Geodynamic Setting of La Réunion

  • Jean-François Lénat
Part of the Active Volcanoes of the World book series (AVOLCAN)


The island of La Réunion is located in the complex oceanic environment of the Marscarene Basin. The latter was created by oceanic expansion between the late Cretaceous and the Paleocene. The expansion of the Basin stopped at magnetic chron 27 when the spreading jumped north, between the Seychelles and India, to become the Central Indian Ridge. Dating and geodynamic reconstructions support a hot spot origin for La Réunion volcanism. La Réunion lies in the middle of an approximately 350 km-wide zone bounded by transform faults (Mauritius and Mahanoro-Wilshaw Fracture Zones) and a trough identified as the extinct spreading center (chron 27). This compartment exhibits a substantial depth anomaly (several hundreds of meters), possibly related to the interaction with the hot spot plume. Gravity and seismic data show the virtual absence of flexure beneath and around La Réunion. Near La Réunion the organization of the oceanic crust magnetic anomalies is very different from the classic parallel striped oceanic organization. It has been suggested that this pattern might be interpreted in terms of a paleo-triple junction of oceanic rifts. Many seamounts protrude from the sediments in the La Réunion segment, some associated with the transform faults, others associated with a series of parallel ridges and a few isolated others. All these constructions postdate the oceanic crust, but most of them appear to be much older than La Réunion, with the possible exception of some small seamounts close to La Réunion or on its submarine flanks.


Seismic Data Oceanic Crust Magnetic Anomaly Plume Material Central Indian Ridge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Magmas et VolcansUniversité Blaise Pascal-CNRS-IRD, OPGCClermont-FerrandFrance

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