Cabo Verde – the story of a volcanic archipelago

We are a group of doctoral researchers  from the graduate research schools  at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany (HOSST) and from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada (TOSST) and undergraduate students from the University Cabo Verde. 
We all do research on understanding the system of the North Atlantic.  Some of us work on the ecosystem: how fishes develop and how they move around, some do research on the behavior of the  water currents and how it developed over time, some observe the atmosphere and model the climate and some work on the volcanoes on the ocean floor. We are all specialists in our fields – and share the very same ocean. We are aware that everything is connected and has effects on the others topic.
We all get together once a year, exchange and discuss our ideas and experiences.

In 2018 we met on Cabo Verde for a 14 day Summer School and discussed: How is it to live on a volcano? Why is there a volcano? Is it dangerous? Why are there so many fishes, compared to other areas in the ocean?

The results of our group work we want to share with you. On Sao Vicente you will find posts (from autumn 2019 on) that are connected to the topics illustrated here. It will lead you to an understanding what you see when you walk around the islands, why and how the topography developed.

Enjoy and look out for more.

In the coming years we will add more topics, also related to the other Islands.

Our summer schools were funded through the Helmholtz Association, Germany  and NSERC, Canada. We got local support from the INDP, University Cabo Verde and the OSCM. Many thanks go to Tatiana Cabral on Sao Vicente. She showed us around the Island(s) and made us adore  her homeland Cabo Verde.


The projects of the Cabo Verde Summer School 2018

Are you curious about volcanoes?

Have you ever wondered how the Cabo Verde archipelago formed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Why the islands are so different from each other?

Ups and Downs: How did the Cabo Verde archipelago grow?

It lasted a very, very long time before there had been the Cabo Verde land to live on. Let’s take a closer look to Sao Vincente.

Formation of Volcanic Islands and Habitable Land


Danger! Falling apart!

Landslides are an ever-present danger on ocean islands. When does it happen? Are there ways to protect people?

The volcano gives and takes

It’s only a glimpse of time in history of earth that there is human life on Cabo Verde. How did things evolve?

Black stones – white beaches?

How does this contrary work? Detect the reasons.

Underwater wonderworld

Oases of the ocean – the seamounts of Cabo Verde