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Report on Piton de la Fournaise (France) — 5 October-11 October 2005

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 October-11 October 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Piton de la Fournaise (France). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 October-11 October 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (5 October-11 October 2005)


Piton de la Fournaise

France

21.244°S, 55.708°E; summit elev. 2632 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


OVPDLF reported that an eruption started at Piton de la Fournaise on 4 October at 1426 after 4 months of almost continuous inflation and increased seismicity at the volcano. The eruption was preceded by a 56-minute-long seismic crisis and strong summit inflation. The low-intensity eruption occurred at Dolomieu crater and produced pahoehoe lava flows that covered a small area of the western part of the crater.

Geologic Background. The massive Piton de la Fournaise basaltic shield volcano on the French island of RĂ©union in the western Indian Ocean is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Much of its more than 530,000-year history overlapped with eruptions of the deeply dissected Piton des Neiges shield volcano to the NW. Three calderas formed at about 250,000, 65,000, and less than 5000 years ago by progressive eastward slumping of the volcano. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the floor of the calderas and their outer flanks. Most historical eruptions have originated from the summit and flanks of Dolomieu, a 400-m-high lava shield that has grown within the youngest caldera, which is 8 km wide and breached to below sea level on the eastern side. More than 150 eruptions, most of which have produced fluid basaltic lava flows, have occurred since the 17th century. Only six eruptions, in 1708, 1774, 1776, 1800, 1977, and 1986, have originated from fissures on the outer flanks of the caldera. The Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory, one of several operated by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, monitors this very active volcano.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)