[Haase] Probing the roots of the Bushveld Complex: drilling through the lower zones into the intrusive floor

German Title: Beprobung der Basis des Bushveld Komplexes: Bohrung durch die tiefen Bereiche der Intrusion

Abbreviation: 428

Current Status: approved

Main Applicant:Prof. Dr. Karsten Haase

Resources Recipient

Prof. Dr. Karsten Haase
Dr. Jens Kallmeyer
Prof. Dr. Francois Holtz

Other Persons

Dr. Robert Trumbull
Prof. Dr. Reiner Klemd

Conveyor Begin: 1 February, 2022
Conveyor End: 31 January, 2024
Conveyor Duration: 24
Year: 2022


The mafic and ultramafic part of the Bushveld Complex represents the largest layered intrusion on Earth and the largest deposit of platinum, chromium and vanadium. In this project we apply for the German contribution to the ICDP drilling operation in the Lower and Main Zone of the Bushveld Complex as well as for geochemical, experimental and microbiological work on the drilled samples. These studies will provide important new insights into the origin and formation of the primary magmas of the Bushveld Complex, their ascent and assimilation of wall rocks, and on the transport and enrichment of platinum, chromium, and vanadium. The geochemical characterization of the rocks and minerals of the Lower Zone will yield the first comprehensive data set of trace element concentrations as well as radiogenic isotope ratios of Sr, Nd, Hf, and Pb of the most primitive rocks from the Bushveld Complex. Based on these data we will be able to define the mantle and crustal components of the magmas. The complementary experimental studies allow to understand the conditions of magma crystallization and evolution and define the composition of melts from the study of inclusions in minerals. The microbiological part of the project studies the deep biosphere in the mafic and ultramafic rocks in order to understand the processes of rock alteration like, for example, serpentinization by crustal fluids at low temperatures. This study allows important conclusions about the supply of energy to maintain a microbial ecosystem in the Earth's crust.