Volcanoes in Cameroon are part of the Cameroon line, a chain of volcanoes extending from Annobon Island in the Atlantic Ocean northeastward through Cameroon. The oldest rocks have been dated at 70 million years old. Nine volcanoes along the line are active. A fissure eruption occurred at Mt. Cameroon in 1982.
Volcanism along the Cameroon line is related to rifting – where a continent breaks into two pieces. About 110 million years ago a giant rift broke apart what became Africa and South America and the South Atlantic Ocean began to form. A smaller rift formed within the African continent. This older rift, called the Benue Trough, is north of and parallel to the Cameroon line. About 80 million years ago, during a reorganization of plate boundaries, the African plate rotated counter-clockwise. Then a new rift formed that failed to split Africa but apparently did form conduits that allowed magma to ultimately reach the surface and form the volcanoes of the Cameroon line.For more information (including local maps and music): Visit the Mount Cameroon Interactive Map (requires Flash)