCC. Glossary. 1995..Southern oscillation (ENSO) in the tropical Pacific Ocean (Giannini et al.A study done by Mercier et al. ITCZ please refer to IPCC report (2007).  49 . 2001) resulting in wet conditions via moisture supply caused by warming of the western tropical Indian Ocean . 2001). Figure 5: ITCZ position over African continent.1 meters above normal range due to 1997/1998 increased rainfall associated with ENSO connections (see Figure 8 of this report). 1993). 2008. 5° N over Lake Turkana (Mercier et al. Annex 1. 2001. 2008. Ogalo. shows a temporarily rise in Lake Turkana levels of about 4. The inter-decadal and inter-annual precipitation patterns over East Africa have been related to the El Nino. Lake level water balance: For explanation of the climatic phenomena such as ENSO.2. ∗ 2.. At the end of boreal summer the ITCZ axis is located ca. The influence of ENSO over precipitation regime over East Africa is directly via an atmospheric teleconnection (Walker circulation) and indirectly via the response of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) in the Indian Ocean (Giannini et al. 2001).2003). Mercier et al.

The annual net flux of water for a given basin (adopted from Cerling 1986).E·Al –Sd (1) Where:  Fw = net gain or loss of water in m3  Qri = sum of runoff of al rivers in the lake in m3 ∗  P = precipitation over the lake in m  E = evaporation over the lake in m  Al = lake area in m2  Si = subsurface inflow m3  Sd = surface discharge .overflow by rivers in m3 Turkana Lake occupies a closed basin. Lakes levels depend of the basin morphology and the balance of precipitation and evaporation.  Note that all along this report Fw refers to the entire lake input 49 .We therefore assume term Si from equation (1) to be zero.Thus Sd term from equation (1) does not have to be taken into account. In the absence of tectonic activity and human influence the area of catchments will remain constant. This means that the only escape of the water from the lake is via evaporation. As result the water balance is a result between input (influx river discharge and precipitation over the lake) and output (evaporation from the lake surface). is considered as follows: Fw = Qri + P· Al + Si . In the case of Turkana during the Holocene time spam no tectonic processes are known to be involved at level to influence the basin (Nyamweru 1989) and the human influence on the land use is poorly known and will not be investigated.The water balance in a basin gives insight into the possible factors attributed to flux change. The subterranean seepage is unknown (Butzer 1971) or negligible (Yuretich 1979) .

Year 1971 Altitude above Area in km² sea level(asl) 375 7500 Reference Butzer 49 . For paleo -times the only available data are depth or area of the lake.As result the water level processes are directly driven by climatic parameters through their impacts on each term of the water budget (Yin and Nicholson 2002). The lake level is therefore sensitive to climatic variations. the fluctuation of Lake Turkana is given by equation: Fw = Qri + P –E Al Where: (2) → → → → → Fw = changes in lake level in m Q = river discharge in m³ Al = lake area in m² P = precipitation in m E = evaporation in m Lake area: For reference the current area of Lake Turkana is approximated at 7103 km² as average value from different sources (see Table 1. there is not a clear agreement with respect of what altitude and area to be attributed to the lake) and known to be variable in time (World Lake database 2007. With remain variable for the above equation (1). As consequence each term in the balance equation must be expressed in terms of lake dimensions. Butzer 1971).

Butzer’s (1971) reconstruction thus spans over three centuries.5m and -4. the only somehow clear and longer records come from Butzer (1971). It shows low lake levels between 1765 to 1840.3. Nyamweru Olago and Odada Mercier et al World Lake Database UNEP Table 2: Compendium of lake surface area sources 2.term changes depicted from the available data.This rise is followed by and drop of -13 meters by 1908. when the lake start to increase till 1870 . 1991).with a dramatic rise of + 15 m ( above 1970 reference level). Till the present.1970 ( when information about level fluctuations are relatively rich ) and propose a longer chronology as back as 1750 based on geomorphologic records. The period of 1908 to 1970 is characterized by moderate oscillations between + 2.5 m (Figure 6): 49 .. he succeeds to produce a detailed curve of the lake from 1890. Historical and instrumental lake level fluctuations: Sensitivity of the lake to climatic variation is seen in the marked seasonal and long . The lake has been known to variate as much as 20 meters during the last centuries (Johnson et al. Based on compilation of traveler’s reports and available maps along with geographical and geological studies of Lake Turkana surroundings.1981 1982 1989 2000 2001 2008 375 375 362 360 372 7500 7300 7500 7500 7000 6750 6750 Yuretich and Cerling Nicholson and Kutzbach Cohen.

2001. (Figure 8): Figure 8: Lake Variations from satellite altimetry data (LLH =lake level Height fluctuations in m). 2001).balance equation for oxygen isotopes.. who depicts an abruptly rise of lake level since late 1997. source Mercier and al. The most recent direct record comes from satellite altimetry data measurements (Topex – Poseidon) over 1993-1999.. Since 1970 lake level reconstruction from isotopic profiles (Ricketts et al. 1998. This is similar with the picture depicted from the World lake database (Figure 7): Source : Ricketts et al.Figure 6: Reconstructed historical and instrumental lake level fluctuations after Butzer. 1996) shows a growth of delta. 49 . as a combination of decreased lake levels and increased sedimentation. source: Nicholson. 1998...early 1998 (Mercier et al. as much as 5 m .1998 Source: World lake database Figure 7: Lake level decline since 1875 Satellite Remote Sensing observations of aerial photograph (Haak. using a mass. from calcite oxygen isotope compositions) show a continued decline of lake levels.

1988. BP(660014C ) a short period of aridity indicates low lake levels but the lake achieved again high lake levels by 6600 yr BP ( 5800 14C yr. This report deals with calendar time scale..7000 yr BP (Nyamweru 1989.Although sparse and discontinuous. 1992). Halfman.. 1992) provide a further history of low to intermediate levels during the late Holocene (Figure 10). When the approximation was needed for precision .1992). Furthermore constant disagreements between the various height displacement (reference value for lake altimetry differs from sources. The only disagreement concerns transgression toward a high stand of about +70 m around 3400 -3300 yr BP ( 3250. BP) stipulate by Butzer (1972) and Owen et al (1982) based on 14C measurements (Cerling. sedimetological (lake sediments) and faunal (fossil freshwater mollusks) evidence suggests that lake Turkana stood at an elevation about +60 +80 meters above the reference level (375 m above sea level) for 1970 and ∗ overflowed to Nile from 10.1982.the calibrated period was expressed.. the time used is expressed in 14C years .1991) and fossil diatoms (Halfman et al. carbonate-oxygen stable isotope composition (Johnson et al. if not otherwise mentioned. 1986. Butzer 1971). For the early Holocene topographical (raised beach deposits). Barton and Torgersen.. BP ( Halfman et al. see Table 2) does not blur the overall trend and still gives a relative accurate portrait of lake level decline during the last three centuries.4.. BP).Butzer et al . 5000 yr BP that lead to the establishment of closed basin status around 4300 yr. Existing climate-proxy records derived from sediment characteristics (Halfman et al. Holocene lake fluctuations: The amount of available data indicate Lake Turkana having high lake levels during the most of the early to mid Holocene period (Figure 9) (Owen et al.000. 49 .3000 14C yr. 1994). al records evidence the long .Around 7500 yr.term declining of lake levels with incursions of sudden (decadal or less in time scale) and of high amplitude of increasing lake levels.  Please note that in most researchers studies referring to Holocene .1972) followed by a sudden transition to a general trend of aridity since ca. 2.

1982. From Figure 10 we can also observe that the reconstructed levels of Johnson and Halfman disagree at 2000 14C BP (1960 yr calibrated BP).Time is expressed in 14C years . with a possible incursion of high stands between 34003000 yr. This situation however was not put is discussion yet in press. followed by a gradual decline during late Holocene.000 yr BP –till 5000 yr. Adapted from Owen et al. showing opposite trends. 49 . BP followed by regression towards lower lake levels in late Holocene.Figure 9: Lake level fluctuation during Holocene.. Overall the records show high stands from 10. BP.

2.5. it is also projected an increase in the overall mean annual temperature between 3 to 4 ˚C (correlated with 700 ppm CO2 rise by 2100 conform to A1B scenario). there are no specific studies to account for future climate induce changes over lake level in Turkana basin. the confidence in model predictions increased. but projections of future climate change in the Tropics are limited by the difficulties of models to predict the displacements of ITCZ and systematic errors of models with regard to regional downscaling of precipitation. To our knowledge. Source: Halfman et al. 1992. Figure 10: Lake Levels during late Holocene. projects that it is” likely” that annual mean rainfall in east Africa ( 12˚S-22 ˚ E – 18˚N -52 ˚E) will increase by average on 7 % and a maximum of 25%. Since the last report IPCC in 2001 on climate change.1991. The arrows indicates reconstructed levels: Johnson from isotopic composite of authigenic calcite and Halfman from fossil diatoms. (Figure 11). Future lake levels: The Fourth Assessment Report of IPCC (2007).Source: Johnson et al. The fact that Lake Turkana is situated under the influence of different climatic zones complicates further the prediction. 49 . as shown as well in Halfman. showing the data . Furthermore..From figure the dashed line of Johnson corresponds with lake level curve from Owen et al.

the A1B scenario (orange) and the A2 scenario (red). ECBilt –CLIO-VECODE provides the precipitation and temperature input data for the hydrological STREAM model. Methods: 3.2] used to calculate the level fluctuation of lake Turkana.2. Source: Giannini et al. The model describes the dynamics of three components: atmosphere. twentieth Century simulations from 1950 to 2000. and A1B scenario. 49 . which allows to be run on a personal computer and for longer time scale (Claussen et al. which generates river discharge values. 2008.A) Precipitation B) temperature Figure 11: Regional averages of A) precipitation in the IPCC 4AR model simulations. Simulations from 2000 to 2100: Each grey line represents one model. for two Holocene time slices ( 6200-5800 BP. The calibrated river discharge values are used along with precipitation and evaporation over the lake and morphological data of the basin to calculate lake level fluctuations. 2002). The model is run after calibration for aforementioned time-slices. The climate model: ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE is a climate model of “intermediate complexity” (EMIC) with a lower spatial and temporal resolution than an normal General Circulation Model. oceanic-sea ice and vegetation. The black line is dashed where observations are present for less than 50% of the area in the decade concerned.3400-3000 BP ) and the present (1750-2000 AD). ar 4-wg 1-chapter 11.. Source IPCC 2007. 3. Modeling approach: A hydrological model (STREAM) specifically set-up for this project and a climate model ( ECBilt –CLIO-VECODE ) are coupled offline to provide the necessary input for equation ( 2 ) [described in section 2. 3. to calibrate the model. B) The bars at the end of the orange envelope represent the range of projected changes for 2091 to 2100 for the B1 scenario (blue). The simulated fluctuations are then compared with the collected data from literature. The results are compared with the collected paleo-data from literature.1. and the thicker black line is the multi-model mean.

ECBilt is the atmospheric component, a spectral model with T21 (5.6˚ by 5.6˚) horizontal resolution and three layers .It is based on quasi –geostrophic equations, (Opsteegh et al, 1998) and has been developed at Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut (KNMI), the Netherlands. Cloud cover is prescribed according to modern climatology. The CLIO model is a primitive - equation, free-surface ocean general circulation model coupled to a thermodynamic-dynamic sea-ice model. It was built at the Université Catholique de Louvain,Belgium, and has a spatial resolution of 3˚ by 3˚ latitude and longitude, with 20 vertical levels (Goosse and Fichefet, 1999). VECODE component (Brovkin et al., 2002) simulates the dynamics of three main types of vegetation: trees, grassland and bare soil (desert) with an impact on the land-surface albedo, and have no influence on other processes such as evapotranspiration (Renssen et al., 2006). It was developed at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. The output of the ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE model is derived from a 9000 years transient run forced by annually varying orbital parameters and atmospheric greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH 4 ), illustrated in Figure 12

Figure 12 : Forcings of the climate model : a) insolation at equator (Berger ,1978) and b) Greenhouse gases atmospheric concentrations ( Raynaud et al.,2000 ; see Renssen et al., 2005).


Limitations: Short- term forcings like changes in solar activity, volcanism, and some internal feedbacks like those involving cloud cover are not included in the model, this means that short term climate variations can not be attributed to these causes. Because the atmospheric module (ECBilt) uses a quasi-geostrophic wind for actual wind, the amount of air that is transported from the ocean to the tropics are often underestimated and results in anomalously low precipitations values (De Moel,2005).

3.3. The hydrological model STREAM: STREAM (Spatial tools for River Basins and Environment and Analysis of Management Options) is a grid based spatial water balance model that describes the hydrology of a drainage basin as a series of compartments and flows (Aerts et al, 2005) as shown in Figure 13:

Figure 13: Flow chart with main storage compartments and flows; source Aerts et al, 1999. The model has been successfully applied for several river basins around the world (De Moel, 2005.), Meuse River (Ward 2007) and for Caspian Sea project (Lougheed 2006; Renssen et al., 2007). A version of existing model is specifically set-up to model the hydrological processes for Turkana basin as it is described in following section.


Based on a raster GIS database, created with the used of IDIRISI software, the model calculates the water balance for each grid cell, on a monthly basis, generating runoff, groundwater storage (shallow and deep), snow cover and snow melt rates. The direction of water flow is determined by a digital elevation model (DEM). The water balance is calculated based on temperature and precipitation data, with the Thornthwaite and Mather (1995) equation. To calculate evapotranspiration, STREAM internally creates a Heat map (based on temperature maps) and A map (based on Heat map) using the equations:

T  H = HEAT = ∑ m  jan  5 



A = 0.49239 + 0.01792 ⋅ H − 0.0000771771 ⋅ H 2 + 0.000000675 ⋅ H 3

(4) The input data: Since this is not a technical report only a brief description of the data source and technique to prepare them is found below; for more details refer to the STREAM manual, found at

For this specific case to run the model the following initial maps were required (Figure 14):

 A ). Maps: GIS map DEM (digital elevation model) was downloaded from The United States Geological Survey (USGS) free source base, available online From the initial DEM of Africa a window of 20° by 50° latitude and 20 by -15° longitude was cut to serve for the project, with a to resolution of 0.05˚ by 0.05 ˚ latitude and longitude (Appendix A and B).


Stream init maps APWL the accumlated potential water lost SOILSTOR GW = the water storage in the soil the groundwater capacity SNOW the initial depth of the snow cover Figure 14: Schematic representation of initial required maps to run STREAM hydrologic model.A). 49 . GIS map DEM Digital elevation map CropF WATERH Soil type B). EcBilt climate maps Monthly temperature maps Monthly precipitation maps C).

ECBilt–CLIO –VECODE provide the precipitation and temperature initial data for the hydrological STREAM model. at http://edc2. It was as well resized and reprojected to the needs of this specific free source as well. which generate river discharge values. soil water storage (SOILSTOR). which was resized and re-projected as the project DEM.  B). pg. (2005) forced by the forcings shown in Figure 12 of this report.18).To analyze the total value for discharge in the lake al STREAM cells that empty into the lake have been marked and analyzed in STREAM from the flow direction map (Appendix D).nl/users/REMOVED_PAGES/ivmSTREAM/fb_STREAMfiles. Different crop factors are attributed to different land used types using the cropf values table in the STREAM manual (Aerts et al. and downscaled to STREAM resolution. To obtain realistic initial values. Fw = Q/ Al + P –E Because local meteorological and hydrological data required for such modeling are not available for long periods of time. Precipitation and evaporation values over the lake are derived as well from ECBilt climatic model. It is used for determining potential and actual evaporation. which are in turn calibrated to known values.CropF map (crop factor) is based on a map of land cover characteristics downloaded from U. Maps : Climatic maps were derived from ECBilt-CLIO-VEDCODE experiments performed by Renssen et al. also 49 .geo. the model is run for 50 years for each time slice and resulting maps are used as initial values for real run. The STREAM model provides in the output file.usgs. 2005.  C) Maps: STREAM init maps show the starting values for accumulated potential water loss (APWL).gov/glcc/af_int. ground water storage (GW) and snow cover (SNOW) at first iteration run.S.html. WATERH map provides information on the water holding capacity of the soil based on soil type’s maps.Geological Survey (International Geosphere Biosphere Program. They were already available from previous work done by De Moel. beside river discharge values.htm.4 Lake level Water balance model: To determine the water balance of the lake as expressed in the equation (2) the knowledge of quantitative value of the factors is required.downloaded from IVM site at : http://www. al the values for the equation components are derived from modeled data. 3.

the numbers of pixels (Km²) were cumulatively counted in IDIRISI (Figure 15): Figure 15 : Relationship between elevation and area The relationship was found to be almost perfectly linear (R² = 0.36˚03` E).05 * x – 32648 Were: (5) 49 . Area of the lake responds to rise and fall of lake levels. was projected in equal area projection with a resolution of 1 by 1 km ².temperature and precipitation values for marked cells (read from imported ECBilt temperature and precipitation maps). Therefore the influence of the lake itself on evaporation would not be realistic and as consequence evaporation values were calculated from Indian Ocean at approximate the same latitude as Lake Turkana ( 2˚ 5 ` N .The result equation can be used to accurately estimate the area of the lake at any given elevation: Al = 107. In order to determine the relationship between area and volume at different fluxes that disturb the equilibrium. Due to the low resolution of the latter model. For this purpose the digital elevation model downloaded from USGS to determine the water flow for STREAM discharge. To calculate the hypsometrical curve for each meter of elevation. to accommodate the gain or loss of water. For evaporation the values were calculated with ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE model by Hans Renssen. by changing the surface according to the morphology of the basin. a morphological model was developed by making used of the morphology of the basin and altitude changes. Lake Turkana has the shape of the basin as a rectangle with “V” shaped cross sections (Cerling 1986). has been marked to register the precipitation values (3˚45` N . and cropped in such way that only the immediate basin of Turkana was visible. In this case a cell. approximate to be in the middle of Lake Turkana.99).50 ˚ E ). Lake Turkana is not seen as a body of water but as a land cell.

To increase the level of confidence the equation was tested for values stipulated by Butzer as 375 above sea level and area of 7500 km² for which the model equation give an area of 7496 km². the equation will provide an accurate area. For reference the current used area is 7103 km² for an approximate altitude of 370 m above sea level. 1972). The model starts with a prescribed lake level value: for the recent run the measured value and for paleo-time slices a manually prescribed test sensitivity value to reach a certain equilibrium state for that period (it takes approximate 100 years to reach the equilibrium. Only elevations above this 436 m above sea level could be analysed (Figure 15) but it is assumed that the same linear function is applicable for lower elevation as well. It has been observed that in the downloaded map the Turkana basin was situated at an altitude of 436 m above sea level. which has an correlation of 98 %. ∆L= Li ± Li-1    ∆L = changed value in lake level Li = Lake level at current (start) year iteration Li -1 = Lake level storage value at prior year iteration changes over a calendar year). when it’s been considered to overflow into the Nile Basin (Butzer. Using the equation for an altitude of 370 m the resulting area equals 6961 km². (lake level flux 49 . With all the available estimations of values necessary in equation (2) the changes in lake level can be calculated for each iteration step. Again the correlation level is high: 99 % in proportions. This means that even for lower altitudinal values of possible modelling results during the selected time slices. This means that at the resolution of the map the Turkana Lake is confounded almost totally within the entire Turkana rift. Al = area of the lake  x = lake level ( metres elevation) The reconstructed long-term chronology of Turkana lake levels shows that Turkana oscillated between 365 m above sea level (asl) at its lowest levels and 455 m above sea level at its higher levels. depending on the start value used).

Juba. 3. 2006. For Turkwel and Kerio the only published value is ca. After running the STREAM 49 . Nyabarongo. Blue Nile. for which there were enough data to properly calibrate the model outcomes with the existent gauging data.Previous Turkana ∆L Lake area Function (Al) STREAM River Inflow (Q ri) Lake level Flux (Fw) ECBilt Over-Lake Precipitation (P) ECBilt Over Lake Evaporation (E) New Turkana ∆L Figure 16: Simplified schematic equation for calculating the Lake Turkana lake level for a given period of time. give values of 16 – 19 km³ / year. adapted from Lougheed. After data collection the following rivers were selected: Atbara. Normally hydrological models used instrumental data gauging for calibration. 2 km³/year after Yuretich and Cerling (1983).These values are approximations extracted from different calculations such as mass balance approach and not from direct measurements. The only available data was the mean annual discharge for Omo: Butzer (1971) estimates an annual discharge rate between 15 and 25 x 10 9 m³ . Bahr el Jabel and White Nile (Appendix B2). The idea was that if the model satisfactorily models the discharge of those rivers it would also produce reasonable discharges for Omo. Yuretich and Cerling (1983) used values of 14 x 109 m³ /year.5 Calibration: Climate data from last the Century derived from ECBilt were used as input for the hydrological model. but unfortunately there are no hydrographic data for volume of discharge for Omo River or for Turkwel and Kerio. sources from Ethiopia literature on water resources. Because of this inconvenience it was thought to consider calibrating other rivers within the proximity of OMO and Turkana basins.

These factors are: → CropF ( crop and land used factor) → WATERH ( water holding capacity ) calibrate the absolute amount of water → Heat → TOGW factor → C factor ( groundwater outflow) → Snow used to calibrate the flow peaks For this study two factors were altered from the initial standard value: CropF and Heat factor. Nyabarongo). This inconvenience could be disregarded and can be remediate by choosing to calibrate those rivers with a highest correlation factor between the modeled and observed data. 1986 .calibration of these rivers it was observed that for some rivers the modeled discharge was in good agreement with observed data (White Nile. to bring the modelled data closer to the observed data. This was expected since the selected window of calibration is situated in an area of different climate settings. The discharge is available throughout the year. by Cerling. with small discharge from December till April when it begins to rise. in June continues to rise rapidly and reaches maximum levels by the end of August.via mass balance approach. 49 . but for some of them the model underestimates the discharge volume( Atbara and Blue Nile) . Juba. These factors are responsible for the annual balance which is the main priority for the project. Bahr el Jabel was a special case because of the swamp conditions of its setting. This was done to match as close as possible to observed lake level trend over the 20 Century (Figure 7). Because of discontinuous and sparse records the river was calibrated against two possible scenarios: to give a mean annual discharge of 19 km³ / year (as in the medium range of most of records) and in the range of 14 km³ / year as it has been used in previous estimation of lake level . The discrepancy between observed and modelled dataset can be adjusted with the help of certain calibration factors of which value can be change in the calculation script. but any of the possible calibrations for these rivers gave a realistic annual discharge close to the range of 15. Accounting for the afforded specifications it was next decided that will best to use observed annual discharge values for Omo River to calibrate the model. when it starts again to decrease rapidly (Butzer 1971).21 km³/ year for Omo River. early September.

when time .We could expect to be the same case for this project as well. 2006) . From previous studies it has been shown that the observed discharge has a much greater range of variability than the modelled discharge (Lougheed. First because modeled climatic data are used as input. Calibrating the Precipitation and Evaporation Data over the lake: For the lake water balance. On the other hand the long-term modelled discharges trend are expected to been seen in reconstructed lake fluctuations because ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE simulates climate variability and not specific years. for river discharge of 19 km³/ year. As consequence it is expected some difficulties arise to correctly reproduce the Omo discharge volume on shorter time scales (less than a decade). that for short period of time are not attributed to be the caused of sudden changes from one state of equilibrium another. which has his own challenge. A higher value causes an increase in total discharge and a lower value brings lower discharge. It will as well not expect to match on annual basis with the observed proxy data available. The results are shown in the Figure 16. 49 . [437 m³/sec] mean average values for entire period (Figure 17). The monthly discharge follows closely the currently discharge trend with the highest peak in August. because will be a challenge modelling an area with more climatic zones such as Ethiopian climate regime. This is due to the fact that ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE has a too coarse resolution for accurately reproducing regional scale precipitation patterns and it is forced only by long-term variations in orbital parameters and greenhouses gases. are roughly correlated with the mentioned observation about the river discharge regime.series data of river discharge are available. one month earlier that observed (Figure 18). The Heat factor is responsible for the amount of evaporation and is based on average monthly temperature values. Alteration of CropF factor means that if the factor value is low the overall discharge increases and a higher value lead to a lower discharge. and not real data. the values of Evaporation and Precipitation over the lake are required. With no available monthly discharge data the model has no measure to be compared with. This remains to be tested in future simulation of discharge for Omo if applicable .The other factors could not be calibrated because of lack of monthly gauging discharge data but. [610 m³/sec] and for river discharge of 14 km ³/year. Second because of the lack of gauging data for Omo River the calibration is roughly correct. Comparison of the two calibrated values shows that the overall trend is identical. A wet year in the climate model is not necessarily a wet year in reality. With the proper script the model was calibrated for the period 1970-2000 AD. only the amounts of discharge differ. The calculation script with the used calibration factors can be found in Appendix C. These data are obtained from ECBilt as well because accurate data from direct measurements are not available.

It has been decided to used evaporation data from the Indian Ocean in ECBilt (~ 50° E and 2. These data were further calibrated against estimated values attributed to the Turkana basin (0.5° N) to reproduce more realistic data and precipitation from the middle of Turkana basin.313096095 for evaporation and a correction factor of 0. As well decreased soil moisture would lessen run-off. The influence of land on the evaporation regime differs from that of a water body. because it can not accurately reproduce the local atmospheric pattern.3 m for evaporation). In ECBilt. due to the different heat capacity.104250581 for precipitation were used to bring the modeled values closer to estimated means for the calibrated period: Omo discharge 20 18 km3/year 16 14 12 10 1970 19751980 1985 19901995 2000 year Figure 17: Omo discharge: annual mean discharge of 19 km³/year and ca .437 m³/sec/average monthly mean for entire period.It was mentioned in the previous section when calibrating Omo discharge that the coarse resolution of the model leaves room for overestimation or underestimation of discharge values. Lake Turkana is not seen as a body of water.2 m for precipitation and 2. 49 .14 km³/year Omo discharge 3000 2500 2000 m3/sec 1500 1000 500 0 J F M A M J J Month A S O N D Figure 18: Omo Monthly discharge: ca. As such a calibration factor of 1. but as a land cell.

