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Sedimentary and volcanic reconstruction in the Ngwa Basin along the “Cameroon Volcanic Line” (Dschang, West-Cameroon): facies analyses and petrology constraints

Abstract

The Cenozoic Ngwa Basin is located along the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL) at the southern part of the Mount Bambouto slope. Collected samples from this basin have been studied to investigate the provenance, maturity, tectonic setting, and conditions of sedimentation via facies analyses, geochemical, petrographical, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and heavy minerals studies. The strata succession consists of alternation of positive and negative sequences with three facies association and height lithofacies (Gcm, Gmm, Gmi, Sm, Sh, Fm, Fh, and Fhfc lithofacies), interbedded with the volcanic rocks made up of rhyolite, ash pyroclasts and olivine basalt. Facies analyses show high variations in sedimentation conditions, with alternatively high and moderate to low energies of deposition influenced by climate and tectonics. Petrographic study of pebbles indicates the presence of varied volcanic rocks such as andesite, basalt, trachyte, dacite, and ignimbrite around the study area. Analysis of the major elements points to volcanic heterogeneous provenance of sediments, with dominance of mafic to intermediate igneous provenance, in the middle and upper part of deposits, and secondary recycled and felsic provenance in its lower part. The studied sediments are mature (index of compositional variability: ICV generally < 1) and show high recycling manner (chemical index of alteration: CIA 71.81 to 99.00 and plagioclase index of alteration: PIA 79.37 to 99.71). This recycled character is further confirmed by the presence of inclusively quartz pebbles in the lower part of the studied sequence and generally by the high ∑REE values (621.57 to 11,280.5 ppm > PAAS: 184.77 ppm). Sediments were deposited in swamping settings with prevailing oxic conditions (high to slight negative Ce anomalies: 0.19 to 98) under warm and semi-humide with periodically semi-arid to arid climate when one proceeds up-section as is evidenced by the major elements and XRD data. Sedimentation in the Ngwa Basin reflects a composite tectonic setting, which is probably connected to the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Gondwanan continental rifting and the South Atlantic Ocean evolution. The cases of Cenozoic volcaniclastic deposits associated with terrigenous facies are reported in the Southern Apennines, Italy.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to express their gratitude to Papa Andre for his support during the field study in the Ngwa village, and the two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.

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Tchouatcha, M.S., Mbesse, C.O., Ayyat, A.M.E. et al. Sedimentary and volcanic reconstruction in the Ngwa Basin along the “Cameroon Volcanic Line” (Dschang, West-Cameroon): facies analyses and petrology constraints. Arab J Geosci 15, 1235 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-022-10495-7

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Keywords

  • Sedimentation
  • Volcanism
  • Tectonics
  • Cameroon Volcanic Line
  • Dschang
  • West-Cameroon
  • Gondwana rifting