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Volcaniclastic sedimentation on the submarine slopes of a basaltic hotspot volcano: Piton de la Fournaise volcano (La Réunion Island, Indian Ocean)

Abstract : Volcaniclastic successions are well-described in volcanic arc setting but rare in hotspot environments. The present work proposes a facies model of volcaniclastic sedimentation related to basaltic hotspot volcanoes as exemplified by the Piton de la Fournaise volcano (La Réunion Island). The facies model is based on a multi-scale approach combining high-resolution multibeam and backscatter data, deep-water photographs, side scan imagery and Kullenberg piston cores. Data show that a wide range of gravity flows and erosional features develop in the active volcaniclastic sedimentary system. Coastal and submarine instabilities are the main processes shaping the volcano's submarine morphology. Meanwhile, the evolution and dynamics of the sedimentary system are strongly linked with the morpho-structural evolution of the subaerial part of the volcano. The proposed model is characterized by a cyclic succession of stages: (1) a growing stage during which sedimentary activity is mainly restricted to proximal and mid-slope areas; (2) a collapse stage that entirely reshapes the morphology of the submarine slopes; and (3) an erosional stage related to a slow down of volcanic activity, enabling the development of large deep-sea fans.
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Francky Saint-Ange, Patrick Bachèlery, Nathalie Babonneau, Laurent Michon, Stéphan Jorry. Volcaniclastic sedimentation on the submarine slopes of a basaltic hotspot volcano: Piton de la Fournaise volcano (La Réunion Island, Indian Ocean). Marine Geology, Elsevier, 2013, 337, pp.35-52. ⟨10.1016/j.margeo.2013.01.004⟩. ⟨insu-00843965⟩

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