Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

The May–July 2003 eruption at Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): Volume, effusion rates, and emplacement mechanisms inferred from thermal imaging and Global Positioning System (GPS) survey

By
D. Coppola
D. Coppola
1
Dipartimento di Scienze Mineralogiche e Petrologiche, Università di Torino, Via Valperga Caluso 35, 10125, Torino, Italy
Search for other works by this author on:
Th. Staudacher
Th. Staudacher
2
Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF), Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, 14 RN3, le 27 km, 97418 La Plaine des Cafres, La Réunion, France
Search for other works by this author on:
C. Cigolini
C. Cigolini
3
Dipartimento di Scienze Mineralogiche e Petrologiche, Università di Torino, Via Valperga Caluso 35, 10125, Torino, Italy
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2005

We analyzed four distinct effusive episodes at Piton de la Fournaise during the May–July 2003 eruption. We estimated a total erupted volume of lava of ∼2.2 ± 0.3 Mm3, by means of portable Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) equipment (Ashtech Zextrem) and an infrared handheld camera (ThermaCAM PM695 PAL). The evolution of the lava field in space and time has been reconstructed by cross-checking the infrared and optical images with field observations. These data allowed us to infer the evolution of effusion rates during the dynamic development of the effusive episodes, hereby named Phases I, II, III, and IV (ranging from 21 ± 3 m3/s during Phase I to 0.5 ± 0.1 m3/s during Phase IV, with an average eruption rate of 1.2 ± 0.3 m3/s).

Lavas effused during the first three phases were shelly pahoehoe, slabby pahoehoe, spiney pahoehoe, clinkery 'a'a, and blocky 'a'a. Additionally, we observed direct and “inverse” transition from pahoehoe to 'a'a. This process was not observed during the last phase (Phase IV). This phase was characterized by lower effusion rates associated with the emplacement of a pahoehoe sheet flow. We analyzed the advance of this pahoehoe sheet flow (∼4.2 m/h) by means of longitudinal thermal profiles that exhibited an exponential increase in surface temperature toward the front. Temperature fluctuations at the front were coeval with the advancement of the frontal lobes; they in turn also reflect the onset of minor magma pulses at the vent (ascribed to a gas-piston mechanism).

Thermal analysis revealed that the temperature distribution of the lava field is composed of multiple thermal components related to different cooling histories of the exposed lava surfaces. The acquisition of thermal data on the whole lava field, integrated with GPS leveling, is a powerful tool to detect and constrain changes in the effusion rate. Further developments of this methodology may be used in remote monitoring, including satellite infrared image analysis.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

GSA Special Papers

Kinematics and dynamics of lava flows

Michael Manga
Michael Manga
Search for other works by this author on:
Guido Ventura
Guido Ventura
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of America
Volume
396
ISBN print:
9780813723969
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal