First occurrence of pigeonite in the Cameroon Volcanic Line

Abstract

Low-Ca clinopyroxene crystal of pigeonite composition has been discovered in the Tchabal Mbabo volcano massif of the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL), a long active N30° chain of volcanic centres and ring complexes in Central Africa. The Tchabal Mbabo is a huge Eocene-Oligocene volcano, at the junction with Adamawa Plateau (AP), made of lava flows and domes, which display a rather complete alkaline series from basanite and basalt to peralkaline trachyte and rhyolite. Pigeonite phase was found, as small crystals (30–50 μm) included in K-feldspar, which is in turn included in a biotite, in the Gouri peralkaline trachytic dome-flow. We describe in this paper for the first time the occurrence of modal pigeonite phase in the CVL. Occurrence of pigeonite phase in peralkaline trachyte does not evidence tholeiitic/transitional affinities but is considered resulting from silica saturation during differentiation of the alkaline series. Low (87Sr/86Sr)i (0.704277) and high εNdi (+ 1.25) of trachyte, close to OIB rather than FOZO reservoir, preclude any important crustal contamination.

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Acknowledgements

V. Godard (GEOPS, Paris-Saclay) made thin sections. M. Fialin and N. Rividi (Camparis, Paris) helped us for microprobe analyses. C. Cloquet, I. Molat, and D. Yeghicheyan (CRPG, Nancy) were responsable of whole-rock and isotope analyses. L. Daumas improved some figures (GEOPS, Paris-Saclay). Careful reviews were done by B. Bonin and R. Merle, and a third anonymous reviewer greatly helped us to improve the manuscript.

Funding

The authors thank the “Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, AUF” through the “Projet de soutien aux équipes de recherche no. 51110SU201”, for providing a grant to A.F.M. (2013, 2015, 2016) and O.F.N. (2013) for several months of stay in France at the University of Paris-Sud, Orsay. Authors are grateful to “Association des Universités Africaines, AUA” for supplement analyses and other facilities.

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Correspondence to Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff.

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Bardintzeff, J., Nkouandou, O.F. & Mefire, A.F. First occurrence of pigeonite in the Cameroon Volcanic Line. Arab J Geosci 13, 496 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-020-05442-3

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Keywords

  • Cameroon
  • Tchabal Mbabo
  • Dome-flow
  • Peralkaline trachyte
  • Pigeonite
  • Silica saturation