The Sangiran Formation Lower Lahar (Central Java, Indonesia): Landscape Development Preceding Homo Erectus Immigration

E. Arthur Bettis IIIa*, Yahdi Zaimb, Roy R. Larickc, Russell L. Ciochonc, Sumintod, Yan Rizalb, Mark Reagana, Matthew Heizlere

a

Department of Geoscience, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-4529, USA Department of Geology, Institute of Technology Bandung, Jalan Ganesha, no. 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia

b

c

Department of Anthropology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-1322, USA Geological Research and Development Centre, Jalan Dr. Junjunan no. 236, Bandung 40174, Indonesia

d

e

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Socorro, New Mexico, 87801-4796,

USA *address for correspondence and proofs Abstract The Sangiran Dome is the primary stratigraphic window for the Solo Basin, a coastal feature on the Plio-Pleistocene Sundan subcontinent south margin. In the Dome, the Lower Lahar unit (LLU) is a lahar-type debris flow overlying near-shore marine sediments. The event that emplaced the LLU likely originated from sector collapse on a neighboring volcanic edifice. Fossil molluscs indicate that swamps or shallow lakes lay between the edifice and the current Dome area.
40

Ar/39Ar analyses

on hornblende separates from six pumice lenses suggest that the LLU was deposited as early as 1.90±0.02 Ma. The LLU event transformed late Pliocene near-shore marine environments into estuarine and paludal settings. Shortly thereafter, glacioeustatic sea level decreases completed the

local transition to fully terrestrial environments that attracted Homo erectus to southernmost Sunda.

Keywords: Solo Basin, Sundan subcontinent, lahar, 40Ar/39Ar step heating, Homo erectus

1. Introduction The Sangiran Dome is situated in Indonesia’s Central Java Province, 12-20 km north of the city of Solo (Figure 1). The Sangiran Dome offers a stratigraphic window into the Solo Basin, a prominent Plio-Pleistocene feature on the southern coast of the former Sundan subcontinent. For more than a century, Dome localities have yielded early Pleistocene Homo erectus and other important vertebrate fossils. The feature was declared a World Heritage site by the 20th World Heritage Committee in December 1996 (Widianto et al., 1996). The Dome has a long history of colonial, national and international research focusing on stratigraphy and paleontology. In recent years archaeological and paleoanthropological attention has turned to the ecological conditions under which Plio-Pleistocene terrestrial fauna dispersed across the emergent subcontinent to inhabit its southernmost reaches (Huffman, 1999; Larick et al., 2000; O’Sullivan et al., 2001). This paper presents new geological data on the Lower Lahar unit (LLU), a mass flow deposit and event that had a quick and major role in transforming the Solo Basin littoral toward a number of terrestrial habitats that attracted Homo erectus and other large terrestrial mammals to the Solo Basin. We describe the sedimentology, stratigraphy, and age of the LLU as the first step in understanding the nature of environmental changes that made the southern Sunda attractive to Homo erectus.

2. Geology of the Sangiran Dome Within the Sangiran Dome, Homo erectus fossils are found in a long sequence of deposits that

and is also fluvial.. The upper two-thirds of the black clay yields fossils of terrestrial vertebrates well adapted to paludal conditions (Aimi and Aziz. fluvially reworked ash fall.range from lacustrine-paludal in the upper Sangiran Formation. Above the black clay are fluvial deposits of the Bapang (Kabuh) Formation (Watanabe and Kadar. 1985). The overlying Sangiran (Pucangan) Formation has two members. mudstones and muddy sandstones of the Puren (Kalibeng) Formation (Figures 1. formed hilly topography. The Bapang comprises fine to very coarse tuffaceous sandstones with lenses of pumiceous conglomerate intercalated in silts and black silty clay. but with a higher proportion of fine-grained volcanic sediments. Thin water-laid tuff layers occur throughout the black clay to form about 3% of its total thickness (Yoshikawa and Suminto. Larick et al. 2000). These occur as aerial tuffs. During the late Middle Pleistocene. Cross bedding. 1985). The lower and middle reaches of the Bapang hold the majority of Homo erectus fossils.. marine molluscs. several tributaries of the Solo River have dissected the dome. a series of mud volcanoes domed the area presently known as Sangiran. the LLU is the lower and the “black clay” is the upper. 2 and 3a). 1985). These are the marine limestones. 1994. Consequently. The fauna includes an abundance of Anadara sp. to riverine in the overlying lower and middle Bapang Formation (Figure 1). and paludal environments. Homo erectus fossils occur in the black clay’s upper reaches as one component in the fully terrestrial and endemic island-type fauna known as Ci Saat (de Vos et al. and exhumed Late Pliocene and Pleistocene deposits relating to Solo Basin infilling. well after Homo erectus disappeared from the Basin. The Pohjajar (Notoporo) Formation lies above the Bapang. The oldest exposed sediments ring four mud volcanoes at the Dome’s center . These forms suggest deposition in a shallow marine environment. and two lahar-formed . The black clay includes dark-colored siltstones and mudstones that accumulated in shallow marine. siltstones. brackish-water. parallel bedding and cut-and-fill structures are characteristic of the sandstone and conglomerates. and rare freshwater forms such as Corbicula sp.

