Afar Repository Project

The Afar repository project is an on-going effort aiming at creating an online archive of the rocks and thin sections that were originally collected in the Afar rift in the 70’s by several Franch-Italian expeditions. The purpose of creating the archive is to make this unique collection available to scientists internationally to aid their research on rifting processes and on the Afar region.

The scientists that collected the samples in the 70’s are Franco Barberi, Enrico Bonatti, Mario Di Paola, Giorgio Marinelli, Roberto Santacroce, Haroun Tazieff, Jaques Varet, Gaetano Ferrara, Sergio Borsi, A. Gadalia, Jean-Louis Cheminée, Francoise Gasse, Michel Treuil, O. Richard, Laurent Stieltjes, J. Demange, Gaetano Giglia and Roberto Cioni. The Afar repository project was born in 2014 from an idea of Luca Lupi, Mauro Rosi and Roberto Santacroce and an initial financial support by Stratex Int. PLC. The support offered from all the people involved in the expeditions to Afar, their institutions and Stratex Int. PLC. is much appreciated.

The collection comprises 2055 rock samples and 9501 thin sections from the three rift arms of the Afar triple junction. The digitalization of the sampling locations was initially carried out by Laura De Dosso with the help of Prof. Pietro Armienti. The sampling locations south of latitude ~11°N and all data update are managed by Carolina Pagli and her students, the work is still in progress. 

Access to the repository and data analyses

The Afar repository is stored at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Pisa, where it can be accessed by scientists upon request. Analyses of rock samples can be carried in the Pisa laboratories or abroad only upon approval of a project proposal by the board committee (see Apply for data).