Dry-Rifting in the Albertine-Rhino Graben (DRIAR) Project
Makerere University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Virginia Polytechnique Institute and State University, the leading institution of the consortia of universities participating in the Dry-Rifting in the Albertine-Rhino Graben (DRIAR Project), to conduct geophysical, geochemical and geological studies of the Albertine-Rhino Graben in Uganda.
As part of the activities, the DRIAR Project in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development – Uganda is conducting a two-week field training school for staff and students from the Department of Geology and Petroleum Studies and the Department of Physics at Makerere University. The training taking place at Botzoo, CoNAS was officially opened by the Acting Principal, Prof. Juma Kasozi today, 11th July 2022. It will cover modules including; GNSS Geodesy, Magnetotellurics, Active Seismology, and Passive Seismology. Fieldwork will be conducted in; seismology, structural geology, geochemistry, and magnetics. Trainers include: Dr Sarah Stamps, Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech, also Principal Investigator, DRIAR Project; Dr. Fola Kolawole, Assistant Professor at Columbia University; Prof. Rob Evans, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and Prof. Suzan van der Lee, Northwestern University, USA.
About the Dry-Rifting in the Albertine-Rhino Graben (DRIAR) Project
The DRIAR project funded by the United States National Science Foundation is international collaborative group aimed at addressing geological questions surrounding magma-poor continental rifting in the Albertine-Rhino grabens. The three-year project (December 2020 to November 2024) consists of leading geoscientists from multiple disciplines across the United States and around the world. The project goal is to apply geophysical, geological, geochemical, and geodynamic techniques to investigate the Northern Western Branch of the East African Rift System in Uganda.
Under the project, a wide range of geophysical, geological, and geochemical observations will be collected, and numerical modeling of the region will be performed to advance understanding of how the magma-poor rifts form and evolve. The project team seeks to unravel the physics leading to the new breakage of the earth’s crust in the region, in addition to better understanding of continental rifting. Additionally, the project seeks to improve data on estimates of carbon dioxide transfer into the atmosphere that occurs during continental rifting, advancing rifting models used for exploring natural resources, and creating new insights into seismic hazards associated with active faulting. The project will involve analysis of Global Navigation Satellite System data collected in Uganda. The scientific results of this project will be communicated, in part, through short educational videos geared towards public audiences.
The Project supports three Ugandan PhD students based at universities in the United States namely: Ms. Asenath Kwagalakwe, Virginia Tech; Mr Hillary Mwongyera, University of Kansas; and Mr. Albert Kabanda, Northwestern University.
Details on the project at: https://vtx.vt.edu/articles/2021/12/science-eastern_africa_fift_sarah_stamps_lab.html