Piton de la Fournaise

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 21.244°S
  • 55.708°E

  • 2632 m
    8633 ft

  • 233020
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

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8 December-14 December 2010

On 9 December, OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise was followed by inflation of the entire summit region. Many small landslides occurred in Dolomieu crater. Later that day lava flows from two fissures on the N flank of Piton de la Fournaise, about 1 km NW of Dolomieu crater rim, traveled about 1.5 km N and NW. The next day seismicity and deformation measurements indicated that eruption of lava had stopped.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)



 Available Weekly Reports


2010: January | September | October | December
2009: January | October | November | December
2008: August | September | October | November | December
2007: January | February | March | April | May
2006: August | October | December
2005: February | October | November | December
2004: January | April | May | August | September
2003: May | June | August | October | December
2002: January | November | December
2001: March | April | June | July | October | November
2000: November


8 December-14 December 2010

On 9 December, OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise was followed by inflation of the entire summit region. Many small landslides occurred in Dolomieu crater. Later that day lava flows from two fissures on the N flank of Piton de la Fournaise, about 1 km NW of Dolomieu crater rim, traveled about 1.5 km N and NW. The next day seismicity and deformation measurements indicated that eruption of lava had stopped.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


27 October-2 November 2010

OVPDLF reported that an eruption from Piton de la Fournaise that began on 14 October from a fissure near the Château Fort crater, about 1.5 km SE of the Dolomieu crater rim, continued during 27-30 October. On 27 October steam plumes rose from the main vent (Cone 3) and lava flows were active. A sudden increase in tremor intensity was detected. The next day material was ejected from Cone 3, along with gas and steam. A small lava lake was observed in the cone, and lava flows continued to be active on the field. Tremor slightly decreased, and then significantly decreased on 29-30 October. No further tremor was recorded on 31 October and OVPDLF stated that the eruption had stopped.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


20 October-26 October 2010

OVPDLF reported that an eruption from Piton de la Fournaise that began on 14 October from a fissure near the Château Fort crater, about 1.5 km SE of the Dolomieu crater rim, continued during 19-25 October. On 19 October, explosive and degassing activity from vents along the fissure increased, but was still below the intensity noted at the beginning of the eruption. During 20-21 October small lava fountains fed lava flows that traveled as far as 2 km E and SE. Decreased gas emissions were concentrated to the S and W of the fissure. During 22-24 October fountains and gas emissions originated from one vent, and lava traveled ESE. Gas emissions decreased significantly.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


13 October-19 October 2010

OVPDLF reported that an eruption from Piton de la Fournaise began on 14 October near the Château Fort crater, about 1.5 km SE of the Dolomieu crater rim, after a seismic crisis was detected a few hours before. Lava fountaining occurred from four vents along a fissure. The Alert level was raised to 2 ("eruption in progress in the Fouqué caldera"). By 16 October, lava had traveled 1.6 km ESE, and was confined inside the Fouqué caldera. Lava fountains were 10 m high during 16-17 October and rose from two vents. On 17 October only one vent fed the lava flow. Scientists noted a reduction in tremor, a decrease in the rate of the lava flow, and less intense explosive activity and degassing. On 18 October lava was again ejected from two vents. The next day a hornito formed in the second vent and lava was ejected 5-15 m above a third vent.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


6 October-12 October 2010

On 11 October, OVPDLF reported a steady increase in the number and magnitude of volcano-tectonic earthquakes from Piton de la Fournaise since 7 October. During 10-11 October the summit area inflated 3-7 cm and an increase in the number of landslides in the crater was detected. The Alert level remained at 1 ("probable or imminent eruption").

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


29 September-5 October 2010

OVPDLF reported that on 29 September seismicity from Piton de la Fournaise remained high. Earthquakes were located at the base of the volcano, and inflation was noted particularly in the E. A significant number of landslides were detected in the crater. The Alert level remained at 1 ("probable or imminent eruption").

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


22 September-28 September 2010

Starting on 14 August and continuing through 10 September, OVPDLF recorded a slow but steady increase in the number and magnitude of earthquakes from Piton de la Fournaise. Inflation of the summit area began in late August. A report on 13 September noted localized deformation W of Dolomieu crater and a small number of landslides in the crater. On 20 September a significant increase in earthquakes was recorded, although the average magnitude was low. The earthquakes were located at the base of Piton de la Fournaise, W and S of Dolomieu crater. A seismic crisis on 24 September was characterized by several tens of earthquakes located beneath Dolomieu crater, and occurred in conjunction with 3 cm of inflation. The Alert level was raised to 1 ("Probable or Imminent Eruption").

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


6 January-12 January 2010

OVPDLF reported that during 5-7 January Piton de la Fournaise continued to erupt from a vent along a fissure high up on the SW Dolomieu crater wall. The vent produced lava fountains and flows that pooled in the bottom of the crater. On 7 January the vent closed, but the previously erupted lava continued to flow for the next few days. On 12 January, seismicity decreased and only minor gas emissions persisted.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


30 December-5 January 2010

OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise on 29 December was characterized by numerous earthquakes in the area W and NW of Dolomieu crater (max M 3), at depths of 1.1-2.2 km below the summit. Deformation was also detected. On 31 December, OVPDLF reported decreased seismicity and fewer landslides within Dolomieu crater on 30 and 31 December. On 2 January, an eruption from a fissure near the top of the W crater rim, preceded by a seismic crisis, produced lava fountains a few tens of meters high and lava flows in Dolomieu crater. Large landslides in Bory crater (W) along with the fissure eruption generated ash and gas plumes that rose above Piton de la Fournaise. During 2-3 January, seismicity and the number of landslides decreased. As of 4 January, the lava flows covered about 80 percent of the crater floor. Lava fountaining was still visible.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


9 December-15 December 2009

OVPDLF reported that on 14 December an eruption from Piton de la Fournaise was preceded by a seismic crisis and summit deformation. Sub-parallel fissures along the rim of Dolomieu crater fed lava flows on the S slope. A third fissure that also produced lava flows opened on the E flank. The lava stopped flowing during the night, after a gradual decrease. On 15 December, gas was emitted from the S and SE fractures and low-intensity tremor was detected.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


4 November-10 November 2009

OVPDLF reported that on 5 November a vent inside the S part of Piton de la Fournaise's Dolomieu crater opened, following an intense seismic crisis. Within thirty minutes, a fissure on the upper SE flank propagated E and a second fissure opened on the E flank. Lava fountains 20 m high and 'a'a lava flows were emitted from both fissures. The Alert Level was raised to 2. Lava flows ceased by the morning of 6 November; the Alert level was lowered to 1 later that day.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


14 October-20 October 2009

On 14 October, OVPDLF reported a seismic crisis from Piton de la Fournaise, with seismicity indicating deformation on the N side of Dolomieu crater and rockfalls within the crater. During 15-17 October, deformation and rockfalls continued to be detected. On 18 October, another seismic crisis was noted along with deformation on the N and S sides of Dolomieu crater. Aerial observations on 19 October revealed a small new fumarole in the crater. Changes in the chemical composition of the gases were also noted. A greater number and duration of rockfalls than in previous days was detected on 20 October.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


