Carbonate Enrichment in Volcanic Debris and Its Relationship with Carbonate Dissolution Signatures of Springs in the Sabga-Bamessing, North West, Cameroon


Sabga-Bamessing is a part of the Bamenda Mountains, an extinct volcanic center of the West Cameroon Highlands along the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL). The pristine volcanic rocks of the Sabga area are alkali mafic to felsic (basanites, phonolites, trachytes and rhyolites). Some weathered sections of a heterolithologic debris flow with a suppositious primary chemistry of the original volcanic rocks prior to weathering have shown significant calcium carbonate enrichment. CaO and LOI values of up 61.31% and 41.72% respectively show corresponding enrichment of 16.54 and 10.88, when compared with average fresh volcanic rocks. Na+ normalized molar ratios computed from the chemistry of springs and rivers show carbonate dissolution signature which is contrary to silicate dissolution expected in acid volcanic rocks. Saturation indices (SI) calculated with PHREEQC reveal that brackish to saline springs are supersaturated with Calcite (CaCO3), Aragonite (CaCO3), Dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2 and Hydroxyl apatite (Ca5(PO4)3OH). Recharging contributions to spring water chemistry deviate from those produced by rock weathering, precipitation and evaporation/crystallization. An enrichment process is therefore predicted as a recharging contributor to water chemistry.

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Verla, R. , Mboudou, G. , Njoh, O. , Ngoran, G. and Afahnwie, A. (2014) Carbonate Enrichment in Volcanic Debris and Its Relationship with Carbonate Dissolution Signatures of Springs in the Sabga-Bamessing, North West, Cameroon. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 107-121. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.51012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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