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Piton de la Fournaise, on the island of La Re??union, and Kilauea volcano, on the island of Hawaii, are active, basaltic shield volcanoes growing on the flanks of much larger shield volcanoes in intraplate tectonic environments. Past studies have shown that the average rate of magma production and the chemistry of lavas are quite similar for both volcanoes. We propose a structural similarity - specifically, that periodic displacement of parts of the shields as huge landslide blocks is a common mode of growth. In each instance, the unstable blocks are within a rift-zone-bounded, unbuttressed flank of the shield. At Kilauea, well-documented landslide blocks form relatively surficial parts of a much larger rift-zone-bounded block; scarps of the Hilina fault system mark the headwalls of the active blocks. At Fournaise, Hilina-like slump blocks are also present along the unbuttressed east coast of the volcano. In addition, however, the existence of a set of faults nested around the present caldera and northeast and southeast rift zones suggests that past chapters in the history of Fournaise included the slumping of entire rift-zone-bounded blocks themselves. These nested faults become younger to the east southeast and apparently record one of the effects of a migration of the focus of volcanism in that direction. Repeated dilation along the present set of northeast and southeast rift zones, most recently exemplified by an eruption in 1977, suggests that the past history of rift-zone-bounded slumping will eventually be repeated. The record provided by the succession of slump blocks on Fournaise is apparently at a relatively detailed part of a migration of magmatic focus that has advanced at least 30 km to the east-southeast from neighboring Piton des Neiges, an extinct Pliocene to Pleistocene volcano. ?? 1982.
Additional Publication Details
Huge landslide blocks in the growth of piton de la fournaise, La re??union, and Kilauea volcano, Hawaii