7 October-13 October 2009

During 5-6 October, OVPDLF reported increased seismicity from Piton de la Fournaise. A seismic crisis on 7 October prompted OVPDLF to raise the Alert Level to 1. Earthquakes were centered between the Bory and Dolomieu craters, and deformation was detected on the N side of Dolomieu. Seismicity remained above background levels during 8-13 October.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


21 January-27 January 2009

OVPDLF reported that the eruption from Piton de la Fournaise that began on 14 December 2008 was continuing on 27 January. Two vents were active; lava flowed to the bottom of Dolomieu crater through lava tubes and caused the crust from the pooled area to rise. Some incandescence was noted at night and at dawn.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


24 December-30 December 2008

OVPDLF reported that during 22-28 December lava from Piton de la Fournaise continued to issue from an active vent in the N part of Dolomieu crater, beneath "La Soufrière" and about 200 m below the crater rim. Gas plumes often reduced visibility. On 24 December, a small cone formed at the vent and occasionally produced lava fountains. During 27-28 December ten active channels were visible on the inner flanks of the crater. On 29 December, no lava was visible at the cone and lava flows were not apparent. The crater was sometimes filled with bluish gas during 29-30 December.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


17 December-23 December 2008

OVPDLF reported that during 16-23 December lava from Piton de la Fournaise continued to issue from two fissures inside Dolomieu crater and pond at the bottom of the crater.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


10 December-16 December 2008

OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise on 14 December was characterized by hundreds of earthquakes, many greater than M 2.5. On 15 December, an eruption began from two fissures inside Dolomieu crater and produced low-velocity lava flows that ponded at the bottom, covering about 20 percent of the 21 September lava flow.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


26 November-2 December 2008

OVPDLF reported that on 28 November after a period of increased seismicity Piton de la Fournaise erupted from the same vent that produced lava flows on 21 September. Lava flows issued from a fissure about halfway up the W wall of Dolomieu crater and ponded at the bottom, covering about 50 percent of the 21 September lava flow. A small quantity of Pele's hair was deposited inside Bory crater.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


29 October-4 November 2008

OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise on 31 October was characterized by hundreds of earthquakes. The Alert Level was not changed.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


15 October-21 October 2008

OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise on 20 October was located beneath the summit at an elevation of 700 m a.s.l. The crisis was accompanied by weak deformation.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


1 October-7 October 2008

OVPDLF reported that the eruption from Piton de la Fournaise that started on 21 September from the inner W wall of Dolomieu crater ended on 2 October. The total volume of erupted lava was about 850,000 cubic meters based on analysis of aerial photographs.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


24 September-30 September 2008

OVPDLF reported that during 24-30 September, lava flows from Piton de la Fournaise continued to pond at the bottom of Dolomieu crater. The lava flows issued from a fissure about halfway up the W wall of the crater. Based on air photos acquired on 25 September, the lava flow was an estimated 180 m long by 100 m wide and about 30 m deep. The erupted volume was about 300,000 cubic meters. On 26 September, lava fountaining from the fissure was no longer visible, but bubbling lava in the cone was noted.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


17 September-23 September 2008

OVPDLF reported an eruption from Piton de la Fournaise on 21 September. Lava flows issued from a fissure about halfway up the W wall of Dolomieu crater and ponded at the bottom. A strong concentration of sulfur dioxide was detected near the edge of the crater. On 22 September, Pele's hair was found scattered around the summit area and the lava flow rate decreased. This marked the first eruptive activity in the Dolomieu crater since the major collapse in April 2007 that enlarged the crater to 800 by 1,100 m wide and 340 m deep.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


10 September-16 September 2008

OVPDLF reported that small episodes of tremor from Piton de la Fournaise were recorded on 12 September. Field observations confirmed an increase in degassing from the SW part of Dolomieu crater and the presence of hydrogen sulfide. A seismic crisis was detected during 15-16 September. Numerous landslides followed the crisis, but may have also been associated with heavy rains. The Alert Level was not changed.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


3 September-9 September 2008

OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise during 8-9 September was characterized by hundreds of earthquakes. The Alert Level was not changed.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


27 August-2 September 2008

OVPDLF reported an increase of seismic activity beneath the summit of Piton de la Fournaise on 31 August. Deformation was also detected at the top of Dolomieu and, coupled with the increase in seismicity, prompted OVPDLF to raise the Alert level to 1. Public access to the summit was prohibited. On 2 September, the Alert Level was lowered because seismicity had decreased.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


13 August-19 August 2008

A small seismic crisis beneath the summit of Piton de la Fournaise lasted a little more than two and a half hours on 15 August. Deformation was also detected at the top of Dolomieu and, coupled with the increase in seismicity, prompted OVPDLF to raise the Alert level to 1. Public access to the summit was prohibited. On 18 August, the Alert Level was lowered because seismicity had decreased and deformation was no longer detected.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


6 August-12 August 2008

OVPDLF reported that a small seismic crisis beneath the summit of Piton de la Fournaise lasted about 10 minutes on 4 August. The strongest earthquake was a M 1.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


2 May-8 May 2007

OVPDLF reported that the eruption of Piton de la Fournaise ceased on 1 May. During 2-7 May, seismicity continued at and below the summit, and also indicated a large number of landslides from Dolomieu crater walls.

On 3 May, OVPDLF reported that in total, lava flows up to 30-40 m thick covered an estimated four square kilometers. The total estimated erupted volume was 120 million cubic meters, making this event one of the largest known historical eruptions of Piton de la Fournaise. Recent more accurate measurements indicated that Dolomieu crater collapsed to a depth of 350-360 m.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


25 April-1 May 2007

OVPDLF reported that the eruption of Piton de la Fournaise continued during 25-30 April. Lava flows on the Brûlé set fire to vegetation on 25 April. Tremor remained very low in intensity.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


18 April-24 April 2007

OVPDLF reported that the eruption of Piton de la Fournaise from the S-part of the Grand Brûlé continued during 18-24 April. Tremor in this area remained very low throughout the reporting period. On 22 April, a large plume was visible from where lava flows met the sea. On 23 April, abundant lava flows in Grand Brûlé traveled in lava tubes. A collapsed lava-tube ceiling resulted in the formation of a hornito.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


11 April-17 April 2007

OVPDLF reported that the eruption of Piton de la Fournaise from the S-part of Grand Brûlé continued during 11-17 April. On 12 and 13 April, strong seismicity was followed by emissions; a gray plume from the summit of Dolomieu crater drifted NW. Also on 13 April, lava fountaining increased and resulted in several broad lava flows moving towards the sea. On 14 April, projected material reached 100-200 m above the point of emission.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


4 April-10 April 2007

OVPDLF reported that on 30 March at 2300, a 9-hour eruption from the SE flank of Piton de la Fournaise produced a small lava flow. On 2 April, a fissure that opened on the S-part of Grand Brûlé also produced a lava flow that reached the sea later that day. The flow velocity was estimated at 100 cubic meters per second, a value not seen at Réunion Island within the last 20 or 30 years. Lava fountaining to 100 m was observed at the point of emission during 4-6 April. On 6 April, very liquid and fast-moving lava reached a higher velocity than on 2 April in the main channel and a'a' flows covered a broad area. Explosions and fragmentation of rock were observed at the point were the lava flows met the sea. Fine-grained particles and Pele's Hair were observed 10-20 km away and millimeter-sized grains of basalt were found within 5 km. Intense seismic activity was observed beneath the summit.

