Northeastern Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (12–14 March 2007)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 2:25 PM


LARSON, Angela Marie1, NYBLADE, Andy2, WIENS, Doug3, TIBI, Rigobert3, SHORE, Patrick4, EULER, Garrett2 and PARK, Yongcheol1, (1)Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, 444 Deike Building, University Park, PA 16802, (2)Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, 447 Deike Building, University Park, PA 16802, (3)Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, (4)Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington Univ, Campus Box 1169, 1 Brookings Dr, St. Louis, MO 63130,

The Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL) is a 1600km feature traversing both continental Cameroon in west Africa and the offshore islands of Bioko (part of Equitorial Guinea), Sao Tome and Principe, and Annobon (also part of Equitorial Guinea). The CVL is a fairly linear feature, suggestive of the movement of the African plate over a stationary hotspot, but the volcanic rock ages of the CVL range from 42Ma to the present (with present volcanism occurring in the center of the line at Mt. Cameroon), contrary to what would be expected from a stationary hot spot. Several hypotheses have been proposed for the formation of the CVL. One suggestion is that the line is the result of a localized mantle convection cell resulting from edge flow from the nearby Congo Craton to the southeast. Another possibility is that there may be a plume that is rising to the surface along of previously weakened linear zone. In this scenario, the magma may rise sporadically to the surface at different points along the line thereby explaining the apparent lack of age progression.

The Cameroon Seismic Experiment was deployed in Cameroon from January 2005 to January 2007, with 8 stations active the first year and an additional 24 stations installed in January 2006. The data from the 32 broadband seismometers is currently being used for a body-wave tomography study to study the upper mantle structure beneath Cameroon. Preliminary results from a P wave travel time tomography will be presented and used to evaluate possible models for the origin of the Cameroon Volcanic Line.