Geochemical and geotechnical characterization of soils developed on volcanic rocks on the Bamenda mountain (Cameroon volcanic line)

  • Authors

    • Kagou Dongmo A University of Dschang, Cameroon
    • Guedjeo C .S University of Dschang, Cameroon
    • Primus A.T University of Dschang, Cameroon
    • Wotchoko P University of Bamenda, Cameroon
    • Chenyui M.L University of Dschang, Cameroon
    • Aziwo B.T University of Dschang, Cameroon
    • Kamgang K.V
  • Basalt, Geochemical, Geotechnical, Rhyolite, Soil and Trachyte.
  • The weathering mechanism of rocks exposed under the same conditions on the Bamenda Mountain is not well understood. The aim of this study is to characterize basalt, trachyte and rhyolite and their products on the geochemical and geotechnical aspect. Here three wells were hand dug on rocks developed on basalt, trachyte and rhyolite and studied. The results showed that, Ki values (0.34-6.57) indicate SiO2 are more leached on soils developed on basalt than those on trachyte and rhyolite. CIA (72.62-97.8) and CIW (72.76-98.8) indicate an advanced to extreme chemical weathering in this environment, with rhyolite and trachyte more weathered than basalts. Soils formed on basalt have ICV >1 signifying they are young and immature, while those on trachyte and rhyolite ICV =0.3-0.5 indicate intense chemical weathering. Al (EFAl=1.5) and Fe (EFFe=1.3) are enriched in the soils and while SiO2, Na, K, Ca and Mg are depleted in the soils profile as one moves upward. Geotechnically, these soils are predominantly silts, well graded, less plastic (LI<0), plastic (CI>1) to moderately plastic (PI=7.2-15.8). Soils developed on rhyolite have high clay content MBV= 3.3-8, but low water content (10-42%). Texturally, these soil are silty loam, loam to sandy loam soils. Soil strength of the soils is low: cohesion (<0.5bar), angle of internal friction (10-43°), with shallow landslides (1-2m) more likely to occur on trachyte and on rhyolites.



  • References

    1. [1] Babechuk, MG., Widdowson, M., Kamber, BS (2014) Quantifying chemical weathering intensity and trace element release from two contrasting basalt profiles, Deccan Traps, India. Chemical Geology 363, 56-75.

      [2] Bayiga, EC., Bitom, D., Ndjigui, P.D., Bilong, P (2011) Mineralogical and geochemical characterization of weathering products of amphibolites at SW Eséka (Northern border of the Nyong unit, SW Cameroon) Journal of Geology and Mining Research Vol. 3(10), pp. 281-293.

      [3] Berger, A., Janots, E., Gnos, E., Frei, R., Bernier, F (2014) Rare earth element mineralogy and geochemistry in a laterite profile from Madagascar. Appl. Geochem. 41:218–228.

      [4] Birkeland PW (1984) Soils and geomorphology: New York, Oxford University Press, 372 p.

      [5] Brikeland PW (1999) Soil and Geomorphology. Oxford University Press, New York. 174 p.

      [6] Braun JJ, Pagel M, Herbillon A, Rosin (1993) Mobilisation and distribution of REEs and thorium in syenitic lateritic profile: a mass balance study. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 57: 4419-4434.

      [7] Brown M (2007) Crustal melting and melt extraction, ascent and emplacement in orogensis: mechanisms and consequences. Journal of the Geological Society of London 164, 709-730.

      [8] Boynton (1984) Geochemistry of the rare earth elements: meteorite studies. In: Henderson P (ed), Rare earth element geochemistry. Elsevier, pp. 63-114.

      [9] Caspari T, Bäumler, Norbu C, Tshering K, Baillie I (2006) Geochemical investigation of soils developed in different lithologies in Bhutan, Eastern Himalayas. Geoderma 136: 436-458.

