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(Piton: Pamplemousses district)
A Brief Description
Weather and Climate
A brief description
Barely 1865 kilometres square, the island of Mauritius is small
by any standards. Yet it has a diversity of geographical features
that makes the landscape always interesting to look at. Basically,
the island is made up of undulating uplands varying in height
from 300 metres to a maximum of 600 metres in the south. Surrounding
the uplands are mountain ranges and plains. Numerous rivers flow
to the sea fed entirely by rain fall. Last but not least, stretches
of coral sand beaches are found along part of the coast line.
Except for beaches and coral reef formation, the island is entirely of volcanic origin. Three major periods of volcanic activity resulted in the formation of the island.
The first period, called the Emergence and Older Series or the
Ancient Series, lasted from 10 million years ago to about 5 million
years ago. This period caused the emergence of the island. The
Ancient series can be further broken down into two distinct parts:
The Breccia Series from 10 million years ago to 7.8 million years
ago and the Old Series Lavas from 7.6 million years ago to 5 million
The second period called the Early Volcanic Series or Intermediate
Series lasted from 3 ½ million years ago to 1.7 million years
The third period called the Younger Series or the Recent Series lasted from 700,000 years ago to 20,000 years ago.
The geology of the island is basically basalt everywhere. But
the three main phases of volcanic activity has given rise to different
types of rock.
There are three main mountain ranges which are the Port Louis-Moka Mountain Range, the Black River - Savanne Mountain Complex and the Bambous Mountain Massif.
These mountain ranges were formed by very important lava flows
some 7 million years ago. In fact they are remnants of an ancient
shield volcano that collapsed upon itself forming a caldera. The
three mountain ranges can be seen to form a rough discontinuous
circle that encircle the central uplands and highlands. They were
the walls of this ancient shield volcano that first caused the
emergence of the island.
Proag, V. The Geology and Water Resources of Mauritius, Mahatma Gandhi Institute, 1995
Saddul, P. Mauritius, A Geomorphological Analysis, Mahatma Gandhi
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Last Update: 10th of December 1998
Date on the Web: 26th of January 1998.