The start value is set at 375 meters above sea level elevation as Butzer (1971) estimated. 34000-3000 BP and 6200-5800 BP. the 19 km³ / year or the 14 km³/year calibration. 3.Xy = corrected climate variable for a given year XK = the mean of the observed data XM = the mean of the modeled data Xm = the uncorrected modeled data for a given year A drawback for the model is the fact that a fixed calibration factor is used for calibration of precipitation and evaporation.  The period 1750 – 2000 AD will be first validated against instrumental data. A) 1750-2000 AD time period is segmented in two distinct sections:  The 1970 -2000 AD period is used to observe which of the two scenarios used for river calibration. to correct the outcome values from the model. using the same calibration factor used for present times.6 Time frame selection of model runs: Three time slices were selected to be analyzed. catches the overall trend observed (see Figure 7) and is more suitable to prepare the model for the paleodischarge modelling. 49 . that are considered to capture the major trend of climatic changes that have occurred in Turkana basin: 1750-2000 AD. The same approach was used for the paleo –time slices. Keep in mind that these are just approximations and could it be that the same correction factor used for the present is not longer valid for the paleo-times. The start value is set at 360 m elevation. to explore to which degree the model resolves the decadal and centennial resolution. This was an arbitrary chosen value after Butzer’s (1971) approximation of lake level of being lower at that time.

section 2.. as the surface of integrated plain is not taken into-account. C) 6200-5800 BP period: The Mid Holocene period defined here as 6200-5800 BP. BP (Street and Grove 1979). 49 . while other lakes from Ethiopia do not show this characteristic. Butzer et al.. As well Sd term from equation (1) should be included. The start value of Turkana lake level was prescribed to 330 meters elevation. after the sensitivity runs . 1972) . which stood at an elevation of +50. Note that at this time Lake Turkana was periodically interconnected with the Lotigipi mud flats plain to the west (Butzer. is considered because it catches the response of Lake Turkana to higher precipitation regime installed over the east Africa. gave the same value of 330 meters( in about 100 years) at the end of 3400-3000 run. and that is not the case in this study. By this time Lake Turkana achieved the closed basin status as a consequence of an overall aridity trend established over Africa since 5000 yr. The STREAM model is set-up for this specific time by replacing the precipitation and temperature data from previous runs with corresponding data for 3400-3000 BP period.2 of this paper. Increased summer insolation should result in reinforced monsoon circulation by enhancing the inter-hemispheric ocean-land pressure contrast.2) would apply. we ca not appreciate correctly this terms at the overflow level. 1982. ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE simulates higher precipitation for the horn of Africa (Renssen et al. Butzer’s (1972) investigations (based on 14C dates on terraces) show a regression during this time towards higher lake level of + 60 m above 1970 reference level (375 above sea level).This situation is changing the number of factors accounted for lake level balance calculations resulted from equation (2). The rest of initial maps are the same as used for calibration period.. and Figure 10). changes in summer insolation are in anti-phase between the two hemispheres.1972) above the calibrated 375 m above sea level accounted for last Century. Since we use a correction factor for the evaporation and precipitation over the lake .4. (1992) and Cerling (1986) studies do not record as well this regression (see chapter 2. Due to the geometry of orbital precession..with values in the range of 300 m and 400 m has been prescribed for start. 2006). According to paleoclimatic estimates the precipitation changes were probably ~20 % higher for that period of time (Hastenrath and Kutzbach 1982) than today.. The question remains if the accounted changes in precipitation resulting from the ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE model data are enough to raise the lake level to a range of + 65 to +70 m ( Butzer. B) 3400-3000 BP The period seems to be controversial in available data with respect of Turkana lake level.. and therefore equation (1) (section 2. Halfman et al. Records show an episode of wet conditions (Nicholson 1980) which correlates with a high level of Lake Turkana. + 70 m above last Century’s records (Owen et al. 1982). The higher lake levels are attributed to the interaction between orbital forcing and the monsoon system.

10 meters by 2000 AD (Figure 19). 4. 49 . To establish the start value the model was tested with different start values into range of 375 -500 meters elevation. It was found that at the end the model equilibrates (in ca. Results and discussion: 4.2) 1970 -2000 AD period calibrated for a range of 14 km3. the lake level increases ca.1. which show a decline of almost 5 m by 2000 AD.1)1970-2000 AD period for the higher Omo discharge calibration value of 19 km³/ year average .4) the 1750-2000 AD period is separated in two segments: A) and B) as explain below: A).The STREAM model was run with the same set-up used for calibration. this calibration scenario was abandoned since the high discrepancy will overestimate the flux of river input into Lake Turkana.1970-2000 AD  A. This represents the opposite trend expected in the data. with the change of relevant precipitation and temperatures map for 6200-5800 BP. As a consequence. 150 years) at 446 meters elevation which therefore was used as start value. Figure 19: Lake Level at Omo higher discharge values (19 km³/ year average)  A. section 3. Historical and instrumental lake level fluctuations: As mentioned before (calibration.

The short and rapid rise of 20 meters around 1900 is attributed to rain anomalies over Lake Turkana and short climatic events possible in connection with ENSO teleconnection (Verschuren. 49 . On the other hand the 1940-1970 AD are in very good correlation that demonstrates that the model is capable of stimulating to resolution of decades. Compared with Butzer’s (1971) estimations (Figure 6) we can find a similarity regarding the rise of lake levels between 1820-1850 although the magnitude and the timing of the rise do not fit. Butzer (1971) stipulates a sharp rise of +15 meters for 1840-1860 that last until 1900 AD. The model shows an early start in 1800 which rich maximum in 1830 of +6 meters. From Figure 20 it can be observed that the lake level decreases by 2 meters by 1993. followed by a decrease of 1.5 m by 2000 AD. Figure 20: Lake level at Omo medium discharge values (14 km³/ year average) B) 1750. then rose again by 1 m.term forcings and ECBilt simulates climate variability and not specific years.The modeled annual average was unexpected almost perfectly matched with the available data. 2008).1. but is more accurate than previous the calibration A. Therefore the model will be run with these calibration parameters set-ups. This is still a good match because on one hand the data collected by Butzer (1971) are scarce and on the other hand we need to remember that the model is forced by long .2000 AD: For this period the lake level varies by as much as 8 meters between 356 m and 364 m (Figure 21). Compared with available data for period 1970-2000 AD (Figure 7) the range is smaller than the observed values.

modeled total river discharge/lake area and calibrated P-E over Lake.Figure 21: Lake level fluctuations at Omo medium discharge value(14 km³ /year average). 49 .

