Chapter 6: The Loyalty Islands and Ridge, New Caledonia
Published:June 16, 2020
P. Maurizot, J. Collot, D. Cluzel, M. Patriat, 2020. "Chapter 6: The Loyalty Islands and Ridge, New Caledonia", New Caledonia: Geology, Geodynamic Evolution and Mineral Resources, P. Maurizot, N. Mortimer
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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 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.
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New Caledonia: Geology, Geodynamic Evolution and Mineral Resources
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
This memoir summarizes current knowledge on the geology of New Caledonia, its geodynamic evolution and mineral resources, based on published and unpublished information. It comprises ten research papers, each addressing a particular geological assemblage or topic. After an introductory chapter and a review of the published geodynamic models of evolution of the SW Pacific, Chapters 3-5 focus on the main geological assemblages of Grande Terre: the pre-Late Cretaceous basement terranes, the Late Cretaceous to Eocene cover, and the Eocene Subduction-Obduction Complex, one of the largest and best-preserved in the world. Chapter 6 is devoted to the Loyalty Islands and Ridge. Chapter 7 deals with the mostly terrestrial post-obduction units, including regolith. Chapter 8 deals with palaeobiogeography and discusses plausible scenarios of biotic evolution. Chapters 9 and 10 provide a comprehensive review of New Caledonia's mineral resources. The volume will be of interest to stratigraphers, sedimentologists, marine geologists, palaeontologists, palaeogeographers, igneous and metamorphic petrologists, geochemists, geochronologists, and specialists in tectonics, geodynamic evolution, regoliths, ophiolites and economic geology.