Piton de la Fournaise volcano (Reunion Island, France) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 13 May-19 May 2015 (New Activity / Unrest)
OVPDLF reported that during 4-16 May the number and magnitude of earthquakes at Piton de la Fournaise increased, and inflation was detected at the base of the summit cone. Gas emissions intensified; specifically hydrogen sulfide emissions increased on 5 May after a peak of sulfur dioxide values on 3 May. A seismic crisis was detected on 17 May.
Wed, 13 May 2015, 06:0006:00 AM | BY: VN
Between 1100 and 1230 the network detected 200 volcano-tectonic events, and then at 1250 a more intense seismic crisis began. Significant deformation at the crater rim was detected and a few minutes later, at 1345, an eruption started outside and SE of Dolomieu crater in the Castle crater area. Visual confirmation occurred 15 minutes later as clouds moved away.
Volcanologists observed the area and noted lava fountains from three fissures, and two lava flows. A very large gas plume emitted during the first few hours of the eruption rose 3.6-4 km altitude and drifted NW. The fissure furthest W stopped issuing lava fountains before midnight.
On 18 May only one fissure was active and the SSW-drifting gas plume was much smaller. Hydrogen sulfide emissions continued to be high, and carbon dioxide emissions increased. Lava fountains from a single vent along the second fissure, further E, rose 40-50 m.
The lava flow had traveled 4 km, reaching an elevation of 1.1 km. Three field observations occurred on 19 May; scientists observed lava fountains 20-30 m high, and the advancing lava flow which had traveled 750 m in the previous day, reaching 1 km elevation.
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)
From: Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Piton de la Fournaise. In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 13 May-19 May 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
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