jump to navigation

Piton de la Fournaise erupts its way into 2010 2 January 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, France, Indian Ocean, Piton de la Fournaise.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Piton de la Fournaise volcano on the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, entered a highly active phase in the autumn of 2009 which shows every sign of continuing into 2010. The new year was but a few hours old when a new eruption got under way, as the Piton de la Fournaise observatory run by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris reports:

Piton de la Fournaise volcano erupted today 2 January 2010 at 14:30 local time (GMT +4). The eruptive fissure is situated in the cliff around the Bory and Dolomieu summit craters. Some lava fountains tens of metres in height have been observed during a reconnaissance jointly carried out by the Gendarmerie Nationale (PGHM) and the Piton de la Fournaise Volcanological Observatory. During this reconnaissance, lava flows were observed flowing in the interior of Dolomieu crater. significant landslides and cliff collapses within Bory crater were also recorded. These collapses fuel eruption plumes of ash and gases that are rising above the summit craters of Piton de la Fournaise.

This eruption was preceded over two hours by a seismic crisis commencing at 12:00 local time. A small plume of volcanic gas from the eruptive zone was already observed around 12:00. After some minutes of calm, an eruptive tremor appeared on the screens of the seismological network of the observatory at 14:25.

There are some fine pictures of the eruption, headlined ‘images of the first eruption of the year’, at the website of the Journal de l’Ile de la Réunion.

[Thanks go to Boris Behncke.]

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Piton de la Fournaise – information about Piton de la Fournaise (0303-02=)
Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise – the volcanological observatory on Réunion
Volcan Piton de la Fournaise – information and frequent updates on Piton de la Fournaise from Activolcans
Fournaise.info – informative and richly-illustrated site devoted to Piton de la Fournaise

The Volcanism Blog

Eruption at Piton de la Fournaise 28 November 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, France, Indian Ocean, Piton de la Fournaise.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Piton de la Fournaise, situated on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, is a classic oceanic hotspot volcano and one of the most active volcanoes in the world: its eruptive history page at the Global Volcanism Program website lists over 170 events since 2800BC. Located in the south-east of Réunion island, Piton de la Fournaise is a huge basaltic shield volcano, rising more than 7000m from the ocean floor, and is characterized by eruptions of the ‘Hawaiian’ type, with effusive eruptions of large quantities of lava and fire fountains at the vents, and spectacular phreatic explosive activity produced by hot lava flows entering the ocean. Looking at pictures of Piton de la Fournaise in eruption gives one the feeling that Kilauea has a twin sister, separated from her by half the globe.

Piton de la Fournaise is closely monitored by the Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), which is operated by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in association with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the University of Réunion.

The current eruptive episode at Piton de la Fournaise began in August 2008 (the previous eruption having taken place more than a year earlier, March-May 2007). Seismicity was heightened between early August and the middle of September, and on 21 September lava began to erupt from a fissure within the central Dolomieu crater and began to pond in the bottom; by 25 September the OVPDLF estimated that 300,000 cubic metres of lava had been erupted. This eruption ended on 2 October, by which time the volume of lava erupted was estimated at 850,000 cubic metres. New episodes of seismic swarming were registered between 15 October and 4 November.

Current bulletins from the OVPDLF report an upsurge in activity, with a seismic crisis in the late morning of 27 November followed by the eruption of lava from the same fissures in Dolomieu crater that were involved in the 21 September eruption. Today, 28 November, the volcanic tremor is reported to have declined since the early morning, suggesting that the eruption is declining, with a phenomenon described in French as the ‘Gaz Piston’ making its appearence in the seismic record. This is usefully defined by Activolcans as ‘powerful and relatively rhythmic degassing linked to the emission of bubbles of gas with little or no emission of magma’.

News
Deuxième éruption de l’année – Clicanoo, le Journal de l’Ile de la Réunion, 28 November 2008 (French)

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Piton de la Fournaise – information about Piton de la Fournaise (0303-02=)
Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise – the volcanological observatory on Réunion
Volcan Piton de la Fournaise – information and frequent updates on Piton de la Fournaise from Activolcans
Fournaise.info – informative and richly-illustrated site devoted to Piton de la Fournaise
Stromboli Online – Piton de la Fournaise – excellent pictures and videos of the 1998 eruption

The Volcanism Blog