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Seismicity of the Cameroon Volcanic Line, 1982–1990

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DOI: 10.1016/0040-1951(92)90297-j


Abstract This paper is dedicated to Soba Djallo, Director of IRGM, who died in 1991 Results of seismic monitoring of the continental segment of the Cameroon Volcanic Line for the period 1982 to 1990 are reported. Mount Cameroon continues to be seismically the most active area with a well defined seismicity pattern characterized by single and swarm events with duration magnitudes between 2 and 3 occurring at depths down to 55 km. On average, the earthquakes here occur at the rate of about 2 events every 3 days. Further north, the seismicity is low except for isolated felt events located along the Foumban Shear Zone which probably controls the location of the earthquakes as well as the volcanic centres making up the volcanic line. During this eight-year period two fatal carbon dioxide gas emissions from crater lakes occurred in 1984 (L. Monoun) and 1986 (L. Nyos) causing 37 and 1700 deaths respectively. Seismic monitoring indicates that no seismic activity was associated with these lakes thus favouring an aseismic cause to the disasters. These gas emissions, the increased number of felt earthquakes and a recent natural explosion on Mount Cameroon suggest either a more active phase of the Cameroon Volcanic Line and/or a greater awareness by the local population of the phenomena associated with this volcanic province.

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