49 . This is best demonstrated by the relatively dry conditions measured in East Africa around 1840’s (Nicholson 1998) while in the model the 1840’s represent a wet period. In figure 22 we can observe than when the model start with an value of +10 m as appreciated by Butzer (1971) for interval 1899-1902 the lake start to decrease rapidly and reach equilibrium at 19401950 . the lack of precise data and the fact that modeled climate data are used to run the STREAM model could be considered the cause. the lake variations are attributed to changes in Omo discharge and to a lesser extend to changes in ratio between precipitation and evaporation over the lake. A wet year in the model does not necessarily correspond to a wet year in reality.but the proportion is different when less than decadal . It could as well reasoning scale differences between models and collected data.In the model the human influence on land use is not included. Butzer (1971) underlines that the climatic thresholds at 1898 and 1961 were dramatic and the amplitude is of a scale unrivalled by secular trends of climate in higher latitudes. finding a close similarity within the data (Figure 6 and 7). and vice versa. For the 1980 onward the decline in lake levels observed in data may have been the result of increase cultural practices. The short calibration period.time variations occur.The fact that modeled decadal shifts do not match on precisely with recorded data can be argued from a number of views. From the correlations found between lakes variables (Table 3). such as irrigation schemes diverting water for Lake Turkana (Haak 2006). Figure 22. Lake level variation from 1900 to 2000 AD.

07 R = 0. This is expected because ECBilt simulates precipitation a little bit lower than the 20th Century and much more less than the 6200-5800 BP period (see also table 6) . Kerio.03 Table 4: Correlation between annual Fw and different variables.96 R = 0. As observed from Figure 23 the present decadal simulated variations in lake level for this time slice correspond to a period of permanent reorganization in lake equilibrium. The modeled lake levels are more in agreement with Johnson et al. The high stand postulated by Butzer (1972) is not found in simulated discharge.Variable Correlation with total annual Fw Annual Omo discharge Annual discharge for Turkwel. Variable Annual Omo discharge Annual discharge for Turkwel.E R = 0. We can 49 . while precipitation and other rivers discharge could account only for the remaining 10 % . Kerio.01 R = 0. 3400-3000 yr BP: The range of fluctuations for this period ranges between 326 and 334 meters. littoral Annual over lake P . 4. This is expected because Omo River contributes almost 90 % to the input in the lake.E Correlation with total annual Fw R = 0. lower than the runs for 20th Century run and 6200-5800 BP..02 Table 3: Correlation between annual Fw and different variables . littoral Annual over lake P . (1991) reconstructed lake levels (Figure 10).2.98 R = 0.

1994. The contradicted low levels are reconstructed from the isotopic composition of fossil diatoms and AMS dates (Halfman and al. 49 . conversion between calendar years and radiocarbon ages. The Tropics provide quite a challenge when it comes to reading the climate signal due to a number of factors such as uncertainty of 14C dating ages. plus complexity in interpreting the records (Halfman et al. just underlines the importance of good quality of proxy data for validating modeling outcomes. For Lake Turkana especially the interpretation is complicated by migration of the Omo delta with changing lake level and morphology of the basin.None of the mentions methods is without challenge in interpretations. This report does not explicitly deal with the pro and cons for paleo-proxy reconstructions as it. The available data for this period is connected to different proxy paleo-reconstructions: Butzer found the regression towards high lake levels ( ca. 1992. This study is limited at modeling the 3400-3000 BP period. 3250 BP ) from 14C carbon dating on basin terraces. 1994).. because there is a dilated time. Translation from 14C age to calibrated age gives room for +. There is not yet a precise date for the precise timing of return to high lake levels as found by Butzer (1972).150 years error or even more. The above reconstructed lake levels are in contradiction but could not exclude one to each other. A consequence of Turkana’s low average slope and close basin configuration is that small lake level fluctuations produce large shifts in Lake Margin facies (Cohen 1989). 4 meters followed by rapid negative decrees of -6 meters around 3050 yr BP. Again it can be observed how influence of local conditions that can overcome the regional pattern. It is important that the accounted proxy data explicit refers to lake levels or river discharge. This is correlated with a sharp drop in P-E balance over the lake. 3100 BP the decadal fluctuations correspond to intermediates levels variations of ca.slice window that presents the data.observe that from 3400 BP till ca. A different time slice could provide more insight for the climate around 4000 -3000 BP climatic conditions.).. The quality of the proxy data is very important for confirmation of model results. Also the special topographical setting in the rift system blurs the correlation between area and shoreline.

Figure 23: Lake level fluctuations. 49 . Total annual discharge/Lake Area and calibrated P-E over Lake.

In the future it will be interesting to follow progress in new dating. The lake fluctuated between 445 and 448 meters.22 Table 4: Correlation between annual Fw and different variables Lake level of about 445 m corresponds with the predicted levels for this period from Butzer’s (1971) and Owen’s (1982) investigation (Figure 9) and corresponds with general lacustrine environments establish over East Africa during the mid Holocene.99 R = 0.E Correlation with total annual Fw R = 0.The model simulated fluctuations show an alteration between intermediate and low stands of lake level. Correlation factor between different variables with respect to Fw fluctuations clearly shows that Omo river discharge is accounts again to a large extent for the variations. Response time to a positive or negative balance in P-E over the lake demonstrate that the lake is always very close to equilibrium level. Mid Holocene 6200-5800 yr BP: The simulated lake level for this period is has been found to be clearly higher than 20th Century run.05 R = 0. Kerio. with a difference of + 70 above the 20Th Century Lake level. of about 373 m (Figure 24).3. and to see how much the reconstructed lake levels will agree with the model simulations. which agrees with Cerling ( 1986) mass balance approach specifications. littoral Annual over lake P . 49 . as new dates may become available between fluctuations . attributed to intensifications of monsoon rains (Nicholson 1980). 4. Variable Annual Omo discharge Annual discharge for Turkwel.

49 .Figure 24: Lake level fluctuations . Total annual discharge/Lake Area and calibrated P-E over Lake.

