Saturday 12 January 2013

More from Afar......... The 24th Colloquim on African Geology CAG in Addis Ababa

This gathering of geologists to exchange scientific ideas on the geology and related resources in Africa takes place every couple of years. It used to be held in Europe and the concept of this meeting was created in Leeds University in association with their East African Research project 40 years ago. It has grown in size and is a meeting largely of geological agencies and academics, with some interest from the minerals and oil and gas industry and increasingly in areas of sustainability in water, soils and renewable energy.

The BGS has a very prominent role in this meeting and this reflects the diversification of our international portfolio and branching out from our traditional geological mapping role, into developing global data bases and also research in sustainability for groundwater in particular. 

We presented results on geological mapping and geochronology in Tanzania, Ethiopia and the UAE and outlined the need for more integrated research and geological correlation in the Neoproterozoic, a period about 1000 to 500 million years ago when the Earth was undergoing significant changes in its atmospheric and oceanic systems and continental plate configurations that link to the evolution of life on Earth, but also to resource generation.
My Plenary talk at CAG24
In terms of data we are pioneering global projects such as Onegeology in which all geological data is shareable and can be displayed in common portals. Similarly we presented data on  open sourced  software that should allow users to share and improve there data management systems, leading towards simpler construction of archives of data that can be shared in global projects.

EVOSS is aimed at providing volcanic risk related services by integrating real time volcanic data globally and is using African  volcanoes, which are poorly monitored on the ground, as test cases; this is part of a Global Volcano Model (GVM). This part of Africa one of the most volcanically active and one in which BGS with other NERC funded scientists have undertaken one of the most comprehensive studies of active rift volcanism.

The meeting will continue with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Geological Society of Africa and the next big geological congress in Africa will be the International Geological Congress in 2016.

Ethiopians are very friendly and the country is rapidly developing  and diversifying. They have some excellent geology and some excellent local and internationally trained geologists in the country and it is a pleasure to be in the country again after 12 years.
My view of Addis Ababa (from the hotel)

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