(Français) Planet Mosaic

The fires of La Réunion. A monitored treasure: the Piton de la Fournaise

Scientists François BEAUDUCEL and Christophe BRUNET are working hard to install a revolutionary measuring device on the Piton de la Fournaise volcano.

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“Before each eruption, the volcano begins to deform. We have installed inclinometers capable of measuring the tiniest deformations, sometimes fractions of a millimetre, that occur when the magma comes up to the surface. We measure this with three instruments, one we installed last year and two more we have just set up. (…) It is not impossible that in a few thousand years, or perhaps sooner, the entire eastern side of the volcano will collapse into the ocean. It is a geological hazard on Reunion, but on a millennial timescale.”