*Iphakade “Imbizo” Origin and the evolution of the Cape Mountains and Karoo basin

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Meetings – 25th -27th November/2015

The Imbizo symposium – Origin and evolution of the Cape Montains and Karoo Basin was held between 23 and 30 November 2015 hosted by AEON – ESSRI (African Earth Observatory Network – Earth Stewardship Science Research Institute) in NMMU (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) in Port Elizabeth , South Africa. Imbizo is a word of Zulu origin and means meeting or gathering, which summarizes the aim of the event that is to provide a platform for geoscientists from different areas of concentration and different academic levels and professionals with the proposal to discuss the evolution of Cape Mountains and Karoo Basin. Moreover, themes about correlation and similar geological units in South America were addressed.

Most of the South African territory is composed of the Cape-Karoo System, which is an important record of the peripheral active margin of Gondwana and the effects on the intracontinental portion. Such geological records are also found in the remaining portions of the fragmentation of Gondwana, such as stratigraphic and biostratigraphic correlations in the American south basins and longitudinal continuity of Table Mountains in other orogens such as the Sierra de La Ventana in Argentina. The event also addressed topics from different areas of geosciences, related to the processes that generated the oldest rocks (geochronology), such as tectonics, sedimentation, magmatism and evolution of the colonization of the first species and mass-extinctions; and also the latest processes which produced the current relief setting of “Table Mountains” and hydrogeological systems which supply the arid Karoo.

The symposium was attended by various professionals with great academic recognition in South Africa and internationally, such as Maarten de Wit (AEON / NMMU), Bruce Rubidge (University of Witwatersrand) and Hans-Martin Schuluz (GFZ, Germany), and also several students from south African universities, totaling about 100 participants, 43 students or young-scientists.
The IGCP-628 supported this scientific meeting contributing to the travel expenses during the fieldtrip days, as well as accommodation for students. The IGCP -628 also supported a Brazilian researcher from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. The IGCP -628 funding was crucial for the fulfillment of the complete symposium program. In addition, Professor Maarten de Wit, event organizer is also one of the co-leaders of Gondwana Map Project – IGCP -628.

The full program was divided into three stages, with a short-course bonus:
1 – Two days (23 and 24) Mini-Course Oil & Gas Shale, conducted by Hans-Martin Schulz (GFZ-German Center for Geoscience, Potsdam, Germany).

2 – Three-day Conference (25,26 and 27) with nine thematic sessions: Subsurface Geology and Geophysic, Structural Geology, magmatism and Metamorphism, Stratigraphy and Sedimentaty Systems, Paleontology and Paleo – environments, Karoo Gas Shales and Shale Gas Potential, Petrophysics and Reservoir Rocks, Critical Zone: Soils, Water, Caves and Ecosystems and Geodynamics.

3 – Three days of field trips, which were addressed in the first part, an overview of discussions on geodynamics of Gondwana, paleoclimatic changes, the Cape-Montains structures and the Karoo Basin and its topography. Later 21 points were visited on outcrops and geological points of interest, where old and new data was discussed, and new field data for the various themes explored during the tour.

Photos of the event and fieldtrip and a map with the visited spots is available below for download.