Floods, droughts, and migrations: The effects of Late Holocene lake level oscillations and climate fluctuations on the settlement and political history in the Chad basin

Type

Journal Article

Author(s)

Brunk, K.
Gronenbom, D.

Title

Floods, droughts, and migrations: The effects of Late Holocene lake level oscillations and climate fluctuations on the settlement and political history in the Chad basin

Year

2004

Journal

Studien zur Kulturkunde

Vol (No), pp

121, 101-132

Abstract

Throughout the Holocene living conditions in the Chad basin have been strongly influenced by various transgressions and regressions of Lake Chad. In this article we concentrate on selected lake levels and climate fluctuations which had major implications for the settlement history during the later Holocene millennia.These are the ca. 287–290 m-transgression which ended around 3000 BP/1000BC, the 285/286 m-level which was reached several times during the last 3millennia, and finally oscillations during the last two centuries which are recorded in travellers and colonial reports as well as modern collections of environmental data.The reconstruction and cartographic representation of the extent of these former lakes are based on the interpretation of detailed topographic maps, satellite images, various thematic and historic maps and the evaluation of a digital elevation model. Geographical information is then compared with archaeological and historical data and the effects of the lake level changes on the settlement and political history are evaluated. It becomes apparent that human response to environmental change is multifaceted and complex. Although certain repetitive patterns are evident throughout recorded history (12th century AD to present),the effects are very much dependent on the particular historic circumstances prevailing at the respective point in time.

Citation

Brunk, K., & Gronenbom, D. (2004). Floods, droughts, and migrations: The effects of Late Holocene lake level oscillations and climate fluctuations on the settlement and political history in the Chad basin. Studien zur Kulturkunde, 121, 101-132.

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