Seasonal Mixing and Catastrophic Degassing in Tropical Lakes, Cameroon, West Africa

Science  28 Aug 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4818, pp. 1022-1024
DOI: 10.1126/science.237.4818.1022


Lethal gas releases from Lakes Nyos and Monoun in Cameroon seem to be more lacustrine than volcanic in origin. Both of these events occurred in August and were only 2 years apart. Data show that the period of deepest mixing and lake turnover also occurs during late summer in this region of tropical Africa. In addition, recent trends of decreases in both air temperatures and effective insolation relative to long-term means suggest that weakening of stratification, coupled with a predictable seasonal interval of reduced stability in August, may be responsible for the timing of these events