Dr. Ernst Conducts Field Work in South Africa

Friday, November 27, 2015

Glacial straie in 2.7 billion year old Ventersdorp flood basalts, the Glacial straie are Permo-Carboniferous in age

Glacial straie in 2.7 billion year old Ventersdorp flood basalts, the Glacial straie are Permo-Carboniferous in age

 

Dr. Richard Ernst was in South Africa for business from 1-18 September. It was his third time working in this country. He first travelled to southern Africa in 1994 to collect dolerite dykes and sills from the Central Karoo region (South Africa), southern Zimbabwe and southeastern Botswana. In 1997, he was invited to and spoke at a conference on "Plumes, Plates, Mineralization" in Pretoria, South Africa. 

Dr. Ernst began his most recent trip in the Northern Cape region, where he undertook field work with colleague Professor Wlady Altermann of the University of Pretoria. During this field work, Dr. Ernst learned the geological context and sampled Archean flood basalt units for uranium-lead dating. His next stop was the University of Pretoria, where he gave a 5-day short course on his LIPs book. The course was given for students and professionals in the mining industry. 

Dr. Ernst returned to Canada with material for dating, including material that had already been broken into grains using the SELFRAG Lab at the University of Pretoria. This rare piece of equipment uses extremely high voltage to break apart the sample along grain boundaries in a matter of minutes. 

 

Kuruman Iron formation, 2.7 billion years old

Kuruman Iron formation, 2.7 billion years old