AfricaArray Field School – Day 14-15 – Game viewing and back to reality

Day 14 – Pilanesberg

Today was an opportunity for the tourists to see somewhere new, including some animals, with a visit to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Since I have done a fair amount of game-viewing, I decided to give it a miss. Instead I met some old friends, and had a generally lovely day (including some gorgeous winter weather: clear blue sky, warm in the sun, slightly chilly wind).

Apparently there was an elephant sighting, along with some rhino and giraffe. Overall, I think I made a good call to relax with old friends instead.

Day 15

Today we started work again. This is mostly further processing and interpreting of the field data. We also had a really interesting talk about the geology and formation of the Vredefort Dome by Roger, the head of school here at Wits. He has spent pretty much all of his career working on it, so it was really nice to get some of this information from the horse’s mouth, so to say. The scale involved is actually pretty scary: a 300km wide crater forming in less than 10 minutes. Geologists do not usually even think about things on such a timescale; a million years is a good error margin. The energy release was also pretty insane, and the effects would certainly have been global.

This was followed by an interesting discussion about possible academic careers, which contrasted nicely to the one from the first week, which focused more on starting your own business. This is still something that I would like to do, I generally like academia.

The afternoon was given over to data processing for the presentations on Friday.