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Cape Verde

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Geological map of Cape Verde Islands

Cape Verde
Cape Verde islands

Cape Verde
Cape Verde archipelago

Cape Verde
Geological map of Cape Verde Islands

Cape Verde
Cape Verde islands

Cape Verde
Cape Verde archipelago

Cape Verde
Geological map of Cape Verde Islands

Cape Verde
Cape Verde islands

Cape Verde
Location is approximate, based on center of defined region.
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 14° 55' North , 23° 31' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 14.91667,-23.51667
Area:4,033 km2
Name(s) in local language(s):Cabo Verde

A former Portuguese colony; officially the Republic of Cape Verde.
An island country, spanning an archipelago located in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the Central Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa, opposite Mauritania and Senegal.

Geologically, the islands, covering a combined area of slightly over 4,033 square kilometres (1,557 sq mi), are principally composed of igneous rocks, with volcanic structures and pyroclastic debris comprising the majority of the archipelago's total volume. The volcanic and plutonic rocks are distinctly basic; the archipelago is a soda-alkaline petrographic province, with a petrologic succession which is similar to that found in other Macaronesian islands.
Magnetic anomalies identified in the vicinity of the archipelago indicate that the structures forming the islands date back 125-150 million years: the islands themselves date from 8 million (in the west) to 20 million years (in the east). The oldest exposed rocks occurred on Maio and northern peninsula of Santiago and are 128-131 million year old pillow lavas. The first stage of volcanism in the islands began in the early Miocene, and reached its peak at the end of this period, when the islands reached their maximum sizes. Historical volcanism (within human settlement) has been restricted to the island of Fogo.
The origin of the islands' volcanism has been attributed to a hotspot, associated with bathymetric swell that formed the Cape Verde Rise. The Rise is one of the largest protuberances in the world's oceans, rising 2.2 kilometers in a semi-circular region of 1200 km², associated with a rise of the geoid and elevated surface heat flow.
Most recently erupting in 1995, Pico do Fogo is the largest active volcano in the region. It has a 8 km (5 mi) diameter caldera, whose rim is 1,600 m (5,249 ft) altitude and an interior cone that rises to 2,829 m (9,281 ft) above sea level. The caldera resulted from subsidence, following the partial evacuation (eruption) of the magma chamber, along a cylindrical column from within magma chamber (at a depth of 8 km (5 mi)).
Extensive salt flats are found on Sal and Maio. 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. Ocean cliffs have been formed by catastrophic debris avalanches.


Recursos Minerais: Embora a importância dos recursos naturais tem diminuído drasticamente no novo contexto global da indústria, eles não devem ser negligenciadas. Com uma área de 4033 km2 e uma pluviometria muito baixa, o país é pobre em recursos naturais, mineiros, o que constitui uma das limitações ao desenvolvimento económico. Em 2004, a indústria mineira continuou a ter um papel menor na economia. Entretanto, o país produz uma certa quantidade de minerais utilizados na elaboração de materiais de construção: argila nas ilhas da Boavista, Sal, e São Vicente; Gesso na ilha do Maio; calcário nas ilhas de Boa Vista, Sal e Santo Antão; pozolana na ilha de Santo Antão; e, finalmente, o sal nas ilhas do Maio e Sal.
Ref: Segunda comunicação nacional de Cabo Verde sobre as mudanças climáticas, República de Cabo Verde, Outubro 2010.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

53 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

0 - 2.588 Ma

ID: 3189322
Cenozoic volcanic rocks

Age: Pleistocene (0 - 2.588 Ma)

Comments: Cap Verde

Lithology: Mafic-intermediate undivided volcanic rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


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Kogarko, L. N., Sorokhtina, N. V., Zaitsev, V. A., & Senin, V. G. (2009). Rare metal mineralization of calcite carbonatites from the Cape Verde Archipelago. Geochemistry International, 47(6), 531-549.
DOELTER, C. 1882. Die Vulcane der Capverden und ihre Producte. Graz.

External Links (Photo gallery of Cape Verde)

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