Eurasian Journal of Soil Science

Volume 9, Issue 2, Apr 2020, Pages 92 - 104
DOI: 10.18393/ejss.659830
Stable URL: http://ejss.fess.org/10.18393/ejss.659830
Copyright © 2020 The authors and Federation of Eurasian Soil Science Societies



Spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon (Central Africa)

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Tsozué,D., Basga,S., Nzeukou,A., 2020. Spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon (Central Africa). Eurasian J Soil Sci 9(2):92 - 104. DOI : 10.18393/ejss.659830
Tsozué,D.,Basga,S.,& Nzeukou,A. Spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon (Central Africa) Eurasian Journal of Soil Science, 9(2):92 - 104. DOI : 10.18393/ejss.659830
Tsozué,D.,Basga,S., and ,Nzeukou,A."Spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon (Central Africa)" Eurasian Journal of Soil Science, 9.2 (2020):92 - 104. DOI : 10.18393/ejss.659830
Tsozué,D.,Basga,S., and ,Nzeukou,A. "Spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon (Central Africa)" Eurasian Journal of Soil Science,9(Apr 2020):92 - 104 DOI : 10.18393/ejss.659830
D,Tsozué.S,Basga.A,Nzeukou "Spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon (Central Africa)" Eurasian J. Soil Sci, vol.9, no.2, pp.92 - 104 (Apr 2020), DOI : 10.18393/ejss.659830
Tsozué,Désiré ;Basga,Simon Djakba ;Nzeukou,Aubin Nzeugang Spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon (Central Africa). Eurasian Journal of Soil Science, (2020),9.2:92 - 104. DOI : 10.18393/ejss.659830

How to cite

Tsozué, D., Basga, S., Nzeukou, A., 2020. Spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon (Central Africa). Eurasian J. Soil Sci. 9(2): 92 - 104. DOI : 10.18393/ejss.659830

Author information

Désiré Tsozué , Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Maroua, P.O Box 814, Maroua, Cameroon Maroua, Cameroon
Simon Djakba Basga , Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), P.O. Box 415 Garoua, Cameroon
Aubin Nzeugang Nzeukou , Local Materials Promotion Authority (MIPROMALO), P.O. Box 2396, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Publication information

Article first published online : 16 Dec 2019
Manuscript Accepted : 11 Dec 2019
Manuscript Received: 06 Dec 2018
DOI: 10.18393/ejss.659830
Stable URL: http://ejss.fesss.org/10.18393/ejss.659830

Abstract

The objective of the present work was to characterize the morphological, geochemical and mineralogical features of soil with regard to weathering processes as a function of topography and spatial variation of climate in tropical high reliefs of Cameroon. Field investigations permit to select three study sites Mbalam, Meleta and Secande respectively in the humid tropical zone, pseudotropical mountainous zone and in the tropical dry climate. Macroscopically, the studied soils are thick in Mbalam, medium thick in Meleta and relatively less thick in Secande. Globally, saprolite, a loose loamy clayey horizon and humiferous horizon were observed from the bottom to the top of the profiles. These profiles differ by their thickness, the differentiation of the saprolite horizons and the presence of humiferous horizons. They are characterized microscopically by in situ replacement of primary minerals by kaolinite/halloysite, gibbsite and iron oxides. Theses minerals are associated to anatase in Mbalam and to montmorilonite and calcite in Secande. Geochemical processes involving in the spatial differentiation of soils are monosiallitisation and allitisation in the humid tropical zone, monosiallitisation and high allitisation in the pseudotropical mountainous zone with Al2O3 content reaching 41% in the saprolite, and monosiallitisation associated to bisiallitisation in the tropical dry climate of Cameroon. The development of these geochemical processes is conditioned by topography, elevation, rainfall and temperature, which appear as the main factors responsible of the spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon.

Keywords

Spatial variation, weathering processes, soil, tropical high reliefs, Cameroon.

Corresponding author

References

Aleva, G.J.J., 1994. Laterites. Concepts, geology, morphology and chemistry. International Soil Reference and Information Center, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 169p.

