The CGS has a modern laboratory in Pretoria, offering a wide range of analytical facilities. Particularly noteworthy are the isotope and geochronology facilities, REE, XRD, MS-ICP and XRF. The latter is used on a very large scale in the highly acclaimed regional geochemical mapping programme of the CGS. These data find particular application in mineral exploration, agricultural research and environmental management projects.
A state-of-the-art electronic corporate relational database (GEODE), which integrates dedicated modular databases for specific applications (e.g. mineral deposits, boreholes, geochemistry, engineering geology, etc.) into a comprehensive GIS, has been developed.
A modern Drawing Office produces a wide variety of geoscientific maps, using both conventional and electronic cartographic technologies. The production procedures are increasingly being automated and linked to the GIS, which facilitates rapid map production and updating.
The Seismology Unit studies the regional seismicity of Southern Africa through the operation and maintenance of the South African National Seismograph Network (SANSN), and various other seismological stations in eastern and southern Africa. These stations provide information on the occurrence of earthquakes and enables assessment of the seismic hazard in the subcontinent. This information is available to engineering houses, insurance companies, state organisations, etc.
The Geophysics Unit specialises in the conducting and interpretation of airborne geophysical surveys, and has a fleet of well-equipped aircraft at its disposal to perform aeromagnetic and radiometric surveys. The Unit also develops and maintains a geophysical testing site where geophysical instruments can be calibrated and students can acquire practical experience in the use of various geophysical instruments.
The National Geoscience Library contains the most comprehensive collection of geoscience publications in South Africa, consisting of approximately 17 000 books and more than 2 800 journal titles, 300 of which are current subscriptions.
The Map Library has a comprehensive collection of more than 14 000 sheet maps, with a large portion of this collection devoted to maps from Africa.
There is a comprehensive collection of over 17 000 unpublished reports generated by the staff of the CGS , of which copies of many are available to clients.
Collections of reports donated by the STK, Goldfields, SOEKOR and Union Corporation, amongst others, are available to clients.
The CGS maintains a prospecting borehole-log collection of over 72 000 borehole logs acquired from prospecting and mining companies. The locality information of these borehole logs is available through the GEODE Database.
The SAGEOLIT database is a bibliographic geoscience database containing nearly 270 000 references to unpublished reports, maps and selected periodical articles.
The palaeontological collection of the Council for Geoscience is a large, valuable and unique collection. Highlights include some of the best Karoo Supergroup (Permo-Triassic) mammal-like reptile and ray-finned fish fossils in the world; Cape Supergroup (Devonian-Carboniferous) fishes, invertebrates and trace fossils; and South African Plio-Pleistocene mammals. The collection is available for research and viewing purposes.
The Geoscience Museum provides educational facilities and information to scholars, tourists and members of the public in the form of displays, multimedia kiosks, rock-, mineral- and fossil-identification services, brochures and worksheets. The Museum’s gem, mineral, meteorite and rock collection is recognised as one of the best of its kind in Africa. This collection is available for research and viewing purposes.
The National Core-Library contains a large collection of borehole cores and cuttings from South African geological strata, collected over a period of more than 25 years. Continued collection of borehole material, together with donations from mining houses, aims to make the collection as representative as possible of all the major lithostratigraphic units in the country. This collection is available for research purposes.