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The Gona area includes many rich fossil localities that are of great consequence to the study of human evolution. The Adu-Asa Formation, containing the oldest of these fossils, consists of nearly 200 m of fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks in thin (≤;30 m), laterally variable sections interlayered with abundant basaltic lava flows. These volcanic and sedimentary rocks dip gently to the east and are repeated by north-northwest–trending, mostly west-dipping normal faults that accommodate extension in the Afar Rift.

The volcanic rocks in the Adu-Asa Formation are strongly bimodal. Basaltic lavas and tuffs are abundant, but we have also identified a rhyolite center...

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