Amouric, M., Olives. J., 1998. Transformation mechanisms and interstratifications in conversion of smectite to kaolinite: an HRTEM study. Clays and Clay Minerals 46(5): 521-527.

Aristizábal, E., Roser, B., Yokota, S., 2005. Tropical chemical weathering of hillslope deposits and bedrock source in the Aburra Valley, northern Colombian Andes. Engineering Geology 81(4): 389-406.

Beauvais, A., 1991. Paléoclimats et dynamique d’un paysage cuirassé de Centrafrique. Morphologie, pétrologie et géochimie. Thèse Doctorat, Université Poitiers, 297p. [in French]

Beauvais, A., 2009. Ferricrete biochemical degradation on the rainforest–savannas boundary of Central African Republic. Geoderma 150(3-4): 379-388.

Beauvais, A., Colin., F., 1993. Formation and transformation processes of iron duricrust systems in tropical humid environment. Chemical Geology 106(1-2): 77-151.

Beauvais, A., Roquin., C., 1996. Petrological differentiation and geomorphic distribution of ferricretes in Central Africa. Geoderma 73(1-2): 63-82.

Bétard, F., 2012. Spatial variations of soil weathering processes in a tropical mountain environment: The Baturité massif and its piedmont (Ceará, NE Brazil). Catena 93: 18-28.

Blake, G.R., Hartge, K.H., 1986. Bulk density. In: Methods of Soil Analysis Part 1 Physical and Mineralogical Methods. 2nd Edition, Klute, A., (Ed). American Society of Agronomy,-Soil Science Society of America. Madison, Wisconsin, USA. pp. 363-375.

Boeglin, J.L., Probst., J.L., 1998. Physical and chemical weathering rates and CO2 consumption in a tropical lateritic environment: the upper Niger basin. Chemical Geology 148(3-4): 137-156.

Bourgeon, G., 2001. A survey of soil and weathering patterns through land system mapping in the Western Ghats region. In: Sahyadri, the great escarpment of the Indian subcontinent. Patterns of landscape development in the Western Ghats. Gunnell, Y.,  Radhakrishna, B.P., (Eds.). Geological Society of India, Gavipuram, India. pp 855-904.

Bourgeon, G., Pédro, G., 1992. Rôle majeur du drainage climatique dans la différenciation altéritique et pédologique des sols des régions chaudes. Exemple du passage sols fersiallitiques-sols ferrallitiques au Sud du Karnataka (Inde). Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. Série 2, Mécanique, Physique, Chimie, Sciences de l'Univers, Sciences de la Terre 314: 717-725. [in French]

Braun, J.J., Ngeoupayou, J.R.N., Viers, J., Dupré, B., Bedimo, J.P., Boeglin, J.L., Robain, H., Nyeck, B., Freydier, R., Nkamdjou, L.S., Rouiller, J., Muller., J.P., 2005. Present weathering rates in a humid tropical watershed: Nsimi, South Cameroon. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 69(2): 357-387.

Colin, F., Minko, E., Nahon, D., 1989. L'or particulaire résiduel dans les profils latéritiques : altération géochimique et dispersion superficielle en conditions équatoriales. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences 309: 553-560. [in French]

Colin, F., Veillard, P., Ambrosi, J.P., 1993. Quantitative approach to physical and chemical gold mobility in equatorial rainforest lateritic environment. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 114(2-3): 269-285.

Delvigne, J., 1965. Pédogenèse en zone tropicale. La formation des minéraux secondaires en milieu ferrallitique. Mém. ORSTOM, Paris, 13. 177p. [in French]

Dumort, J.C., Peronne, Y., 1966. Notice Explicative sur la Feuille Maroua. 1 Carte géologique de Reconnaissance au1/500000. Direction des Mines et de la Géologie, Yaoundé, Cameroun. [in French]

Dzemua, G.L., 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(1-2): 38-48.

Ehlen, J., 2005. Above the weathering front: contrasting approaches to the study and classification of weathering mantle. Geomorphology 67(1-2): 7-21.

Gabler, R.E., ‎Petersen, J.F., ‎ Trapasso, L.M., Sack, D., 2008. Physical Geography. Ninth Edition, Brooks/Cole, Cengage learning, Belmonth, USA. 672p.