sediment samples were dry-sieved on-site to separate large-size (>1. far-traveled pyroclastic flows. conglomerate and fine-grained sediments. We focus on the LLU. The Dome’s most recent sediments. A number of volcaniclastic mass flows have recently been studied in several parts of the world. 1995). Pebble-size pumice clasts for bulk-sample hornblende 40Ar/39Ar analysis were carried out on samples from 6 localities (Pagarejo. Methods Lahars fall within a range of volcaniclastic mass flow deposits that include large surges. Pablengan b.. the Upper and Uppermost Lahars. recording sedimentary characteristics that have proven useful for interpreting modern and late Cenozoic volcaniclastic mass flow deposits at Merapi (Newhall et al.diamictons. Pablengan a. We measured. Lavigne et al. 2000). Ngappon. a fluvial sequence consisting of alternating tuffaceous sandstone. 1998). and Cengklik b).5 cm diameter) and intermediate-size (0. and in the Cascade Range of the United States (Scott et al. Bukuran. Pablengan b. Oriented block samples were cut from the upper and lower portions of the LLU at five localities (Pondok. . At 6 localities (Pondok. and hyperconcentrated stream flows. including the Merapi cone located just west of the Sangiran Dome in Central Java. Pablengan a. photographed.. and described all known LLU outcrops and sampled the LLU at 9 localities that represented the variability we observed (Figure 1). Puren. Hominin fossils are not found in the upper reaches of the Bapang or in any part of the Pohjajar Formation. overlies the Pohjajar. 40Ar/39Ar analytical methods and age calculation details are provided in Table 3... 1999). Polished slabs and thin sections were prepared from these blocks.5 to 1. 2000. Cengklik a and Cengklik b). Pablengan a.. Ngampan. Pagarejo. Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines (Rodolfo et al.5 cm diameter) clasts from the matrix (Zaim et al. concentrated grain fluid mixtures. and Cengklik a).

and brown. The matrix is very poorly sorted with about 40-50% clay and silt (Table 2).. while the marine fossils are . where it is very fine sand. The andesite clasts range from gray. vesicular basalt. augite. Clast content decreases slightly upward. Pebble. Locally derived siltstone. magnetite. to 27 m at the southernmost exposure along the Cemoro River (Cengklik b. Cobble-size clasts are most common in the lowest 2 m of the unit. sandstone.. Sulcospira (Tereba) sp. it shifts to coarse to very coarse-skewed northward.. The remaining matrix consists of sand-sized angular to subrounded mafic to felsic volcanic rock fragments and rounded siltstone and mudstone. except at locality 1. Matrix mean grain size is in the fine sand range. The LLU matrix grain-size distribution is fine-skewed in the southern part of the outcrop belt. hornblende. reflecting pre-transport weathering. but pebbles tend to be uniformly distributed through the LLU. appear at the Pondok and Cengklik b sections (Figures 1 and 2). A few shells of the marine mollusc Anadara sp. tuffaceous clay. Figure 2). These constitute from 15-5 weight percent of the LLU (Table 1). limestone. and Unio sp. reddish gray. are found incorporated into the LLU mostly in the southwest outcrop area. mudstone and limestone clasts and mollusc shells are most abundant in the lower 1-2 m of the LLU. and orthopyroxene make up about 15-30% of the matrix. and altered volcanic rocks.3. and then to nearly symmetrical at the Puren and Pablengan b localities (Table 2 and Figure 4). to shades of yellow and green (Figure 3). Sand-sized angular volcanogenic crystal fragments of plagioclase. Deposit thickness ranges from 6 m to about 19 m in the northern part of the outcrop ring. Shells of the freshwater molluscs Corbicula sp. Bellamya sp. except for large (3-8 m) undeformed blocks of siltstone and sandstone that occur in the upper few meters at several localities. The Lower Lahar Unit The LLU is a matrix-supported diamicton with a medium to coarse volcanogenic sand matrix that supports rounded to angular polymictic clasts (Figure 3).to cobble-sized clasts (4-64 mm) are primarily pyroxene and pyroxene-hornblende andesite with subordinate pumice. The freshwater fossils are often unbroken and undeformed (Figure 3b).

