Piton de la Fournaise volcano news & updates:
Piton de la Fournaise volcano (La Réunion): increasing signs volcano might be heading for new eruption
Friday Jul 29, 2016 09:36 AM | BY: T
Number of earthquakes under Piton de la Fournaise volcano over the past weeks(OVPF)
Signs that a new eruption of the volcano in the near future could be in the making have been increasing. In a bulletin yesterday, the volcano observatory (OVPF) reported elevated seismic activity, deformation and gas emissions that are consistent with the rise of magma to shallow depths.
Swelling of Dolomieu crater (OVPF)
The recent seismic unrest began on 13 July; since then, OVPF recorded 163 shallow volcano-tectonic earthquakes (at depths within 2 km below the summit), including two swarms on 19 and 26 July, as well as 226 small collapses and rockfalls in the Dolomieu Crater.
Also since 13 July ground inflation at Dolomieu crater (swelling of the edifice caused by magma intrusion) picked up significantly. It currently continues at rates similar to those recorded before the recent eruptions of 2015 and 2016 (rates around 1 mm distance gain / day).
Last, but not least, gas measurements also show significant variations: since 21 July, a moderate increase in the average concentrations of H2S emissions has been detected from the summit - a volcanic gas released earlier than magma itself rises to the surface as the gas is very mobile and not very soluble at low pressure (shallow magma depth).
Magmatic CO2 concentrations from diffuse soil emissions in areas away from the summit have in turn dropped; this also can be explained with the shift in source from greater to shallower depths.
In short, a new eruption from Piton de la Fournaise in the near future is quite likely. The current alert level is "Phase de vigilance" (alert).
Links / Sources:
Links / Sources:
Piton de la Fournaise volcano (La Réunion): signs of unrest, volcano might be heading for new eruption
Saturday, Jul 16, 2016
The volcano is showing signs of unrest that could be (but not necessarily) precursors of a new eruption. Since the beginning of the month, shallow (0-2 km depth) volcanic earthquakes of rock-fracturing type under the Dolomieu crater (the main vent of the volcano) have been more frequent, probably caused by a new magma intrusion. ... [more]
Friday, May 27, 2016
The first eruption of the volcano in 2016 seems to have ended already - or at least paused - after little more than 24 hours. The volcano observatory reported that eruption tremor and other signs of ongoing activity stopped at 11:40 this morning. ... [more]
Thursday, May 26, 2016
A new eruption - the first in 2016 - started at the volcano this morning, around 08:05 local time when the volcano observatory registered a strong tremor signal, typical for the onset of Piton de la Fournaise's fissure eruptions. ... [more]
Tuesday, Nov 17, 2015
The alert level of the volcano was lowered today as no more eruptive activity occurred since the last phase of the latest eruption ended more than two weeks ago. ... [more]
Sunday, Nov 01, 2015
The third eruptive phase ended in the afternoon of 31 Oct, a day after it had begun. However, deep seismic activity suggests that the eruption might still not be completely over and alert level 2 is being maintained. [more]