Early Earth Workshop

Astrobiology2020 and the Early Earth workshop have been postponed. Please revisit this site in early 2021 for further updates

Central and eastern Kaapvaal craton

In memory of Alfred Kröner

A workshop on the evolution of Archaean cratons will be held to commemorate the work of Alfred Kröner. This workshop is a free-standing event separate from Astrobiology 2020 conference, but has been organized to coincide with the end of the conference for logistical and administrative convenience, and for those who might like to take part in both.

The workshop consists of two parts, a scientific session to be held on Friday 13 November 2020 at SunWa Lodge, Vredefort Dome, and a 10-day field workshop thereafter to investigate some of the Archaean geology of the Kaapvaal craton. Delegates can register for either or both events.

Organizing committee

  • Linda Iaccheri, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Holger Sommer, University of Namibia
  • Axel Hofmann, University of Johannesburg
  • Yamirka Rojas-Agramonte, Universidad de los Andes
  • Mike Brown, University of Maryland



Oral presentations will require submission of an abstract. Abstract submission will close 15 October. The abstract template can be downloaded here. Once the abstract is completed please submit it to the workshop email address: kaapvaal.workshop@gmail.com.

Talks can be given at the scientific session and/or during the field workshop. The publication of a conference abstract booklet as part of the Gondwana Conference Series is planned.

Scientific Session

Friday, 13 November 2020

The evolution of Archaean cratons – the legacy of Alfred Kröner

The scientific session will present advances in the understanding of the evolution of Archaean cratons in the form of oral presentations. Themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • Formation of cratons and their early evolution
  • Granitoid-greenstone-gneiss terrains through time
  • Precambrian tectonics
  • Zircons, grey gneisses and the oldest rocks

Venue: Hippo Conference Room, SunWa Lodge, Vredefort Dome

Time: 9:00 to 16:00

Registration fee: ZAR1600

The fee includes coffee/tea and lunch.

Registration for the scientific session will close 15 October. The registration will be via the Astrobiology conference site (https://astrobiology.uj.ac.za/registration).

Accommodation: we will assist with the booking of accommodation if required.

No registration for Astrobiology 2020 will be required if you are only interested in participating in the scientific session. Registered delegates of Astrobiology 2020 can participate in the session.

Preliminary itinerary of Kapvaal Craton field workshop (Saturday 14 to Monday 23 November 2020)

Note that we have a limited number of places on the field trip (25 people). You can participate on a first-come-first-served basis. Participants are encouraged to present their research in the field, and we shall make provisions for this.

Field trip leaders: Roger Gibson, Hangqiang Xie, Axel Hofmann, Allan Wilson, Phumelele Mashele, Megan Sauer, Marylou Vines, Marina Yudowskaya

Excursion fee: ZAR 13000 (sharing accommodation), ZAR 15000 (single accommodation), all fees are inclusive of VAT

The field trip registration fee includes most meals and all accommodation (9 nights) from 14 Nov (lunch) to 23 Nov (lunch). Accommodation will be limited at some sites. Therefore, people who opt for single accommodation will not always have this option. At two sites we may require some people to sleep in tents.

Transport: We will be using minibuses and/or four-wheel-drive vehicles and some will need to be driven by delegates.

Registration: Field trip registration will close on 31 June 2020, but you should register earlier to secure a seat. The registration will be via the Astrobiology conference site (https://astrobiology.uj.ac.za/registration).

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Day 1

Archaean basement of the Vredefort Dome; overnight in the Vredefort Dome

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Day 2

Travel to KwaZulu-Natal, visit of 3.5-3.4 Ga Nondweni greenstone belt; overnight at Matatane River Lodge

Monday, 16 November 2020

Day 3

Kaapvaal Craton cover succession - the 3.0 Ga Pongola Supergroup; overnight at Matatane River Lodge

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Day 4

Traverse of the 3.4 – 3.2 Ga Commondale-Piet Retief granitoid-greenstone terrain; overnight at Forever Resort, Badplaas

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Day 5

3.5 – 3.2 Ga Barberton granitoid-greenstone terrain; overnight at Forever Resort, Badplaas

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Day 6

3.5 – 3.2 Ga Barberton granitoid-greenstone terrain; overnight at Diggers Retreat, Barberton

Friday, 20 November 2020

Day 7

Travel through the granitoid-migmatite terrain of the Krueger National Park; overnight in Krueger Park (Letaba Camp)

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Day 8

Phalaborwa Complex, 3.0 Ga Murchison granitoid-greenstone terrain; overnight at Leydsdorp Hotel, Leydsdorp

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Day 9

3.2 – 2.9 Ga Murchison granitoid-greenstone terrain, Bushveld Complex; overnight near Burgersfort

Monday, 23 November 2020

Day 10

Bushveld Complex; return to Johannesburg for arrival in the late afternoon

The Archaean Geology of the Kaapvaal Craton and areas to be visited during the field workshop