Taken together. and preferred orientation of fine and medium sand grains around some pebbles and cobbles (Figure 3a and c). 1970.. Above the basal zone the LLU is massive. is present in the upper few centimeters of the Puren Formation. undeformed sandstone and siltstone blocks in the upper part of the LLU were probably suspended in the upper part of the plug by a combination of high density (buoyancy) and high strength of the matrix.5-2 m. These properties indicate a lack of turbulence during transport (Johnson. Minor deformation. the LLU is massive. at least locally. may have accumulated in a thin water-rich zone surrounding the blocks as they floated along with the mass flow. while clasts show no preferred orientation through the remainder of the LLU. Rare vertebrate fossil fragments have also been found in the LLU (Zaim et al. The LLU’s basal contact with the Puren Formation ranges from erosive to nonerosive. . and suggest that the bulk of the LLU was transported to the Solo Basin as a nonturbulent plug riding on a basal zone undergoing laminar flow. Long axes (C-axis) of clasts in the lowest 0. The lower part has weakly expressed graded bedding. In the lower portion of the LLU at Pablengan b. Fisher and Schmincke. low-density materials. deep scouring or significant deformation of the sea floor did not take place during the mass flow event that emplaced the LLU. Small. Flute amplitudes range from 5-10 cm and wavelengths from 1.5-1 m of the LLU are orientated roughly parallel to the base of the unit.5 m of the LLU are consistent with transport by laminar flow in a thin basal layer (Sparks. that are preferentially oriented around the large blocks. and in some instances is fluted. The large. usually compaction. indicating the presence of shearing conditions during transport. These features indicate that. especially epiclastic pumice. one end of a large (12 X 25 m) block of weakly cemented sandstone is deformed into a recumbent fold. With the exception of its lower 1-1. 1996).5 m. 2002). matrix-supported and contains undeformed and unbroken fragile material such as freshwater mollusc shells. sedimentary features expressed in the lower 1-1.highly fragmented. 1984).

. In total. pumice.25 km2) precludes a detailed discussion of lateral variations in the rheology of the mass flow that deposited the LLU. since there is a great variation in the silica content of . This interpretation is subject to debate however. This suite of features indicates that the mass flow was probably cohesive. The abundance of silicic clasts may suggest that the lahar originated in the silica-rich volcanic area southeast of the Sangiran dome rather than in the lower silica content volcanic area to the south and southwest (Ninkovich et al. vesicular basalt. 1982). the black clay/LLU contact is conformable. the LLU shows an absence of bedding.. Many of the pebble and cobble size clasts are moderately rounded to well rounded and appear to have been derived from a relatively high-energy fluvial environment such as a mountain stream. Second. First. Both observations indicate that the LLU surface sediments were either laid down below wave base. 2000). or that the receiving water body was not subject to waves or currents. These clasts indicate that the mass flow originated along the flanks of a stratovolcano at some distance from the Sangiran area. Unlike the many historic lahars at nearby Merapi volcano (Newhall et al. poor sorting and few indications of turbulence prior to deposition of short-traveled clasts. the flow that deposited the LLU did not transform into a muddy streamflow or “banjir” as it moved away from the volcanic edifice where it was initiated. The low percentage of pumice clasts. Considering the distance to the nearest source volcanoes (>20 km).Two lines of evidence shed light on the nature of the LLU upper surface following deposition. and the variety of andesites in various stages of weathering all suggest that the mass flow from which the LLU was deposited was not associated with an eruption. LLU surface sediments are neither winnowed nor sorted. the lahar that deposited the LLU was a very large magnitude event or closely spaced sequence of events. sandstone and mudstone. 2. absence of evidence such as “bread crusts” for rapidly cooled clasts. the LLU is heterolithologic and contains clasts of altered and unaltered andesites. In summary. The small area of outcrop represented by the Sangiran Dome (ca. but instead remained cohesive as it passed into shallow marine environments in the Sangiran area.

