Evidences of a swinging migration of Mount Cameroon volcanic eruptions over the last two centuries

Category Tectonic & Seismotectonic
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Zogning, Appolinaire
Holding Date 17 September 2008

Located at the bottom of the Gulf of Guinea, Mount Cameroon is the only active volcano of the Cameroon Volcanic Line, a 1700 km volcanic range that straddles the oceanic and continental crusts. With an area of about 1800 km2 it has an elongated shape and extends SW-NE on 60-30 km. In the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, it has experienced 14 eruptions, distributed all over the massif. The analysis of the spatio-temporal distribution of these eruptions tends to show evidence of a swinging migration of the eruptive activity of this volcano.
A total of two and half cycles are identified, with a variable periodicity. These are: 1- The 1815 to 1922 cycle which extended over a period of 107 years, with a long northward movement (1815 to 1868) and a rapid backward movement (1909 to1922);
2- The 1922 to 1999 cycle which extended over a period of 77 years, with a relatively long southwest-north-eastward movement (1922 to1959) and a quite rapid backward movement (1959 to1982);
3- The ongoing cycle, which is still at the beginning, was initiated by the 1999 and 2000 eruptions. The former was registered at the SW end of the volcano and the second at the central area, even though it started there and extended backward to the SW.
While still trying to understand the mechanisms of this migration and the role played by the structure of the volcano, this analysis can help on predicting or forecasting eruptions on this mountain. Logically, in this perspective, the forthcoming eruption will take place in between the summit and the NE end of the volcano.