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Barberton Drilling Project: Peering Into The Cradle Of Life

Project Acronym: BARB | State: Completed | Expedition ID: 5047

The Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa is one of the best-preserved successions of mid-Archean (3.5-3.2 Ga) supracrustal rocks in the world, and, as such, it is a remarkable natural laboratory where conditions and processes at the surface of the Archean Earth can be studied in detail. Despite generally good outcrop, nowhere in the Barberton belt are complete field sections preserved, and crucial features such as the contacts of lava flows and continuous successions of critical sedimentary rock sequences are not exposed. Only through diamond drilling will it be possible to obtain the continuous sections and relatively unaltered samples through the volcano-sedimentary successions.

Keywords: Africa, South Africa, Archean, Barberton Cradle Of Life, Composition Of Ocean And Atmosphere, Habitat Of Early Life, Komatiite, Sediment, Surface Processes, Volcanic

Project Details

Project Location

Project Timeline

Sampling Party

18 - 25 February 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa


15 July 2011 - 25 August 2012

Full Proposal Approved

First Full Proposal Submitted