Logo link to homepage

Report on Piton de la Fournaise (France) — 20 November-26 November 2002


Piton de la Fournaise

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
20 November-26 November 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Piton de la Fournaise (France). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 November-26 November 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (20 November-26 November 2002)

Piton de la Fournaise

France

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


According to OVPDLF, the eruption that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 16 November continued through at least 26 November. During 20-26 November, visual observations were largely hampered by inclement weather. Eruptive tremor was constant on the 20th and 21st, and fluctuated on the 22nd. Tremor showed short-term variations during 23-26 November. Lava flows traveled in lava tubes between the active cone and 1,200 m elevation and traveled on the land surface at elevations between about 1,200 and 500 m.

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.

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