A Bushveld Scientific Drilling Project
With on the order of 1 million km3 of igneous rocks, the Bushveld Complex by itself constitutes a Large Igneous Province. Its size alone poses first-order questions about how such vast volumes of magma are generated from the mantle. However, apart from its size, the Bushveld has several other features that make it remarkable.
- Unlike most Large Igneous Provinces, the Bushveld Complex is largely plutonic and represents the roots of such systems. It is the world's largest preserved igneous intrusion and presents a unique record of magma chamber processes on a truly grand scale.
- The Bushveld Complex is bimodal in composition, with subequal proportions of mafic and felsic igneous rocks. This compositional diversity provides an opportunity to study relationships between mantle and crustal sources of magmatism in detail.
- The Bushveld Complex contains fabulous mineral wealth, with resources of strategic and high-tech metals that are vital for both the South African and the global economies. Most important are the platinum-group elements, with on the order of 70% of world reserves, but there is very large production of Cu and Ni, Chrome, Vanadium, Fluorspar, Tin and dimension stone. The opportunity for cooperation with the mining industry can be of great mutual benefit.
An ICDP project on the Bushveld Complex will focus and coordinate efforts of the international community to solve major outstanding questions relating to large-scale melting of Earth's mantle, to magma chamber processes including the concentration of ore metals, and to the impact of mass and heat flux by magmas and related fluids into the shallow crust, the surface and the atmosphere.
The Bushveld Scientific Drilling project will advance the following ICDP science themes:
- Large igneous provinces and mantle plumes,
- Natural resources, and
- Volcanic systems and thermal regimes.
An ICDP project can play a major role in capacity building, it can lay the foundations for a curated, internationally-available reference collection of Bushveld material for future research, teaching and for public outreach as a geologic heritage site. This contribution will be of lasting value to the international community.
Figure R. Trumbull©
Africa, South Africa, Bushveld
24° S, 28° E (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)
Project Start and End
- workshop in preparation
- Robert B. Trumbull, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 3.1, Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry
- Lewis D. Ashwal, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Geosciences
- Philip Barnes, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Coasts and Oceans
- Sarah Jane Barnes, University of Toronto, Department of Earth Sciences, Jack Satterly Geochronology Laboratory
- Jean H. Bédard, Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada
- Alan E. Boudreau, Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences
- Grant Cawthorn, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Geosciences
- John D. Clemens, University of Stellenbosch, Department of Earth Science
- Janine Cole, Council for Geoscience, South Africa, Geophysics
- Patrick Cole, Council for Geoscience, South Africa, Geophysics
- Christoph Gauert, University of the Free State, Department of Geology
- Chris Harris, University of Cape Town, Department of Geological Sciences
- Robert Harris, Oregon State University, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
- Lutz Hecht, Museum fuer Naturkunde, Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity at the Humboldt University Berlin
- Marian Holness, University of Cambridge, Department of Earth Sciences
- Francois Holtz, University of Hannover, Institute of Mineralogy
- Jens Kallmeyer, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.3, Geomicrobiology
- Judith Kinnaird, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Geosciences
- Wolfgang Derek Maier, Cardiff University, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
- Edmond A. Mathez, American Museum of Natural History, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
- James E. Mungall, University of Toronto, Department of Earth Sciences
- Thomas Oberthür, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources Mineral Raw Materials
- James Scoates, University of British Columbia, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
- Christian Tegner, University of Aarhus, Department of Geoscience
- Trond Helge Torsvik, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 2.5, Geodynamic Modelling
- Trond Helge Torsvik, University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences
- Jill A. Van Tongeren, Rutgers University, Wright Labs, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
- Ilya V. Veksler, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 3.1, Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry
- Susan Jane (Sue) Webb, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Geosciences
- Allan Wilson, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Geosciences
Africa, BUSHVELD, ICDP-2013/12, Igneous Intrusion, Ore Deposits, South Africa
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