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ADD-ON Workshop Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - 28-31 August 2023


The ADD-ON workshop as held as an in-presence event at the Ambassador Hotel, Addis Ababa during 28-31 August 2023 to fine-tune the full drilling proposal for submission to ICDP in January 2024. The workshop attracted 66 attendees, including delegates from government, industry and academia including over 20 MSc and PhD students.

Pre-Workshop ADD-ON Flier


Official Workshop Program PDF

The overarching goal of the drilling project is to get insights into the detailed sedimentary facies evolution in an active rift paced by global environmental fluctuations and their interplay with volcano-tectonic events. Seismo-stratigraphic interpretations based on industrial seismic sections, core and borehole data show late Pleistocene evaporite units to ~900m depth below the Dallol salt pan (central Danakil Depression). However, no sub-salt sedimentary core records from the basin filled with more than 2.5 km of sediments are available. Future access to targeted drilling sites in the Danakil basin will give new insights into:

(1) Tectonic, sedimentological, and stratigraphic understanding of intermittent and incipient basin dynamics during nascent passive margin development,
(2) East African climatic changes and Hominin evolution,

(3) The limits of the deep biosphere in extreme hypersaline and high-temperature environments below the salt deposits,
(4) Natural fluid flow in an active geothermal system and sedimentary system, 
(5) Monitoring of seismogenic faults, earthquakes and volcanic events in remote areas.

A number of the keynote presentations are available to view online.

Workshop introduction - Anneleen Foubert

Past meeting and workshops

ADD-ON Splinter Meeting (EGU2022 Vienna) - Wednesday 25 May 2022 at 10:20 to 11:50 in Room2.61 of the EGU conference center

We had a real world hybrid splinter meeting at the EGU2022 meeting in Vienna. The splinter meeting was on Wednesday 25th May at 10:20 to 11:50 in Room2.61 of the EGU conference center. The splinter meeting was as an open discussion session that aimed to consolidate further the full ICDP ADD-ON full proposal, which is due to be submitted in January 2023. ADD-ON targets deep drilling in the Danakil Basin (Afar, Ethiopia). We discussed during the meeting steps on route to submitting the full proposal.   

You can watch the recording of the splinter meeting presentation here.

ADD-ON Online Workshop - 29-30 June 2021

The first preparatory workshop will take place from 29.06.21 until 30.06.21. The workshop will through Zoom. The first day will be on-line presentations from various scientists and stakeholders active in the Afar and Dallol region. The second day will focus around different break-out groups.


Scientists from different disciplines have been invited to participate in this workshop. Participation to this event is free without any additional costs. If you are interested in participating please email us at

Provisional Programme

Day 1 - 29.06.21 - times in Central European Summer Time (CEST)



08.30 - 09.00 Registration and online morning coffee

09.00 - 09.10 Welcome, logistics and practical organisation 

Anneleen Foubert (University of Fribourg, CH) and Katja Heeschen (ICDP, DE)

09.10 - 09.20 Introduction and Rationale for the ADD-ON workshop 

Anneleen Foubert (University of Fribourg, CH) and Tesfaye Kidane (University of Kwazulu-Natal, SA)


09:20 - 09.30 Introduction about the ICDP

Katja Heeschen (ICDP)

Session I: Breakthroughs in the geology of the northern Afar

09.30 - 09:50 Overview of the geology and tectonics of the Afar depression

Tesfaye Kidane (University of Kwazulu-Natal, SA)

09.50 - 10:10  Recent knowledge on the active tectonics and dynamics of the Danakil region 

Derek Keir (University of Southampton, UK)

10.10 - 10.30 Lightning Talks - Tectonics and Geophysics

Pre-recorded lightning talks from participants broadly interested in tectonics and geophysics displayed

10.30 - 11.00 Discussion and Questions of Lightning talks


11.00 - 11.20 Virtual Coffee break


11.20 - 11.50  Northern Afar magmatism in the context of the Afar triple junction

Raphael Pik (CNRS, Université de Lorraine, FR)  


11.50 - 12.10 Lightning Talks - Volcanology and Geochemistry

Pre-recorded lightning talks from participants broadly interested in volcanology and geochemistry

12.10 - 12.30 Discussion and Questions of Lightning talks


12.30 - 13.30 Lunch


Session I: Breakthroughs in the geology of the northern Afar

13.30 - 14.00 History and overview on the sedimentological understanding of the northern Afar: from active field lab towards deep drilling

Anneleen Foubert (University of Fribourg, CH) and Balemwal Atnafu  (Addis Ababa University, ET)


14.00 - 14.30 Microbial ecosystems and life-limits in the poly-extreme environments of the North Danakil

Purificacion Lopez Garcia (Université Paris-Sud, FR)


14.30 - 15.00 Lightning Talks - Sedimentology, Paleoclimate and Geobiosphere

15.00 - 15.30 Discussion and Questions of Invited and Lightning talks


15.30 - 15.50 Virtual Coffee break


Session III: Stepping stones towards an ICDP proposal

15:50 - 16:20 Some insights into full ICDP proposal writing

Thomas Wiersberg (ICDP)


16.20 - 16.30 Information about the different break-out groups - Concept of break-out sessions

16.30 - 17.00 Discussion in 4 different break-out groups (scientific questions) - Round I

17.00 - 17.30 Discussion and Take-Home-Messages of the Day - Quest for Logo

Day 2 - 30.06.21 - times in Central European Summer Time (CEST)

Session III: Incites from successful ICDP and IODP projects

09.00 - 09.30 The Chew Bahir record - 620,000 years of paleoenvironmental history in Eastern Africa

Frank Schäbitz (University of Cologne, DE), Verena Foerster (University of Cologne, DE) and the Chew Bahir HSPDP Team

09.30 - 10.00 Deep drilling in an African crater lake shared by two countries (DeepCHALLA)

Dirk Verschuren (Ghent University, BE), Maarten Van Daele (Ghent University, BE) & Inka Meyer (Ghent University, BE)

10.00 - 10.30 IODP Expedition 381 ‘Corinth Active Rift Development’: the record of early continental rifting and basin evolution

Lisa McNeill (University of Southampton, UK)

10.30 - 10.50 Virtual Coffee break

Session IV: Societal and Industrial needs in northern Afar

10.50 - 11.10 Geothermal exploration and exploitation in the northern Afar

Jacques Varet (Geo2D, FR)

11.10 - 11.30 Yara Dallol: Potash mining industry - exploration and exploitation?

Henok Haile (Yara Dallol, ET) and Gebreegziabher Mekonen (Yara Dallol, ET)

11.30 - 12.00 Technical drilling/downhole logging information: view from the ICDP OSG Support Group

Katja Heeschen (ICDP)

12:00 - 12:30 Discussion on societal needs in the northern Afar

Tesfaye Kidane, Balemwal Atnafu and Behailu Welde

12.30 - 13.30 Lunch


13.30 -  14.00 Presentations summary of the break-out groups - Round I

14.00 - 14.10 Information about mixed break-out groups

14.10 - 15.00 Discussion in 3 different break-out groups - Round II

15.00 - 15.20 Virtual Coffee Break

15.20 - 16.00 Summary of the break-out groups - Round II

16.00 - 16.30 General Scientific Discussion on Fund Raising/Supplementary studies and projects

16.30 - 17.00 Closure of the meeting and outlook

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