The Dry Rifting in the Albertine Rhino Graben (DRIAR) Project


The Dry Rifting in the Albertine Rhino Graben (DRIAR)  is a project designed to understand the crustal and upper mantle structure and geodynamics, identity, active faults, and improve the understanding of natural resource development beneath the Albertine-Rhino Graben, all towards deciphering the physical processes of magma-poor continental rifting.

The DRIAR Project involves a geophysical, geological, and geodynamic investigation of the Albertine-Rhino Graben in western and northwestern Uganda to improve our understanding of continental rifting in areas where volcanic activity is minimal. Several field activities will be carried out between 2021-2025. These activities include collecting water samples, collecting rock samples, temporary deployment of seismic, magnetotelluric, and gravity instruments, permanent installations or Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) instruments, temporary deployment of GNSS instruments at specific locations, and geological mapping. The project also includes the DRIAR Project training school 2022 and 2023 hosted at Makerere University.

The overall DRIAR Project Coordinator is Dr. Sarah Stamps, Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech. At Makerere University, the Project is coordinated by Dr John Mary Kiberu, a Lecturer in the Department of Geology and Petroleum Studies at the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS).

Funders: United States National Science Foundation

Project partners;

  1. Makerere University
  2. Virginia Tech.
  3. University of Delaware
  4. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  5. North-western University
  6. University of Kansas
  7. Midwestern State University

Makerere University activities on the project

  1. Assist in the recruitment of MSc and PhD students for training in the US
  2. Participate in data sharing, processing, and interpretation
  3. Contribute to manuscript writing
  4. Help with the installation and download of geophysical data
  5. Provide field vehicles for use during project fieldwork
  6. Recruit guides and drivers
  7. Participate in the evaluation of the project
  8. Support for obtaining research permits for USA collaborators


Details of the Project Training School held at Makerere University

DRIAR Project Field Training School – 11th-22nd July 2022