Geophysics Research Group


Dr. D.J Hlatywayo (PI);  Dr. I.K Muchingami; Mr. R. T Mashingaidze; Mr. C. Chuma; Mr. M. Gumbo.

About us

The group is housed in the Department of Applied Physics. Our main thrust is in applying geophysical methods in solving subsurface problems non-invasively. Geophysical methods involve measuring the earth’s physical parameters from the surface and inferring from the measurements what may lie in the subsurface. Notable applications include groundwater exploration, mineral exploration, archaeological exploration and geotechnical investigations. Available expertise consists of seasoned Seismologists, Hydro-geophysicists, Geophysicists and Geographic Information Systems specialists who are full-time staff in the department. The members of staff are also lecturers and active researchers.


Current Projects

  1. The Bulawayo groundwater project whose main objective is to provide a sustainable water management framework for groundwater quality in the Bulawayo metropolitan area through mitigation of hazard due to potential water contaminant transport from the waste disposal sites into the groundwater system of the Bulawayo Metropolitan area. Click here to read more.

  2. Hydrologic and hydro-geophysical investigation of the Chinhoyi karst system: an intervention towards the understanding of the karst dynamics and resource protection of the main karst heritage in Zimbabwe. The project seeks to use geophysical and hydrological methods to investigate and characterize the hydrogeological setting of the Chinhoyi caves karst system (the main karst aquifer in Zimbabwe), thereby contributing towards the understanding of its occurrence and resource protection, as recommended by the UNESCO water heritage site management. 


GEM magnetometers, M.A.E multi-channel resistivity system, A.G.I single channel resistivity terrameter, Seistronix multi-channel seismograph, Borehole logging unit, Deepmeter and Infiltratometer.


Research and Consultancy

  1. Geomagnetic exploration of archaeological remains at Great Zimbabwe. Report submitted to National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (2015).

  2. Groundwater potential at Mamre farm, Matebeleland South. Report submitted to National University of Science and Technology (2015).

  3. Hazard determination in the Murowa Diamond Mining area Mining Induced seismicity from rock blasting resulting in houses in the area cracking. Work was carried out in collaboration with Seismic Unit of the Meteorological Services of Zimbabwe. Report was submitted to Murowa Diamond Mine (2010).

  4. Acid mine drainage in the Hwange Coal Mine district causes and solutions to mitigate environmental effects.Geophysical investigations involving field surveys jointly carried out with the Goetz Observatory Seismic Unit. Results and final report was submitted to Wankie Colliery (2010).

  5. Subsurface geological structures and groundwater investigation in Masendu District (2007). A survey carried out under the Institute for Rural Technologies. A number of sites were identified and documented. The programme unfortunately abruptly came to an end due to lack of finances required to sustain the operations.

  6. Case studies on use of EM, VLF and Resistivity in determining suitable areas for water drilling and estimating the depth to bedrock using velocity profile.Investigations were carried out in Surbubs of Bulawayo City for an underground void causing cracks in buildings in the Bulawayo Adventist Secondary School grounds (2006).

  7. Effect of water abstraction to earthquake activity in the Nyamandlovu aquifer. Report submitted to Cabinet of Zimbabwe Government through the Ministry of Transport. Work jointly carried out with Dr VunganaiMidzi(2004). Report in response to Bulawayo earthquake (Mb = 3.8), 10km from Bulawayo City Centre.

  8. The use of microseisms in weather prediction A case study for Bulawayo City . Report submitted to the Meteorological Services Department, 1994. 



  1. Hlatywayo, D.J. and Sakala, E., 2014. Resolving optimum magnetic signatures for drill hole targeting in gold exploration- A case study for Mbudzane in Gwanda, Zimbabwe.International Journal of Geography and Geology3(1), p.9.

  2. Muchingami, I., Nel, J., Xu, Y., Steyl, G. and Reynolds, K., 2013. On the use of electrical resistivity methods in monitoring infiltration of salt fluxes in dry coal ash dumps in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Water SA, 39(4), pp.00-00.

  3. Chuma, C., Hlatywayo, D.J., Zulu, J., Muchingami, I., Mashingaidze, R.T. and Midzi, V., 2013. Modelling the subsurface geology and groundwater occurrence of the Matsheumhlope low yielding aquifer in Bulawayo urban, Zimbabwe. Journal of Geography and Geology, 5(3), p.158.

  4. Chuma, C., Orimoogunje, O.O., Hlatywayo, D.J. and Akinyede, J.O., 2013. Application of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems in Determining the Groundwater Potential in the Crystalline Basement of Bulawayo Metropolitan Area, Zimbabwe.

  5. Muchingami, I., Hlatywayo, D.J., Nel, J.M. and Chuma, C., 2012. Electrical resistivity survey for groundwater investigations and shallow subsurface evaluation of the basaltic-greenstone formation of the urban Bulawayo aquifer. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 50, pp.44-51.

  6. Hlatywayo, Dumisani John. "Seismic hazard in central southern Africa." Geophysical Journal International 130, no. 3 (1997): 737-745.

  7. Hlatywayo, D.J. and Midzi, V., 1995. Determination of Lg-wave attenuation using single-station seismograms: a case study for Zimbabwe. Geophysical Journal International, 123(1), pp.291-296.

  8. HlatywayoHlatywayo, D.J., 1995. Seismotectonics and seismic hazard estimates in Central Southern Africa.

  9. Hlatywayo, D.J., Challenges and accomplishments of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Seismological Working Group. Regional and Interregional Cooperation to Strengthen Basic Sciences in Developing Countries, p.355.