Thus 40Ar/39Ar analysis of a lahar matrix hornblende grain from Cengklik a produced an age of 1.66 ± 0. 2001).77 ± 0. (1994) associated a bulk sample 40Ar/39Ar age of 1. In France.. 4. mistakenly sampled the LLU.. 1975).08 Ma.. This explanation. the common procedure isolates small bulk hornblende samples from epiclastic pumice (Swisher. 1997. 1951. Larick et al.66 ± 0. Swisher et al. 1994: 1120). Whiteford.’s determination matches the single grain 40Ar/39Ar age from the LLU at Pablengan a. Swisher and Curtis. In attempting to resolve the discrepancy.08 Ma (Swisher 1999).04 Ma with an important Homo erectus fossil findspot stratigraphically above the LLU in the “Lower Pucangan formation” (c.. 2000).. 1998.04 Ma (Sémah et al.. nevertheless. hornblende grain from Pablengan a yielded 1. 1998. does not cover the bulk sample 40 Ar/39Ar age of 2. The two methods have been applied throughout the dome sedimentary sequence with consistently divergent results (Larick et al.08 Ma (Swisher. 1998. We continue to use the laser step-heating age spectrum method on small bulk samples of pumice hornblende. Sangiran Formation. Swisher et al. 1999). Sémah et al. The divergence also holds for published dates from the LLU. 1999. Falguères et al. Swisher. 1998. 2000). Sémah et al. They conclude that Swisher et al. Sémah et al. Alternatively. one bulk sample 40Ar/39Ar analysis for the LLU yielded a plateau age of 2. In the United States. 2000).lavas in Central Java where fragments of the pre-Cenozoic oceanic trench crop out (Neuman van Padang.. 1994. Geochronology Two 40Ar/39Ar step-heating procedures are currently used to date the volcaniclastics of the Sangiran Dome. Widiasmoro. Dome pumice epiclasts have a relatively uniform mineralogy throughout the . (2000) refer to a pumice hornblende bulk sample 40Ar/39Ar analysis of questionable provenance. (2000) observe that Swisher et al. the common procedure analyzes single hornblende grains derived from fine-grained matrix (Falguères.f. Swisher et al.

2-5 % hornblende. 5. As demonstrated by LL-1 and LL01-4. We analyzed hornblende separates from six pumice lenses within the LLU (Tables 3. LLU pumice clasts generally show 5-15 % plagioclase. Total gas ages are typically older than plateau ages as the initial steps of the spectra record anomalously older apparent ages relative to the plateau segments (Table 4). Plateau ages range between 1. 5. Most spectra record a flat segment that contains between 2 to 6 steps and 50 to 100% of the 39Ar released.88±0. K/Ca spectra are generally flat except for initial steps that record slightly higher values compared to the majority of the sample (Figs. although some is dark red-brown due to oxidation. Samples LL-3 and LL-4 each yielded one hornblende (LL-3 green. . 6. The age spectra show varying degrees of complexity and replicate runs do not always produce consistent apparent ages (Figs. 1-2 % opaque oxides. LL-4 brown). For samples LL-1 (Cengklik a). Figs. 5a-f.75±0. 6. 2001). Inspection of the amphibole separates under a a binocular microscope reveals the hornblendes to be poikiolic with significant plagioclase inclusions and also distinct color populations in some instances. 3 to 4 replicate runs were preformed to evaluate sample heterogeneity (Tables 4. Radiogenic yields are typically low for initial steps. Hornblendes from LL01-4 and LL01-9 were very dark green to black.02 Ma (LL-2-a –Ngampon)) to 2. 6). LL-2 (Ngampon) and LL01-4 (Cengklik b). 4 and 5). but rise to values as high as about 80% for the high temperature heating steps (Table 4. These high radiogenic yields contribute to age results that are quite precise. 0-1 % augite. and < 1 % apatite phenocrysts. suggesting that they erupted from a single volcanic center (Larick et al. Pumice hornblende is usually pleochroic olive green or brown-green to yellow. replicate plateau ages do not agree at the 2 sigma error level (Table 5) and indicate scatter above what can be explained by analytical error alone. 5.sedimentary sequence. Age spectrum diagrams for each sample are shown in Figures 5 and 6. Table 5).. LL-2 gave 2 replicates of a green amphibole and one of a brown hornblende. 5. Table 4). 6a-d). Sample LL-1 provided 3 replicate analyses of a green hornblende. Crystals in some pumice were apparently shattered by eruption. Figs.08 Ma (LL-4-a – Cengklik b).

