AfricaArray Field School – Day 2

This morning we got visitors’ cards, which led to a large amount of laughter, especially regarding the photos that people were having taken. Unfortunately, this took longer than planned, so we were running a bit behind for the rest of the day.

After getting cards, we had a basic introduction, before some sneaky geochemists who have tagged along split off to do geochemistry stuff. The rest of us got a quick overview of the considerations that go into planning a geophysical survey, which brought back memories of Ground Africa days planning geotech investigations.

We then spent the time until lunch productively by getting a short familiarisation session with the methods that we will need to use next week, in the field. Usually the fieldwork happens on the Bushveld Complex‘s eastern limb, but there are currently some concerns regarding safety, so this year we are going to be working in the Vredefort Dome, near Parys.

The methods we will be playing around with include magnetic, gravity, resistivity, seismic, and electromagnetic. For my part, I am most interested in the magnetic survey, even if the ground-based nature of this survey will be quite different to my own dataset. The session today looked at the basic proton precession magnetometer.

Getting familiar with the magnetometer.

After we grabbed a lunch (a good bean roti, in my case), we headed back for some lectures on forward modelling. Today we did seismic, gravity and magnetic and will do resistivity tomorrow. This is part of an assignment, where we need to put together a bid on a variety of methods for certain problems in the field area. This needs to be constrained to get the best accuracy with the best cost to solve these problems. This also needs to consider manpower and equipment costs, the speed one can do the survey and everything. Like I said, reminds me of Ground Africa proposal/tender writing where we did this. It will be interesting to see the range of bids that people bring forward.

So far this has been very interesting for me, and interacting with such a varied group of people has been great fun. Looking forward to what tomorrow brings.