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Report on Piton de la Fournaise (France) — February 1984

Piton de la Fournaise

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 9, no. 2 (February 1984)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Piton de la Fournaise (France) Tremor declines, then eruption ends

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1984. Report on Piton de la Fournaise (France) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 9:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198402-233020

Piton de la Fournaise


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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"The eruption ended 18 February. During the previous days tremor amplitude had become irregular with periodic bursts. In the last 12 hours of the eruption, the tremor was intermittent, with bursts occurring less and less frequently. The sporadic tremor progressively died away during the afternoon of 18 February and an observation from the rim of the previously active vent brought confirmation that lava was no longer present at the bottom of the crater although it was still red hot."

Further References. Bachelery, P., 1984, L'Eruption du Piton de la Fournaise (Réunion) 12-83/02-84: Bull du Lab de Geog Phys, Univ. de la Réunion, no. 1, sommaire, p. 2-14.

Lenat, J.F., Bachelery, P., Bonneville, A., Tarrilo, P., Cheminée, J.L., and Delorme, H., The December 4, 1983 to February 18, 1984 eruption of Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion, Indian Ocean): Description and Interpretation: JVGR, in press.

Geological Summary. Piton de la Fournaise is a massive basaltic shield volcano on the French island of RĂ©union in the western Indian Ocean. 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 scarps formed at about 250,000, 65,000, and less than 5,000 years ago by progressive eastward slumping, leaving caldera-sized embayments open to the E and SE. Numerous pyroclastic cones are present on the floor of the scarps and their outer flanks. Most recorded eruptions have originated from the summit and flanks of Dolomieu, a 400-m-high lava shield that has grown within the youngest scarp, which is about 9 km wide and about 13 km from the western wall to the ocean on the E 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 outside the scarps.

Information Contacts: J. Lenat, OVPDLF.