Project 1407S

INQUA Skills Project 1407S: Capacity building for young Quaternary scientists of West Africa in Quaternary fluvial sediment analysis and Palaeo-environmental Changes.


N’dji dit Jacques Dembele: USSGB, BP 2575. Email:

Dr. Ibraimo Yabi (DCR) University of Abomey, Calavi Republic of Benin. Email:

Dr. Izuchukwu Mike Akaegbobi, Department of Geology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan – Nigeria. Email:


Since 2009, the West African Quaternary Research Association (WAQUA) was created at the international conference of Ibadan (Nigeria) on the initiative of Dr. Izuchukwu Mike Akaegbobi. As a sub-regional branch of INQUA, WAQUA aims to promote collaboration and synergy among Quaternary scientists (Geologists, archeologists, geographers, botanists, ecologists, paleontologists and anthropologists) of West Africa. Since its creation, WAQUA has already organized three international conferences: Lagos (Nigeria) in 2009, Cotonou (Benin) in 2010 and Accra (Ghana) in 2012. Those conferences enabled West Africans Quaternarists to share the results of their investigations. Two years after the last conference, WAQUA is planning to gather again Quaternary scientists of West Africa plus those from Chad, Cameroon, and Central African Republic in its fourth international conference in Bamako (Mali) between October 27-31, 2014 to discuss, share their results and visions on an important topic: Quaternary fluvio-lacustrine environments and human settlements in west Africa.

As appears frequently from the papers submitted, West African Quaternary scientists are not always aware of new methods in Quaternary research because of a lack of access to up-to-date literature. The aim of this capacity building project is to provide to young Quaternary scientists in West Africa up-to-date training in recent techniques and methods in Quaternary research on Fluvial and lacustrine sediment provenance analysis as well as Paleoecology, Geoarcheology and Paleoenvironmental studies being particularly hot topics. The training program, will form part of a combined initiative by HAB COMM and TERPRO Commissions. It will examine links between climate, hydrological and environmental changes by establishing close relationships from continuous terrestrial proxy climate records, age-spaced data from other terrestrial material (rivers, lakes and soils), and groundwater recharge indicators (isotopic, geochemical). This requires a close interaction between involved groups looking at terrestrial records with the up-dated technologies for finely resolving chronology and the associated environmental changes (accelerator 14C, U series, AAS, geochemical mass spectrometry). Topics to be examined include Past and contemporary human settlements in relations to Fluvio-lacustrine systems; Paleoecological evidence from Fluvio-lacustrine deposits; Current environmental issues arising on the use of Fluvio-lacustrine systems; Methods of research for Quaternary Fluvio-lacustrine complexes in West Africa.