The 1st Annual Scientific Iphakade WATER WORKS Workshop** was organised and held from Monday, 2 - Friday, 6 November 2015 at the University of the Free State - Bloemfontein, SA.
This workshop built on the previous 10 (ten) Annual Scientific Inkaba yeAfrica Workshops. It focused on water and its importance in the biosphere. Themes have been developed around the hydrological cycle, addressing the importance of water in each component of this cycle, as well as its sensitivity to impacts from human activity. Specific focus was placed on the water challenges faced in South Africa.
Themes included: climate and the potential effects of climate change on water resources; the impacts of mining, industry, agriculture and the energy sector on water resources; management of our water resources; water, human rights and dignity; earth stewardship science and the future of water in Africa and the world.
10th Inkaba yeAfrica Scientific Conference/Workshop : 29 Sept - 3 Oct 2014, Matjiesfontein - Karoo, SA
* FUTURE EARTH 2014 *
Iphakade and Earth Stewardship Science
Space, Energy, Minerals, Rocks, Soils, Air, Water, Food, Life, Strain
incl. Short Course in Shale Gas and Field Trip
was the coordinating theme for the 10th Inkaba yeAfrica Scientific Conference/Workshop held from 29 September - 3 October 2014, Matjiesfontein - Karoo, SA. Inkaba yeAfrica is now well into Phase III's second academic year, 2014 - and into its 12th year overall. The annual Inkaba yeAfrica and !Khure Africa Scientific Conference/Workshops are concerned with reporting significant research results over the DST/NRF financial periods (i.e. 1 April - 31 March). For the 2013/14 period a limited number of 60 Inkaba Students only could be invited. Student Posters presented (and on display) included 1 Postdoc, 24 PhD, 23 MSc and 5 Hons) reporting on both the Inkaba yeAfrica and !Khure Africa Programmes of DST and NRF (observers included 1 PD, 1 PhD and 1 MSc). Both these two programmes are managed by AEON (Africa Earth Observatory Network) which is based at the Faculty of Science, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape - SA (note Photo Galleries below).
Guest of Honour was Prof. Jan van Bever Donker, now officially retired Dean of Science : UWC (University of the Western Cape) and a highly commendable Supervisor and Mentor to a large group of MSc and PhD Inkaba students at UWC. Prof. Van Bever Donker's Invited Lecture covered the Role of the Geoscientist in the quest for Energy Resources in SA. Special Guests (and speakers) were Mr Robert Kriger, Executive Director : Special Projects (NRF), Dr Marco Andreoli (Necsa and UJ) and Prof. Erik Holm (UP and well known entomologist in SA).
A special highlight at this year's workshop included a Shale Gas Day on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - packed with student presentations on baseline studies done by the Karoo Shale Gas Group at NMMU with Prof. Maarten de Wit as Group Leader (and Chair for this Conference/WS10). The afternoon covered a Shale Gas Field Trip with five (5) representatives from the Laingsburg Town Council. A small group of secondary learners paid a brief visit to the 54 Poster display (in combination with 1-1 explanations by students) (note picture above). The day concluded with an Official 'Karoo' Braai ifo the Hotel joined by the Mayor of Laingsburg, Mr Wilhelm Tromp and continuous networking by students in the background (note Photo Galleries below).
With the 46-room Lord Milner Hotel fully booked, an overflow of 22 students were accommodated at the Rietfontein Nature Reserve (next door farm) and the UCT Field School in the Laingsburg area. Attendance had to be limited to a maximum of 70pp at the Conference Centre of the nostalgic Matjiesfontein Station (next to Museum) in this small historical village of Matjiesfontein in the Karoo.
Latest updates (incl. ppt's of all talks/presentations (with audio) and posters) will indefinately be available on the dedicated 10th Inkaba yeAfrica Scientific Conference/Workshop website, http://events.saip.org.za/conferenceDisplay.py?ovw=True&confId=40
Photographic overviews of daily events on the Photo Galleries webpage (follow links below).
