Results of the chemical and isotopic analysis of the water and gases discharged from volcanic crater lakes and soda springs located along the Cameroon Volcanic Line were used to characterize and infer their genetic relationships. Variations in the solute compositions of the waters indicate the dominant influence of silicate hydrolysis. Na+ (40-95%) constitutes the major cation in the springs while Fe2+ + Mg2+ (70%) dominate in the CO2-rich lakes. The principal anion is HCO3 (>90%), except in the coastal springs where Cl predominates. Lakes Nyos and Monoun have Fe-Mg-Ca-HCO3 type signatures; the soda springs are essentially Na-HCO3 type, while all other lakes show similar ionic compositions to dilute surface waters. Dissolved gases show essentially CO2 (>90%), with small amounts of Ar and N2, while CH4 constitutes the principal component in the non-gassy lakes. Active volcanic gases are generally absent, except in the Lobe spring with detectable H2S. Stable isotope ratio evidence indicates that the bicarbonate waters are essentially of meteoric origin. CO2 (??13C = -2 to -8???) and He (3He/4He = 1 to 5.6Ra) infer a mantle contribution to the total CO2. CH4 has a biogenic source, while Ar and N2 are essentially atmospheric in origin, but mixing is quite common.
Additional publication details
Chemical and isotopic characteristics of fluids along the cameroon volcanic line, cameroon