Mechanical behaviour of the lithosphere beneath the Adamawa uplift (Cameroon, West Africa) based on gravity data

Y. H. Poudjom Djomani*, M. Diament, Y. Albouy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The Adamawa massif in Central Cameroon is one of the African domal uplifts of volcanic origin. It is an elongated feature, 200 km wide. The gravity anomalies over the Adamawa uplift were studied to determine the mechanical behaviour of the lithosphere. Two approaches were used to analyse six gravity profiles that are 600 km long and that run perpendicular to the Adamawa trend. Firstly, the coherence function between topography and gravity was interpreted; secondly, source depth estimations by spectral analysis of the gravity data was performed. To get significant information for the interpretation of the experimental coherence function, the length of the profiles was varied from 320 km to 600 km. This treatment allows one to obtain numerical estimates of the coherence function. The coherence function analysis points out that the lithosphere is deflected and thin beneath the Adamawa uplift, and the Effective Elastic Thickness is of about 20 km. To fit the coherence, a load from below needs to be taken into account. This result on the Adamawa massif is of the same order of magnitude as those obtained on other African uplifts such as Hoggar, Darfur and Kenya domes. For the depth estimation, three major density contrasts were found: the shallowest depth (4-15 km) can be correlated to shear zone structures and the associated sedimentary basins beneath the uplift; the second density contrast (18-38 km) corresponds to the Moho; and finally, the last depth (70-90 km) would be the top of the upper mantle and demotes the low density zone beneath the Adamawa uplift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of African Earth Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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