Structure of the Crust beneath Cameroon, West Africa, from the Joint Inversion of Rayleigh Wave Group Velocities and Receiver Functions

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The Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL) is a major geologic feature that cuts across Cameroon from the south west to the north east. It is a unique volcanic lineament which has both an oceanic and a continental sector and consists of a chain of Tertiary to Recent, generally alkaline volcanoes stretching from the Atlantic island of Pagalu to the interior of the African continent. The oceanic sector includes the islands of Bioko (formerly Fernando Po) and Sao Tome and Principe while the continental sector includes the Etinde, Cameroon, Manengouba, Bamboutos, Oku and Mandara mountains, as well as the Adamawa and Biu ... continued below

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Tokam, A K; Tabod, C T; Nyblade, A A; Julia, J; Wiens, D A & Pasyanos, M E February 18, 2010.

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The Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL) is a major geologic feature that cuts across Cameroon from the south west to the north east. It is a unique volcanic lineament which has both an oceanic and a continental sector and consists of a chain of Tertiary to Recent, generally alkaline volcanoes stretching from the Atlantic island of Pagalu to the interior of the African continent. The oceanic sector includes the islands of Bioko (formerly Fernando Po) and Sao Tome and Principe while the continental sector includes the Etinde, Cameroon, Manengouba, Bamboutos, Oku and Mandara mountains, as well as the Adamawa and Biu Plateaus. In addition to the CVL, three other major tectonic features characterize the region: the Benue Trough located northwest of the CVL, the Central African Shear Zone (CASZ), trending N70 degrees E, roughly parallel to the CVL, and the Congo Craton in southern Cameroon. The origin of the CVL is still the subject of considerable debate, with both plume and non-plume models invoked by many authors (e.g., Deruelle et al., 2007; Ngako et al, 2006; Ritsema and Allen, 2003; Burke, 2001; Ebinger and Sleep, 1998; Lee et al, 1994; Dorbath et al., 1986; Fairhead and Binks, 1991; King and Ritsema, 2000; Reusch et al., 2010). Crustal structure beneath Cameroon has been investigated previously using active (Stuart et al, 1985) and passive (Dorbath et al., 1986; Tabod, 1991; Tabod et al, 1992; Plomerova et al, 1993) source seismic data, revealing a crust about 33 km thick at the south-western end of the continental portion of the CVL (Tabod, 1991) and the Adamawa Plateau, and thinner crust (23 km thick) beneath the Garoua Rift in the north (Stuart et al, 1985) (Figure 1). Estimates of crustal thickness obtained using gravity data show similar variations between the Garoua rift, Adamawa Plateau, and southern part of the CVL (Poudjom et al., 1995; Nnange et al., 2000). In this study, we investigate further crustal structure beneath the CVL and the adjacent regions in Cameroon using 1-D shear wave velocity models obtained from the joint inversion of Rayleigh wave group velocities and P-receiver functions for 32 broadband seismic stations. From the 1-D shear wave velocity models, we obtain new insights into the composition and structure of the crust and upper mantle across Cameroon. After briefly reviewing the geological framework of Cameroon, we describe the data and the joint inversion method, and then interpret variations in crustal structure found beneath Cameroon in terms of the tectonic history of the region.

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PDF-file: 42 pages; size: 1.6 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Geophysical Journal International, vol. 183, no. 2, November 1, 2010, pp. 1061-1076; Journal Volume: 183; Journal Issue: 2

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  • Report No.: LLNL-JRNL-424225
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1010842
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc832650

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  • February 18, 2010

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 12:52 p.m.

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Tokam, A K; Tabod, C T; Nyblade, A A; Julia, J; Wiens, D A & Pasyanos, M E. Structure of the Crust beneath Cameroon, West Africa, from the Joint Inversion of Rayleigh Wave Group Velocities and Receiver Functions, article, February 18, 2010; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc832650/: accessed April 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.