South Atlantic Margin Processes and Links with onshore Evolution

The South Atlantic and its conjugate rifted margins is a key site to study the whole spectrum of phenomena related to continental breakup and passive margin formation. It is an ideal natural laboratory on which to focus research. The newly funded SPP 1375 will establish a coordinated research program on passive margin processes by the German geoscience community. While focused on the South Atlantic research within the SPP will be process-oriented and the programme wlll maintain a global perspective through comparative studies and exchange with other key regions, most notably the Central and North Atlantic. The GFZ part of SAMPLE consists of   3 projects

ELCONA (Magnetotellurics; On/offshore deep electrical conductivity structure to investigate the Walvis Ridge magmatism and its interaction with the Kaoko Mobile Belt in northern Namibia)

LISPWAL (Seismics; Lithospheric structure of the Namibian continental passive margin at the intersection with the Walvis Ridge from amphibious seismic investigations)

WALPASS (Seismology; Walvis Ridge Passive-Source Seismic Experime)

Time frame - 2006-2016 (further publications in progress)

Funding: DFG - German Research Foundation

Principal Investigators

Michael Weber (GFZ Potsdam)

ELCONA: Oliver Ritter, Ute Weckmann (GFZ Potsdam), Marion Jegen (GEOMAR)

LISPWAL: Trond Ryberg, Christian Haberland (GFZ Potsdam), Jan Beermann (GEOMAR)

WALPASS: Xiaou Yuan (GFZ), Wolfram Geissler, Wilfried Jokat (AWI)


Gerhard Kapinos (GFZ Potsdam); Karen Wittig, Benjamin Bräuer (GFZ Potsdam); Benjamin Heit (GFZ Potsdam)

Project webpage:

Cooperations - GEOMAR, AWI, about 6 Universities, Geological Survey of Namibia


Ryberg,T., Bauer; K., Haberland, Ch., Weber, M. Behrmann, J.H., Jokat, W. (2017): A deep seismic transect across the landfall of Walvis Ridge onshore North Namibia. Tectonophysics, submitted

Kästle E., Weber, M., Krüger (2017): Complex Deep Structure of the African Low-Velocity Zone, BSSA, Fromm, T., Jokat, W., Ryberg, T., Behrmann, J., Haberland, C., Weber, M. (2017): The onset of Walvis Ridge: Plume influence at the continental margin. - Tectonophysics.

Wittig, K., Ryberg, T., Weber, M. (2017): New insights into the seismic time term method for heterogeneous upper mantle slowness structures. International Journal on Geomathematics, 8, 1, p. 43-56.

Yuan, X., Heit, B., Brune, S., Steinberger, B., Geissler, W. H., Jokat, W., Weber, M. (2017): Seismic structure of the lithosphere beneath NW Namibia: Impact of the Tristan da Cunha mantle plume. - Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems (G3), 18, 1, p. 125-141.

Planert, L., Behrmann, J., Jokat, W., Fromm, T., Ryberg, T., Weber, M., Haberland, C. (2016): The wide-angle seismic image of a complex rifted margin, offshore North Namibia: Implications for the tectonics of continental breakup. - Tectonophysics.

Ryberg, T., Braeuer, B., Weber, M. (2016): Upper mantle structure at Walvis Ridge from Pn tomography. Tectonophysics.

Fromm, T., Planert, L., Jokat, W., Ryberg, T., Behrmann, J.-H., Weber, M., Haberland, C.H. (2015): South Atlantic opening: A plume-induced breakup?, Geology, doi:10.1130/G36936.1

Ryberg, T., Haberland, Ch., Haberlau, T., Weber, M., Bauer, K., Behrmann, J.-H., Jokat., W. (2015): Crustal structure of northwest Namibia: Evidence for plume-rift continent Interaction. geology, doi:10.1130/G36768.1

Jegen, M., Avdeeva, A., Berndt, C., Franz, G., Heincke, B., Hölz, S., Neska, A., Marti, A., Planert, L., Chen, J., Kopp, H., Baba, K., Ritter, O., Weckmann, U., Meqbel, N., Behrmann, J. (2016): 3-D magnetotelluric image of offshore magmatism at the Walvis Ridge and rift basin. - Tectonophysics, 683, p. 98-108.

Kapinos, G., Weckmann, U., Jegen-Kulcsar, M., Meqbel, N., Neska, A., Katjiuongua, T. T., Hoelz, S., Ritter, O. (2016): Electrical Resistivity Image of the South Atlantic Continental Margin Derived from On- and Offshore Magnetotelluric Data. - Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 1, p. 154-160.



We thank the GIPP for providing the instruments and our local partners in Namibiafor their support in the deployment iof the stations


Michael Weber
Section Head
Prof. Dr. Michael Weber
Geophysical Deep Sounding
Building E , Room 325
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1250