Gardner, L.R., 1972. Conditions for direct formation of gibbsite from K-Feldspar—further discussion. American Mineralogist 57(1-2): 294-300.

Gountié Dedzo, M., Njonfang, E., Nono, A., Kamgang, P., Zangmo Tefogoum, G., Kagou Dongmo, A., Nkouathio, D.G., 2012. Dynamic and evolution of the Mounts Bamboutos and Bamenda calderas by study of ignimbritic deposits (West-Cameroon, Cameroon Line). Syllabus Review 3: 11-23.

Gracheva, R., 2011. Formation of soil diversity in themountainous tropics and subtropics: rocks, time and erosion. Geomorphology 135: 224-231.

Guitián, O.F., Carballas, T., 1976. Técnicas de análisis de Suelos (Techniques of Soil Analysis). Pico Sacro: Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 288p. [in French]

Herrmann, L., Anongrak, N., Zarei, M., Schuler, U., Spohrer, K., 2007. Factors and processes of gibbsite formation in Northern Thailand. Catena 71(2): 279-291.

Irfan, T.Y., 1996. Mineralogy, fabric properties and classification of weathered granites in Hong Kong. Quaterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology 29(1): 5-35.

Lageat, Y., Gunnell, Y., 2001. Landscape development in tropical shield environments. In: Basement regions. Godard, A., Lagasquie, J.J., Lageat, Y. (Eds.). Springer, Berlin, pp. 173-197.

Lambe, P., 1996. Residual soils. Landslides: investigation and mitigation. In: Investigation and Mitigation. Turner, K., Schuster, R., (Eds.). Landslides Special Report, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, pp 507-524.

Lasserre, M., 1975. Etude de Géologique et prospection générale orientée du complexe volcano-sédimentaire Tcholliré-Bibemi-Maroua. In Mesures géochronologiques sur les formations du Nord Cameroun par les méthodes au rubidium/strontium et au potassium/argon sur minéraux et roches totales. Direction des Mines et de la Géologie Yaoundé, Cameroun. 37p. [in French]

Letouzey, R., 1985. Notice explicative de la carte phytogéographique du Cameroun à l’échelle de 1/500 000. Institut de la Carte Internationale de la Végétation, Toulouse, France. 240p. [in French]

Martin, D., 1966. Etudes pédologiques dans le centre Cameroun, Nanga-Eboko à Bertoua. Mém. ORSTOM, Paris, 19, 92 p.

Martin, D., Chatelin, Y., Colllnet, J., Guichard, E., Sala, G., 1981. Les sols du Gabon. Pédogenèse, répartition et aptitudes. Notice explicative de la carte pédologique à 1:200 000. ORSTOM (éd), Paris, 92, 65p. [in French]

Marzoli, A., Renne, P.R., Piccirillo, E.M., Francesca, C., Bellieni, G., Melfi, A.J., Nyobe, J.B., N’ni., J., 1999. Silicic magmas from the continental Cameroon Volcanic Line (Oku, Bambouto and Ngaoundere): 40Ar-39Ar dates, petrology, Sr-Nd-O isotopes and their petrogenetic significance. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 135(2-3): 133-150.

Meunier, A., 2003. Les argiles. Collection Géosciences, GB Science Publisher, 433p. [in French]

Middelburg, J.J., Van Der Weijden, C.H., Woittiez, J.R.W., 1988. Chemical proccesses affecting the mobility of major, minor and trace elements during weathering of granitic rocks. Chemical Geology 68(3-4): 253-273.