the isochron arrays can be visualized by inspection of the radiogenic yield and age spectra plots (note that indication of excess argon which manifests as a correlation between old apparent age and low apparent radiogenic yields does not exist) and finally isochron analysis did not supplant the plateau ages in the overall interpretation of the LLU age.02 Ma. It was noted during mineral separation that this brown amphibole appeared altered relative to the other amphibole separates and had significant matrix material adhering to the crystals. respectively (Figs. Considering that mixed age populations is the mostly likely cause for that lack of replicate analysis reproducibility. These explanations are not entirely satisfactory.92±0. we suggest that the youngest plateau ages probably reflect a maximum age for the deposit. The spread in apparent plateau ages does not appear to be caused by excess argon contamination. Thus the analytically indistinguishable plateau ages of 1.90±0. It is probable that older apparent ages result from pumice that was recycled from older tephra sequences and their overall flat age spectra represents homogenization of the age populations during the step-heating of the bulk samples.02 and 1. Another possibility is that the hornblende has experienced argon loss during alteration or oxidation. Isochron analysis was conducted on all of the samples and does not reveal apparent ages that are significantly different than the plateau ages. the plateau age spread must be interpreted with caution. 5a. however based on all other data this sample must be considered anomalous and inaccurate. The brown hornblende extracted from LL-2-c yielded an overall saddle-shaped age spectrum with a minimum age of 1.12 Ma (Fig.03 Ma from LL-2-a and LL-2-b (Ngampon). The isochron plots are not provided because they suffer from too few data points for each individual sample.As the hornblende separates are heterogeneous in mineralogy and age. A possible explanation for the apparent young age is that the matrix material has experienced argon loss and is degassing during the intermediate part of the age spectrum.88±0. 5f). 5b) allow the interpretation that the LLU is not older than 1. .

the LLU’s primary features are apparent sedimentary cohesiveness .02 to 2. 1984. The LLU pumice hornblende 40Ar/39Ar plateau ages are consistent with those reported for the Bapang Formation. 1998). such as debris flow and hyperconcentrated stream flow. nature of the debris flow. and sediment characteristics (Fisher and Schmincke. six pumice lenses within the LLU yielded hornblende variable with respect to color and plagioclase inclusions. most recorded a flat segment that contained between 2 to 6 steps and 50 to 100% of the 39Ar released.02 Ma for the entire deposit. The basal contact of laharic sediments with underlying deposits can be erosive or nonerosive. depending on local topography.. As an event. Lavigne et al. Rodolfo et al. The 40Ar/39Ar plateau age for the lowest Bapang pumice hornblende is 1.08 Ma (Larick et al. For example. the older apparent ages probably indicate pumice recycled from older tephra sequences. As the spread in apparent plateau ages seems not to result from excess argon contamination.In summary.000 years. Discussion A lahar is a rapidly flowing mixture of rock debris and water (other than normal stream flow) from a volcano. which overlies the black clay. and lithic characteristics of the LLU are consistent with its deposition by a lahar or a sequence of lahars closely spaced in time. sedimentological.08 Ma.51±0. a lahar results from one or more discrete processes. 2001).90±0. These data suggest that the black clay accumulated in a period approaching 400.88±0.02 Ma) provide a chronological bracket for the intervening Sangiran Formation black clay. This oldest Bapang age and the estimated maximum LLU age (1.75±0. While the age spectra showed varying degrees of complexity and the replicate runs did not always produce consistent apparent ages.. Plateau ages ranged between 1. Homo erectus appeared in the Sangiran dome toward the end of this period. 5. The sedimentology of the LLU may be compared with a number of recently studied mass flow volcanic deposits.. Stratigraphical. 2000. We therefore suggest that averaging the two youngest plateau ages provides a maximum age of 1.90±0.

