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Report on Piton de la Fournaise (France) — 6 October-12 October 2010


Piton de la Fournaise

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
6 October-12 October 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Piton de la Fournaise (France). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 October-12 October 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (6 October-12 October 2010)

Piton de la Fournaise

France

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 11 October, OVPDLF reported a steady increase in the number and magnitude of volcano-tectonic earthquakes from Piton de la Fournaise since 7 October. During 10-11 October the summit area inflated 3-7 cm and an increase in the number of landslides in the crater was detected. The Alert level remained at 1 ("probable or imminent eruption").

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)