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Abstract

The objective of the present work was to characterize the morphological, geochemical and mineralogical features of soil with regard to weathering processes as a function of topography and spatial variation of climate in tropical high reliefs of Cameroon. Field investigations permit to select three study sites Mbalam, Meleta and Secande respectively in the humid tropical zone, pseudotropical mountainous zone and in the tropical dry climate. Macroscopically, the studied soils are thick in Mbalam, medium thick in Meleta and relatively less thick in Secande. Globally, saprolite, a loose loamy clayey horizon and humiferous horizon were observed from the bottom to the top of the profiles. These profiles differ by their thickness, the differentiation of the saprolite horizons and the presence of humiferous horizons. They are characterized microscopically by in situ replacement of primary minerals by kaolinite/halloysite, gibbsite and iron oxides. Theses minerals are associated to anatase in Mbalam and to montmorilonite and calcite in Secande. Geochemical processes involving in the spatial differentiation of soils are monosiallitisation and allitisation in the humid tropical zone, monosiallitisation and high allitisation in the pseudotropical mountainous zone with Al2O3 content reaching 41% in the saprolite, and monosiallitisation associated to bisiallitisation in the tropical dry climate of Cameroon. The development of these geochemical processes is conditioned by topography, elevation, rainfall and temperature, which appear as the main factors responsible of the spatial variation of soil weathering processes in the tropical high reliefs of Cameroon.

Keywords: Spatial variation, weathering processes, soil, tropical high reliefs, Cameroon.

References

Aleva, G.J.J., 1994. Laterites. Concepts, geology, morphology and chemistry. International Soil Reference and Information Center, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 169p.

Amouric, M., Olives. J., 1998. Transformation mechanisms and interstratifications in conversion of smectite to kaolinite: an HRTEM study. Clays and Clay Minerals 46(5): 521-527.

Aristizábal, E., Roser, B., Yokota, S., 2005. Tropical chemical weathering of hillslope deposits and bedrock source in the Aburra Valley, northern Colombian Andes. Engineering Geology 81(4): 389-406.

Beauvais, A., 1991. Paléoclimats et dynamique d’un paysage cuirassé de Centrafrique. Morphologie, pétrologie et géochimie. Thèse Doctorat, Université Poitiers, 297p. [in French]

Beauvais, A., 2009. Ferricrete biochemical degradation on the rainforest–savannas boundary of Central African Republic. Geoderma 150(3-4): 379-388.

Beauvais, A., Colin., F., 1993. Formation and transformation processes of iron duricrust systems in tropical humid environment. Chemical Geology 106(1-2): 77-151.

Beauvais, A., Roquin., C., 1996. Petrological differentiation and geomorphic distribution of ferricretes in Central Africa. Geoderma 73(1-2): 63-82.

Bétard, F., 2012. Spatial variations of soil weathering processes in a tropical mountain environment: The Baturité massif and its piedmont (Ceará, NE Brazil). Catena 93: 18-28.

Blake, G.R., Hartge, K.H., 1986. Bulk density. In: Methods of Soil Analysis Part 1 Physical and Mineralogical Methods. 2nd Edition, Klute, A., (Ed). American Society of Agronomy,-Soil Science Society of America. Madison, Wisconsin, USA. pp. 363-375.

Boeglin, J.L., Probst., J.L., 1998. Physical and chemical weathering rates and CO2 consumption in a tropical lateritic environment: the upper Niger basin. Chemical Geology 148(3-4): 137-156.

Bourgeon, G., 2001. A survey of soil and weathering patterns through land system mapping in the Western Ghats region. In: Sahyadri, the great escarpment of the Indian subcontinent. Patterns of landscape development in the Western Ghats. Gunnell, Y.,  Radhakrishna, B.P., (Eds.). Geological Society of India, Gavipuram, India. pp 855-904.

Bourgeon, G., Pédro, G., 1992. Rôle majeur du drainage climatique dans la différenciation altéritique et pédologique des sols des régions chaudes. Exemple du passage sols fersiallitiques-sols ferrallitiques au Sud du Karnataka (Inde). Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. Série 2, Mécanique, Physique, Chimie, Sciences de l'Univers, Sciences de la Terre 314: 717-725. [in French]

Braun, J.J., Ngeoupayou, J.R.N., Viers, J., Dupré, B., Bedimo, J.P., Boeglin, J.L., Robain, H., Nyeck, B., Freydier, R., Nkamdjou, L.S., Rouiller, J., Muller., J.P., 2005. Present weathering rates in a humid tropical watershed: Nsimi, South Cameroon. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 69(2): 357-387.

Colin, F., Minko, E., Nahon, D., 1989. L'or particulaire résiduel dans les profils latéritiques : altération géochimique et dispersion superficielle en conditions équatoriales. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences 309: 553-560. [in French]

Colin, F., Veillard, P., Ambrosi, J.P., 1993. Quantitative approach to physical and chemical gold mobility in equatorial rainforest lateritic environment. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 114(2-3): 269-285.

