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Ua Pou Island (Ua Pu Island), Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

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Location is approximate, based on center of defined region.
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 9° 24' South , 140° 4' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -9.40000,-140.06667
Name(s) in local language(s):Île de Ua Pou (ʻUapou), Îles Marquises (Archipel des Marquises; Te Henua (K)enana; Te Fenua `Enata), Polynésie française (Pōrīnetia Farāni)

Ua Pou (Ua Pu), located 50  km south of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas northern group, is the fifth largest island of French Polynesia (105 km2). In contrast to most other Marquesas islands, it is devoid of any caldera. Ua Pou has a diamond-shaped outline and a north–south-trending central crest, circa 600  m high, from which diverge many secondary crests separated by deep valleys. The villages of Hakahau, Hakamoui, Paaumea, Hohoi, Hakatao, Hakamaii, Haakuti and Hakahetau are located in these valleys.

Ua Pou is known for its abundant and petrologically diverse phonolites (Lacroix, 1928 and 1931; Chubb, 1930; Bishop & Woolley, 1973; Brousse, 1978; Brousse & Maury, 1978; Legendre et al., 2005).

The most spectacular features of the island are its phonolitic protrusions (Ua Pou means the Pillar Island), the summits of which tower several hundred metres above the radial crests; the four highest pillars are named Oave (1203  m), Pouakei (1034  m), Matahenua (1028  m), Poumaka (979  m), and Poutetainui (970  m). The Ua Pou volcanic edifice is made up of a thick lava pile, mostly phonolitic and basaltic, intruded by about 30 phonolitic and trachytic protrusions. Like the other Marquesas islands, Ua Pou is devoid of any coral reef or reefal limestone unit.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

18 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

0 - 66 Ma

ID: 1377614
Cenozoic volcanic rocks

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 66 Ma)

Comments: May include hypabyssal intrusions.

Lithology: Volcanic rocks

Reference: Geological Survey of Canada. Generalized geological map of the world and linked databases. doi:10.4095/195142. Open File 2915d. [18]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region

French Polynesia

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


- Lacroix A. (1928): Nouvelles observations sur les laves des îles Marquises et de l'île Tubuai (Polynésie australe). Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, 187, 397.
- Lacroix A. (1931): Les phonolites néphéliniques et leucitiques de l'île Ua Pou (Archipel des Marquises). Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, 20, 1161–1166.
- Chubb L.J. (1930): The geology of the Marquesas islands. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bullettin, 68, 1–71.
- Bishop A.C., Woolley A.R. (1973): A basalt–trachyte–phonolite series from Ua Pou, Marquesas Islands, Pacific Ocean. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 39, 309–326.
- Brousse R. (1978): Eléments d'analyses de quelques îles des Marquises: Fatu Hiva, Tahuata, Motane, Ua Pou. Cahiers du Pacifique, Volume Spécial ‘Marquises’, Fondation Singer-Polignac, Paris, pages 107–144.
- Brousse R., Maury R.C. (1978): Minéralogie d'une phonolite à grenat de l'île de Ua Pou (Marquises, Pacifique central). Bulletin de Minéralogie, 101, 3–10.
- Legendre C., Maury R.C., Caroff M., Guillou H., Cotten J., Chauvel C., Bollinger C., Hémond C., Guille G., Blais S., Rossi P., Savanier D. (2005): Origin of exceptionally abundant phonolites on Ua Pou island (Marquesas, French Polynesia): Partial melting of basanites followed by crustal contamination. Journal of Petrology, 46, (9), 1925-1962.

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