      [10] Chunying C, Fangbai L, Chengshuai L, Jianfeng G, Hui T and Manjia C (2016) Fractionation characteristics of rare earth elements (REEs) linked with secondary Fe, Mn, and Al minerals in soils. Acta Geochim (2016) 35(4):329–339. Acta Geochim (2016) 35(4):329–339.

      [11] Cox R, Lowe DR, Cullers RL (1995) the influence of sediment recycling and basement composition on evolution of mud rock chemistry in the southwestern United States. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 59: 2919–2940.

      [12] Dequencey O, Chabaux F, Clauer N, Sigmarsson O, Liewig N, Leprun JC (2002) Chemical mobilizations in laterites: evidence from trace elements and238 U–234 U–230 Th disequilibria. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 66, 1210–1997.

      [13] Di Figlia MG, Bellanca A, Neri R, Stefansson A (2007) Chemical weathering of volcanic rocks at the island of Pantelleria, Italy: information from soil profile and soil solution investigations. Chemical Geology 246, 1–18.

      [14] Fell R (2000) Landslide risk management concepts and guidelines. Australian Geomechanics Society, Sub-committee on landslide risk management, 69 p.

      [15] Feng JL (2010) Behaviour of rare earth elements and yttrium in ferromanganese concretions, gibbsite spots, and surrounding terra rossa over dolomite during chemical weathering. Chemical Geology 271, 112–132.

      [16] Fouateu YR, Ghogomu RT, Penaye J, Ekodeck GE, Stendal H, Colin F (2006) .Nickel and cobalt distribution in the laterites of the Lomié region, South-East Cameroon. J. Afr. Earth Sci. 45, 33–47.

      [17] Galan E, Fernandez-Caliani JC, Miras A, Aparicio P, Marquez MG (2007) Residence and fractionation of rare earth elements during kaolinization of alkaline peraluminous granites in NW Spain. Clay Miner 42:341–352.

      [18] Harnois L (1988) The CIW index: a new chemical Index of weathering. Sedimentary Geology 55, 319-322.

      [19] Herbillon AJ (1988) Chemical estimation of weatherable minerals presents in the diagnostic horizons of low activity clay soils. In: proceedings of the 8th International Soil Classification Workshop: Classification, Characterisation and Utilisation of Oxisols (eds F.H. Beinroth, M.N Camargo & H. Eswaran), pp. 39-48. EMBRAPA, Rio de Janeiro.

      [20] Holtz and Kovacs (1981) Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering Holtz Kovacs & Sheahan 2nd Edition solutions manual.

      [21] Huang L, Hong J, Tan WF, Hu HQ, Liu F (2008) Characteristics of micromorphology and element distribution of iron–manganese cutans in typical soils of subtropical China. Geoderma 146:40–47.

      [22] Kabata-Pendias A (2001) Traces Elements in Soils and Plants, third ed CRC Press. LLc, USA, pp. 413.

      [23] Kamgang P, Njonfang E, Chazot G, Tchoua FM (2007) Géochimie et géochronologie des laves felsiques des monts Bamenda (ligne volcanique du Cameroun). C.R. Géoscience, 339, 659-666.

      [24] Kamgang P, Chazot G, Njonfang E, Tchoua FM (2008) Geochemistry and geochronology of mafic rocks from Bamenda Mountains (Cameroon): Source composition and crustal contamination along the Cameroon Volcanic Line. C.R. Géoscience, 340, 850-857.

      [25] Kamgang K, BV, Onana VL, Ndome EPE, Parisot JC, Ekodeck GE (2009) Behaviour of REE and mass balance calculations in a lateritic profile over chlorite schists in South Cameroon. Chemie der Erde, 69: 61-73.

      [26] Kamgang P, Njonfang E, Nono A, Gountie D, Tchoua F (2010) Petrogenesis of a silicic magma system: Geochemical evidence from Bamenda Mountains, NW Cameroon, Cameroon Volcanic Line. 341, 12, p645-654.

