Chaine des Puys, France

Location: 45.5N, 2.8E
Elevation: 4,800 feet (1,464 m)

Chaine des Puys is a volcanic province in south-central France. Eruptions began about 150,000 years ago. The most recent eruption was about 4,040 B.C. Puy de Dome is the one of the youngest volcanic feature in the province. The most recent eruption at Puy de Dome was about 5,760 B.C. Deposits at Puy de Dome indicate that the volcano had Strombolian and Pelean type eruptions. Photograph copyrighted and provided by Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.

Volcanism began in the Massif Central of France about 20 million years ago. Compositions include basalt, andesite trachyte, and rhyolite. Volcanism far from the edges of tectonic plates, such as Chaine des Puys, is rare. Changes in the mantle may have led to volcanism at Chaine des Puys. Several lines of evidence indicate thinning of the crust and upwelling of the asthenosphere. The rising mantle "diapir" was probably a total of 30-60 miles (50-100 km) in diameter. The question has been raised if a hot spot is involved but no definitive evidence has been found.

Sources of Information:
Camus, G., and Vincent, P.M., 1973, La Chaine des Puys: Premiere Journee, p. 13-22.

Coisy, P., and Nicolas, A., 1978, Regional structure and geodynamics of the upper mantle beneath the Massif Central: Nature, v. 274, p. 429-432.

Froidevaux, C., Brousse, R., and Bellon, H., 1974, Hot spot in France?: Nature, v. 248, p. 749-751.

Hetier, J.M., Guillet, B., Brousse, R., Delibraia, G., and Maury, R.C., 1983, 14C dating of buried soils in the volcanic Chaine des Puys, France: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 46, p. 193-202.

Krafft, M., 1974, Guide des Volcans d'Europe: Neuchatel, Delachaux & Niestle, 412 p.

Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press, Tucson, Arizona, 349 p.



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