Geology of Cape Verde

Cape Verde is a volcanic archipelago situated above an oceanic rise that puts the base of the islands 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) above the rest of the seafloor. Cape Verde has been identified as a hotspot and it has been argued that a mantle plume might be underneath it causing the volcanic activity and associated geothermal anomalies.

Though Cape Verde's islands are all volcanic in origin, they vary widely in terrain.[1] A still-active volcano on the island of Fogo is the highest point on the archipelago (elevation 2,829 meters or 9,281 feet).[1] Extensive salt flats are found on Sal and Maio.[1] On Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau, arid slopes give way in places to sugarcane fields or banana plantations spread along the base of towering mountains.[1]

The islands are geologically principally composed of igneous rocks, with basic volcanics and pyroclastics comprising the majority of the total volume. The volcanic and plutonic rocks are distinctly basic in character. The archipelago is an example of a soda-alkaline petrographic province, with a petrologic succession which is similar to that found in other Mid Atlantic islands. Mount Fogo is an active volcano which most recently erupted in 2014. Fogo's caldera is 8 km (5 mi) in diameter, the rim is at an elevation of 1,600 m (5,249 ft) with an interior cone rising to 2,830 m (9,285 ft) from the crater's floor level. Calderas probably result from the subsidence, following the partial evacuation of the magma chamber, of a cylindrical block into the supplying magma chamber, in this case lying at a depth of some 8 km (5 mi). The archipelago has been dated at approximately 180 million years old.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d The Peace Corps Welcomes You to Cape Verde. Peace Corps (April 2006). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Mitchell-Thomé, Raoul C. "Outline of the geology of the Cape Verde Archipelago" Geologische Rundschau, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp. 1087–1109
List of fossiliferous stratigraphic units in Cape Verde

This is a list of fossiliferous stratigraphic units in Cape Verde.

Outline of Cape Verde

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Cape Verde:

Cape Verde – sovereign country located on an archipelago in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the North Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa. The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century (though there may have been earlier discoveries), and attained independence in 1975.

Sovereign states
States with limited
Dependencies and
other territories

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.