The Mascarene region: tales of mid-ocean ridges, oceanic basins, a hotspot, and islands

Dr. Jerome Dyment, Senior Researcher at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) made a presentation on “The Mascarene region: tales of mid-ocean ridges, oceanic basins, a hotspot and islands” in the MOI Conference room on Friday 26th August 2016 at 10 00 hours.

The objective of the presentation was to apprise the audience about how the Mascarene region and Western Indian Ocean, had been formed by seafloor spreading at the mid-ocean ridge separating the African and Indian plates since 83 Million years (Ma).

The presentation included detailed explanation of how this complex area had been shaped by the Reunion hotspot which appeared at 65 Ma, forming the Deccan traps in India and triggering a major spreading reorganization. This resulted in the two large submarine volcanic plateaus - the Chagos - Laccadive Ridge and the Mascarene Plateau - and finally Mauritius and Reunion islands. As a result, the formation of the Rodrigues Island and the Rodrigues Ridge was possible due to the interaction with nearby spreading centers.

During their volcanic construction, oceanic islands are eroded and often affected by destabilization and mass wasting events. Some evidence suggests that a major mass-wasting event has affected Mauritius West Coast four million years ago.