transform quickly to debris flows. cohesive debris flows often begin as debris avalanches. when abundant loose volcanic materials are present high on the volcano flanks. 2000). are triggered primarily by intense rainfall during the rainy season. and remain as such to their termini (Scott et al. Helens). as well as very large and far-traveled pyroclastic flows and lahars are associated with massive collapse of statovolcanoes (for example. Heterolithologic lahars are most often generated by collapse of crater walls or avalanching of rain-soaked debris covering steep volcanic slopes (Fisher and Schmincke. at Mount St. such as shells may be transported without much damage. transit and deposition of the flow. They argue that the rheology of these materials evolves as mixture agitation. and deformation are minimized in the plug and fragile materials. abrasion. 1984). At Cascade. lahar matrix is strong enough to produce a rigid plug in which shear stress is below the yield threshold throughout.. LLU grain size and sorting characteristics are very similar to cohesive debris flows at Cascade volcanoes. 1998) and at the neighboring Merapi volcano in Central Java (Lavigne et al. such as lahars. More frequent and larger magnitude lahars occur during and immediately following eruptive phases of these volcanoes. Johnson (1970) and Hampton (1972) argue that in some conditions. At . Large surge deposits.. such as Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines (Rodolfo et al. grain-concentration and fluid-pressure change during the initiation. The relatively small outcrop area and an absence of subsurface information on the LLU beyond the Sangiran Dome do not allow us at this time to investigate the nature of lateral variations in rheology of the flow(s) that emplaced the LLU. Such a plug can ride on a basal zone of laminar flow within which the shear stress is greater than the yield threshold. Historic lahars at southeastern Asia volcanoes.throughout most of the unit and a basal zone transported by laminar flow. Recently.. Consequently. clast rotation. do not behave as simple materials with fixed rheologies. Iverson and Vallance (2001) argued that concentrated grain fluid mixtures. The well-preserved mollusc shells in the LLU indicate this kind of sediment cohesiveness during the LLU event. 1995).

Only after the commencement of Bapang formation coarse fluvial deposition about 1. lahar-derived andesite pebbles and cobbles outcrops dominate the raw material menu.. Newhall et al. and Scott et al. Besides burying preexisting topography. but at the time of the first Homo erectus immigration into the Sangiran area the LLU was buried by many meters of Sangiran Formation paludal deposits and thus was not available as a local source of raw material for Homo erectus lithic technology. In all archaeological assemblages recovered within the Dome. It is probably during subsequent early Pleistocene glacioeustatic sea level decreases that LLU-derived shallow aquatic environments emerged as fertile land surfaces (Ninkovich et al.. Clasts of andesite are present in the LLU.” which are common and opportunistic tools. 1995). it probably was generated by sector collapse of a large stratovolcano or volcanic complex. .5 Ma was a local source of lithic material present in the Sangiran area.Cascade volcanoes. 1982).. Andesite lahar clasts are naturally oriented towards the production of “bolas. Nevertheless. large cohesive debris flows are associated primarily with older volcanic edifices. 1999). More complex tools appearing on andesite cobbles include large retouched flakes and cleavers (Sémah et al. Based on the Merapi mass flows. (1995) illustrate similar effects at Mount Rainier. (2000) offer Holocene examples of laharinduced landscape transformations. Homo erectus arrived to the Solo Basin to find a variety of habitable environments. The LLU event did not create terrestrial surfaces as it flowed into a nearshore marine or lagoonal environment in the Sangiran area. it did reduce local water depth by as much as 20 meters. lahars often block valleys and impound lakes in traversed drainages. As land bridges then connected southern Sunda with mainland Southeast Asia. The LLU’s sedimentary cohesiveness implicates debris flow from a relatively old volcanic edifice with significant hydrothermal alteration. where hydrothermal alteration is intense (Scott et al. The LLU’s effect on the local landscape must have included such effects in terrestrial environments up gradient of the shallow marine environment present in the Sangiran area at the time of deposition. As the LLU event was apparently not associated with eruption.

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences issued research permits 7450/V3/KS/1998. and the Human Evolution Research Fund at the University of Iowa Foundation. that was probably triggered by sector collapse of a relatively old volcanic edifice located east or southeast of the Sangiran area. Lindsay Eaves-Johnson. . with assistance from the Indonesian Geological Research and Development Centre and the National Archaeological Research Centre. Computer graphics and other digital images were produced by Rubén Uribe and Shirley Taylor. and updated by K. The LLU event significantly decreased the depth of shallow near-shore environments in the Sangiran area and set the stage for full local terrestrial emergence during early Pleistocene glacial episodes.6. Johan Arif and Sujatmiko aided in fieldwork. This age postdates glacioeustatic sea level lowering caused by the first major continental glaciation of the late Pliocene. Acknowledgements The Institute of Technology Bandung and the University of Iowa (UI) collaborated in this research. The debris flow was a lahar. or series of closely spaced lahars. Lindsay Eaves-Johnson proofread and copy-edited the manuscript. K. 3174/V3/KS/1999 and 4301/1. the University of Iowa Central Investment Fund for Research Enhancement. but predates the more frequent glacial episodes of the early Pleistocene. 40 Ar/39Ar pumice hornblende ages place the event as early as 1. the University of Iowa Office of the Vice-President for Research and the Office of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.90 Ma. Funding has been provided by the University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.3/KS/2001. The evolution of post-LLU estuarine and paludal environments in the Sangiran area produced terrestrial settings that attracted Homo erectus to southern Sunda generally and the Solo Basin in particular. Conclusions The LLU’s stratigraphic and lithological characteristics suggest deposition as a heterolithological yet cohesive debris flow.

