The Southern African landscape has played a key role in understanding landscape development, starting with the ideas of Du Toitt and then Lester King on scarp retreat. In this project, we are attempting to understand the  evolution of the southern Africa landscape on the continental scale from the Mesozoic onwards, when Gondwanaland was breaking up. We are using a variety of lines of evidence, including drainage evolution, theoretical understanding of continental lithosphere flexure, igneous petrology, emplacement of kimberlites and related rocks, and the stratigraphic record. The role of plumes has  been invoked to explain several aspects of Southern African tectonics, from Archean greenstones, to kimberlites and flood basalts and the development of drainage systems. We find that plumes offer a satisfactory explanation for basaltic volcanism and drainage development at the time of Gondwana break-up, but they fail to explain alkaline volcanism or current topography.

Hanson RE, Harmer R, Blenkinsop TG, Bullen D, Dalziel IWD, Gose WA, Hall R, Kampunzu A, Key R, Mukwakwami J, Munyanyiwa H, Pancake J, Seidel EK & Ward S (2006) Mesoproterozoic intraplate magmatism in the Kalahari Craton: A review. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 46, 141 – 167.
Moore A & Blenkinsop TG(2006) Scarp retreat versus pinned drainage divide in the formation of the Drakensberg escarpment, Southern Africa. South African Journal of Geology, 109, 599 – 610.
Hanson RE, Crowley JL, Bowring SA, Ramezani J, Gose WA, Dalziel IWD, Pancake J, Seidel EK, Blenkinsop TG* &  Mukwakwami J (2004) Coeval Large-Scale Magmatism in the Kalahari and Laurentian Cratons During Rodinia Assembly.  Science, 304 (5674), 1061 – 1192.
Manyeruke TD, Blenkinsop TG, Buchholz P, Love D, Oberthur T, Vetter UK & Davis DW (2004) The age and petrology of the Chimbadzi Hill Intrusion, NW Zimbabwe: first evidence for early Paleoproterozoic  magmatism in Zimbabwe.  Journal of African Earth Sciences, 40, 281 – 292.
Moore A & Blenkinsop TG(2002) The role of mantle plumes in the development of continental-scale drainage patterns: the southern African  example revisited.  South African Journal of Geology, 105 (4), 353 – 360.

Moore, A.E., Blenkinsop, T. G., and Cotterill, F., 2008. Controls on post-Gondwana alkaline volcanism in Southern Africa. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 268: 151-164.