The Loyalty Islands and Ridge, New Caledonia

Published on 2020-05-19T16:59:12Z (GMT) by
The Loyalty Ridge lies to the east and NE of the Norfolk Ridge. The three main Loyalty Islands (Maré, Lifou and Ouvéa) emerge from the ridge at the same latitude as Grande Terre. The islands are uniformly composed of carbonate deposits, except for Maré, where Middle Miocene intra-plate basalts and associated volcaniclastic rocks form restricted outcrops. Miocene rhodolith limestones constitute the bulk of the carbonate cover of the three islands. On Maré, these platform accumulations are locally topped by a dolomitic hardground, which, in turn, is covered by Pliocene–Pleistocene coral-bearing formations. These coral reef constructions are preserved as elevated rims over all three islands and define an atoll stage in their development. The Pleistocene–Holocene palaeoshoreline indicators include fringing bioconstructions and marine notches and record both eustatic sea-level changes and tectonic deformation. The ridge has been in the forebulge region in front of the active Vanuatu subduction zone since the Pliocene and each of the three islands has been uplifted and tilted to varying degrees. Offshore, the Loyalty Ridge continues northwards to the d'Entrecasteaux Zone and southwards to the Three Kings Ridge. Although typically volcanic, the nature of the deep Loyalty Ridge remains unknown.

Cite this collection

Maurizot, P.; Collot, J.; Cluzel, D.; Patriat, M. (2020): The Loyalty Islands and Ridge, New Caledonia. Geological Society of London. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4984580