is one of six operational divisions within the Geological Survey of Namibia. The Division is responsible for the acquisition and
interpretation of geophysical data for the mineral exploration sector and research institutions. The Geophysics Division consists of three
subdivisions namely Airborne Geophysics, Ground Geophysics and Interpretation Geophysics.
The division is responsible for the interpretation of geophysical data for field mapping, economic geology and the
environmental monitoring. They review interpretation programmes and coordinate the activities with other divisions and
other government agencies.
It provides complementary interpretation services to airborne and ground geophysics.
It also responsible for all ground geophysical surveys conducted by government as well as the monitoring of earthquakes, the operation and maintenance of a national seismological network and the operation of the Tsumeb International Monitoring Station (auxiliary seismics and Infrasound) on behalf of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).
More than 13.000 gravity stations are currently held by the Geological Survey. To improve
data density a gravity programme will be launched in the near future aiming at coverage of one gravity station per 10 km2. The network
stations will be linked to a base station that is in turn connected to four absolute gravity stations established by NIMA in 1997. With
the purchasing of new gravity-meter (CG-5), this national project will improve regional gravity coverage.
Tsumeb Geophysical Research Station
The Tsumeb Station monitors seismic activity as part of the Global Seismological Network (GSN), funded and operated
by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS - a consortium of 80 universities in the USA) in co-operation with
the United States Geological Survey (USGS). A second station will be established in Windhoek shortly.
Other joint research ventures include monitoring magnetic secular variation in co-operation with the Hermanus Observatory,
South Africa and neutron emissions in conjunction with the University of Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Six seismological stations (Windhoek, Tsumeb, Rundu, Kamanjab, Aus and Ariamsvlei) form the National Seismological Network.
The network records earthquakes countrywide and provide data for the Earthquake Hazard Map of Namibia. The Tsumeb station is also
part of the Global seismological Network and Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (GSN/IRIS) and the station contributes
to worldwide earthquake monitoring. It is also one of the Comprehensive Nuclear-test-Ban Treaty Organizations (CTBTO), International Monitoring
Stations (IMS) AS067 monitoring nuclear explosions worldwide. Three more seismological stations are planned for next year at Opuwo,
Arandis and Gobabis.
The seismic areas in the country are along the Waterberg thrust, the Windhoek graben, the Sesfontein graben and the Kuboos-Bremen
line of intrusive crossing the border into South Africa. Some of the seismic events recorded have been catalogued and depicted below
on the geological map of Namibia.(map)
The portable seismological stations have also been purchased and will be deployed along faults/trusts and in some towns to determine seismogenic
faults, site effects and ground amplification for seismic micro-zonation mapping.
Seismic events in Namibia recorded over the last 100 years; size of circle indicates magnitude of event.
Is responsible for all aspects of airborne geophysical surveys including survey planning and specifications, tender evaluation
and award, contract supervision and quality control, data processing, data management and sales.
In addition to the Regional Airborne magnetic data set, a national programme of high resolution magnetics and radiometrics
has been completed, and other airborne surveys undertaken in recent years include electromagnetics, hyperspectral scanning and
Some 41 different surveys flown between 1962 and 1992 were homogenised and merged within the framework of technical co-operation between
the Geological Survey of Namibia and the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Germany. Data are available
as whole area grids with 2000 m, 500 m and 200 m cell size and scissored according to the Namibian Map System in 1:250.000 map sheets (500
m cell size) and 1:50.000 map sheets (200 m cell size).
Click on image for a 151Kb image of regional airborne magnetic map with links to
1:250 000 regional magnetic map sheets
Within the framework of technical co-operation between the Geological
Survey of Namibia and the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Germany, data were back-calibrated
covering an area of 11 1:250.000 map sheets. To merge different surveys of varying quality, the data had to be
back-calibrated using ground control points. Counts per second were transferred into ground concentrations of the
three radioactive elements Potassium, Uranium, Thorium and into Exposure Rate (Total Counts) using calibrated hand
held 256 channel spectrometers. These data are available in gridded format scissored according to the Namibian Map
System as 1:250.000 map sheets with 250-m grid
on image for a 94Kb image of regional airborne radiometrics map with links to highlighted
1:250 000 regional magnetic map sheets
In 2004, a GT-1A airborne gravity test survey flown at 80m AGL was conducted by GPX Survey in the Rehoboth, Grootfontein
and Bushmen areas.
The acquired data was processed but yet to be interpreted. The respective datasets from these survey areas are available at
the GSN in a Geosoft format.
