Mount Cameroon is one of
Africa’s largest, 4095 m high active stratovolcano, (Victor et al., 2017). It
is situated in the Gulf of Guinea, South West of Cameroon, and has an
approximate volume of about 1200 km3, (Suh, Luhr, and Njome, 2008).
The age of Mt Cameroon is not well, however, it is thought to be less
than 1 Ma because of samples that have been collected on and around the volcano
and dated using the 40K-40Ar dating method, (Tsafack et
al., 2009). The area of Mount Cameroon is both tectonically and volcanically an
active region constantly affected in the historical past by lava flows,
pyroclastic fall, ash fall, mudflows, lahars, volcanic landslides, volcanic gas
emissions and earthquake swarms. The Douala Basin and the Rio del Rey Basin are
the two sedimentary basins in which Mt Cameroon arises from in the east and
west respectively, (Ateba et al., 2009). There are mainly two faults which have
been mapped around Mt Cameroon. These faults are situated in the SSW-NNE
direction, the Boa fault to the west and the Tiko fault to the east, (Lordon et
al., 2017). There have been other faults which were identified on the East
flank, namely, Esuke, Likomba, Tole-Ekona and Ombi, (Ateba et al., 2009).
Mt Cameroon erupts
primarily alkali basalt and basanites through a basement of Precambrian
metamorphic crust (Pan African granite and gneiss) and covered by the sediments
of Cretaceous to Quaternary period, (Ako et al., 2013). It is a complex steep-sided
volcano produced by two main types of volcanic activity. The eruptive style
generally encompasses an effusive eruption, which is mainly responsible for the
lava flows covering parts of the stratovolcano, (Ateba et al., 2009). These
lava flows are basaltic, and relatively mobile, almost reaching lengths of up
to 9 km. The second type of volcanic activity comprises of an explosive,
Strombolian-type eruption, which has constructed about 140 Strombolian cones,
(Tsafack et al., 2009).
The 140 Strombolian cones are
dispersed on the flanks of the stratovolcano. About 100 of them, also termed
cinder cones, are frequently fissure-controlled and are located on the south,
SE, and SW flanks which extends towards the Atlantic Ocean, (Ako et al., 2013).
Mt Cameroon is a volcano of the utmost importance along the Cameroon Volcanic
Line situated at the boundary between the continental and oceanic lithosphere,
(Manga, Agyingi and Suh, 2014).
The Mt Cameroon volcano is
reported to have been active since the Upper Miocene, (Pelt et al., 2013). In
the 20th century, it has erupted eight times, (Kenneth et al., 2017).
The first eruption occurred in 1909 in the North West flank. It erupted again
in 1922, 1925, 1954, 1959, and 1982, (Geiger, Barker and Troll, 2016). The last
two recent eruptions took place on 28th March – 22nd of
April in 1999 and 28th May – 19th June in 2000, (Ateba et
The Mt Cameroon magmas are
mainly intraplate-type and have been formed by the partial melting of the
mantle plume, (Tsafack et al., 2009). According to (Tsafack et al., 2009), the
magmas were created from the mixing of melts originating from garnet to spinel
lherzolite. The rocks of Mt Cameroon include basalts, basanites, tephrite,
picrite, hawaiite and ankaramite, (Ateba et al., 2009).