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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.
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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.]

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