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90±0. All apparent ages are interpreted as . Study localities and the location of mud volcanoes in the Dome’s interior are shown on the left. Indonesia. Refer to the text for a discussion of features indicated on the images. Replicate analysis of LL-1 do not yield consistent results and suggest multiple age populations within the bulk mineral separates. Age spectra. Grain-size distribution was determined by sieving LLU samples in the field. LL-2-a and LL-2-b combine to provide a maximum age of 1. LL-3-a (e). Cumulative weight percent diagrams and histograms depicting grain-size distribution of the LLU matrix. LL-4-a. Images of selected polished slabs of the LLU. (f) and LL01-9 (g). Age spectra. Figure 2. K/Ca and radiogenic yield diagrams for LL01-4 (a-d). Grain-size statistics are given in Table 2. Figure 6. Location of the Sangiran Dome in Central Java. K/Ca and radiogenic yield diagrams for hornblende samples LL-1 (a-c) and LL-2 (d-f). Logs of selected LLU stratigraphic sections in the Sangiran Dome. Figure 5. The location of sample blocks that were made into polished slabs is indicated. Images were made by scanning polished slabs on a flat bed scanner. Like LL-1.02 Ma for the LLU.Figure Captions Figure 1. The sections depicted cover the range of observed thickness of the LLU in its outcrop belt. LL01-4 has replicate ages that do not agree at 2 sigma and indicate a heterogeneous age population of hornblende crystals. Figure 3. The sample localities are shown on Figure 1. LL-2-c yields an anomalously young apparent age and is considered inaccurate. Figure 4.

maximum emplacement ages for the LLU. .

96 10.0.06.0.12 0.98 10.25 .0.06 <0.92 15.0.06 >2.25 0.0 1.0 – 1.29 32. Grain-size classes of the LLU.29 33.76 14.12 .53 3. >2.0 2.02 12.25 .0 1.0.0 2.80 8.25 .46 4.47 9.0 .0.0. from numbered localities shown on Figure 1.50 .0 – 1.0 .70 10.12 0.0 – 1.06 13.50 .0 1.00 10.16 12.25 .0.12 .25 0.25 0.5 0.82 10.06 >2.73 10.30 16.0 1.50 7.12 14.19 44.50 .0 – 1.94 11.12 0. including the coarse fraction.0 .10 33.06 2.70 9.0.12 .Table 1.06 6.73 4.21 6.50 .25 0.0 2.67 14.0.36 38.12 .0.27 11.50 .16 5.5 0.12 0.0 .5 0.0.0 2.54 15.25 .06 <0.0.5 0.27 17.5 0.0 .06 <0.0 2.0 – 1.12 .0.0.0.08 Pondok Ngampan Cengklik a Bukuran Pablengan a _________________________________________________________________________ .73 14.06 <0.0 – 1.0.29 14.0.12 0.17 9.5 0.20 35.06 <0.06 >2.0 1.0.33 8.25 0.0.12 0.25 0.12 .57 14.88 11. _________________________________________________________________________ SITE FRACTION DIAMETER (mm) % _________________________________________________________________________ Pagarejo Pebble Very Coarse Sand Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand Very Fine Sand Mud Pebble Very Coarse Sand Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand Very Fine Sand Mud Pebble Very Coarse Sand Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand Very Fine Sand Mud Pebble Very Coarse Sand Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand Very Fine Sand Mud Pebble Very Coarse Sand Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand Very Fine Sand Mud Pebble Very Coarse Sand Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand Very Fine Sand Mud >2.68 9.0 .0 2.0.06 >2.25 .0.0.06 <0.0 1.50 .0.

27 phi leptokurtic 1. ____________________________________________________________________________________ MEAN GRAIN SIZE SORTING SKEWNESS KURTOSIS (Mz) (S) (Sk) (Kg) ____________________________________________________________________________________ Pagarejo Pondok Ngampan Cengklik a Bukuran Pablengan a 3.3 phi very poor 2.6 phi fine sand 2.02 phi +0.37 phi leptokurtic 1.06 phi -0.3 phi very poor -0.4 phi very fine sand 2.1 phi very poor 2.8 phi fine sand 2.18 phi leptokurtic SITE ____________________________________________________________________________________ .40 phi leptokurtic 1.Table 2.25 phi leptokunic 1. Grain-size statistics for the LLU matrix.7 phi fine sand 2.2 phi very poor 2.56 phi very leptokurtic 1.66 phi +0.4phi fine sand 2.49 phi +0.1 phi very poor 2.003 phi +0.3 phi very poor 2.7 phi fine sand 2.39 phi 1.

