GFZ German research centre for geo sciences


Walvis Ridge Passive-Source Seismic Experiment (WALPASS)

Time frame: 2013 - 2016

The Etendeka continental flood-basalt province in northern Namibia, linked by the Walvis Ridge to the Tristan da Cunha hotspot, has a great importance in global plate tectonic concepts, and is an ideal place to understand the role of the plume-lithosphere interaction during break-up of the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Starting from October 2010 we deployed an amphibian passive-source seismic network at the position, where the Walvis Ridge intersects with the continental margin of northern Namibia. The broadband seismic network is composed of 28 three-component land stations and 12 ocean-bottom stations, and is being operated for 1-2 years. We plan to map the lithospheric and deeper upper mantle structure in the ocean-continent transition beneath the passive continental margin of northern Namibia and to find seismic anomalies related to the postulated hotspot track from the continent to the ocean along the Walvis Ridge. The acquired data can also be used to study the velocity anomaly in the lowermost mantle caused by the Africa super plume. Proposed works include P and S receiver functions, body and surface wave tomography, shear wave splitting, local seismicity, etc.

Dr. Xiaohui Yuan (GFZ Potsdam)
Dr. Benjamin Heit (GFZ Potsdam)

Principle Investigators
Dr. Xiaohui Yuan (GFZ Potsdam)
Dr. Wilfried Jokat (AW Bremerhaven)
Prof. Dr. Michael Weber (GFZ Potsdam)
Dr. Wolfram Geißler (AW Bremerhaven)
Dr. Benjamin Heit (GFZ Potsdam)

Dr. Gabi Schneider (Geological Survey of Namibia)
Mr. Bufelo Lushetile (Geological Survey of Namibia)
Mr. Karl-Heinz Hoffmann (Geological Survey of Namibia)

back to top of main content