Sunday, 24 October 2004

2002 Eruption

The Piton de la Fournaise's most recent eruption ended on October 16th.

Here are some photos of the January 2002 eruption taken almost at sea level, where the lava had flowed down to.

seen from a distance

This particular eruption lasted twelve days, from January 5th-16th.

The photos were taken on January 27th.

The eruption started in the north-east of the Enclos Fouqué, which is one the volcano's most recent caldera and is 8 km wide.

In the photo below you can see part of the remparts on the right, which are the high cliffs forming the caldera's rim.

Reunion's volcano is over 530,000 years old.

Since the 1970s its activity has been monitored by the Piton de la Fournaise Observatory, part of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, a governmental, non-profit research and higher education establishment, dedicated to the study of earth and planetary science.

Along with Etna, Stromboli and Kilauea, La Fournaise is one of the world's most active volcanoes. There are currently 500 active and 1511 potentially active volcanoes. The Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program's definition of 'active' is those who have erupted in the last 10 000 years.

on the beach

You can find webcams and up-to-date information in English about the volcano at the Reunion Island Geological Information Center.

See here for other posts about the volcano, including a list of its most recent eruptions.

Suggested reading:

Crags and Craters: Ramblers in the Island of Réunion by William Dudley Oliver recounts the author's six month visit to Reunion in 1895 and his many hikes, to the volcano amongst other places.