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Piton de la Fournaise volcano (La Réunion), eruption update: extremely high lava output

za, 7 apr 2007, 00:41

The debit of the lava flow has reached unusually high levels, as a report from the volcano observatory communicates: "...probably much higher than 100 m3 per second, a value which has not been observed at Réunion Island within the last 20 or 30 years. The national road is cut over more than 1 km."

"High values of sometimes over 300 micrograms per m3 of SO2 had been measured by the Observatoire Réunionnais de l’Air (ORA) in the western and northern part of the island.
Dust and Pele’s hair from the eruption site were observed even at 10 to 20 km away and small, mm sized grains of basalt, formed by the lava flow into the sea and transported by the steam plume (generated at the lava flow entry into the sea) were observed within 5 km of the site.

Together with the eruption, a high seismic activity is observed beneath the summit of Piton de la Fournaise between sea level and 1000 m above. This seismicity might indicate a possible pit crater formation within Dolomieu crater, due to the emptying of the magma chamber by the eruption. In the same time and due to the proximity of the rampart south, a propagation of the dyke to inhabited areas can not be excluded and the authorities prepared a possible evacuation of the population in this part of the island if ever necessary, even though no seismic events had been observed yet, indicating an eruption there."

Source: OVPF via message from T. Staudacher

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