The GeoForschungsZentrum views a closer cooperation with the AEON Institute (Africa Earth Observatory Network) at the University of the Cape Town in the future as a basis for developing its existing research programme:
"We want to follow up on the very successful Inkaba I programme which has been running for four years. The AEON Institute will become a key focal point for Inkaba II", explained Prof. Reinhard Hüttl, Executive Scientific Board of the GFZ. "Understanding the processes which formed the African continent are of key importance for an overall knowledge of how Earth systems operate".
The coordinating scientists for Inkaba are, on the German side, Prof. Brian Horsfield (GFZ Potsdam) and for South Africa, Prof. Maarten de Wit (director of AEON).Why Africa?
The subproject "Heart of Africa" dealt with the transfer of energy from Earth's core to space, "Margins of Africa" undertook marine and onshore research on the causes of southern Africa's separation from the Gondwana supercontinent, and "Living Africa" studied the evolution of southern Africa's continental margins.
These questions are not just of academic interest, since southern Africa's rich natural resources, from oil and gas to diamonds, resulted from this part of Earth's history. This is why the successful work in Inkaba I will be continued.
"Together with our South African partners we will establish a Global Change Observatory in Southern Africa in order to study climate change in the southern hemisphere," said Professor Hüttl, "Both the AEON Insitute and the GFZ have a similar, cross-disciplinary research strategy which will lead to a close partnership in this area as well."
Franz Ossing | alfa
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