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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...

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