Prof Nils Lenhardt

Associate Professor

Sedimentology and Physical Volcanology

Office: 4-38 Mineral Sciences Building

E-mail: [email protected] 

Phone: +27 (0)12 420 3310


Ongoing research and interests:

  • Volcanogenic sediments and magma-sediment interactions
  • The impact of volcanic eruptions on the environment and sedimentary systems
  • Active volcanism
  • Explosive volcanism
  • Large igneous provinces
  • Hydrocarbon formation in volcano-sedimentary basins


  • 2005-2009 Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.) Earth Sciences, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany 
  • 1997-2004 Dipl.-Geol. (equiv. to M.Sc.) Geology and Palaeontology, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany


  • 2021-present: Associate Professor, University of Pretoria,South Africa
  • 2014-2020: Senior Lecturer, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • 2011-2013: Lecturer, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • 2010-2011: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • 2005-2009: Research Assistant, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany
  • 1998-2004: Research Assistant, Hessian State Museum, Darmstadt, Germany



  • 2019-present: GLY163 Earth History (1st year level)
  • 2015-present: GLY253 Sedimentology (2nd year level)
  • 2011-present: GLY702 Physical Volcanology (Honours level)
  • 2017-2019: GLY266 Second year mapping camp (2nd year level)
  • 2016-2019: GLY703 Basin Analysis (Honours level)
  • 2012-2019: GLY707 Honours mapping camp (Honours level)
  • 2014-2015: GLY706 Ore deposits and mining methods (Honours level)
  • 2012-2013: GLY352 Geodynamics and Ore-forming processes (3rd year level)
  • 2011-2017: GLY361 Ore Deposits (3rd year level)
  • 2011: GLY162 Environmental Geology (1st year level)

Postgraduate project supervision:

MSc Projects (ongoing)

Mr. Mzoli Breakfast – Geological characterization of the Bamboesberg Member within the Molteno-Indwe coalfield, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa (co-supervision with Dr. John Hancox; University of the Witwatersrand)

Ms. Kieran Byrch – Magma-water interaction and diatreme formation in the upper Clarens Formation (Barkly East, Eastern Cape Province) before the onset of the Drakensberg volcanism (co-supervision with Prof. Lothar Viereck; Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany)

Mr. Gregory McKenzie – Geochronology and sedimentology of the lower Waterberg Group (Nystroom sub-basin) and regional tectonic implications (co-supervision with Prof. Adam Bumby)

MSc Projects (completed)

2023: Mr. Luzuko Chiya – Petrography and geochemistry of hydrothermal breccias in the Schrikkloof Formation (Rooiberg Group), north of Modimolle, South Africa (co-supervision with Prof. Laurence Robb; University of Oxford, UK)

2020: Mr. Francois Lötter – Petrography and geochemistry of the Holocene monogenetic Bayuda Volcanic Field, Sudan: Insights into the magma plumbing system (co-supervision with Prof. Lothar Viereck (Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany) and Dr. Mohammed Altigani (Al Neelain University, Khartoum, Sudan))

2017: Ms. Ariane W. Ngongang – Seismic hazard assessment of Cameroon with special focus on Mount Cameroon (co-supervision with Prof. Andrzej Kijko)

2015: Ms. Susan Serfontein – Palynofacies of the Lower No 4 Coal Seam (Highveld Coalfield, South Africa) (co-supervision with Prof. Annette E. Goetz)

2015: Mr. Samson M. Masango – Physical volcanology of the Rooiberg Group near Loskop Dam (Mpumalanga), South Africa

2011: Ms. Elina M. Uukule – Analysis of Walvis Basin-fill, Namibia: Geometry, genesis and hydrocarbon potential (co-supervision with Profs. Patrick G. Eriksson and Wlady Altermann) 

PhD Projects (ongoing)

Ms. Diddi Djamilatou Hamadjoda – Petrology and geochemistry of volcanic formations of Roumsou and surroundings (Kapsiki Plateau, Cameroon Volcanic Line) (co-supervision with Prof. Merlin Gountié Dedzo; University of Maroua, Cameroon)

Mr. Francois Lötter – The eruption type variability of basaltic shield volcanoes: the example of the Karthala and Piton de la Fournaise volcanoes (co-supervision with Prof. Andrea di Muro (Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France) and Prof. Nicolas Villeneuve (University of La Réunion, France))

Mr. Gert-Jan Peeters – Physical volcanology and hazard assessment of the Holocene Ngozi Caldera, Tanzania (co-supervision with Prof. Karen Fontijn; Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium) 

PhD Projects (completed)

2023: Mr. Erepamo Omietimi – Sedimentology, palaeoenvironment and structural interpretation of the Cretaceous SW Anambra Basin, Nigeria. (co-supervision with Prof. Adam Bumby (UP) and Prof. Renchao Yang, Shandong University of Science and Technology, China) 

