Landsat-8 OLI/SRTM and gravity characteristics of the Pan-African fracture aquifers of the north central Cameroon region (central Africa)

Heliyon. 2024 Feb 10;10(4):e26319. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e26319. eCollection 2024 Feb 29.


Finding drinking water in a Precambrian (Pan-African) basement context is a major concern for many Central African countries. For example, most groundwater is in fissured or fractured basement aquifers. To enhance the success rate of boreholes, this study aims to identify the features and the geographic reach of the lineament directions likely to drain groundwater. The research area has a size of 23 045 km2, is 120 km from Yaoundé, Cameroon, and is located there. The methodological approach integrates current borehole and outcrop data with spatial data (Landsat-8 OLI/SRTM and gravity). The main NE-SW (N20-70°E), E-W (N80-100°E), and secondary N-S (N0-20°E) and NW-SE (N120-140°E) fracture directions display on the generated structural lineament map. The Pan-African orogeny is linked to the E-W direction, and the Sanaga Fault is related to the NE-SW direction. The other directions (N-S and NW-SE) correspond to the post-collisional decompression phase. This study locates medium-flow boreholes on or near the NE-SW, E-W, and NW-SE trending fractures, hence enhancing the knowledge of fissured and fractured basement aquifers in the Central region of Cameroon. The corresponding water flow rates range from 1 to 3 m3/h as well. The extensive exploration of fractured bedrock aquifers can benefit from these findings.

Keywords: Fracture aquifers; North central Cameroon region; Pan-african basement; Satellite imagery.