Piton de la Fournaise Volcano, Reunion Island
This radar image is centered upon Réunion Island, a French territory located in the Indian Ocean more than 1,000 km east of Madagascar.
In the lower right quadrant we can see the Piton de la Fournaise (“Peak of the Furnace”) Volcano, a basaltic shield volcano on the eastern side the island.
It is currently one of the most active volcanoes in the world, typically erupting about once a year, with more than 150 recorded eruptions since the 17th century. The most recent eruptions have occured in February, 2007, and on the 21st of September, 2008.
Eruptions within the caldera do not cause much devastation, because the caldera is uninhabited and little infrastructure exists apart from the highway. Lava flows are generally confined to the caldera.
The top part of the volcano is 8,000 feet long 2 feet wide. High cliffs known as remparts form the caldera’s rim. The caldera is breached to the southeast into the sea. The lower slopes are known as the Grand Brûlé (“Great Burnt”).
Most lava eruptions are confined to the caldera, inside of which is a 400 metre high lava shield known as Dolomieu. Atop the lava shield are Bory Crater (Cratère Bory) and Dolomieu Crater (Cratère Dolomieu), which is by far the wider of the two.