Based on aerial photographs on 7 April, an area of 1000 x 700 m of Dolomieu crater collapsed to an estimated depth of 300 m on the N side and 10 m on the NW edge; the estimated collapse volume was 50 million cubic meters. On 7 and 8 April, seismicity and the intensity of lava fountaining decreased. On 10 April, tremor decreased in frequency and two lava flows were observed, one reaching the sea.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


28 March-3 April 2007

OVPDLF reported that on 2 April lava fountains about 50 m high erupted from a fissure at Piton de la Fournaise. The NW-SE-trending fissure was located SW of Dolomieu crater and was about 1 km long.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


14 February-20 February 2007

OVPDLF reported that on 18 February a small "seismic crisis" at Piton de la Fournaise began at 1611 and lasted only a few minutes. About 20 minutes later, based on seismic interpretation, an eruption at the summit began and ended the next day at 0155. A crack across Dolomieu crater was seen during an aerial observation on 18 February.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


3 January-9 January 2007

OVPDLF reported that the eruption of Piton de la Fournaise that began on 30 August 2006 ceased on 1 January

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


13 December-19 December 2006

OVPDLF reported that the eruption of Piton de la Fournaise that began on 30 August continued during 13-19 December. Lava flows covered the entire Dolomieu crater floor to a thickness of 10-30 m and spilled over the E rim of the crater, producing flows 100-200 m in length. A lava tube formed from a 27 November overflow of the Dolomieu crater drained lava on the E flank that traveled 2.5 km, S of crater Jean.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


11 October-17 October 2006

The eruption of Piton de la Fournaise that began on 30 August continued within the Dolomieu Crater. A new cone about 20-25 m high was formed in the SE part of Dolomieu and lava flows up to 10 m thick filled up 75% of the crater floor. The E part of the crater was filled up to the rim where lava flowed over and down the flank for hundreds of meters. On 9 October, a new crater formed about 100 m SW of the first one.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


30 August-5 September 2006

A small "seismic crisis" at Piton de la Fournaise began at 1000 on 30 August. A summit eruption started from the SSE edge of Dolomieu Crater at 1135 and scientists witnessed the opening of a fissure on the crater floor. A large portion of the crater floor was covered with lava by the afternoon. A second fissure opened just outside of the crater and produced a lava flow on the E flank. On 31 August, seismicity remained high and a new cone had formed in Dolomieu Crater.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


21 December-27 December 2005

Following summit inflation that had been measured at Piton de la Fournaise since the last eruption on 29 November, a seismic crisis began beneath Dolomieu Crater on 26 December at 1444. During the next 2 hours, seismicity shifted to the NE in the direction of "Nez Coupe de Sainte Rose." A first fissure opened at 1715 at the NE base of Piton de la Fournaise. At 2200 eruptive fissures opened in the caldera wall ~500 m E of "Nez Coupe de Sainte Rose," and a lava flow traveled into the "Plaine des Osmondes." By the 28th, eruptive activity was almost constant and an aa lava flow slowly traveled in the "Grandes Brule" and had reached to within ~3 km of the national road.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


23 November-29 November 2005

OVPDLF reported that immediately after the end of the last eruption at the Dolomieu crater of Piton de la Fournaise that began on 5 October 2005, the permanent Global Positioning System (GPS) network and extensometer network at the volcano continued to show strong surface deformation, which was a precursor for a new eruptive event. On 29 November at 0559 a seismic crisis began at the volcano and at 0625 tremor indicated the beginning of an eruption. A vent opened in the western part of Dolomieu crater and another vent opened on the volcano's N flank. Very little projected volcanic material was visible. A rapid and large lava flow traveled down the N flank in the direction of Piton Kapor. Inclement weather prohibited further observations. The Toulouse VAAC reported that ash from the eruption was not visible on satellite imagery.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


5 October-11 October 2005

OVPDLF reported that an eruption started at Piton de la Fournaise on 4 October at 1426 after 4 months of almost continuous inflation and increased seismicity at the volcano. The eruption was preceded by a 56-minute-long seismic crisis and strong summit inflation. The low-intensity eruption occurred at Dolomieu crater and produced pahoehoe lava flows that covered a small area of the western part of the crater.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


23 February-1 March 2005

Contrary to reports that volcanic activity had ceased at Piton de la Fournaise on 19 February, the eruption continued through at least 25 February. After a period of low activity around the 19th, eruption tremor increased to high levels again on 21 February. Two eruption sites were active: the principal vent at 1,600-m elevation above the Plaine des Osmondes, and a vent at about 1,200-m elevation in the Plaine des Osmondes. The principal vent released a volcanic plume and several pahoehoe lava flows, but no lava fountains were visible. The second vent also released a very fluid pahoehoe lava flow. The lava flows covered a large area within the Plaine des Osmondes, and smaller lava flows traveled to about 600-m elevation in the Grand Brûlé.

On 24 February, shallow seismicity began beneath Dolomieu crater. It increased over time and by the 26th several hundreds of seismic events up to M 3 occurred. According to OVPDLF, these events may have indicated the possibility of a new pit crater forming within Dolomieu crater. On the 24th, visible signs of volcanic activity stopped within the Plaine des Osmondes, while eruption tremor slowly increased.

On the evening of 25 February, a lava flow from Plaine des Osmondes traveled down the Grandes Pentes, cutting the national road on its way to the sea. The lava flow covered a distance of ~5 km in about 2 hours. At the same time, seismicity on the North East rift zone above "Bois Blanc" appeared and a new vent opened within the "Trou de Sable" on the northern border of the "enclose" at 450-m elevation. This lava flow stopped about 100 m from the national road.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


16 February-22 February 2005

A new period of heightened seismic activity began at Piton de la Fournaise on 17 February around 1300, consisting of about 100 seismic events within 90 minutes. After that, the number of events decreased, but recommenced at 1638 with several hundreds of events. Strong deformation was recorded at the same time by tiltmeters and the extensometer network. Eruption tremor began around 2035, becoming strong at 2050. The eruption site seemed to be situated close to Nez Coupé de Sainte Rose (on the N side of the volcano), and lava flows were observed in the Grand Brûlé area. According to a news report, the eruption ended on 19 February.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), European Volcanological Society (SVE)


29 September-5 October 2004

The main recent eruption phase at Piton de la Fournaise began on 13 August 2004 and stopped on 2 September. It was followed by two minor phases from the main vent on the volcano's E flank; these, in turn, ceased on 3 October around 0300.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


1 September-7 September 2004

According to the Toulouse VAAC, a new eruptive episode began at Piton de la Fournaise on 4 September from a vent at sea level, near the town of St. Philippe on Réunion Island's SE side. Ash fell near the volcano's summit. A lava flow entering the sea produced a steam-and-ash plume that rose ~2.1 km a.s.l. Emissions ceased the morning of 7 September.

Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


25 August-31 August 2004

According to the Société Volcanologique Européenne website, the eruption that began at Piton de la Founaise on 13 August continued through 31 August. The main lava flow entered the sea, building a large lava bench.

Source: Société Volcanologique Européenne


18 August-24 August 2004

Based on a news article, Société Volcanologique Européenne reported that the eruption that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 13 August continued through 20 August. Lava flowed N of Piton Madore.

Source: Société Volcanologique Européenne


11 August-17 August 2004

An eruption began at Piton de la Fournaise on 13 August after an increase in seismicity during 9-11 August. On the 13th, fissures that opened on the upper part of the Dolomieu crater emitted 2- to 3-km-long lava flows that traveled toward the sea.

Source: Société Volcanologique Européenne


4 August-10 August 2004

Seismicity and ground deformation that began to increase at Piton de la Fournaise in late June continued through 9 August. On the 9th, the seismic network recorded 50-70 low-intensity earthquakes. OVPDLF reported that this activity may be a precursor to an eruption in the next few days to weeks.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


19 May-25 May 2004

The eruptive episode that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 2 May stopped on 18 May. This followed 2 days of high eruptive activity when numerous pahoehoe lava flows and Pele's hair were produced. Around 1550 on the 18th the amount of eruption tremor decreased, completely stopping at 1615 and signaling the eruption's end.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


12 May-18 May 2004

The eruption that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 2 May continued through 15 May. After 2 days of low activity, eruption tremor increased by about a factor of 3 on the morning of 15 May. Lava flows followed the S border of Enclos Fouqué caldera and flowed down the Grandes Pentes area.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


28 April-4 May 2004

A new seismic event began at Piton de la Fournaise on 2 May at 1903, following one month of relatively high seismic activity at the volcano (with 10-30 earthquakes per day and two minor seismic crises) and continuous inflation at the summit. At 1936, eruption tremor began. The high intensity of tremor near Bory crater indicated that an eruption probably started within or very close to the crater. The Toulouse VAAC warned aircraft to be cautious in the airspace near the volcano.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


7 January-13 January 2004

On 7 January at 0930 a seismic event started beneath Piton de la Fournaise and significant surface deformation was recorded. This event was different from past seismic events because it lasted for ~40 hours, while the hypocenters migrated to the NE. On 9 January eruption tremor started near Nez Coupé de Sainte Rose. A 300-m-long fissure, cutting the 1931 crater, produced a small ~2-km-long lava flow. The eruption stopped on 10 January around 1200.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Agence France-Presse (AFP)


10 December-16 December 2003

As of 16 December, significant seismicity continued at Piton de la Fournaise. Hikers were only permitted limited access to the volcano due to the possibility of further volcanic activity.

Sources: Fournaise.info, Clicanoo - Le Journal de l'Ile de la Reunion


3 December-9 December 2003

Following around an hour of seismicity an eruption began on 7 December at 1535 in Piton de la Fournaise's Dolomieu crater. Lava fountaining to tens of meters was observed from two fractures on the SE crater floor. Two new fractures were also observed on the S crater rim that did not produce lava. The eruption decreased rapidly over the night of 7-8 December. By 8 December at ~1400 small incandescent lava flows and rock fall on the S crater wall were observed. By the night of 8 December the eruption ceased but strong degassing and fluctuating seismicity continued. New lava covered ~40% of the floor of Dolomieu crater. The eruption was preceded by a seismic swarm on 6 November that was followed by ~30 cm of steady uplift and 10-20 earthquakes recorded per day.

Sources: Fournaise.info, Clicanoo - Le Journal de l'Ile de la Reunion, Clicanoo - Le Journal de l'Ile de la Reunion


1 October-7 October 2003

A seismic swarm began at Piton de la Fournaise on 30 September at 2225 about 2 km beneath the SW area of Dolomieu crater. At 2330 eruption tremor began beneath the volcano's SSW flank. Then, a 400-m-long fissure opened at an elevation of ~2,350 m. Eruption tremor peaked on 1 October at 0100, began to decline at 0200, and ceased at 1300.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


27 August-2 September 2003

An eruption that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 22 August, stopped suddenly on 27 August at 2152. During the last 36 hours of activity, there was an increase in tremor intensity and lava emission. Afterwards, numerous long-period earthquakes were recorded.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), News.com.au - News Limited


20 August-26 August 2003

Following 5 months of slow inflation at Piton de la Fournaise and a series of eruptions during May to July, a new period of heightened seismicity began beneath Dolomieu crater on 23 August at 1848. The first fissure opened in Bory crater around 2120, and the second fissure opened at 2210 on the N flank at about 2,450 m altitude. Both fissures were active for short periods of time. The final fissure opened at 2330 around 2,200 m altitude on the N flank. A lava flow traveled into Plaine des Osmondes.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


25 June-1 July 2003

After ceasing for a few days, eruptive activity recommenced at Piton de la Fournaise on 21 June around 2330. Tremor was sometimes recorded at Dolomieu crater and lava flows were emitted from the crater. Volcanism continued through at least 28 June.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


11 June-17 June 2003

The second phase of an eruption that began on 30 May in the Dolomieu crater of Piton de la Fournaise ended on 6 June. Numerous seismic events were recorded during the following days until the morning of 12 June. On 13 June at 0308 eruption tremor again began within Dolomieu crater, marking the beginning of the third phase of the eruption. Eruptive activity resumed in the same area as the previous two phases. By 15 June no tremor was recorded, possibly marking the end of the third phase.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


4 June-10 June 2003

Tremor resumed at Piton de la Fournaise on 2 June, one day after the 30 May eruption ceased. An eruption began midday on 4 June, with lava emitted from the same place as the 30 May eruption and lava fountains rising ~15 m above the ground surface. By 5 June lava had traveled N inside Dolomieu crater, then E reaching ~500 m in length and 300 m in width. Tremor ceased on 8 June, marking the end of the eruption.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


