News: Earthworks in progress

Malawi geophysical interpretation completed

A new national airborne geophysical coverage (aeromagnectis and gamma-ray spectrometry) of Malawi was completed in 2014.  A contract to interpret the results was awarded to the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) working in cooperation with BRGM (France) and brought to completion early in 2018.  Some of the highlights of this work were presented at a two-day meeting held in Zomba, Malawi, January 18-19 this year. A much larger project, GEMMAP, led by BRGM, is now underway to improve the geological mapping and mineral potential mapping of the country.  The first year results of GEMMAP formed the main focus of the Zomba meeting.

The supervision of the GTK Malawi geophysical interpretation was undertaken by Colin Reeves for the World Bank. With the completion of the project, Colin has withdrawn from work of this type with a track-record of similar projects going back to the CIDA airborne reconnaissance of Botswana in 1975. Two big issues stand out as still needing attention.  First, the results of many such public-sponsored surveys are still not easily accessible to potential users worldwide, despite the advent of the internet (not to mention GIS) in this same period.  Second, the value of the results to understanding the main features of Africa's geological architecture at a scale that crosses many countries still has to be realised.  Colin plans to spend time on this issue in his retirement.  In the first instance, this will be in the context of IGCP-628, the new geological map of Gondwana.

The picture below shows a view of the East Africa Rift from the hills above Zomba, Malawi.  Lake Chilwa may be seen in the distance.  The photo was taken on Colin's January visit.

2018 June 20

Malawi geophysical interpretation completed