Group pictures of Delegates who attended the 10th Annual Inkaba yeAfrica FUTURE EARTH Conference/Workshop in Matjiesfontein (Karoo), from 29 September - 3 October 2014.
Earth Systems Science in Africa
Safeguarding society from natural disasters, sustaining economic growth without threatening the environment, supplying an ever growing world population with industrial raw materials, food, clean water and energy - these challenges are inextricably linked with the dynamics of planet Earth.
Events such as earthquakes and tsunamis manifest themselves in seconds to hours, but they result from stress built up over thousands and millions of years deep within the Earth and at distant locations. Climate change is a similar story, with complex chains of cause and effect that may that operate globally and at different scales.
Quantifying global changes, identifying the anthropogenic influence thereon, and predicting their impingement on societies throughout the world – these are key goals of Earth Systems Science.
The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres chose southern Africa as an Earth System Observatory for Global Change because of its uniquely preserved geological record.
Southern Africa is at the centre of dramatic current changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and it is the cradle of human culture. South Africa is the technologically and economically strongest nation in southern Africa and has a wealth of mineral resources. The South Africa - German partnership in Earth sciences is truly symbiotic, with both nations facing the same grand challenges of sustainable, safe and clean sources of energy and raw materials needed for advanced technology, and of training a next generation of innovative, holistic scientists.
All stand to benefit from joining together to unravel the workings of our planet from this special perspective.
A 3-D Model of southern Africa, based on seismic tomography, showing the location of kimberlite pipes that penetrate deep into the southern African lithosphere, bringing to the surface a suit of mantle samples (and diamonds) from as deep as 250 km below surface.
The break-up of Gondwana and the formation of the southern oceans has left a globally unrivalled imprint at surface of a wide range of igneous rocks that provide vital clues to understanding the chemistry and dynamics of the mantle. Inset shows the initial location of Gondwana hotspots: numbers 3 and 4 will be studied by Inkaba ye Africa
Perspective of the southern oceans and surrounding continental margins
of southern Africa-Antarctica that will be investigated in Inkaba yeAfrica
The southern sector of the African Plate is unique in a global perspective in at least 15 different ways:
Inkaba is an indigenous Xhosa word encapsulating a sense of total interconnectivity. Literally it means navel, the central point: a point from which all energy, material and knowledge emerges and is recycled.
Uniting this with yeAfrica creates the broader meaning of Africa - http://aeon.org.za/about-us/vision/
What does INKABA Do?
Inkaba yeAfrica's research is holistic and socially relevant:
Sustainable resources (energy, clean water, soil)
Manageable risks (mine safety, climate change, tsunami early warning)
Earth observation and monitoring (satellite systems, magnetic field, geo-history)
Human capacity building (next-generation scientists; public awareness).
The Inkaba yeAfrica programme is built around three research categories : (1) The Deep Earth and the Distant Past are encapsulated in Heart of Africa; (2) the causes and consequences of Africa separating from South America and Antarctica are studied in Margins of Africa; and (3) human habitat, resources and global change are included in Living Africa.
Heart of Africa studies energy transfer from Earth's core to the surface and beyond. Growth of the South Atlantic magnetic hole, already a problem for aircraft guidance systems and satellites, will continue to come under intense scrutiny. Revealing the deep structures and the evolution of the African continent since the distant past will provide new insights into ore-forming processes. The Earth and Ocean Monitoring Network for revealing how this and other natural phenomena impinge upon society is expanded from Phase I. The causes and rates of surface uplift are addressed in order to provide essential elements for predicting changes in aridity and erosion that are part and parcel of Living Africa.
Margins of Africa studies the causes, mechanisms and consequences of continental break-up and the development of the southern Oceans. This information is vital to reconstructing changes in ocean currents, the conveyer belts of heat that help drive climate, and for modeling the evolution of offshore sedimentary basis and their hydrocarbon potential. The vast outpourings of lava that occur during continental separation are catastrophic events of global impact, and their study gives insights into the workings of Earth's deep heat engine.
