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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. 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.

Information Contacts: J. Lenat, OVPDLF.