28 May-3 June 2003

An eruption began at Piton de la Fournaise on 30 May around 1155 at Dolomieu crater in the area where the December 2002 collapse occurred. The eruption was preceded by a slight increase in seismicity on 28 May, which included a small seismic swarm. Another swarm took place on the morning of 30 May, and at 1155 tremor began beneath Dolomieu crater. Then the eruption began, producing a lava flow that reached a length of ~400 m and a width of 250 m in the western part of Dolomieu crater. In addition, lava fountaining was observed until ~1400, after which most surface activity ceased. By 1 June at 1000 no tremor was recorded, marking the end of the eruption.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


18 December-24 December 2002

OVPDLF reported on 19 December that after effusive activity stopped on 3 December very strong seismicity was recorded with more than 1,000 earthquakes occurring per day. The earthquakes were located a few hundred meters below Dolomieu crater. OVPDLF stated that crater collapse is possible.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


4 December-10 December 2002

Lava emissions from Piton de la Fournaise that had begun on 16 November ended on 3 December. Permanent tremor decreased significantly that day, although seismic events beneath the summit continued at a rate of one a minute. Sesimicity continued to decline over the next 2 days. Poor weather conditions prevented helicopter observations during 3-5 December. Inspection on 6 December revealed some areas of collapse between Bory and Dolomieu craters and white fumes that were released from a new cone named Guanyin. There was no evidence of surface activity coincident with larger seismic events that occurred while scientists from OVPDLF were on the edge of Dolomieu crater.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


27 November-3 December 2002

The eruption that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 16 November continued during 29 November to 3 December. On 29 November eruptive tremor increased by a factor of two, with 89 events recorded that day. On the 30th, 329 seismic events were recorded that were all located about 1 km a.s.l. beneath Dolomieu crater. A lava flow in the Grand Brûlé area approached the national road, crossing it around 2300. By about 0500 on 1 December the lava flow had reached the sea. At this time almost constant seismicity occurred at Piton de la Fournaise, with more than 1,500 earthquakes up to M 2.8 recorded. Eruption tremor was stable. Numerous long-period earthquakes were also recorded, indicating the presence of magma beneath the summit. On the morning of 2 December seismicity increased by about a factor of about three, and decreased the next day.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


20 November-26 November 2002

According to OVPDLF, the eruption that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 16 November continued through at least 26 November. During 20-26 November, visual observations were largely hampered by inclement weather. Eruptive tremor was constant on the 20th and 21st, and fluctuated on the 22nd. Tremor showed short-term variations during 23-26 November. Lava flows traveled in lava tubes between the active cone and 1,200 m elevation and traveled on the land surface at elevations between about 1,200 and 500 m.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


13 November-19 November 2002

After 3 months of high seismicity at Piton de la Fournaise and three small seismic crises, a strong seismic crisis with several hundreds of earthquakes started on 15 November at 2336. The earthquakes were accompanied by large deformation at the summit of up to 300 microradians. An eruption began on the 16th at 0433 with the appearance of eruption tremor on the volcano's E flank around 1,900 m-elevation. Fissures opened on the volcano's E flank between elevations of 1,900 and 1,600 m and lava flowed down the E flank. A small cone formed on one of the most active fissures around 1,600 m elevation.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


16 January-22 January 2002

After 12 days of activity the eruption that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 5 January ended on 16 January. The eruption's end was marked by a sudden, large decrease in lava emission at 1610 and the termination of eruption tremor at 1910. After the eruption ended a large number of long-period earthquakes were recorded below the summit and Plaine des Osmondes, indicating the continued presence of magma beneath the NE rift zone.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


9 January-15 January 2002

The eruption that began at Piton de la Fournaise on 5 January, continued through 15 January. There was a decrease in tremor during 7-11 January, with as few as 8 small earthquakes recorded per day at about 1-km depth. On 12 January tremor increased by a factor of two in comparison to the previous day and earthquakes were recorded about 4 km beneath the Plaine des Osmondes, near the N caldera wall. During the evening of 12 January, a new fissure opened at the base of the rampart in the lower part of the Plaine des Osmondes. Lava flowed from the fissure down into the Grand Brûlé close to the northern rampart. On 14 January lava flowed across the National Highway on its way to the ocean, entering it at 1540. By 15 January tremor was stable and about 100 earthquakes were recorded over a 24-hour period on the N side of the volcano. At 0600 a swarm of low-frequency earthquakes began near Bois-Blanc, a village on the island's E coast, NE of Plaine des Osmondes.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Clicanoo - Le Journal de l'Ile de la Reunion


2 January-8 January 2002

Following several months of precursory activity an eruption began at Piton de la Fournaise on 5 January at 2300. Increased seismicity was recorded about a week before the start of the eruption; there were 17, 49, 62, and 70 earthquakes recorded on 26, 27, 29, and 30 December, respectively. The earthquakes were mainly located N of Dolomieu Crater at depths of 0.5-1.5 km with a maximum magnitude of 2.2. Inflation was recorded on 28 December and extensometers at Magnes and Châeau Fort recorded 0.28-mm-wide cracks on 31 December. The eruption that began on 5 January consisted of fire fountaining and lava flowing from four cracks that opened in the NE part of l'Enclos Fouqué caldera. By 6 January only two cracks remained active and lava flows reached ~1,100 m elevation. On 7 and 8 January tremor strongly decreased, but other seismicity persisted.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


7 November-13 November 2001

Increased seismicity and deformation at Piton de la Fournaise occurred for about 6 weeks prior to 12 November. On 5 November a seismic crisis occurred when 129 earthquakes were recorded that day. The earthquake's hypocenters were located 0.6-2 km under Bory crater. As of 12 November, approximately 30-50 earthquakes occurred per day, and slight swelling had been recorded at the summit.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


10 October-16 October 2001

Relatively high seismic activity originally detected in early September continued through 16 October, with about 16 earthquakes detected per day for approximately 3 weeks. The summit tiltmeter showed that slight inflation occurred, and extensometer stations at the N and S bases confirmed inflation by slight but constant fissure openings. Extensometer variations were about 3 to 4 times smaller than observed for previous eruptions. The volcano was at Alert Level 1.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


3 October-9 October 2001

OVPDLF reported that beginning in early September an increase in seismic activity was detected at Piton de la Fournaise, with ~10 seismic events per day. Beginning in early October seismic activity further increased with up to 20 events per day. Slight tilt variations detected S of Dolomieu Crater occurred simultaneously with the opening of fissures at two stations on the N and S flanks. The opening of the fissures indicated slight inflation at the summit. Piton de la Fournaise last erupted during June and July 2001.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


4 July-10 July 2001

The eruption that started on 11 June stopped on 7 July after 1 week of increased tremor. On 3 July tremor and the intensity of local earthquakes increased. The earthquakes had magnitudes less than 3 and were located under Dolomieu crater at a depth near sea level. On 6 and 7 July two aa lava flows in the Grand Brûlé area crossed the national highway. On 7 July the end of the eruption was marked by the disappearance of the tremor and a dramatic decrease in the intensity of local earthquakes.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


