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Rano Raraku volcano, Chile photo
Rano Raraku volcano

The triangular-shaped Easter Island, renowned for its dramatic megalithic statues of hand-carved basalt, sits atop the Sala y Gomez submarine ridge, which trends eastward from the East Pacific Rise. Easter Island, also known as Isla de Pascua or Rapa Nui, forms the westernmost territory of Chile.

The island is composed of three principal volcanoes and more than 70 subsidiary vents. Rano Kau, which contains a flat-bottomed, 1-km-wide crater, and Poike volcano form the SW and east tips of the island, respectively, and are of Pleistocene age. The youngest and largest volcano, Terevaka, is a broad shield volcano of Pliocene-to-Pleistocene age at the northern leg of the triangular island, which is capped by many pyroclastic cones.

The last stage of activity consisted of eruptions from multiple rift zones extending along the axes of the island and radially from them. The latest lava flows, at Hiva-Hiva near the west-central coast, are thought to be less than 2000 years old.

PHOTO SOURCE: TurismoChile, used with permission.

NOTE: The information regarding Chile on this page is re-published from other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Chile information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Chile photos should be addressed to the copyright owner noted below the photo.

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This page was last modified 23-FEB-10
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