Living Africa presents the most tangible human link to geological processes, certainly as far as the non-specialist is concerned. Ecosystems and climate change are brought to the fore, using past archives and present-day records. Soil systems and land use is a completely new addition to the programme, linking human habitat with the dynamics of the solid earth. Mineral resources, mining and the environment, complete the list of topics that are of fundamental importance to the welfare and development of South Africa.
The African continent in the perspective of integrated geoscience, with young topographic uplift (warm colours) and kimberlite pipes (yellow) together with geophysical images of the deep mantle roots
Inkaba yeAfrica has achieved flagship status in this short time because of its excellent blend of pure and applied Earth Systems Science and its fully integrated Capacity Building programme. It has been financed by dovetailing institutional and third party funds from both countries, and it has delivered the goods.
A special volume of the South African Journal of Geology (SAJG) was published in October 2007 - with main science results published in this dedicated volume of the SAJG, 2007, with over 20 scientific papers.
An extensive training and teaching programme has been put in motion with the emphasis on high technology. 17 postgraduate and postdoctoral students have been involved in research projects, and many more received training as field and laboratory assistants. Phase I comprised of 12 projects with 20 institutional partners from both countries, total investment to 2007 of 23 million Euros.
New partners, both within South Africa (University of the Free State, University of Fort Hare) and outside (Mozambique, Namibia) as well as several new participants (eg. University Pretoria).
New topics have expanded the scope of research to include the vital issue of land use and remediation, geo/biosphere interaction and ore resources.
A special volume of the South African Journal of Geology (SAJG) was published in December 2011 with main science results in this dedicated volume of the SAJG, 2011, with over 26 scientific papers. The ongoing and extensive training and teaching programme was intensified with the emphasis on human capital investment and development, incl. high technology.
New opportunities opened up for increased involvement of German universities via a new DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1375) with the theme of passive margin processes in the South Atlantic. Note: SAMPLE - the 2015 SAMPLE colloquium will take place in Monschau, Germany at the Carat Hotel Monschau from 9-12 June.
The History of Inkaba yeAfrica
A historic German - South Africa connection
In 1912, German scientist Alfred Wegener predicted that as the continents of Africa and Antarctic emerged from their Gondwana super continental embryo, many side effects (such as global climate change) would follow in the wake of their dispersal and the formation of the southern oceans that now surround them.
South Africa's most famous geologist, Alex L. du Toit, in 1937 dedicated his work “Our Wandering Continents” to the memory of Alfred Wegener. Wegener and Du Toit established that South Africa and its adjacent oceans form a globally unique Earth Systems Laboratory from which to advance knowledge of how Earth works and to predict its future ways.
What Wegener and Du Toit could not then have predicted is how the horizontal movements are affected by processes deep in the solid-earth, perhaps even 3 000 km down to the core-mantle boundary.
More startling yet, processes that act across the core-mantle boundary with potential influence on stability of Earth's magnetosphere may vary and become so distorted as to threaten life on Earth. This is Earth system interaction at its grandest scale.
We must aim to understand it, for the knowledge will serve us well in the future. This is the motivation and mission of German and South African Earth scientists linked within Inkaba yeAfrica.
What is Inkaba yeAfrica?
Inkaba yeAfrica is a German-South African collaborative Earth Science initiative that is both multidisciplinary and intercultural, dovetailing next-generation science and technology with a strong training and capacity-building component that is aligned with the Research and Development (R&D) strategies of both nations.
Three teams of earth scientists from leading institutes in both countries are taking on the global challenges of climate change, sustainable resources, clean water and energy. These are pressing issues and are all related to the dynamics of Earth Systems.
They can only be solved by understanding the complex interactions among the solid earth, the biosphere, the atmosphere and oceans. And this will require educating a new generation of young scientists trained in holistic earth science.
Why is it Important?
South Africa’s geologic superlatives, its enormous mineral wealth, its position in the “climate engine” of the southern oceans and its growing human resource of on land use and energy makes this an ideal natural laboratory and a vital testing ground for innovative science in aid of society.
South Africa - AEON - Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU, PE)
|Germany - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (Potsdam)|
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