27 June-3 July 2001

Since 22 June constant tremor occurred that was associated with the eruption that began on 11 June. On 1 July an increase in tremor that occurred for about one hour was accompanied by strong degassing at a cone and a large amount lava emission. On 29 June new lava flows were observed in the Grand Brûlé area travelling to the N. By 2 July several dozen small flows were visible.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


20 June-26 June 2001

Tremor associated with the eruption that began on 11 June at Piton de la Fournaise continued under the volcano's E flank. Lava fountains were visible at two vents; at one vent strong degassing occurred, while at the other vent a boiling lava lake occasionally overflowed, sending lava flows towards the NE.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


13 June-19 June 2001

Tremor associated with an eruption that began on 11 June had weakened by 16 June. The same day a fissure located on the E flank at the S base of crater Signal de l'Enclos at 1,800 m altitude was intensely active. In an area near the active fissure a cone began to form and lava fountains rose up to 30 m above the surface.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


6 June-12 June 2001

Continuous extensometer and inclinometer variations have occurred since the beginning of April, and increased seismic activity has been recorded since the end of May. A short seismic crisis with 126 recorded events started at Piton de la Fournaise on 11 June 2001 at 1327. At 1350 extensometer variations indicated that a new eruption had started on the ESE flank, in the same area as the previous eruption on 27 March 2001. En echelon fissures started at about 2,500 elevation on the S flank, 200 m below the Dolomieu summit caldera. More fissures were located between 2,000 and 1,800 m elevation on the E flank at the southern base of crater Signal de l'Enclos and N of the Ducrot crater. Several lava flows descended the Grand Brûlé but their progression was very slow; at 1700 the front of the lava flow was still located at an elevation of 1,450 m. On the morning of 12 June, only the lower fissure at 1,800 m elevation was still active. It was ~200 m long, with several lava fountains 20-30 m high. The lava flow followed the northern border of the 27 March eruption and reached about 400 m elevation in the Grand Brûlé.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


4 April-10 April 2001

The OVPDLF reported that the eruption that began at 1329 on 27 March ended on 4 April. During the eruption a ~ 2-km-long system of ESE-trending en-echelon fissures formed in an area 50 m below the S rim of the Dolomieu summit crater. The upper fissure was active for a few hours. The main eruption was focused on the ESE flank of the volcano, only 200 m N of the preceding October 2000 eruption. Aa flows approximately 5.5 and 2 km long traveled down the SE flank of the volcano. After one week of activity the eruption stopped following about 100 gas piston events at 0700 on 4 April.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


28 March-3 April 2001

The OVPDLF reported that after high seismic activity began at the end of January a final crisis started at Piton de la Fournaise at 1255 on 27 March. At 1320 an eruption began on the ESE flank of the volcano, with five "en-echelon" fissures. The final fissure is located at ~580 m in elevation and 200 m N of Morgabim crater, which was formed during the October 2000 eruption.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


21 March-27 March 2001

The OVPDLF reported that an eruption began in Dolomieu Crater at 1130 on 27 March. Additional details are not yet available, but inspection of photographs (http://www.ipreunion.com/) shows a fissure eruption, fountaining, and lava flows.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), Imaz Press Reunion


14 March-20 March 2001

The OVPDLF reported that instrumental measurements suggest that Piton de la Fournaise may be entering a phase of heightened activity. Periods of increased seismic activity were recorded in late January with up to 13 earthquakes per day, in late February to early March with up to 126 earthquakes per day, and from 10 March until at least 15 March with up to 20 earthquakes per day. Inflation was detected at the volcano's summit from mid-January to early February, and from the end of February to early March. Since mid-January a continuous opening of fissures was recorded at the N and S bases of the volcano, indicating inflation of the summit area. Similar variations in activity were observed before eruptions on the E and S flanks of the volcano in 1999 and 2000.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


15 November-21 November 2000

The OVPDLF reported that high amplitude tremor that occurred for about a week abruptly stopped at 1845 on 13 November, probably marking the end of the eruption. However, due to the recent seismic activity the volcano is being closely observed for signs of future eruptions.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


8 November-14 November 2000

According to OVPDLF, the eruption that began on 12 October at Piton de la Fournaise continued through 13 November. A new cone named "Piton Morgabim" developed in the beginning of November and on 8 November a 10- to 15-km-diameter lava lake formed, which had intense degassing and heavy lava fountaining. During the course of the eruption, 4.5-km-long lava flows formed E of the volcano in the "Grand Brûlé" area, and ~2-km-long lava flows issued from "Piton Morgabim."

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)


Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2010 Oct 14 2010 Dec 10 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations 2.5 km SE and 1 km NW of Dolomieu
2009 Nov 5 2010 Jan 12 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Dolomieu crater and east flank
2008 Sep 21 2009 Feb 4 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Dolomieu crater
2006 Jul 20 2007 May 1 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Dolomieu, S, E, and SE flanks
2005 Oct 4 2006 Jan 18 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Dolomieu, N and NE flanks
2005 Feb 17 2005 Feb 26 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations North side of caldera (1600, 1200, & 450 m)
2004 May 2 2004 Oct 16 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations SSW of Bory, Dolomieu and east flank
2003 May 30 2004 Jan 10 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Dolomieu, Bory, N, NW, and SSW flanks
2002 Nov 16 2002 Dec 3 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations East flank of Dolomieu (1850-1540 m)
2002 Jan 5 2002 Jan 16 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations NE part of l'Enclos Fouqué caldera
2001 Jun 11 2001 Jul 7 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations ESE flank (2500 m), East flank (1800-2000 m)
2001 Mar 27 2001 Apr 4 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations South flank (below Dolomieu at ~2500 m)
2000 Jun 23 2000 Nov 13 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations SE flank (2100-1800 m), E flank (2260-2000 m)
2000 Feb 14 2000 Mar 4 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations North flank of Dolomieu (2490-2250 m)
1999 Jul 19 1999 Oct 23 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Dolomieu, E (2500-2100) &S flanks (1900 m)
1998 Mar 9 1998 Sep 20 (?) Confirmed 1 Historical Observations N and WSW of Dolomieu, outer N flank
1992 Aug 27 1992 Sep 23 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Dolomieu and upper SE flank
1991 Jul 19 1991 Jul 20 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Dolomieu and upper east flank
1990 Jan 18 1990 May 8 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Dolomieu and SE flank
1985 Jun 14 1988 Dec 29 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Dolomieu and flanks, SE rift zone
1983 Dec 4 1984 Feb 18 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations SSW flank of Dolomieu (2110-2300 m)
1981 Feb 3 1981 May 5 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bory, SW, N & NE of Dolomieu
1979 May 28 1979 Jul 14 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations SE, SW and N flanks, Dolomieu & Bory
1977 Oct 24 1977 Nov 17 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations ENE flank (2050-2200 m, 1850-1920 m)
1977 Mar 24 1977 Apr 16 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations NE and SE of Dolomieu, NE rift zone
1976 Nov 2 1976 Nov 4 (?) Confirmed 1 Historical Observations North of Dolomieu (2250-2330 m)
1975 Nov 4 1976 Apr 6 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Dolomieu and SE flank (1320-2350 m)
1973 May 10 1973 Sep 5 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu (SSW wall)
1972 Jun 9 (?) 1973 Jan 16 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations South, ENE, north and SE of Dolomieu
1966 Mar 15 1966 May 15 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations SE flank (Cratere Maillard, 2400 m)
1964 Dec 21 1965 Feb 15 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations East flank (1930 m)
1964 Apr 30 1964 May 8 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu, upper east and NE flanks
1963 Nov 7 1963 Nov 21 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu, upper east flank (2410 m)
1961 Apr 5 1961 Apr 25 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations NE flank (east of Cratère Picard)
1960 Jan 11 1960 Mar 10 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bory, south flank (2030 m)
1959 Mar 11 1959 Aug 6 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bory
1958 May 30 1958 Sep 20 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu
1957 Sep 2 1957 Nov 16 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bory, N of Bory, NE of Dolomieu
1955 Jul 6 1957 Mar 16 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu, Bory, S, SE & ESE flanks
1954 Jan 1954 Dec Confirmed   Historical Observations
1953 Mar 13 1953 Jul 8 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations South, NW & N flanks, Dolomieu, Bory
1952 May 19 1952 Jul 20 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations NE flank near north rim (1500 m)
1951 Sep 10 1951 Sep 20 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1951 Jun ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0   North part of Grand Brule
1950 Aug 30 1950 Sep 5 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations SE of Bory
1950 Feb 25 1950 Apr 2 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations South flank (2080 m)
[ 1949 Oct ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
1948 Feb 14 1948 Mar 8 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations South flank (le Chateau Fort)
1947 (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu, Grand Brule
1946 Jun 18 1946 Jul 5 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu crater and upper flanks
1945 Apr 15 1945 May 6 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations SE flank near Nez Coupe du Tremblet
1944 Apr 11 1944 May 1 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1943 Mar 30 (?) 1943 May 26 ± 5 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations SE of Dolomieu, lower Grandes Pentes
1942 Oct 5 1942 Oct 25 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bory, rim of Dolomieu
1941 (?) Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1938 Dec 7 1939 Jan 15 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations ESE and SW flanks, Dolomieu
1938 Jul 25 1938 Jul 29 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1937 Aug 13 1937 Nov 25 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bory, flanks of Bory and Dolomieu
1936 Sep Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Near 1933 crater
1935 (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1933 Jun 7 1934 Apr 1 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu, upper and SE flanks
1932 Nov 1932 Nov Confirmed   Historical Observations
1931 Jan 22 1931 Aug 26 ± 5 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Summit, NE flank (Cratère Haug)
1930 May 23 1930 May 24 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1929 Dec 23 1929 Dec 31 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1926 Sep 18 1927 Jun 15 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations North flank
1925 Dec 30 1926 Apr 20 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1924 Sep 3 1924 Sep 13 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1924 May 19 1924 May 23 (in or after) Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1921 Nov 27 1921 Dec 3 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1920 Jun 28 1920 Oct 18 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1917 Apr 29 1917 Apr 29 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations NE flank (above Piton de Crac)
1915 Jul 22 1915 Nov 21 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Summit, N and NE of Crater Velain
1913 Jul 10 1913 Aug 3 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1910 Nov 16 1910 Dec 12 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1909 Apr Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations East of Cratère Faujas
[ 1908 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0  
1907 Nov 29 1907 Dec 5 ± 4 days Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1905 Feb 15 1905 Feb 16 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1904 Aug 19 1904 Oct 17 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations NE flank (above Piton de Crac)
1903 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1902 Aug 13 1902 Aug 18 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1901 Jul 4 1901 Jul 6 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations NE flank (above Piton de Crac)
1901 Feb 21 1901 Feb 25 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations East of Dolomieu
1900 May 11 1900 May 30 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations East of Dolomieu
1899 Feb 13 1899 Jul 18 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1898 Nov 26 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1898 Jan 14 1898 Jan 20 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1897 Jan 5 ± 4 days 1897 Jan 24 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1894 Aug Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1890 Feb 1891 Feb 4 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Summit, Grandes Pentes
1889 Jun 1889 Aug 11 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Grandes Pentes and summit
1884 Feb 4 1884 Feb 5 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
[ 1882 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0  
1878 Mar 14 1878 Mar 30 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1876 Dec 11 1876 Dec 11 (?) Confirmed   Historical Observations
1875 Nov 26 1875 Dec 11 (?) Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1874 Jun 29 1874 Nov 7 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1874 Feb 1 ± 30 days Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
[ 1872 Feb 1 ± 30 days ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0  
1871 Jun 21 1871 Jul 5 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
[ 1870 Feb 1 ± 30 days ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0  
1869 (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1868 Mar Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1865 Feb 5 1865 Feb 10 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1863 Dec 20 1864 Jan 29 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1861 Mar 19 1861 Mar 19 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Brulant
1860 Jan 22 1860 Mar 20 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu and l'Enclos
1859 May 8 1859 May 23 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1858 Nov 3 1859 Jan Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1852 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Brulant
1851 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Brulant, l'Enclos Velain
1850 Nov 3 1850 Nov 12 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1849 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1848 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1847 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1846 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1845 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1844 Dec Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1844 Mar 19 1844 May 11 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Summit and Piton de Crac
1843 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1842 Apr Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1832 Mar Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations L'Enclos and NE rift zone
1830 Oct Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Cratere Faujas
1824 Dec Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1824 Feb Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1821 Feb 27 1821 Apr 10 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1820 Jan 1820 Feb Confirmed 2 Historical Observations NW rift zone
1817 Jan 1817 Apr Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1816 Dec 15 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1815 Aug 15 1815 Aug 16 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Summit and Plaine des Osmondes
1815 Jan 21 1815 Jan 27 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1814 Sep 10 1814 Oct 13 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1813 Sep 26 1813 Nov 26 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1812 Aug 5 ± 4 days 1812 Dec Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Summit and above Piton de Crac
1810 Nov 20 1810 Nov 28 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1809 Jul 17 1809 Aug 8 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1807 Mar 23 1807 Jun 13 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1802 Dec Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1801 Oct 27 1802 Apr 28 ± 7 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Mammelon Central
1800 Nov 2 1800 Nov 8 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations SE rift zone
1797 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1795 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
1794 Jan 1794 Jan Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1792 Dec 19 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1791 Jun 5 ± 4 days 1791 Jul 27 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Dolomieu, Mamelon Central ?
1789 Jun 1789 Jul Confirmed 2 Historical Observations East side of summit cone and Bory crater
1787 Jun 14 1787 Aug 1 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Bory
1786 Jun 5 (?) 1786 Aug 4 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1784 1785 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1776 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations SE rift zone (Piton Takamaka)
1775 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations East side of summit cone
1774 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations SE rift zone
1772 Nov 18 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1772 Feb Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1771 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
1768 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Formica Leo
1766 Mar 1766 May 26 ± 5 days Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1760 Dec 15 1760 Dec 29 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations East flank
1759 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
1753 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1751 Jun 1751 Jun Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1734 Dec 1734 Dec Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1734 Jan 1 1734 Mar 6 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1733 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations L'Enclos and NE rift zone
1721 Jun Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1709 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1708 Apr 1708 Apr Confirmed 0 Historical Observations NE rift zone
1703 (in or before) 1705 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1672 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1671 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1669 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1649 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1640 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1600 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (corrected) S rift zone (Piton Taye Poule)
1440 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (corrected) Upper NW flank (Petit Cratère)
1340 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (corrected) South rift zone (Brulé du Baril)
0960 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (corrected) Upper W flank (Piton Chisny)
0600 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (corrected) Upper NW flank (Piton Gîte)
0460 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0120 (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (corrected) Upper NW flank (Cratère Commerson)
1790 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
2700 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 5 Radiocarbon (corrected) Bellecombe Ash Member
2800 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Abchir A M, Semet M P, Boudon G, Ildefonse P, Bachelery P, Clocchiatti R, 1998. Huge hydrothermal explosive activity on Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island: the Bellecombe Member, 2700 BC. In: Casale R, Fytikas M, Sigvaldasson G, Vougioukalakis G (eds), The European laboratory volcanoes, Proc 2nd Workshop, Santorini, Greece 2-4 May 1996, European Comm, p 447-455.

