Geology of the Early Earth – the Barberton Greenstone Belt

Taking place on: 6 - 12 September 2014

The Barberton granitoid-greenstone terrain in South Africa represents a classic site of Archaean geology in which the nature and processes of early Earth history may be investigated. Many issues pertaining to Archaean geology, such as crust-forming processes, geodynamics, greenstone-hosted gold mineralization, Archaean atmosphere and seawater composition and the origin of life have been extensively studied in this area. The excursion route for this trip will cover prime exposures where the evidence for these processes can be examined. It will also visit drill sites of the ICDP-funded Barberton drilling project. One day of the trip will be to the Kruger National Park situated to the north of the Barberton greenstone belt.


Day 1: Route - Johannesburg - Badplaas - Tjakastad - Badplaas

08h30                  Pick-up delegates in Johannesburg, leave not later
                             Drive to Badplaas
                             Overnight in Badplaas (Aventura Resort or Cradle of Life Resort)


Stop 1.1              Tjakastad water reservoir and stream section
                            Overview of the geology of the Onverwacht Group
                            3.5 Ga volcano-sedimentary sequence of the Theespruit Formation

Stop 1.2              Granite-greenstone relationships west of Tjakastad (several stops possible in Stolzburg pluton)

Evening lecture:Overview of the geology and tectonic evolution of the Barberton greenstone belt

Day 2: Route - Badplaas - Tjakastad - Badplaas

Stop 2.1             Inflated flow of vesicular komatiite; Komati Formation

Stop 2.2             Komati Formation at Spinifex Stream

Stop 2.3             Middle Marker chert, contact between Komati and Hooggenoeg Formations.

Day 3: Route - Badplaas - Songimvelo Nature Reserve (Kromdraai Camp) - Songimvelo Nature Reserve (Main Camp) - Badplaas

Stop 3.1             Komati River section, Songimvelo Nature Reserve
                           3.4 -3.3 Ga clastic sedimentary rocks, carbonaceous cherts and basalts of the Hooggenoeg and Kromberg Formations

Game Drive in Songimvelo Nature Reserve

Day 4: Route - Badplaas - Msauli  - Barberton

Stop 4.1             Josefsdal Chert

Stop 4.2             Manzimnyama Jaspilite
                           Jaspilitic banded iron formation of the 3.2 Ga Fig Tree Group

Stop 4.3             Siliciclastic rocks of the Fig Tree Group

Stop 4.4             Barite Valley Syncline
                           Barite, impact spherule layers, bedded cherts and chert dykes, contact between the Mendon Formation (Onverwacht Group) and the Fig Tree Group

Stop 4.5            Moodies Group on Bulembu Road

Day 5

Option 1:            Fig Tree/Moodies Group and gold mineralization
                           Route - Barberton - Sheba Mine - Barberton

Stop 4.1             Sheba Mine, Golden Quarry, visit of core shed?, Sheba Formation of the Fig Tree Group

Stop 4.2             Sheba Creek, Eureka Syncline
                           Tidal sandwave deposits of the Moodies Group

Stop 4.3             Northern limb of Eureka Syncline
                           Basal conglomerate of the Moodies Group

Stop 4.4             Northern limb of Eureka Syncline
                           Sandstone, shale, BIF of the Moodies Group


Option 2:            Cherts of the Onverwacht Group
                           Route - Barberton - Montrose – Barberton

Stop 4.1             Buck Reef Chert
                           3.45 Ga felsic volcanic rocks and banded cherts at the contact between the Hooggenoeg and Kromberg Formations

Stop 4.2             Msauli Chert
                           Accretionary lapilli, altered ultramafic rocks and chert dykes at the contact between the Mendon Formation and the Fig Tree Group

Day 6: Route - Barberton - Malelane - Skukuza 

Visit Kruger National Park

Day 7:

Return to Johannesburg via Johannesburg `international Airport for arrival in the afternoon (4 pm)

Cost:  R25 500 per person

- Accommodation: 6 - 11 September
- Trip transfers
- Daily meals & beverages: 6 - 12 September
- Game drive

Terms and Conditions:

1. Participation will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

2. Preference will be given to registered IMA delegates.

3. 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 May 2014 will receive a full refund less a 10% administration fee.

5. Cancellations received between 31 May and 31 July 2014 will receive a 50% refund.

6. Cancellations received after 31 July 2014 will not receive a refund.

7. All refunds are subject to the approval of the Organising Committee.

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