In granitic rocks, various models of weathering profile have been proposed, but never for the hard rocks of West Africa. Besides, in the literature there is no description of the weathering profile in volcanosedimentrary rocks. Therefore, we propose three models describing the weathering profiles in granites, metasediments, and volcanic rocks for hard rock formations located in West Africa. For each of these models proposed for granitic and volcano sedimentary rocks of the Dimbokro catchment, vertical layered weathering profiles are described, according to the various weathering and erosion cycles (specific to West Africa) that the geological formations of the Dimbokro catchment experienced from the Eocene to the recent Quaternary period. The characterization of weathering profiles is based on: i) bedrocks and weathering profile observations at outcrop, and ii) interpretation and synthesis of geophysical data and lithologs from different boreholes. For each of the geological formations (granites, metasediments, and volcanic rocks), their related weathering profile model depicted from top to bottom comprises four separate layers: alloterite, isalterite, fissured layer, and fractured fresh basement. These weathering profiles are systematically covered by a soil layer. Though granites, metasediments and volcanic rocks of the Dimbokro catchment experience the same weathering and erosion cycles during the palaeoclimatic fluctuations from Eocene to recent Quaternary period, they exhibit differences in thickness. In granites, the weathering profile is relatively thin due to the absence of iron crust which protects weathering products against dismantling. In metasediments and volcanic rocks iron crusts develop better than in granites; in these rocks the alterite are more resistant to dismantling.
Volume 129, 2020
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