South African Geology

The Bushveld Igneous Complex is an area rich in platinum-group metals in the Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the North West provinces. It has the worlds largest reserves of platinum-group metals.


Simplified geology of South Africa, courtesy of the Council for Geoscience (CGS), South Africa.

Council for Geoscience website
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Tswaing Crater

The Tswaing Crater is 40Km northwest of Pretoria with a diameter of 1,13km and is 100m deep. The crater formed as a result of a meteorite strike believed to have been between 30 to 50 metres wide as a result Tswaing crater is classified as an impact crater. In Tswana, Tswaing means “Place of Salt”, hence its former name of “saltpan crater”.

"The Tswaing Crater is about 220,000 years old"

Geological cross-section of Tswaing Crater. Source: David A. Kring (USRA-LP)

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360 degree view

The Great Dyke

The Great Dyke is a linear geological feature found in Zimbabwe. It stretches for about 550Km from the northeast to the south western part of the country and is clearly visible from medium resolution satellite images. The dyke is rich in mineral ore deposits such as asbestos, gold, platinum, silver and chromium.

"The Great Dyke spans
about 550 kilometers"

The Vredefort Dome

The Vredefort Dome was formed after a meteorite strike dating back about 4 million years ago, making it the second known oldest impact crater on Earth. It is situated in the Free State province about 120Km southwest of Johannesburg. The dome is so enormous, covering a distance of 300km wide. Due to the immense area covered by the dome, it can only be appreciated through satellite imaging.

"The Vredefort Dome
is about 300 kilometers wide"

Great Dyke and Vredefort Dome imagery courtesy Landsat 8, Copyright © USGS.
True colour composite bands used: Red, Green, Blue

Mineralogical composite bands used: (SWIR1/SWIR2:SWIR1/NIR:Red/Blue)

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© Copyright: South African National Space Agency 2015. All rights are reserved.