Underrepresentation of Local Researchers in Geophysical Studies at the Bosumtwi Impact Crater: Insights from A Systematic Review

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Scientific African
Impact cratering is an important aspect of planetary evolution. Geophysics plays a complementary role in identifying impact craters on Earth given the non-unique geological characteristics associated with such craters. The Bosumtwi impact crater in Ghana represents one of the world’s most well-preserved and young mid-sized impact craters, and this study aims to evaluate the current state of geophysical research conducted in this area. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) technique was employed for data collection and analysis, which involved identifying and screening relevant sources of data. Results indicated that the maximum number of publications (14) on the Bosumtwi impact crater was recorded in 2007, with 15% of these articles being affiliated with Ghanaian institutions. Furthermore, only two articles reported funding from Ghana. The major geophysical methods applied in studies of the Bosumtwi impact crater include various techniques that have confirmed the presence of shock metamorphosed rocks. Although geophysical methods cannot provide unambiguous evidence for an impact origin of the Bosumtwi crater, they did provide additional constraints in estab lishing its impact origin. This study highlights the lack of local financial support for research in Ghana and African countries in general, with the underrepresentation of Ghanaian geophysical researchers being a concerning outcome. The absence of hazard studies such as the creation of unstable cliffs and the long-term effects of the meteorite impact on inhabitants of the Bosumtwi impact crater is particularly significant. Further research is necessary to fully understand the implications of this underrepresentation. Moreover, this study highlights the importance of research at the Bosumtwi impact crater for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This article is published in Scientific African 21 (2023) e01893; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2023.e01893
Scientific African 21 (2023) e01893; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2023.e01893