The change is attributed to changes in precipitation regime and not to evaporation. the modeled lake level fluctuation agree well with paleo-lake levels found in literature and along with long . It is interesting to observe that as in the 1750-2000 AD run. The increased thermal contrast between hemispheres resulted in a northward migration of ITCZ which caused the rainy seasons south of Sahara to be longer (Nicholson 1980. The disappearance of the Scandinavian ice sheet and disintegration of the Laurentide ice sheet lead the northern hemisphere to reach a thermal maximum toward 6000 BP . humidity or wind changes. but very different with respect to 6200-5800 BP. 49 . which alter in turn the atmospheric patterns (Kutzbach and Liu. 4.term variations in lake levels modeled by combining hydrologic. To summarize .term regime of oscillations between wetter and drier conditions.. 1997). but due to proximity of the equator . From Figure 24 we can remark the close and intense decadal shifts of 2 to 4 meters from 6200 to 6000 BP . the sharp maximum decadal shift. here encountered between 6000-6050 yr BP correspond within increase Omo discharge and increase P-E balance. Street and Grove. From table 6 we can extract that the fluctuations are attributed to changes in river runoff. Evaporation rate depends on temperature. short decadal incursions have been simulated. 2001). which remains almost the same for all three time slices. 1979). while the southern hemisphere was cooling ( Nicholson 1980).The moist conditions after 6500 BP are interpreted to reflect different boundary conditions influencing after 7000 BP the atmospheric circulation. The Mid Holocene high stand coincides with second humid period documented in other East African lake basins associated with orbital periodic variations(Kiage and Liu . Christensen 2007) that have intensified early Holocene monsoonal circulation bringing an increased precipitation regime over north tropical Africa.4 Summary of al time slices: As general conclusion the long . followed by somehow smaller and smother decadal shifts of 1 meter or 2 meters towards 5800 BP. 2006. temperature changes are insignificant in range and inter-annual variations are considered small (Mercier et al. climatic and lake balance models is found to be in good agreement with available paleo-discharge reconstructions and roughly follow the late Holocene and calibrated period. Summer insolation controls the strength of the monsoon circulation trough the differential heat capacity of land and oceans. This underline how important local factors are for short term lake level fluctuations . P-E balance is almost the same between 1750-2000 AD and 3400-3000 BP.

total river discharge /Lake Area.( UNEP 2006 ).5 233.The rainfall pattern and distribution over Turkana Lake is erratic both in time and space .2 P (cm/yr) 20 24.9 E (cm/yr) 233.3 P-E (cm/yr) -213. The lake levels are likely to continue fluctuating widely because the projected increase in global temperatures will intensify the occurrence of extreme events .0 1.5 -126.Period Averaged Discharge River Over-Lake Data Lake level above sea level Average modelled (m) 360 330 446 Omo (km3/yr) 1750-2000 AD 3400-3000 BP 6200-5800 BP 13. The future of Lake Turkana is an overall downtrend due to global warming and to the intensification of land and water use in the catchments.4 Literature stipulated 365 Contradictory evidence 445 Table 6: Summary of all time slices included in the report with average values for river discharge. not only at longer time scale of millennia but as well to decadal an centennial scale.5 232. corrected annual average precipitation/ evaporation and average lake levels simulations. Al the equation terms constructed to calculate the water balance are based on estimations.595 5. It is remarkable that the model succeeds producing such a good match with the reconstructed paleo–lake level fluctuations from proxy data .616 19.147 Qri/Al m/yr 1. As well in the future will be an intensification of land and water use in the catchment as the population demand for water increases ( IPCC 2007).5 -207.  The hydrologic model STREAM was not properly calibrated against at least a discharge series of 30 years and climate model data to calibrate the hydrological 49 . Critical remarks: Along with positive reaction towards the results some critical aspects are needed to be considered. and the basin is prone to frequent droughts .8 106.  First of all this is just a rough attempt to reconstruct present and past lake level fluctuations.9 2. 5.

This values were further integrated in a lake model balance equation which calculates the dynamics of lake variation that account for area changes (as function between morphology of the basin and elevation). A version of existing STREAM hydrological model was coupled offline with a climate model of intermediate complexity ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE to derive runoff values. For this scope this experiment includes the set-up and work of three models. but at a smaller proportion that available data.  The other river discharge values have been taken into account when calculating the total discharge in the lake. when a different vegetation cover and different precipitation regime are present. corrections factors were applied for them. Conclusions: This study was designed to evaluate the possibility to construct a hydrologic model of Lake Turkana that is able to calculate the hydrological balance of the lake and if succeeded to analyze the relationship between climate change and induced lake level fluctuations.  Beside the fact that precipitation and temperature data are derived from modeled data. BP ) . The results reasonable interfere the high Mid Holocene of + 70 meters above the present time (6200-5800 yr BP.model that pose some problems with respect to the analysis of the calibration. modeled lake level equals for an elevation of 446 m above sea level). late Holocene ( 3400-3000 yr.( Omo river account for 80-90 % for the lake variations . Model predictions of the lake level fluctuations are verified against measured or estimated lake levels values for Mid Holocene (6200-5800 yr.The influence of Kerio and Turkwel could be that is underestimated especially for Mid Holocene time slices. plus precipitation and evaporation values over the lake. BP) and recent present ( 1750-1970 AD) periods. As noted by Cerling (1986) a different shape basin would give a different equation. This could have been increase the volume of discharge for other rivers discharging into the lake as well. while the model simulates a reverse trend. A wet year in the model not necessary corresponds to a wet year in reality. It cannot be appreciated what consequences this may have on the flow direction map and the relationship in the form of equations used to calculate lake area at different altitude (Figure 15 ). but in the model it actually accounts for 98 % of the total flux ) . The observed decline of lake levels in the calibrated period could be attributed as result of decrease river input caused by cultural practices ( Haack 1996). These factors were assumed constant for all the time slices. depending on the function relating depth with area.  In the downloaded elevation data Lake Turkana was found to be represented by to much higher altitude than those real occupations in the rift basin. 6.  The human induced changes on land used were not investigated. along with lower lake levels of late Holocene of 49 .

centennial and decadal. In addition. climatic and lake model~ it was shown that a reliable model can be constructed . as for the set-up and calibration drawbacks. 8. If this is not the case than one possibility would be to replace the climate model data with CRU data and to compare with the modeled outcomes of this study. The amplitude of disagreements is nevertheless too small to discourage further used of the model. improve the mapping of past lake level changes found in paleo-data and try to reconcile the disagreements. A further improvement at the robustness of the results will be to identify and include anthropogenic land . or the entire 4000 -3000 BP period . possible explanations have been provided that account as well for available information scarcity and contradictions. One possible scenario is to model on longer time scales. Until more studies are effectuated with direct concern to reconstruct paleo-lake level fluctuations.term climatic induce variations but shorter term . Furthermore in this study the land-cover maps remain the same for all three time-slices. much work remains to be done. the percent of which the other rivers contribute to the lake should be taken into account. Future research would require more reliable and accurate data. However. Future research: Since this is the first attempt to reconstruct the levels of Lake Turkana using this type of approach. It will also be interesting to see what the consequences on modeled lake level fluctuations of the following inclusions of short term forcings: cloud cover. solar irradiance on decadal and centennial scale. volcanic eruptions.which shows not only the long . these data could be used to improve the model calibration. scales as well.Bibliography : 49 . From the analysis of lake water balance with the above combination of three models ~hydrologic. the performed lake level simulations by the coupled model set-up are to be adding considerable rigor to the interpretations of proposed mechanisms and relationship of regional and global climatic variations. when the observed fluctuations did not match the modeled ones.use changes.330 m above sea level and intermediate lake levels toward the last centuries (modeled average lake levels 360 m above sea level for 1750-2000 period). If in the near future discharge data for Omo become available. To improve the results a different land used map for selected time-slices can be used to account for vegetation -induced changes in the discharge regime.

