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Geoelectrical imaging and spatial distribution of alluvial materials of the Sanaga River (Cameroon, Central Africa)

Abstract

Recent research has shown that the floodplains of the Sanaga river catchment contain significant resources of minerals suitable for industry. However, these studies were carried out in large grids, and do not allow for detailed specification of the geometry of the identified resources. The aim of this study is to minimize the uncertainties observed in the characterization of these deposits using two techniques: geoelectric imaging and manual drilling. The geoelectrical results associated with the lithological sections show, from surface to depth, three main units: semi-resistive (66–500 Ωm) corresponding to clayey sands; conductive (42–100 Ωm) associated with sandy clays/silt clays, and resistive (<1000 Ωm) corresponding to sands and gravels. The data show good correlation between resistivity and clay content, and resistivity and sand content. Similarly, good correlation exists between the thickness determined by geoelectrical method and the actual thickness. The average thickness of these layers on the banks of the Sanaga river, suitable for exploitation, is 4 m over an area of about 100 m2. Our results show that the combination of geoelectric technique and manual drilling allows a good assessment of the volume of deposits of useful resources and can better constrain their exploitation in the field of civil engineering.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Head of Earth Sciences Department of University of Yaoundé I, Professor Paul-Désiré Ndjigui, for his contribution during the analysis of field samples issued from the geological surveys. We are also grateful to Dr. Jean Marcel Abate Essi from Institute for Geological and Mining Research and Dr. Serge Parfait Koah from the Earth Sciences Department of the University of Yaoundé I, for their constructive remarks, Mr. Constantin Ndongue, and Mr. Onana Léandre for their assistance with geological and geophysical materials during the field campaigns.

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Correspondence to Renaud Menanga Tokouet.

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Tokouet, R.M., Yene Atangana, J.Q., Yem, M. et al. Geoelectrical imaging and spatial distribution of alluvial materials of the Sanaga River (Cameroon, Central Africa). Stud Geophys Geod 66, 62–79 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11200-020-1083-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11200-020-1083-0

Keywords

  • Sanaga River
  • alluvial materials
  • geophysical imaging
  • hand Auger drilling
  • pits
  • dynamic evolution