Are Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion) and Kīlauea (Hawai‘i) really “Analog Volcanoes”?

Geophysical Monograph -23
By: , and 
Edited by: Rebecca CareyValérie CayolMichael P. Poland, and Dominique Weis



The basaltic ocean island volcanoes of Kīlauea (Island of Hawai‘i) and Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion Island) are remarkable natural laboratories for volcanology. Both are near the active ends of long hotspot chains and host frequent eruptive activity (both effusive and explosive). Investigations of the geophysical, geochemical, and geologic manifestations of volcanism at the two locales provide insights into a variety of processes, from the supply of magma to its eruption at the surface. The oft-stated claim that Kīlauea and Piton de la Fournaise are “analog volcanoes” appears well founded, at least in part. The two volcanoes share similar characteristics with regard to magma plumbing, occurrence of flank instability, structural and compositional evolution, and eruptive activity. Noteworthy differences include the size of the edifices (Kīlauea is about an order-of-magnitude larger in volume), their life spans (Piton de la Fournaise has been active for twice as long), and flank instability mechanisms. These differences are attributable to Hawai‘i's higher magma supply from and faster plate velocity relative to the hotspot compared to Piton de la Fournaise. Understanding these similarities and differences can be used to leverage studies of processes at one volcano by exploiting their occurrence or absence at the other.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Are Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion) and Kīlauea (Hawai‘i) really “Analog Volcanoes”?
Series title Geophysical Monograph
Chapter 23
ISBN 978-1-118-87204-8
DOI 10.1002/9781118872079.ch23
Volume 208
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 25 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Hawaiian volcanoes: From source to surface
First page 507
Last page 531
Conference Title AGU Chapman Conference
Conference Location Waikoloa, Hawai'i
Conference Date August 20-24, 2012
Country United States, France
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Kīlauea, Piton de la Fournaise
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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