2017: Mr. Olutola Jolayemi – Geochemistry and petrology of the Rooiberg Group, Bushveld Large Igneous Province, South Africa. (co-supervision with Prof. James Roberts, UP)

PUBLICATIONS (during the last 5 years)

  • Bilal, A., Yang, R., Janjuhah, H.T., Mughal, M.S., Li, Y., Kontakiotis, G. & Lenhardt, N. (in press) Microfacies analysis of the Palaeocene Lockhart Limestone on the eastern margin of the Upper Indus Basin (Pakistan): Implications for the depositional environment and reservoir characteristics. The Depositional Record.
  • Yang, R., Li, Y., Wu, X., Di, J., Zhang, J. & Lenhardt, N. (2023) Base-level fluctuation controls on migration of delta lobes: a case study from the Paleogene Shahejie Formation in the Huimin Depression, Bohai Bay Basin, NE China. Processes, 11(2), 378.
  • Lenhardt, N., Galerne, C., Le Roux, P., Götz, A.E. & Lötter, F.J.P. (2023) Geochemistry of dolerite intrusions of the southeastern Main Karoo Basin, South Africa: Magma evolution, evidence for thermogenic gas sequestration, and potential implications for the early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event. Gondwana Research, 113, 144-162.
  • Li, Y., Fan, A., Yang, R., Sun, Y.P. & Lenhardt, N. (2022) Braided deltas and diagenetic control on tight sandstone reservoirs: A case study on the Permian lower Shihezi Formation in the southern Ordos Basin (Central China). Sedimentary Geology, 435, 106156.
  • Lötter, F.J.P., Lenhardt, N., Viereck, L., Münker, C., Marien, C.S. & Altigani, M.A.H. (2022) The Quaternary monogenetic Bayuda Volcanic Field, Sudan – Insights into mantle and crustal processes during magma petrogenesis. Lithos, 410-411, 106563.
  • Omietimi, E.J., Lenhardt, N., Yang, R., Götz, A.E. & Bumby, A.J. (2022) Sedimentary geochemistry of Late Cretaceous-Paleocene deposits at the southwestern margin of the Anambra Basin (Nigeria): Implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 600, 111059.  
  • Wan, Q., Fan, A., Yang, R. & Lenhardt, N. (2022) Diagenetic mineralogy and its effect on the reservoir properties of the sandstones of the Permian S120 Block (Sulige Gas Field), Ordos Basin, China. Journal of Palaeogeography, 11(3), 360-386.
  • Li, Y., Fan, A., Yang, R., Sun, Y. & Lenhardt, N. (2021) Sedimentary facies control on sandstone reservoir properties: a case study from the Permian Shanxi Formation in the southern Ordos Basin, central China. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 129, 105083.
  • Omietimi, E.J., Chouhan, A.K., Lenhardt, N., Yang, R. & Bumby, A.J. (2021) Structural interpretation of the south-western flank of the Anambra Basin (Nigeria) using satellite-derived WGM 2012 gravity data. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 182, 104290.
  • Jolayemi, O.O., Robb, L., Lenhardt, N. & Hughes, H. (2020) Different melt source regions for the volcanics of the Bushveld large igneous province: New observations from MELTS modeling of the Palaeoproterozoic Rooiberg Group (South Africa). Journal of African Earth Sciences, 172, 103999.
  • Lenhardt, N., Altermann, W., Humbert, F. & de Kock, M. (2020) Lithostratigraphy of the Palaeoproterozoic Hekpoort Formation (Pretoria Group, Transvaal Supergroup), South Africa. South African Journal of Geology, 123(4), 655-668.
  • Lenhardt, N., Bleeker, W., Ngwa, C.N. & Aucamp, T. (2020) Shallow marine basaltic volcanism of the Machadodorp Member (Silverton Formation, Pretoria Group), Transvaal Basin, South Africa — An example of Paleoproterozoic explosive intraplate volcanic activity in an epeiric embayment. Precambrian Research, 338, 105580.
  • Fan, A., Yang, R., Lenhardt, N., Wang, M., Han, Z., Li, J., Li, Y. & Zhao, Z. (2019) Cementation and porosity evolution of tight sandstone reservoirs in the Permian Sulige gas field, Ordos Basin (central China). Marine and Petroleum Geology, 103, 276-293.
  • Ngwa, C.N., Lenhardt, N., Le Roux, P. & Mbassa, B.J. (2019) The Mount Cameroon southwest flank eruptions: Geochemical constraints on the subsurface magma plumbing system. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 384, 179-188.
  • Wetie Ngongang, A., Lenhardt, N. & Smit, A. (2019) Seismic hazard parameter estimation of the Mount Cameroon volcanic region (Cameroon) based on a combination of mixed catalogues. Natural Hazards, 96, 369-388. doi: 10.1007/s11069-018-3547-x
  • Humbert, F., de Kock, M.O., Altermann, W., Elburg, M.A., Lenhardt, N., Smith, A.J.B. & Masango, S. (2018) Petrology, physical volcanology and geochemistry of a Paleoproterozoic large igneous province: The Hekpoort Formation in the southern Transvaal sub-basin (Kaapvaal craton). Precambrian Research, 315, 232-256. doi: 10.1016/j.precamres.2018.07.022
  • Lenhardt, N., Borah, S.B., Lenhardt, S.Z., Bumby, A.J., Ibinoof, M.A. & Salih, S.A. (2018) The monogenetic Bayuda Volcanic Field, Sudan – New insights into geology and volcanic morphology. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 356, 211-224. doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.03.010
  • Wang, Y., Yang, R., Song, M., Lenhardt, N., Wang, X., Zhang, X., Yang, S., Wang, J. & Cao, H. (2018) Characteristics, controls and geological models of hydrocarbon accumulation in the Carboniferous volcanic reservoirs of the Chunfeng Oilfield, Junggar Basin, northwestern China. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 94, 65-79. doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.04.001

