The British Geological Survey has been awarded a large contract through the World Bank to map the central and northern parts of Madagascar at scales 1:100,000 and 1:500,000.The project will run between 2005 and 2008 and includes mapping, geochronology, stream sediment geochemistry and evaluation of mineral wealth.

Revisit this page after each season as I will post photo albums and field diaries. The first season's photo albums are now ready for viewing here

Please also visit the BGS and USGS pages and the webpage of the project in Madagascar for more information and press releases (download PDF).

Map of Madagascar

My responsibilities in the programme include the Deputy Management of all mapping zones (A, B and D; see figure), and running the geochronological programme.

Mapping included my direct involvement in 16 1:100,000 mapping sheets in 2006-7, while for 7 of those I am the main compiler.

In 2007, I mapped 1 sheet in Zone D (Q41) and did some follow up mapping in  Zone B (S46) and undertook a 22-day long foot traverse west of Sambava, to do some follow up work on 5 sheets in the Bemarivo Belt, and take a closer look at the Daraina-Milanoa volcanosedimentary successions.

The geochronological programme includes 83 U-Pb dates and 15 Ar-Ar dates. The U-Pb work is managed by myself, and carried out at the Perth Consortium SHRIMP facilities in Perth, Australie (magmatic/metamorphic rocks) and at the LA-ICP-MS facilities of NIGL in Keyworth, UK (detrital zircon analyses). The Ar-Ar work will be conducted at the USGS Ar-Ar facilities at Menlo Park by Jamie Conrad, with help from Bob Tucker (seconded to the USGS from the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Washington University).

The figure above shows the mapping areas I am involved in (mapping, compilation and/or editing) and the 2005-2007 programme of geochronology (squares=2005; circles=2006; red=magmatic/metamorphic zircon; yellow=detrital zircon). More geochronology is expected for the second half of 2007.