      [27] Lambiv Dzemua G, Mees F, Stoops G, Van Ranst E (2011) Micromorphology, mineralogy and geochemistry of lateritic weathering over serpentinite in South-East Cameroon. Journal of African Earth Sciences 60, 38–48.

      [28] Laveuf C and Cornu S (2009) A review on the potentiality of rare earth elements to trace pedogenetic processes. Geoderma 154:1–12.

      [29] Leybourne MI, Goodfellow WD, Boyle DR (2000) Hydrogeochemical, isotopic and rare earth element geochemistry of acid–sulphate and acid–sulphate– chloride geothermal systems from Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 61, 695–723.

      [30] Lopez-Galindo A, Viseras C, Cerezo P (2007) Compositional, technical and safety speciï¬cations of clays to be used as pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Applied Clay Science 36, 51–63.

      [31] Marker A, De Oliveira JJ (1990) the formation of rare earth element scavenger minerals in weathering products derived from alkaline rocks of SE-Bahia, Brazil. Chem Geol 84:373–374.

      [32] Marsh JS, (1991). REE fractionation and Ce anomalies in weathered Karoo doleritie [J]: Chem. Geol., v. 90, p. 189–194.

      [33] McRoberts EC and Nixon JF (1976) A theory of Soil Sedimentation. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 13: 294-3 10.

      [34] Ndjigui PD, Bilong P, Bitom D, Dia A (2008) Mobilization and redistribution of major and trace elements in two weathering profiles developed on serpentink 98ites in the Lomié ultramafic complex, SouthEast Cameroon. Journal of African Earth Science, 50, 305–328.

      [35] Ndjigui PD, Bilong P, Bitom D (2009) Negative cerium anomalies in the saprolite zone of serpentinite lateritic proï¬les in the Lomié ultramaï¬c complex, South East Ckmmmmmmmmlllameroon. Journal of African Earth Sciences 53, 59–69.

      [36] Ndjigui PD, Badinane MFB, Nyeck B, Nandjip HPK, Bilong P (2013) Mineralogical and geochemical features of the coarse saprolite developed on orthogneiss in the SW of Yaoundé, South Cameroon, Journal of African Earth Sciences 79 (2013) 125–142.

      [37] Nesbitt HW, Markovics G, Price RC (1980) Chemical processes affecting alkalis and alkaline earths during continental weathering. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 44(11): 16591666.

      [38] Nesbitt YW and Young GM (1982) Early Proterozoic climates and plate motions inferred from major element chemistry of lutites: Nature, 299, 715-717.

      [39] Nestbitt HW and Young GM (1989) Formation and diagenesis of weathering profiles. J. Geol. 97, 129-147.

      [40] Nesbitt HW and Wilson RE (1992) Recent chemical weathering of basalts. American Journal of Science 292: 740-777.

      [41] Ngapgue F, Madjadoumbaye J, Nouanga P, Amadou T, Tamo TT (2012) Modelling of frictional and cohesive resistances of Bafoussam (Cameroon) soils. Vol. 17 [2012], Bund. D. 10p.

      [42] Öhlander B and Romer RL (1996) Zircon ages of granites occurring along the Central Swedish Gravity Low. GFF 118, 217-225.

      [43] Ohnuki T, Ozaki T, Kozai N, Nankawa T, Sakamoto F, Sakai T, Suzuki Y, Francis AJ (2008) Concurrent transformation of Ce (III) and formation of biogenic manganese oxides. Chemical Geology 253, 23–29.

      [44] Price JR, Velbel MA (2003) Chemical weathering indices applied to weathering proï¬les developed on heterogenous felsic metamorphic parent rocks. Chemical Geology 202, 397-416.

      [45] Rahn KA and Mc Cafrfrey RJ (1979) Compositional differences between Arctic aerosol and snow. Nature, 280, 479–480.

