Towuti Drilling Project

Lake Towuti shows a great diversity of indigenous flora and fauna, with the Towuti Drilling Project providing information on a better understanding of the climate, biological and geomicrobiological evolution.

project description

Lake Towuti - hotspot of biodiversity

The location of Lake Towuti in Central Indonesia provides an important opportunity to reconstruct the long-term terrestrial palaeo climate change in a crucial but underestimated region - the Western Pacific Warm Pool, the heart of the El Niño South Oscillation. The lake has a high number of floral and faunal endemism and is surrounded by one of the most diverse tropical forests on earth, making it a hotspot of biodiversity in the Southeast Asian region. The ultramafic (ophiolitic) rocks and the laterite soils surrounding the lake provide iron-containing metal substrates that promote a diverse, exotic microbial community in the water and sediment. They may be analogous to the microbial ecosystems that affect the Archeic oceans and Mars. The Towuti Drilling Program provides valuable new information to understand the climate, biological and geomicrobiological development of this unique system.

All figures/photos: ©ICDP

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