The theme of this conference is “Bringing the Geosciences Together”, with the aim to provide a platform for Southern Africa-based geoscientists to present their latest research. The meeting is to take place at the University of Johannesburg’s Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, South Africa, 18th to 20th July 2018.

Abstract submissions for Geocongress 2018 open on Friday 16th February 2018.

The deadline for abstract submissions is Friday 13th April 2018.

Abstracts may be submitted online for Oral or Poster presentation and must be received electronically not later than 17h00 on Friday, 13th April 2018. The programme committee will meet shortly thereafter to finalise the review of abstracts and authors will be notified of the acceptance decision by 10 May 2018.

Presenter Registration

The deadline for registration and payment is Friday 8th June 2018. Presenters not registered and paid by this date will be removed from the programme.

The sessions available for abstract submission are the following:

Session Title Organisers Description
Petrogenesis and metallogeny of the acid phases of the Bushveld Complex Laurence Robb (Oxford University), Judith Kinnaird (Wits), Paul Nex (Wits) The Lebowa Granite Suite and the Rooiberg Group represent intrinsic and voluminous components of the Bushveld Complex and yet they have received substantially less attention from researchers world-wide than the mafic portions of this igneous province. Consequently, the petrogenesis of the acid phases of the Bushveld and their relationship to the better studied Rustenburg Layered Suite is still poorly understood. Despite being prolifically mineralized, the acid phase metallotect also receives scant attention from exploration companies. This session invites papers and posters aimed at advancing our understanding of the petrogenesis and metallogeny of the acid phases of the Bushveld Complex.
Mafic Bushveld and other layered intrusions Marina Yudovskaya, Rais Latypov, Sofya Chistyakova (Wits) The diversity of layered intrusions is governed by composition of the mantle source as well as evolution of magma in staging chambers and feeding channels. This session welcomes contributions on chemical-physical processes accompanying the development of basaltic magma chambers such as channelized flow, magma mixing/mingling, magma crystallization and fractionation, formation of igneous layering, liquid immiscibility as well as contact metamorphism. The session will also cover various aspects of sulphide and oxide mineralization associated with mafic Bushveld and similar layered intrusions worldwide.
Large Igneous Provinces across southern Africa Martin B. Klausen (SU), Trishya Owen-Smith (UJ), Grant Bybee (Wits), Michiel de Kock (UJ) Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) form during magmatic events that typically emplace large volumes of magma during relatively short time periods. There have been several such events across southern Africa that are continuously being better constrained through mapping, geochronology, palaeomagnetics and petrological research. This session aims at presenting recent progress on southern African LIPs, discussing (1) their distributions, volumes, and modes of emplacement; (2) tectonic settings and different petrogenetic models for producing such large magma volumes; and (3) how the LIP-record across southern Africa may relate to the rest of the world and supercontinental formation–breakup cycles.
Alkaline Igneous Rocks Marlina Elburg (UJ), Chris Harris (UCT), Sebastian Tappe (UJ), Robert Bolhar (Wits) Alkaline rocks are the most diverse class of igneous rocks, ranging from ultramafic to felsic, potassic to sodic, and silica-undersaturated to –saturated; they also host important mineral deposits such as diamonds and rare earth elements. This session deals with all aspects of alkaline rocks, with a special focus on their petrogenesis and evolution.
The Pan-African orogen and the assembly of Gondwana Jeremie Lehmann (UJ), Kerstin Saalmann (NGU, Trondheim, Norway, Luke Longridge (VM Investment Company, Johannesburg, South Africa) The construction of the Gondwana Supercontinent was accomplished at c. 500 Ma through Neoproterozoic closure of oceanic basins and collision of several continental blocks. Unlike the linear Variscan and Alpine-Himalaya orogens, the Pan-African orogen formed arrays of crosscutting mobile belts with distinct tectonometamorphic, magmatic and metallogenic histories. Such unique configuration calls for understanding of the extent of individual belts and the dynamic evolution of their intersections. Correlations across mobile belts require comparison of geophysical signatures, magmatic and metamorphic processes, large deformations and timing of accretionary or collisional events. We invite contributions that advance knowledge about amalgamation of Gondwana.
Recent advances in ore geology Dr Nicolaas C. Steenkamp (independent geological consultant),Bjorn von der Heyden (SU), Dr. Afsoon Kazerouni (RU), Jeff White (independent), Fanus Viljoen (UJ) The study of geology is strongly linked to mankind’s needs for mineral commodities which drive technological advancement and economic prosperity. This broad session provides opportunity for researchers and industry specialists to share fundamental and applied insights regarding the geology, metallogeny, exploration, mining and economic aspects of ore deposits. Special focus areas will include minerals critical to the fourth industrial revolution (e.g., Li, Mn, Ni, REE); mineral resources associated with sedimentary basins; and precious metals including PGE and gold.
Evolving Archaean Earth Systems  A. Hofmann (UJ), A. Agangi (UJ), F. Ossa Ossa (UJ), R. Bolhar (Wits, Evolving Archaean Earth Systems explores the relationship between secular evolution in tectonic, mantle, and surface processes, changes in the atmosphere/hydrosphere system, evolution and habitat of life and the formation of mineral deposits in the Archaean
