We now have some more information (Note: pretty much all the information on this eruption is in French) – and more importantly, some great images – of the eruption that is ongoing at Piton de la Fournaise on Reunion Island. The volcano erupted yesterday evening (local time on Reunion Island) and it seems that like the fall 2009 eruption that was clearly a new fissure vent eruption, this eruption is also sourced from a fissure vent (see below) – some of which has coalesced into three fountains/spatter cones along the fissure – see more images of the fissure. The eruption is thought to be a new dike intruding directly under the summit Dolomieu Crater, thus its location and geometry. All in all, this seems a fairly typical eruption for the hotspot volcano – low viscosity mafic lava erupting in fissures, producing lava flows or spatter cones – you can’t get much more “Hawaiian” than that. The webcam “Vue depuis Piton de Bert” captures some of the activity from the new eruption.
The new fissure on Piton de la Fournaise, which started on October 14, 2010. The top left image is a close up of this new fissure vent eruption (click on it to see a image version).