High Resolution Airborne Geophysics
The programme of High Resolution Airborne Geophysical surveys comprising of 200 m line spacing and a ground clearance of
80 m to 100 m started in 1994. Data acquired included magnetic and radiometric and to date over 4.4 million line-kilometers
of data are available with a complete national coverage at 97 %. Digital data are available in gridded format and as located
line data to allow customized tailored reprocessing and line data interpretation. These data are sold at rate of N$1 per
line km (or N$5 per square kilometres) for the complete data set or N$ 0.5 per line km (or N$2.75 per square kilometres)
for gridded data only. Other products are available such as Geotiffs and further information can be obtained by contacting
the Geological Survey.
High Resolution Airborne Index
In 2011, Fugro Airborne Surveys were contracted to survey 90 000 sq. km area of airborne EM data over the North Eastern (NE)
part of Namibia which successfully penetrated overlying Kalahari sediments and were able to further characterize and map the
underlying bedrock geology and also mapped sulphide deposit and palaeo-channels. Structures such as lithologic contacts,
drainage patterns and palaeo-channels, alterations zones, structural faults has been mapped with the EM survey in addition to
the available magnetic and gravity data.
In 2005, Fugro Airborne Surveys were contracted to survey 4,500 line Kms in two areas located near the Eiseb in the
Otjozondjupa Region using their fixed wing TEMPEST time domain EM system. Later, in 2008 Geotech Limited were contracted
to survey 3310 line Kms in the Maroelaboom Areas, located some 50 kms north east of Grootfontein, using their helicopter
borne VTEM time domain system. Subsequently to that, two more surveys were flown in the Erongo region mainly; Trekkopie
and Lofdal surveys. However, the final data on these surveys' are yet to be processed.
All of these surveys successfully penetrated overlying Kalahari sediments and were able to further characterize and map
the underlying bedrock geology, the Damara Orogenic Belt. The surveys also indentified bedrock conductors beneath the
Kalahari sediments, thus increasing the mineral potential within the region as a whole.
Regional Airborne Geophysical Data
During a thirty year period nearly all of Namibia was gradually covered by regional airborne geophysical
(magnetic and radiometric) surveys with typical 1000-m line spacing and a ground clearance between 100 and 150 m.
Radiometric Calibration Facilities
Radiometric surveys have become increasingly important for mineral exploration and environmental studies, especially
since data quality is improved by modern spectral processing. The calibration of airborne and ground instruments,
making use of calibration pads and a Dynamic Calibration Range, is essential to achieve comparable results in units
of ground concentration. Calibration pads are available at the Eros Airport close to the Geological Survey in Windhoek.
The Dynamic Calibration Range is situated close to Henties Bay at the central Namibian coast.
The area meets the criteria defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1991. The range consists of a flat 2 x 11
km wide area stretching approximately 1 km inland along the coast, that was surveyed on a 100 x 100 m grid using calibrated hand held
instruments. A nearby airstrip and the airport of Swakopmund, 60 km to the south, complete the facilities. Digital data and hardcopy
maps of the Dynamic Calibration Range can be made available to all interested parties.
Hyperspectral survey were conducted as from 2004 and the covered areas are Otavi, Sikereti, Mowe Bay, Erongo region,
Erindi, Navachab, and Rehoboth as it can be seen in the Fig. 5. With this tool you can map out alterations minerals for
Colour composite of false image and the bands are 28, 15 and 03 at
Langer Heinrich Uranium mine
Mica abundance and Kaolinite at Langer Heinrich Uranium mine
HyMap images of Langer Heinrich uranium mine area
This newly created subdivision was established following the success of the BRGM (French Geological Survey) SYSMIN funded
interpretation project. Once fully staffed the Interpretation unit will provide complementary interpretation services to
airborne and ground geophysics, and will work closely with other divisions within the Geological Survey to provide quality
geological interpretations of geophysical and remote sensing data.
work still in progress
An airborne electromagnetic interpretation workshop was conducted by Fugro Airborne Surveys on the Eiseb project (Area
2 and 3) early this year. The integrated interpretation was mainly on the Tempest AEM and Regional magnetic data. However, a comprehensive
report on the interpretation was never delivered but various deliveries of grids plus power presentations on the workshop were received
Results of Area 2 and 3 that formed part of the AEM interpretation.
A Magnetotelluric survey was conducted by Southern African MagnetoTelluric EXperiment (SAMTEX). The programme aimed
to study the cratonic boundaries of Southern Africa and provide information about lithospheric strike directions and the resistivity
distributions as well as possible locations of terrane boundaries.
Landsat TM5 image of parts of the
Kaoko Region (North-Western Namibia)
(Left) Surfer-Classed- Post map of resistivity distribution and (Right)
Sketch of a complete apparent resistivity pseudo-map, which shows a remarkable a-symmetric distribution of the
low resistivity zones within the western syncline. Black crosses indicate the survey lines.
A resistivity survey in the Tsumeb area was conducted as collaboration between the Geological Survey and the Federal Institute
for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR, Germany). The aim was to establish and locate a new waste dumpsite for the town as the
pre-existing site was leaching contaminates into the groundwater system.