      [46] Retallack, G.J., (2001). Soils of the past: an introduction to paleopedology. Oxford Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford.

      [47] Robitaille, V. and Tremblay, D (1997) Mécanique des sols (théorie et pratique). Modulo éd. Quebec-Canada, 652p.

      [48] Ruxton BP (1968) Measures of the degree of chemical weathering of rocks. Journal of Geology. 76, 518–527.

      [49] Schroeder PA, Melear ND, West LT, Hamilton DA (2000) Metagabbro weathering in the Georgia Piedmont, USA: implications for global silicate weathering rates. Chemical Geology 163: 235-245.

      [50] Sanematsu K, Kon Y, Imai A, Watanabe K, Watanabe Y (2013) Geochemical and mineralogical characteristics of ion-adsorption type REE mineralization in Phuket, Thailand. Miner Depos 48:437–451.

      [51] Singh B, Sherman DM, Gilkes RJ, Wells MA, Mosselmans JFW (2002) Incorporation of Cr, Mn and Ni into goethite (a-FeOOH): mechanism from extended X-ray absorption ï¬ne structure spectroscopy. Clay Minerals 37, 636-649.

      [52] Terence A (2011) ed. (2003). Powder sampling and particle size determination (1st ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-444-51564-3.

      [53] Tematio P, Fritsch E, Hodson ME, Lucas Y, Bitom D, Bilong P (2009) Mineral and geochemical characterization of a leptic aluandic soil and a thapto aluandic-ferralsol developed on trachytes in Mount Bambouto (Cameroon volcanic line). Geoderma, 152, 314-323.

      [54] Tematio P, Kombou NA, Kengni L, Nguetnkam JP, Kamgang KV (2012) Mineral and geochemical characterization of the weathering mantle derived from norites in Kekem (West Cameroon): evaluation of the related mineralization. International Research Journal of Geology and Mining (IRJGM) (2276-6618) Vol. 2(8) pp. 230-242.

      [55] Tijani MN, Okunola AO, Abimbola AF (2006) Lithogenic concentration of trace metals in soils and saprolites over crystalline basement rock: Journal of African Earth Sciences; Vol 46, Issue 5, pp 472-438.

      [56] Tsopjio JSP, Tematio P, Wilson MA, Yemefack M (2011) Andosolization of Soils on a Strombolian Cone at Mount Bambouto, Cameroon. Open Journal of Soil Science, 2011, 1, 97-105 doi: 10.4236/ojss.

      [57] Veronica EM, Cheo ES, Christopher MA, Elisha MS (2013) Mineralogy and geochemistry of soils developed along the slopes of Mt. Cameroon, West Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences 81. 82–93.

      [58] Wouatong ASL, Yerima BPK, Yongue Fouateu R, Mvondo Ze A, Ekodeck GE (2013) The Origin of Etch Pits Recorded on Residual Grain Surfaces from Kaolinized Granitic Rocks West Region Cameroon. Earth Science Research; Vol. 2, No. 2.

      [59] Wouatong ASL, Medjo Eko R, Nankam MA, Kamgang Kabeyene Beyala V, Ekodeck GE (2014) Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Geotechnical Characteristics of Magha Landslides in the Bambouto Caldera, West Cameroon. Journal of Civil Engineering and Science. Vol. 3 Iss. 1, PP. 36-49.

      [60] Yusoff ZM, Ngwenya BT, Parsons I (2013) Mobility and fractionation of REEs during deep weathering of geochemically contrasting granites in a tropical setting, Malaysia. Chem Geol 349–350:71–86.

  • Downloads

  • How to Cite

    Dongmo A, K., C .S, G., A.T, P., P, W., M.L, C., B.T, A., & K.V, K. (2018). Geochemical and geotechnical characterization of soils developed on volcanic rocks on the Bamenda mountain (Cameroon volcanic line). International Journal of Advanced Geosciences, 6(2), 184-194.