Tswaing Meteorite Crater

Taking place on: 7 September 2014

Tour Leader

Dion Brandt

Some 220 000 years ago a stony meteorite, the size of half a football field, slammed into the earth's crust. The impact formed a huge crater, 1.13 km in diameter and 200 m deep known as the Tswaing Meteorite Crater. It is situated 40 km to the northwest of Pretoria and is one of the best-preserved meteorite impact craters anywhere in the world. This bowl-shaped crater is located in the southern portion of the 2 050 million year old Bushveld Complex. The near-circular Tswaing Crater is well preserved and displays various geological features typically found at such craters including breccia, PDFs, and glass spherules.

For much of the 20th century a controversy raged over the origin of the Tswaing Crater. Two genetic hypotheses were proposed: a volcanic, and a meteorite impact origin. However, drilling into the crater centre in 1988/89 revealed a large number of spherical, ovoid and dumb-bell shaped glass fragments, diaplectic quartz and feldspar, and abundant evidence of shock metamorphism, finally revealing the origin of the Tswaing Crater. In addition the drill core provided evidence of the palaeoclimatic record since the time of the cratering event.

Sunday 7 September
08:00 Depart Johannesburg from Sandton ICC 10:00

Arrive at the crater
Introduction at the museum
Drive to gate on southwestern edge of crater area
Visit the crater (2-3km walk)

14:00 Return to picnic site for lunch
15:00 Return to Johannesburg

Items included:
Lunch packs & beverages

Accommodation bookings:

Min number of participants:              10
Max number of participants:             30


Terms and Conditions:

1. Participation will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

2. Preference will be given to registered IMA delegates and accompanying persons.

3. All cancellations must be received in writing and sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4. Cancellations received before 30 June will receive a full refund less a 10% administration fee.

5. Cancellations received between 1 July and 15 August 2014 will receive a 50% refund.

6. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after 15 August 2014.

7. Refunds are subject to the approval of and are at the discretion of the organising committee.

8. The organising committee reserves the right to change or cancel this tour.