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La Réunion Island: A Typical Example of a Basaltic Shield Volcano with Rapid Evolution

Abstract : La Réunion Island is a volcanic area located in a tropical climate context. Volcanism has built up a 7 km high cone over the last five million years. For the last two or three million years, magmatic, tectonic and weathering processes have been engaged in a gigantic race to shape the island’s morphologies, with dramatic consequences in terms of landforms such as volcanic peaks (the dormant Piton des Neiges and active Piton de la Fournaise), cliffs or “ramparts”, deep gorges and waterfalls which, together with endemic flora and fauna, helped the central part of La Réunion to be recently recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Yet, induced natural hazards such as volcanic eruptions and landslides remain a threat for the population.
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Nicolas Villeneuve, Patrick Bachèlery, Jacobus Kemp. La Réunion Island: A Typical Example of a Basaltic Shield Volcano with Rapid Evolution. Landscapes and Landforms of France, Springer, pp.261-270, 2014, Landscapes and Landforms of France, ⟨10.1007/978-94-007-7022-5_25⟩. ⟨hal-02109094⟩

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