Timescales of magmatic processes during the eruptive cycle 2014–2015 at Piton de la Fournaise, La Réunion, obtained from Mg–Fe diffusion modelling in olivine

  • Caren SundermeyerEmail author
  • Andrea Di Muro
  • Boris Gordeychik
  • Gerhard Wörner
Original Paper


Piton de la Fournaise started a new eruptive cycle in June 2014 after 41 months of quiescence. The small eruptions in June, February 2015, May, and July produced evolved basalts, whereas magmas of the large August–November eruption became increasingly mafic. Compositional zoning of olivine crystals was analysed to model diffusion times representing residence times between magma mixing and eruption. These correlate to the geophysical and geochemical records. Olivine crystals of various core compositions (Fo73.2–85.1) were periodically reactivated days to 7 months prior to June 2014 and February 2015 eruptions and during July and August–November by different magmas (in equilibrium with Fo77.7–84.5). June 2014, February, and May eruptions were fed from the top of the reservoir as shown by the eruption of evolved magmas and olivine crystals with short diffusion times. At the same time, olivine crystals were reactivated probably from mush by recharging basalt during the formation of hybrid magmas (in equilibrium with Fo80.1–84.5) in the central reservoir. These hybrids remained unerupted (> 235 days) until October 2015. However, products of July 2015 eruption bear already olivine crystals with long diffusion times, which is a strong similarity to those of the August–November eruption 2015. This eruption marks the transition between earlier small eruptions fed from shallow levels to those fed from the central reservoir. Such linking of magma mixing and activation processes and geophysical signals helps for a better understanding of the process and timescale of eruption at Piton de la Fournaise and basaltic hotspot-related magma systems in general.


Olivine Zonation Diffusion Timescales Magma mixing 



This research was funded by RFBR grant # 16-55-12040 to B.G. and partially supported by DFG grant No Wo 362/51-1 to G.W. A.D. was funded by ANR project “STRAP” ANR-14-CE03-0004-STRAP. The fieldwork was supported by the Geo-Gender-Chancenfonds of the Georg-August-University Göttingen. We thank A. Kronz for the support at the electron microprobe and K. Techmer for the assistance at the scanning electron microscope. The team of the OVPF collected the samples analysed in this study. Many thanks to R. Abart, and an anonymous reviewer, as well as editor C. Ballhaus for the reviews and constructive comments, which helped to improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 641 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 54 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (XLSX 30 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum, Georg-August UniversitätGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, CNRSUniversité de ParisParisFrance
  3. 3.Institute of Experimental Mineralogy RASChernogolovkaRussia
  4. 4.Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise, Institute de Physique du Globe de ParisLa Plaine des CafresFrance

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