Geology of the Griqualand West Wladislaw Altermann (UP), Bertus Smith (UJ) The geology of the Griqualand West (Northern Cape) comprises the Neoarchean to Paleoproterozoic Transvaal and Paleoproterozoic Olifantshoek Supergroups. The stratigraphy also spans the Great Oxidation Event. Numerous controversies surrounding this region exist, including the age of the Ongeluk Formation; the nature and extent of the Makganyene unconformity; the nature and timing of Mn deposition in the Hotazel Formation; the stratigaphic subdivisions and ages of the Olifantshoek Supergroup. This session invites any contributions to further our geological understanding of this region including the adjoining Namaqua and Kheis-Koranna mobile belts and new mining initiatives, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb/Zn, diamonds, tiger eye, etc.
Reading the record of the Karoo Basin –  the archive of basin dynamics, ecology, climate Dr Emese M. Bordy (UCT), Prof Bruce Rubidge (Wits), Dr John Hancox (Caracle Creek International Consulting SA) The Karoo Basin of southern Africa is one of the largest and deepest basins in south Gondwana with an outstanding economic and geoscientific importance. Among potential reserves of natural gas and proven reserves of coal, uranium, molybdenum and groundwater, the basin also contains a vast geological record with lessons on regional tectonic evolution, palaeoclimatic, biogeological and ecological changes, mass extinction events and more. Reading this record is an ongoing, mostly collaborative effort from many geo-disciplines (e.g., bio- chrono-, magneto- and chemostratigraphy, basin analysis, palaeontology, sedimentology, taphonomy, ichnology). This session is dedicated to new lessons from the Karoo.
Detrital Zircon: Methods, problems, application Prof. Tom Andersen (University of Oslo and UJ), Dr. Clarisa Vorster (UJ), Dr. Thanusha Naidoo (University of Oslo) U-Pb ages and other isotope data from detrital zircon are important as a tool to trace provenance of clastic sediments, determine the age of deposition, correlate between sedimentary basins and to understand continental evolution. The interpretation of data is, however, not unproblematic. A huge amount of detrital zircon data of potential importance for the interpretation of regional geology has now been accumulated. This session will invite contributions related to any aspect of detrital zircon in clastic sediments, such as: Methods of data collection, principles of interpretation,  qualitative and quantitative handling of data, the use of data to solve geological problems.
Deep-water sedimentation patterns in clastics and carbonates Dr. Afsoon Kazerouni (RU) In following decades, deep-water sedimentation is forefront of hydrocarbon exploration and academic concern because of increased need to find new energy resources and academic interest. Deep-water sedimentation on continental margins traditionally interpreted within context of idealized siliciclastic or carbonate systems, whether terrigenous or shallow marine carbonate producers dominate sediment supply. High-resolution seafloor mapping, seismic data, oceanographic data, sedimentological sampling from modern slopes, comprehensive outcrop studies of exhumed slope and basin deposits shows sedimentation patterns and architectural elements in carbonate systems which similar to clastic counterparts. This session aims contributions providing a better understanding on sedimentation patterns in deep-water clastics and carbonate settings.
The caves and beyond: investigating the chronology, palaeoenvironment and role of changing climates on human evolution in southern Africa Robyn Pickering, Zoë Decker (UCT) In this session we welcome submissions on all geological aspects of palaeoanthropology, from all over Africa, ranging from dating hominin sites, to isotopic palaeodiet reconstructions, to studies of the conditions under which fossils are preserved. The links between hominin evolution and environmental change resulting from climatic shifts depend heavily on the quality of well-dated, (semi) continuous, palaeoclimate records from all over Africa, both on and off-shore, and we urge submissions on all aspects of Plio-Pleistocene palaeoenvironmental variability. Research focusing on new techniques, multi-disciplinary collaborations and innovative approaches are encouraged, as well as submissions by students and early career researchers.
Hydrogeology Andrew Johnstone (GCS), Ahmed Mohamed Hassanein (Ismalia, Egypt) Climate change and the existing drought has increased the focus on groundwater as a sustainable resource in South Africa, especially Cape Town, and the SADC region. This session invites contributions on all aspects of Hydrogeology, including the geology of aquifers and water quality.
Role of groundwater in the Cape water crisis Reinie Meyer (consultant) The water supply of Cape Town and surrounds is predominantly met from surface water resources. Potential and significant groundwater resources exist in the primary aquifers of the Cape Flats and western coastal plain, and in fractured rock aquifers in the Table Mountain Group, which could supply 15-20% of the city’s annual water demand. Groundwater from the wellfield of the Atlantis aquifer is already utilized. The session will provide an overview of the geological and geohydrological knowledge of groundwater resources available to the Cape Metro and how these can best be utilized  to provide an additional sustainable and long-term water supply.