Delvigne, J., 1965. Pédogenèse en zone tropicale. La formation des minéraux secondaires en milieu ferrallitique. Mém. ORSTOM, Paris, 13. 177p. [in French]

Dumort, J.C., Peronne, Y., 1966. Notice Explicative sur la Feuille Maroua. 1 Carte géologique de Reconnaissance au1/500000. Direction des Mines et de la Géologie, Yaoundé, Cameroun. [in French]

Dzemua, G.L., 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(1-2): 38-48.

Ehlen, J., 2005. Above the weathering front: contrasting approaches to the study and classification of weathering mantle. Geomorphology 67(1-2): 7-21.

Gabler, R.E., ‎Petersen, J.F., ‎ Trapasso, L.M., Sack, D., 2008. Physical Geography. Ninth Edition, Brooks/Cole, Cengage learning, Belmonth, USA. 672p.

Gardner, L.R., 1972. Conditions for direct formation of gibbsite from K-Feldspar—further discussion. American Mineralogist 57(1-2): 294-300.

Gountié Dedzo, M., Njonfang, E., Nono, A., Kamgang, P., Zangmo Tefogoum, G., Kagou Dongmo, A., Nkouathio, D.G., 2012. Dynamic and evolution of the Mounts Bamboutos and Bamenda calderas by study of ignimbritic deposits (West-Cameroon, Cameroon Line). Syllabus Review 3: 11-23.

Gracheva, R., 2011. Formation of soil diversity in themountainous tropics and subtropics: rocks, time and erosion. Geomorphology 135: 224-231.

Guitián, O.F., Carballas, T., 1976. Técnicas de análisis de Suelos (Techniques of Soil Analysis). Pico Sacro: Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 288p. [in French]

Herrmann, L., Anongrak, N., Zarei, M., Schuler, U., Spohrer, K., 2007. Factors and processes of gibbsite formation in Northern Thailand. Catena 71(2): 279-291.

Irfan, T.Y., 1996. Mineralogy, fabric properties and classification of weathered granites in Hong Kong. Quaterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology 29(1): 5-35.

Lageat, Y., Gunnell, Y., 2001. Landscape development in tropical shield environments. In: Basement regions. Godard, A., Lagasquie, J.J., Lageat, Y. (Eds.). Springer, Berlin, pp. 173-197.

Lambe, P., 1996. Residual soils. Landslides: investigation and mitigation. In: Investigation and Mitigation. Turner, K., Schuster, R., (Eds.). Landslides Special Report, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, pp 507-524.

Lasserre, M., 1975. Etude de Géologique et prospection générale orientée du complexe volcano-sédimentaire Tcholliré-Bibemi-Maroua. In Mesures géochronologiques sur les formations du Nord Cameroun par les méthodes au rubidium/strontium et au potassium/argon sur minéraux et roches totales. Direction des Mines et de la Géologie Yaoundé, Cameroun. 37p. [in French]

Letouzey, R., 1985. Notice explicative de la carte phytogéographique du Cameroun à l’échelle de 1/500 000. Institut de la Carte Internationale de la Végétation, Toulouse, France. 240p. [in French]

Martin, D., 1966. Etudes pédologiques dans le centre Cameroun, Nanga-Eboko à Bertoua. Mém. ORSTOM, Paris, 19, 92 p.

Martin, D., Chatelin, Y., Colllnet, J., Guichard, E., Sala, G., 1981. Les sols du Gabon. Pédogenèse, répartition et aptitudes. Notice explicative de la carte pédologique à 1:200 000. ORSTOM (éd), Paris, 92, 65p. [in French]

Marzoli, A., Renne, P.R., Piccirillo, E.M., Francesca, C., Bellieni, G., Melfi, A.J., Nyobe, J.B., N’ni., J., 1999. Silicic magmas from the continental Cameroon Volcanic Line (Oku, Bambouto and Ngaoundere): 40Ar-39Ar dates, petrology, Sr-Nd-O isotopes and their petrogenetic significance. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 135(2-3): 133-150.

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