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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
13 Sep 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Solid Earth (SE) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Integrating field, textural and geochemical monitoring to track eruption triggers and dynamics: a case-study from Piton de la Fournaise
Lucia Gurioli1, Andrea Di Muro2, Ivan Vlastélic1, Séverine Moune1, Nicolas Villeneuve2, Patrick Bachèlery1, Marina Valer1, Simon Thivet1, Guillaume Boudoire2,3, Aline Peltier2, Valerie Ferrazzini2, Nicole Métrich2, Mhammed Benbakkar1, Nicolas Cluzel1, Christophe Constantin1, Jean-Luc Devidal1, Claire Fonquernie1, and Jean-Marc Hénot1 1Université Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, IRD, OPGC, Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
2Institut de Physique du Globe (IPGP), Sorbonne Paris-Cite, CNRS UMR-7154, Université Paris Diderot, Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF), Bourg Murat, France
3Laboratoire Géosciences Réunion, Université de La Réunion, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Sorbonne Paris-Cité, UMR 7154 CNRS, F-97715 Saint-Denis, France
Abstract. The 2014 eruption at Piton de La Fournaise (PdF), la Reunion, which occurred after 41 months of quiescence, began with surprisingly little precursory activity, and was one of the smallest so far observed at PdF in terms of duration (less than 2 days) and volume (less than 0.4 Mm3). The pyroclastic material was composed of spiny-opaque, spiny-iridescent, and fluidal scoria along with golden pumice. Density analyses performed on 200 lapilli reveal that the spiny-opaque clasts are the densest (1600 kg/m3) and richest in crystals (54 vol%), and the golden pumices are the lightest (400 kg/m3) and poorest in crystals (14 vol%). The connectivity data indicate that the fluidal and golden (Hawaiian-like) clasts have more isolated vesicles (up to 40 %) than the spiny (Strombolian-like) clasts (0–5 %). These textural variations are linked to primary pre-eruptive magma storage conditions. The golden and fluidal fragments track the hotter portion of the melt, in contrast to the spiny fragments which mirror the cooler portion of the shallow reservoir. Progressive tapping of these distinct portions leads to a decrease in the explosive intensity from early fountaining to Strombolian activity. The geochemical results confirm the absence of new hot input of magma and confirm the involvement of a single, shallow, differentiated magma source, possibly related to residual magma from the November 2009 eruption. We found that the eruption was triggered by water exsolution, favoured by the shallow depth of the reservoir, rather than cooling and chemical evolution of the stored magma.

Citation: Gurioli, L., Di Muro, A., Vlastélic, I., Moune, S., Villeneuve, N., Bachèlery, P., Valer, M., Thivet, S., Boudoire, G., Peltier, A., Ferrazzini, V., Métrich, N., Benbakkar, M., Cluzel, N., Constantin, C., Devidal, J.-L., Fonquernie, C., and Hénot, J.-M.: Integrating field, textural and geochemical monitoring to track eruption triggers and dynamics: a case-study from Piton de la Fournaise, Solid Earth Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Lucia Gurioli et al.
Lucia Gurioli et al.


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Short summary
We prove here that macroscopic and microscopic studies of emitted pyroclastic products provide valuable information to track and understand small explosive eruptions for hazard/risk assessment. This is especially true for Piton de La Fournaise, La Réunion, whose activity has recently been characterized by effusive and mild explosive activity in highly visited areas. We confirm that petrological monitoring of ongoing volcanic activity is essential to forecast fatal changes in the magmatic system.
We prove here that macroscopic and microscopic studies of emitted pyroclastic products provide...