Geography of the Meeting
SituationLocated in the Indian Ocean by 55° 3 of longitude Is and by 21° 5 of Southern latitude , above the Tropic of Capricorn, the Réunion is to 210 km of the Mauritius, to 800 km of Madagascar and with 9 200 km of Paris. It forms part, with the Mauritius and the island Rodrigues of the Archipel of the Mascareignes .
The island located in the middle of the African Plaque was born from the activity of a hot Point , thermic anomaly of the terrestrial coat, produced of 5 million years of volcanic eruptions of the Piton of Snows (3 070,5 m) then Piton of the Furnace (active - 2 631 m), whose only 1/32e of total volume emerges, being of all its weight on the oceanic crust, a “floor” in addition papered Sédiment S sailors forming a dubious base for such a building. The oceanic crust is inserted gradually, capable of a certain flexibility ( flexure lithospheric ).
Indeed, born by 4500 meters from the ocean floor and intense volcanic activity, the Piton of snows emerged here some 3 My. The island was formed around the Piton out of water, and it is at this time that the Piton of the Furnace emerged in its turn, 500.000 years ago.
After an intense activity and explosive eruptions of the two volcanos, the Piton of Snows calmed and had its last eruption here 12.000 years, but the heart remains still hot with a temperature of 200° around 2000 meters of depth; from where the hydrotermales sources of the area of Cilaos. All the volcanic history of the island is evoked with the Maison of the Volcano to Borough-Murat on the road which crosses the island, of Saint-Pierre with Saint-benoît.
TopographyThe relief of the island is very broken, particularly as soon as one moves away from the Littoral. The volcanic rock is gradually eroded by tropical precipitations. The Meeting, younger island of the Archipelago of Mascareignes in is also the culminating point with the Piton of Snows which culminates with 3 069m. Erosion dug three natural circuses in this extinct volcano: Cilaos, Mafate, Salazie . Certain villages in these circuses are not accessible by the road but only by helicopter or with foot. The remainder of the island remains very escarpé, especially in the tops where one finds many rivers and cascades which dig deep gullies with the luxuriant vegetation.
Of share the relative youth of the island, the littoral is also very broken and the ocean attacks with violence of large rocks where circulation is impossible. The badly burned person is the oriental party of the Island, zone strillée by the last great castings of lava solidified which fall until the mer. The Western littoral shelters only the Lagon of the island between Saint-Gilles and Saint-Leu. The only sand beaches white there are found.
Bathed by the trade winds of Is, one distinguishes two zones climatic :
- half of the island to the wind, is rich in cascades and green landscapes.
- the other side, under the wind, is drier, one finds the beaches and it there made beautiful there almost all the year. A great project is to bring water of the slope is towards the west.
In the same way, two seasons are felt:
- There exists a dry period , during “the southern winter” i.e. from March to September, where the weather is generally nice (16°-25°C on the coast).
- the period of the rains , in summer, from December to March (18°-33°C on the coast) is subjected in the passing of several tropical depressions.
- tropical Cyclone
- intertropical Zone
The Chief town of the island east Saint-Denis, located at the north of the island; the sub-prefectures are located at Saint-Pierre in the south, Saint-Paul in the West and Saint-Benoît in the East.
Among the other important cities, one will quote: the Plug, Saint-Louis, Saint-Andrew and the Port. Located on the west coast, the seaside resorts most famous are Saint-Gilles on the commune of Saint-Paul and Saint-Leu.
See: Common of the Meeting
Because of its relief, the Meeting counts a multitude of microclimates having supported the development of an endemic fauna and a flora. Since the island is populated, the men also brought back plants, trees and animals coming from other continents. Many comes from tropical zones like the Manguier (Asia) or the Arbre of the traveller (Madagascar) but some come from more moderate zones.
- Prickly peartree
- Tamarin the Tops
- List of the parks and gardens of the island of the Meeting
Because of its relief and of sound History, the Meeting counts a multitude of endemic animalist species, and in particular a very great number of birds.
- Liste of the species of birds of the Meeting
- Endormi Meeting
- CDrom Trees and indigenous shrubs of the Meeting ; J. - M. Sarrailh, S. Baret, E. River, T. the Middle-class man; Cirad, 2007: A tool of assistance to the recognition of almost 200 indigenous ligneous family of the island of the Meeting, and to the multiplication for some of them.
- Conservatory Botany National of Mascarin Index of the vascular flora of the Meeting
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