Bulletin of Volcanology

, 76:818 | Cite as

The Catanda extrusive carbonatites (Kwanza Sul, Angola): an example of explosive carbonatitic volcanism

  • Marc Campeny
  • José Mangas
  • Joan C. Melgarejo
  • Aurora Bambi
  • Pura Alfonso
  • Thomas Gernon
  • José Manuel
Research Article


Carbonatite lavas and pyroclastic rocks are exposed in the volcanic graben of Catanda and represent the only known example of extrusive carbonatites in Angola. A new detailed geological map of the area is presented in this study as well as six different stratigraphic sections. Pyroclastic rocks, apparently unwelded, are dominant in the area and represented in all the stratigraphic columns. They form shallowly to moderately inclined layers, mostly devoid of internal structures, that range in thickness from several centimetres to metres. They are dominantly lapilli tuffs and minor tuffs occasionally comprising pelletal lapilli. Based on their different features and field relationships, at least five different pyroclastic lithofacies have been distinguished in the area. Carbonatitic lavas outcrop in the external parts of the Catanda graben, forming coherent layers interbedded with pyroclastic rocks. Calcite is the most common mineral in the lavas, but other accessory minerals such as fluorapatite, titaniferous magnetite, phlogopite, pyrochlore, baddeleyite, monticellite, perovskite, cuspidine and periclase have also been identified. At least four different types of lavas have been distinguished based on their mineral associations and textural features. This study reveals an overall abundance of pyroclastic material in comparison to lava flows in the Catanda area, suggesting that eruptive processes were dominated by explosive activity similar to what has been described in other carbonatite and kimberlite localities. The Catanda carbonatitic volcanism was associated with monogenetic volcanic edifices with tuff ring or maar morphologies, and at least seven possible eruptive centres have been identified in the area.


Extrusive carbonatite Carbonatite lava Carbonatitic lapilli tuff Angola Catanda 



This research has been supported by project CGL2009-13758 of the Spanish Government and projects SGR-589 and SGR-444 of the Generalitat de Catalunya. Fieldwork in Catanda was also supported by the Hugh E. McKinstry fund, granted by the Society of Economic Geologists. Logistical assistance in the field was provided by the Departamento de Geologia da Universidade Agostinho Neto from Luanda, Angola. We acknowledge the collaboration and the hospitality of Felipe Correia and José Fortuna from Catanda village. We thank F. Stoppa, an anonymous reviewer and associate editor P.-S. Ross for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Campeny
    • 1
  • José Mangas
    • 2
  • Joan C. Melgarejo
    • 1
  • Aurora Bambi
    • 3
  • Pura Alfonso
    • 4
  • Thomas Gernon
    • 5
  • José Manuel
    • 3
  1. 1.Departament de Cristal·lografia, Mineralogia i Dipòsits MineralsUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Física, Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio GlobalUniversidad de Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de GeologiaUniversidade Agostinho NetoLuandaAngola
  4. 4.Departament d’Enginyeria Minera i Recursos NaturalsUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaManresaSpain
  5. 5.Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUniversity of Southampton Waterfront CampusSouthamptonUK

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