A team of scientists from the West Virginia University, headed by geologists Graham Andrews and Sarah Brown, made an unexpected discovery in Africa. While the researchers were on a field trip in Namibia, the geologists observed that hundreds of long, steep hills were scattered around the flat desert of that region. Those relief forms are caused by drumlins, a sort of hills that, commonly, are present in areas of the world where glaciers existed. That’s irrefutable proof of an African ice age, the researchers concluded.
“We quickly realized what we were looking at because we both grew up in areas of the world that had been under glaciers, me in Northern Ireland and Sarah in northern Illinois. It’s not like anything we see in West Virginia where we’re used to flatting areas and then gorges and steep-sided valleys down into hollows,” explained Graham Andrews.
After researching about the African drumlins, Andrews realized that no other scientist has ever discovered them.
Proofs Of An African Ice Age, Found in an Unexpected Discovery in Africa
“The last rocks we were shown on the trip are from a time period when southern Africa was covered by ice. People obviously knew that part of the world had been covered in ice at one time, but no one had ever mentioned anything about how the drumlins formed or that they were even there at all,” added Andrews.
Thanks to the unexpected discovery in Africa, where scientists found drumlins in the Namibian desert, the researchers proved that an African ice age happened. According to the researchers, the African desert of Namibia was covered by ice in the late Paleozoic Age, approximately 300 million years ago.
“This work is very important because not much has been published on these glacial features in Namibia. It’s interesting to think that this was pioneer work in a sense, that this is one of the first papers to cover the characteristics of these features and gives some insight into how they were formed,” also said Andy McGrady, a geologist at the West Virginia University, who also participated in the research.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.