Albarede F, Tamagnan V, 1988. Modelling the recent geochemical evolution of the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano, Reunion Island, 1931-1986. J Petr, 29: 997-1030.

Battaglia J, Aki K, Ferrazzini V, 2005. Location of tremor sources and estimation of lava output using tremor source amplitude on the Piton de la Fournaise volcano 2. Estimation of lava output. J Volc Geotherm Res, 147: 291-308.

Carter A, van Wyk de Vries B, Kelfoun K, Bachelery P, Briole P, 2007. Pits, rifts and slumps: the summit structure of Piton de la Fournaise. Bull Volc, 69: 741-756.

Coppola D, Staudacher Th, Cigolini C, 2005. The May-July 2003 eruption at Piton de la Fournaise (La Reunion): volume, effusion rates, and emplacement mechanisms inferred from thermal imaging and Global Positioning System (GPS) survey. In: Manga M, Ventura G (eds) Kinematics and dynamics of lava flows, {Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap}, 396: 103-124.

Duffield W A, Stieltjes L, Varet J, 1982. Huge landslide blocks in the growth of Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion, and Kilauea volcano, Hawaii. J Volc Geotherm Res, 12: 147-160.

Fretzdorff S, Paterne M, Stoffers P, Ivanova E, 2000. Explosive activity of the Reunion Island volcanoes through the past 260,000 years as recorded in deep-sea sediments. Bull Volc, 62: 266-277.

Gillot P-Y, Nativel P, 1989. Eruptive history of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, Reunion Island, Indian Ocean. J Volc Geotherm Res, 36: 53-65.

Lenat J-F, Boivin P, Deniel C, Gillot P-Y, Bachelery P, Fournaise 2 Team, 2009. Age and nature of deposits on the submarine flanks of Piton de la Fournaise (Reunion Island). J Volc Geotherm Res, 184: 199-207.

Lenat J-F, Vincent P, Bachelery P, 1989. The off-shore continuation of an active basaltic volcano: Piton de la Fournaise (Reunion Island, Indian Ocean); structural and geomorphological interpretation from SEABEAM mapping. J Volc Geotherm Res, 36: 1-36.

Longpre M-A, Staudacher T, Stix J, 2007. The November 2002 eruption at Piton de la Fournaise volcano, La Reunion Island: ground deformation, seismicity, and pit crater collapse. Bull Volc, 69: 511-525.

Malengreau B, Lenat J-F, Froger J-L, 1999. Structure of Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) inferred from the interpretation of gravity anomalies. J Volc Geotherm Res, 88: 131-146.

Michon L, Cayol V, Letourneur L, Peltier A, Villeneuve N, Staudache T, 2009. Edifice growth, deformation and rift zone development in basaltic setting: Insights from Piton de la Fournaise shield volcano (Reunion Island). J Volc Geotherm Res, 184: 14-30.

Michon L, Staudacher T, Ferrazzini V, Bachelery P, Marti J, 2007. April 2007 collapse of Piton de la Fournaise: a new example of caldera formation. Geophys Res Lett, 34: L21301, doi:10.1029/2007GL031248.

Montaggioni L, Nativel P, Billard G, 1972. L'activite actuelle du Piton de la Fournaise (Ile de la Reunion, Ocean Indien). CR Acad Sci Paris, Ser-D, 275: 2615-2618.

Neumann van Padang M, 1963a. Arabia and the Indian Ocean. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 16: 1-64.

Oehler J-F, Labazuy P, Lenat J-F, 2004. Recurrence of major flank landslides during the last 2-Ma history of Reunion Island. Bull Volc, 66: 585-598.

Oehler J-F, Lenat J-F, Labazuy P, 2008. Growth and collapse of the Reunion Island volcanoes. Bull Volc, 70: 717-742.

Peltier A, Bachelery P, Staudacher T, 2009. Magma transport and storage at Piton de La Fournaise (La Reunion) between 1972 and 2007: a review of geophysical and geochemical data. J Volc Geotherm Res, 184: 93-108.

Sigmarsson O, Condomines M, Bachelery P, 2005. Magma residence time beneath the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, Reunion Island, from U-series disequilibria. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 234: 223-234.

Staudacher T, 2010. Field observations of the 2008 summit eruption at Piton de la Fournaise (Ile de La R'eunion) and implications for the 2007 Dolomieu collapse. J Volc Geotherm Res, 191: 60-68.

Staudacher T, Ferrazzini V, Peltier A, Kowalski P, Boissier P, Catherine P, Lauret F, Massin F, 2009. The April 2007 eruption and the Dolomieu crater collapse, two major events at Piton de la Fournaise (La Reunion Island, Indian Ocean). J Volc Geotherm Res, 184: 126-137.

Stieltjes L, 1985. Carte des coulees historiques du volcan de la Fournaise. Bur Recherches Geol Minieres France, 1:50,000.

Stieltjes L, Moutou P, 1989. A statistical and probabilistic study of the historic activity of Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island, Indian Ocean. J Volc Geotherm Res, 36: 67-86.

Zlotnicki J, Le Mouel J L, Delmond J C, Pambrun C, Delorme H, 1993. Magnetic variations on Piton de la Fournaise volcano. Volcanomagnetic signals associated with the November 6 and 30, 1987, eruptions. J Volc Geotherm Res, 56: 281-296.

The massive Piton de la Fournaise basaltic shield volcano on the French island of Réunion 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.