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Volcanoes of La Réunion – December 31st, 2009

20.9S 55.4E

December 31st, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

La Réunion - December 11th, 2009

La Réunion - December 11th, 2009

This orthorectified image portrays the island of La Reunion, which is 63 kilometres (39 mi) long, 45 kilometres (28 mi) wide, and covers 2,512 square kilometres (970 sq mi). It is similar to the island of Hawaii insofar as both are located above hotspots in the Earth’s crust.

On the eastern end of the island, the Piton de la Fournaise shield volcano rises to more than 2,631 metres (8,630 ft) above sea level. It is sometimes considered a sister to Hawaiian volcanoes because of the similarity of climate and volcanic nature. The volcano is very active, having erupted more than 100 times since 1640, and is thus monitored constantly.

Another volcano, the Piton des Neiges is located northwest of the Piton de la Fournaise. It is the highest point on the island at 3,070 metres (10,100 ft) above sea level. Collapsed calderas and canyons can also be observed southwest of the mountain. Unlike its active neighbor, the Piton des Neiges is extinct.

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