National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Dr Musa Manzi

Senior researcher and director of the Wits Seismic Research Centre at Wits University 


TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging Researcher through research and its outputs (by an individual up to 6 years in research predominantly in South Africa) Dr Musa Manzi, senior researcher and director: Seismic Research Centre, School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), develops and applies mathematical and geophysical techniques to gain a deeper understanding of earth processes. This includes innovative 3D seismic technologies for deep mineral exploration.

South Africa has some of the world’s deepest mines and richest mineral resources. However, mining at these depths presents risks and hazards that can affect the lives of mine workers and the stability of mines. There are also challenges with regard to mining-related earthquakes and methane gas, and the need to allocate resources to ensure that mines are built more efficiently.Now, imagine if there was a way of detecting resources at ground level, of mapping the flow of methane gas and structuring a mine before it was even built?

“Mining in South Africa is incredibly interesting,” says Dr Musa Manzi, senior researcher and director of the Wits Seismic Research Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. “We have some of the deepest mines in the world that run to depths of 4km to 5km, and the mining itself takes place in a unique environment. As part of my PhD in geophysics, I enrolled in researching 3D reflection seismology to see if it would be possible to visualise a 3D environment of the mine before drilling takes place.”

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