The Towuti Drilling Project (TDP) is an international research program, whose goal is to understand long-term environmental and climatic change in the tropical western Pacific, the impacts of geological and environmental changes on the biological evolution of aquatic taxa, and the geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry of metal-rich, ultramafic-hosted lake sediments through the scientific drilling of Lake Towuti, southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lake Towuti is a large tectonic lake at the downstream end of the Malili lake system, a chain of five highly biodiverse lakes that are among the oldest lakes in Southeast Asia. In 2015 we carried out a scientific drilling program on Lake Towuti using the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) Deep Lakes Drilling System (DLDS). We recovered a total of ~ 1018m of core from 11 drilling sites with water depths ranging from 156 to 200 m. Recovery averaged 91.7 %, and the maximum drilling depth was 175m below the lake floor, penetrating the entire sedimentary infill of the basin. Initial data from core and borehole logging indicate that these cores record the evolution of a highly dynamic tectonic and limnological system, with clear indications of orbital-scale climate variability during the mid- to late Pleistocene.
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