7 x 10-18 moles at masses 40. 1 operated at ~450°C and 1 at 20°C. 37. respectively.1% by CO2 laser-fusion of 4 single crystals from each of 6 radial positions around the irradiation tray. Total laser system blanks plus backgrounds were assigned to be: 930. Correction factors for interfering nuclear reactions were determined using Kglass and CaF2 and are as follows: (40Ar/39Ar)K = 0.25x10-16 moles/pA for NM-132 and NM-155 samples.3. If the MSWD is above 1. Plateau age errors calculated using the method of (Taylor. J-factors determined to a precision of ± 0.0002±0. 38.4. 1. 1987).00072±0.84 Ma (Deino and Potts.0003. respectively. 5. Reactive gases removed during a 20 minute reaction with 2 SAES GP-50 getters. All errors reported at ±1σ. Plateau ages calculated for the indicated steps by weighting each step by the inverse of the variance.000005. relative to Mmhb-1 at 520.4 Ma (Samson and Alexander. Sample preparation and irradiation: Mineral separates obtained by standard magnetic. MSWD values are calculated for each plateau ages. . Analytical parameters: Electron multiplier sensitivity averaged 0. 1990).Table 3. 50 W CO2 laser furnace: Samples analyzed by step-heating with defocused laser beam. (36Ar/37Ar)Ca = 0. (FC-1) with an assigned age of 27. Samples irradiated for 1 (NM-132) or 2 hours (NM-155) in the D-3 position of the Texas A&M reactor along with neutron flux monitor Fish Canyon Tuff sanidine. each step 3 minutes. the plateau age error is multiplied by the square root of the MSWD. heavy liquid and hand-picking techniques.70 or 1. Instrumentation: Mass Analyzer Products 215-50 mass spectrometer on line with automated all-metal extraction system. 3.00002. 1982). 39. Gas also exposed to a W filament operated at ~2000°C and a cold finger operated at -140°C. Age calculations: Total gas ages and errors calculated by isotopic recombination of gas derived from all heating steps.000280±0. 3. Decay constants and isotopic abundances after Steiger and Jäger (1977). and (39Ar/37Ar)Ca = 0.3. and 36. 40Ar/39Ar analytical methods and age calculation procedures for the dated pumice hornblendes.

Table 4. Excel table here . 40Ar/39Ar isotopic data for the laser step-heated bulk hornblende samples.

52±0.03 3 (A-C) 4 (B-E) 4 (C-F) 5 (B-F) 6 (A-F) 6 (A-F) 6 (A-F) 79.04 2.80 0.02 1.12±0.20 6.1 98.07 Cengklik a LL-1-a (green) LL-1-b (green) LL-1-c (green) LL-2-a (green) LL-2-b (green) LL-2-c (brown) LL-3-a (green) LL-4-a (brown) LL01-4-a (black) LL01-4-b (black) LL01-4-c (black) LL01-4-d (black) LL01-9-a (black) 14.42 2.99 1.54±0.60 13.5 Total gas age (± 1σ Ma) 3.60±0.12 Pablengan b .33 0.99 9.92 10.50 14.03 2.45±0.7 94.75±0.02 2.30±0.08 2.92±0.05 # Steps on plateau 2 (E-F) 4 (C-F) 4 (C-F) 4 (C-F) 3 (C-E) %39Ar in plateau 52.16 2. Locality Sample Weight (mg) Plateau age (± 1σ Ma) 2.23±0.35 14.75±0.80 3.76 1.37 Ngampon Pagerejo Pablengan a Cengklik b 1.23±0.08 2.98 14.02 2.06 2.49 4.95 2.02 2.402.10 2.15 Plateau MSWD 1.7 15.94 13.9 82.52 18.05±0.6 100 100 100 3.05 1.39±0.00±0.06 2. Compilation of Lower Lahar dating results.18±0.35±0.3 61.32±0.69 15.75 8.2 96.84±0.06 2.34±0.Table 5.88±0.04 2.12 2.41±0.07 1.25±0.02 2.54±0.5 97.62±0.08 2.4 94.03 2.20±0.07 2.20 2.03 2.

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