CONFERENCES (during the past 5 years)

  • Lötter, F. di Muro, A., Villeneue, N. & Lenhardt, N. (2023) Geochemistry, morphology and distribution of scoria cones on Grande Comore: Insights into the Karthala-La Grille plumbing system(s). Goldschmidt 2023 Conference, Lyon, France, July 9-14, 2023.
  • Breakfas*, M., Lenhardt, N. & Hancox, J. (2023) Basin analysis of the Molteno-Indiwe Basin in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Geocongress 2023, Stellenbosch, South Africa, January 11-13, 2023.
  • Galerne, C., Lenhardt, N., Rabbel, O., Wiggers, C., Hasenclever, J., Galland, O., Götz, A.E., Bach, W., Kahl, W.-A., Teske, A., Lizarralde, D., Berndt, C., Höfig, T.W., & Expedition 385 Scientists (2022) Carbon-cycle in sedimentary basins intruded by sills - differing responses and implications from depth to the subseafloor. Ocean Floor Symposium 2022 “Understanding element fluxes – processes and budgets”, MARUM, University of Bremen, October 9-12, 2022. 
  • Djamilatou, D.H., Gountié Dedzo, M., Lenhardt, N., Tchouhla, R., Biakan á Nyotok, P.C. & Klamadji, M.N. (2022) Petrographic and cartography studies of the volcanic and hypovolcanic formations of Roumsou and its surrounding (Kapsiki Plateau, Far-North Cameroon). 11th International Conference on the Geology of Africa (ICGA 2022), Assiut University, Egypt, November 08-10, 2022. 
  • Jolayemi, O.O., Robb, L.J., Lenhardt, N., Bybee, G., Kinnaird, J. & Nex, P. (2019) Volcanological and chemical comparison of rhyolites from different stratigraphic positions of the Rooiberg Group, Bushveld Magmatic Province. Goldschmidt2019, Barcelona, Spain, August 17-22 2019.
  • Jolayemi, O.O., Robb, L.J., Lenhardt, N., Kinnaird, J. & Nex, P. (2019) The Palaeoproterozoic Rooiberg Group, Bushveld Magmatic Province, South Africa: A stratigraphic review.2019 Igneous and Metamorphic Studies Group (IMSG) meeting, Parys, South Africa, January 13-16 2019.
  • Chiya, L., Lenhardt, N. & Robb, L.J. (2018) Geochemical characterization of rhyolites, tuffs, and breccias of the upper Schrikkloof Formation north of Modimolle. 2018 Igneous and Metamorphic Studies Group (IMSG) meeting, Cape Town, South Africa, January 14-17 2018.
  • Chiya, L., Lenhardt, N. & Robb, L.J. (2018) Geochemical investigation of hydrothermally altered portions of the Schrikkloof Formation, Rooiberg Group, Modimolle, South Africa:  a mass balance approach. 2018 Geocongress, Johannesburg, South Africa, July 18-20.
  • Jolayemi, O., Lenhardt, N., Nex, P., Kinnaird, J. & Robb, L.J. (2018) The role of lithogeochemical variation in the classification of the Palaeoproterozoic Rooiberg Group, South Africa. 2018 Geocongress, Johannesburg, South Africa, July 18-20. 


  • CCC: (IAVCEI) Commission on Collapse Calderas
  • DGGV: Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft – Geologische Vereinigung (German Geological Society)
  • GSA: Geological Society of America
  • GSAf: Geological Society of Africa
  • IAVCEI: International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior



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