This Field Trip has been SOLD OUT.
The first day will be a ~600 km highway geology trip from Cape Town to Springbok, along a route that stretches north towards the Namibia border. Several stops are scheduled to examine the geology en route, and will include mainly Pan-African (750 – 500 Ma) metasediments and intrusive granites, as well as Namaquan (1200 – 1000 Ma) metamorphic and igneous rocks. The highway follows the Great Escarpment for much its length, so the terrain is quite rugged and diverse, largely arid to semi-arid, and quite likely to be mantled with spring wild flowers. Springbok is located in the historic Okiep copper district and several worked out mines and mineral deposits will be examined.
The second day will take us further north for ~100 km during which a major terrane boundary between the Namaqua gneisses and the 2 Ga Orange River orogen will be crossed, revealing an ancient subduction related volcano-plutonic complex of batholithic proportions. Namaquan reworking of this terrane produced abundant swarms of anatectic pegmatites, with several rare element types that are actively mined. We will cross the Orange River at the border to Namibia, so participants will need their passports and valid visas. Overnight will be at the Felix Unite Adventures Provenance river resort, and you will enjoy your first opportunity to camp out under the stars.
This outdoor experience will continue for another four nights, during which the excursion will involve paddling some 80 km in 2-person canoes, attended by a team of experienced river guides supplied by Felix Unite Adventures who will prepare all meals en route. Expect camp fires, singalongs and general revelry, punctuated with substantive discussion on many topics. The canoe trip will follow the Orange River canyon as it cuts through the desert mountainlands of the Richtersveld, a combination of a World Heritage Site and Trans-Frontier National Park wilderness region. Spectacular outcrops devoid of vegetation build the high walls of the canyon, as well as create numerous rapids and waterfalls, all of which will be negotiated while examining the varied geology. The geological history spans 2 Ga from early Proterozoic island arcs and active continental margins, through three orogenic belts, including the Pan-African Gariep Belt and its foreland basin (Nama Group). These basement terranes are partly mantled by Palaeozoic – Mesozoic Karoo strata, particularly the glacial Dwyka Formation, with its striated pavements, impressive tillites and laminated shales. Finally, there are Tertiary gravel terraces renowned for their alluvial diamond deposits preserved along the Orange River canyon route.
The final night will be back in the Provenance resort, prior to travelling back to Cape Town the next day.
Field Trip Leader: Dave Reid
Start/End: Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)
Departs: 09:00 AM
Dates: 7 days, Sunday 21st to Saturday 27th August 2016
Price: R 17 000 per person sharing with single supplement of R 175 per person