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Axel Hofmann

Associate Professor
Name: Axel Hofmann
Location: Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Department of Geology Staff  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 4087


About Prof Axel Hofmann

Axel Hofmann holds a doctorate from the University of Mainz in Germany and has worked as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, Wits University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His main interest and expertise is centred on the Archaean geological record of southern Africa. His research emphasizes the importance of field work and the usage of an integrated suite of petrological, structural, and geochemical tools in order to decipher the geological history of Archaean volcano-sedimentary successions.

Research Interests

Archaean surface processes, evolution of greenstone belts, geochemistry of sedimentary rocks, sediment-hosted ore deposits, habitat of early life

Current projects

  • Early Earth Life and Mineral Systems – exploring the relationship between surface processes, evolution and habitat of life and the formation of mineral deposits on the early Earth
  • Sedimentology, basin evolution and gold/uranium mineralization of the Pongola and Witwatersrand supergroups
  • Peering into the Cradle of Life – scientific drilling in the Barberton greenstone belt
  • Various projects on the Precambrian geology of Zimbabwe, the Francevillian Basin of Gabon, and the Singhbhum Craton of India

Selected recent publications

  • André, L., Abraham, K., Hofmann, A., Monin, L., Kleinhanns, I.C. and Foley, S., 2019. Early continental crust generated by reworking of basalts variably silicified by seawater. Nature Geoscience 12, 769–773.
  • Hofmann, A., Anhaeusser, C. R., Dixon, J., Kröner, A., Saha, L., Wilson, A. and Xie, H. (2019). Archaean Granitoid–Greenstone Geology of the Southeastern Part of the Kaapvaal Craton. In: Kröner, A. and Hofmann, A. (Eds.), The Archaean Geology of the Kaapvaal Craton, Southern Africa. Springer, pp. 33-54.
  • Agangi, A., Hofmann, A., & Elburg, M. A. (2018). A review of Palaeoarchaean felsic volcanism in the eastern Kaapvaal craton: linking plutonic and volcanic records. Geoscience Frontiers, 9, 667-688.
  • Ossa, F. O., Eickmann, B., Hofmann, A., Planavsky, N. J., Asael, D., Pambo, F., & Bekker, A. (2018). Two-step deoxygenation at the end of the Paleoproterozoic Lomagundi Event. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 486, 70-83.
  • Burron, I., da Costa, G., Sharpe, R., Fayek, M., Gauert, C., & Hofmann, A. (2018). 3.2 Ga detrital uraninite in the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa: Evidence of a reducing Archean atmosphere. Geology, 46, 295-298.
  • Eickmann, B., Hofmann, A., Wille, M., Bui, T. H., Wing, B. A., & Schoenberg, R. (2018). Isotopic evidence for oxygenated Mesoarchaean shallow oceans. Nature Geoscience, 11, 133–138.
  • Siahi M, Hofmann A, Master S, Mueller CW, Gerdes A., 2017. Carbonate ooids of the Mesoarchaean Pongola Supergroup, South Africa. Geobiology, 15, 750-766.
  • Bolhar, R., Hofmann, A., Kemp, A. S., Whitehouse, M. J., Wind, S., & Kamber, B. S. (2017). Juvenile crust formation in the Zimbabwe Craton deduced from the O-Hf isotopic record of 3.8-3.1 Ga detrital zircons. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 215, 432–446.
  • Greber, N. D., Dauphas, N., Bekker, A., Ptáček, M. P., Bindeman, I. N., & Hofmann, A. (2017). Titanium isotopic evidence for felsic crust and plate tectonics 3.5 billion years ago. Science, 357, 1271-1274.