Geoheritage and Geotourism Morris Viljoen, Richard Viljoen (Geoheritage committee and the  Egoli branch of the GSSA) Geoheritage and geotourism are rapidly growing areas of interest worldwide. The session is aimed at attracting presentations that highlight the development and promotion of these topics in South and Southern Africa. In addition to the documentation of geosites and geological regions it is hoped that the presentations will also  include ideas for the creation of geotourism and educational initiatives and products. To make geotourism products of wider appeal not only to  geologists, it is important that other features of special of interest in various areas such as  archaeology, history vegetation etc also be linked to the underlying geology. Career paths for geologists in geotourism, and geoheritage will be explored.
Applied Mineralogy Deshenthree Chetty (MINSA),Frikkie de Beer (Necsa) Mineralogy is intrinsic to the minerals value chain, from exploration to mining and processing of various commodities, as well as in protection of the environment. Investigations and development of refractories, ceramics, cements, alloys and other industrial materials, including ancient material, also require application of mineralogical principles. Mineralogical studies additionally find application in society through forensics and socio-economic-politic initiatives. Novel mineralogical characterisation tools are often developed to address specific requirements in various sectors, with recent developments in X-ray computed tomography and micro-XRF as examples relevant to the geosciences community. The Mineralogical Association of South Africa (Minsa) invites contributions to showcase these and other applications of mineralogy.
Minerals for societal advancement Ndabenhle Sosibo (MinTek) The session explores ways that the geological community uses its knowledge on rock occurrences to change the lives of ordinary people. Except for jobs in mines, how else communities living in the vicinity of geological occurrences benefit from them. Indigenous geological knowledge that has assisted communities and cultures to thrive over the centuries. Ways in which communities are exploiting in a legal and environmentally safe the mineral occurrences around them.
Energy Nicola Wagner (UJ), Nandi Malumbazo (CGS) Coal accounts for the highest foreign exchange revenue for South Africa, and continues to provide affordable energy access across the world. South African energy production is dominated by coal, and, whilst diversification is required in the energy mix, clean coal technologies across the value-chain enable the continued use of this valuable natural commodity. Southern Africa also hosts other potential forms of hydrocarbon-based energy resources, including: shale gas; natural gas; methane gas; and oil (petroleum). Coal by-products, including ash, may be upgraded for use in novel applications. The focus of the session will be on various aspects (non-nuclear) of energy geoscience and geometallurgy.
Geological applications of remote sensing and hyperspectral imaging Mike Donze, Thandikhaya Mxinwa, Phil Harris (TerraCore) Spectral geology is an exciting and rapidly growing field within geosciences. The technologies used in this field have advanced at great pace over the last decade and are quickly being adopted by both academia and industry to provide rapid mineralogical, lithological, and even structural information to be used in research projects, resource and predictive modeling, and exploration projects. This session aims to explore major events which culminated in the development of mature hyperspectral reflectance and thermal emissivity data collection capabilities that are currently available in worldwide capacity.
Geoscience Professionalism and Geoethics Tania R Marshall, GSSA VP (Professional Affairs) Many geologists do not think of themselves as “professionals” in the same way that lawyers and accountants do – and this constitutes an unrecognised career handicap. Increasingly, both academic and practicing geoscientists are facing ethical dilemmas in their day to day activities.  This session would seek to provide an overview of what professionalism in the geosciences comprises; focussing on the needs of the academic/student community and their specific requirements and then extending into the inherent linkages between professionalism, competence and ethics that students will require when they expand into industry, as well as practical ways of maintaining and expanding one’s expertise – including the soft skills that are almost as important as technical competence if the geoscientist is to thrive into the future.
Why can’t my Resource be Measured? Matt Mullins (SAMCODES Standards Committee), Mark Burnett (Snowden) This session will focus on the practical aspects of estimating a mineral deposit using geostatistical techniques; how the resulting numbers are interpreted by the Competent Person and how this becomes a mineral resource that has been classified following the minimum standards and guidelines of the SAMREC (2016) code.
Public Reporting requirements and pitfalls will be discussed, especially with respect to signing off a Competent Person’s Report on the JSE.
The papers presented will mainly be of interest to practitioners in the field; however will also be of interest to students, demonstrating the number of career paths can be followed in the mining industry.
Geophysics Stephanie Scheiber-Enslin (Wits University),Oleg Brovko (deBeers) We will open up the session to SAGA members and other geophysicists to present on geophysical projects they are involved in. The aim will be to expose other geoscientists attending Geocongress to the benefits of using geophysics in places like the mining industry.
Open session George Henry (UJ) This session is for everyone who feels that the topic of their presentation does not fit into any of the other sessions, but is nevertheless something that would fall under the broad subject of the geosciences.