... more on proposed plume "head-tail" associations

The size of the Réunion volcanic construct has been overestimated by a large factor. Detailed studies by French scientists have established that it is an emerged seamount of moderate size, built on an abandoned ridge-transform boundary. It represents the reactivation of an old transform fault and possibly renewed activity of an abandoned ridge. There is no obvious hotspot track and the relation to Deccan volcanism has been shown to be highly questionable (Burke,1996; Sheth, 1999).

The Kerguelen - Rajmahal connection is discussed by Favela & Anderson (1999). The Kerguelen Plateau is underlain by continental crust, which is not accounted for in the plume head-tail model.

The Jan Mayen-Siberian connection is questioned by geologists (Czamanski, 1998) and also cannot account for the fact that Jan Mayen is a microcontinent.

The Monteregian Hills-Corner seamount connection is questioned by McHone (2000).

The status of the Ontong Java Plateau as a plume head is questionable, given its low elevation and lack of a candidate "plume tail".


  • Burke, K. C., 1996. The African plate, S. Afr. J. Geol., 99, 341-409.
  • Charvis, P., Laesanpura, A., Gallart, J., Hirn, A., Lépine, J.-C., de Voogd, B., and Pontoise, B., Spatial distribution of hotspot material added into the lithosphere under La Réunion from wide-angle seismic data, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 2875-2893, 1999.
  • Czamanske, G. K., Gurevich, A. B., Fedorenko, V., and Simonov, O., 1998, Demise of the Siberian plume: paleogeographic and paleotectonic reconstruction from the prevolcanic and volcanic records, North-Central Siberia. Int. Geol. Rev., 40, 95-115.
  • de Voogd, B., Pou Palomé, S., Hirn, A., Charvis, Ph., Gallart, J., Rousset, D., Danobeitia, J., and Perroud, H., Vertical movements and material transport during hotspot activity: Seismic reflection profiling offshore La Réunion, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 2855b-2874, 1999.
  • Favela, J., and D.L. Anderson, Extensional tectonics and global volcanism, in Editrice Compositori, edited by E. Boschi, G. Ekstrom, and A. Morelli, pp. 463-498, Bologna, Italy, 1999.
  • Gallart, J., Driad, L., Charvis, Ph., Sapin, M., Hirn, A., Diaz, J., de Voogd, B., and Sachpazi, M., Perturbation to the lithosphere along the hotspot track of La Réunion, from an offshore-onshore seismic transect, J. Geophys. Res., 2895-2908, 1999.
  • Hirn, A., Réunion (Indian Ocean) oceanic island volcanism: Seismic structure and heterogeneity of the upper lithosphere, EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meet. Suppl., 83, Abstract S72C-03, 2002.
  • McHone, J. G., Non-plume magmatism and tectonics during the opening of the central Atlantic Ocean, Tectonophysics, 316, 287-296, 2000.
  • Nercessian, A., Hirn, A., Lépine, J.C. and Sapin, M.. Internal structure of Piton de la Fournaise volcano from seismic wave propagation and earthquake distribution. J. Volc. Geothermal Res., 70, 123-143, 1996.
  • Sheth, H. C., 1999. Flood basalts and large igneous provinces from deep mantle plumes: fact, fiction, and fallacy, Tectonophysics, 311, 1-29.