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Appendix A 49 .

Digital elevation model (DEM ) of Africa downloaded from : Appendix B .1 49 .usgs. Appendix B .2 49 . Data source: http://www.Africa Map representing the used window of Africa (blue square).sr.unh. with rivers discharge station coverage.

Retrieved from representing the initial chosen rivers for calibrating the model .html .Nyabarongo River is not visible in this map window.mbarron. 49 .

'input\etc\') Import (BPGLDD.. 'input\etc\') Import(A. PRE. 'input\etc\') Import(C..0 HEAT = H * 0..54 #Reading climate scenario data. 'input\initial\') Import(SOILSTOR. 1. 'input\initial\') Import(SNOW. 'input\initial\') Import(MASK. %ClimateChange) ImportTimer(PRE. 9 * TMP. 0) SNOW = SNOW + SNOW1 MELT = mif(TMP > 0. %OutputDirectory) #SNOW***SNOW***SNOW #Calculating snow fal. snow cover storage and snow melt. 'input\etc\') Import(MMTOQ. 'input\etc\') Import (CROPF.Appendix C #Script to calibrate Project Turkana Import(APWL. 'input\initial\') Import(GW. 'input\etc\') WHOLDN = WATERH * 1. %ClimateChange) TMP = (TMP/10) * mask PRE = (PRE/10) * mask #Display daily climate statistics for specific points (weather stations) timeout(TMP. 'input\etc\') Import(WATERH. MELT) SNOW = SNOW .SNOW2 PRE = PRE + SNOW2 . 1. 'input\etc\') #Reading Thornthwaite parameters Import(H. EVEN1 = TMP / HEAT EVEN2 = mif(EVEN1 > 100. %DischargePoints. %OutputDirectory) timeout(PRE. EVEN2) PE = 16 * ((10 * EVEN1)^A) 49 . ImportTimer(TMP. EVEN1) EVEN3 = mif(EVEN2 < -100. 0) SNOW2 = min(SNOW..SNOW1 #Calculate potential evapotranspiration using Thornthwaite. %DischargePoints. SNOW1 = mif(TMP < 0.

.PE SSTOR = mif(PEFF > 0. WHOLDN * ln(WHOLDN+1 / SOILSTOR). PRE + SOILSTOR .. DSCHRG.PE EVEN PE PE PE PE = mif(PE > 500. EVEN. 'Input\Palettes\Dis. SOILSTOR + PEFF .SLOFLO #Calculate discharge (snow melt + runoff + baseflow).4 * TOGW TOGW = TOGW . 0.pal') #ExportTimer(MELT2. 'Input\Palettes\Dis. %OutputDirectory.. max(0.WHOLDN). PE) = -415. PE. 'Input\Palettes\snow. %OutputDirectory.43 * TMP^2 = mif(TMP > 26. DSCHRG = RUNOFF + SLOFLO #ExportTimer(DSCHRG. %DischargePoints.. %OutputDirectory.pal') #ExportTimer(RUNOFF.9 #Calculate soil storage according to Thornthwaite-Mather .PE APWL = mif(PEFF < 0. #and create map of total monthly discharge per cel.85 + 32. SOILSTOR + PRE . WHOLDN * exp(-APWL / WHOLDN)) AE = mif(PEFF >= 0.pal') 49 .0. 'Input\Palettes\Dis.01.. 0) EVEN = SOILSTOR + PRE .. 'input\') DISQSEC = DISQ / 2592000 timeout(DISQSEC.24 * TMP . 500. accumulate discharge and calculate m^3/sec DSCHRG = DSCHRG * MMTOQ ###################DSCHRG = DSCHRG * 1000 DISQ = accu(BPGLDD.pal') #Recalculate mm -> m^3. %OutputDirectory.pal') ################ExportTimer(DISQSEC. 'Input\Palettes\Dis. %OutputDirectory.SSTOR) TOGW = mif(PEFF >= 0. %OutputDirectory) #ExportTimer(DSCHRG. 0) #Separate direct from delayed runoff (seepage to groundwater). RUNOFF = 0.. %OutputDirectory. PEFF = PRE . GW = GW + TOGW SLOFLO = GW / (C * 1. PE) = PE * CROPF * 3. APWL .pal') #ExportTimer(SNOW.AE . 'Input\Palettes\Dis. MASK) = mif(TMP <= 0.5.0) GW = GW .. 0) SOILSTOR = max(0. %OutputDirectory.PEFF. PE) = cover(PE.pal') #ExportTimer(SLOFLO. EVEN.RUNOFF #Calculate volume of groundwater and baseflow.TOGW) APWL = mif(SOILSTOR < WHOLDN. 'Input\Palettes\Dis.

. %OutputDirectory.pal') #Export initial-maps Export(APWL.. 'Input\Palettes\temp. %OutputDirectory) Export(SNOW. %OutputDirectory) TSummary(TMP. min and average) for Actual evapotranspiration. #TSummary(AE. %OutputDirectory) #TSummary(GW.pal') #ExportTimer(PE. %OutputDirectory) #Summarize (give max.End of iteration. %OutputDirectory) TSummary(PE. %OutputDirectory) TSummary(PRE.. 49 . %OutputDirectory) TSummary(SNOW. %OutputDirectory) Export(SOILSTOR. 'Input\Palettes\prec. groundwater budget and snow cover.#ExportTimer(TMP..pal') #ExportTimer(PRE. #Potential evapotranspiration. %OutputDirectory. 'Input\Palettes\prec. %OutputDirectory. %OutputDirectory) Export(GW. %OutputDirectory) #.

Appendix D Flow direction 1 = Southwest 2 = South 3 = Southeast 4 = West 5 = No direction 6 = East 7 = Northwest 8 = North 9 = Northeast Example of a corresponding discharge map (with masked basin): 49 .

49 .