Coulée de lave 2007 : les tunnels autorisés à la visite

piton fournaise lava flow

EDIT du 11 juillet 2024 : La préfecture vient d’autoriser l’accès au tunnel de lave 2007. Détail de la visite à venir sur notre site web prochainement !

L'Eruption of Piton de la Fournaise in 2007The people of Réunion remember (and will remember for a long time). That year, Réunion Island, and more specifically the village of Le Tremblet, saw huge landslides flow all the way to the Indian Ocean, causing the evacuation of the inhabitants and the cutting off of the RN2. Beneath this new soil formed by the flow, lie hidden numerous lava tunnelswhich should soon be open to visitors...

The 2007 lava flow: impressive volumes and speed

On 2 April 2007, after 46 hours of seismic signals, Piton de la Fournaise erupted. Cracks opened up in the Grand Brulé, on the Tremblet rampart, which has since been renamed the Piton Tremblet. The 2007 eruption and its lava flows lasted around 1 month, until the following 1st May. This is the largest eruption of the century.

Piton de la Fournaise is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupting on average every 9 months. But the eruptions of 2007 and the lava flows caused are exceptional in many respects :

- The altitude of the crack was relatively low: around 650 metres.

- This led to the creation of two lava flow arms with a very high flow rate: 100 m3/s

- Reaching a length of nearly 1.5 km, the flows crossed the RN2 and reached the Indian Ocean less than 12 hours after the eruption began.

- The hamlet of Le Tremblet had to be evacuated

- The total volume of lava flowed was very high: almost 120 million m35.

- Projections of almost 100m were observed

As a result of this volcanic activity, the magma chamber of the Dolomieu collapsed, causing the creation of a crater 350m deep, the Dolomieu crater that we can now see. A new caldera appeared on Réunion, with an impressive diameter of 900m.

Consequences of the 2007 flood in Réunion

The volcanic eruption and its lava flow the beach to the north of Pointe du Tremblet, known as the Le Tremblet beach. This is the world's newest beach! The spectacular flow also led to the discovery of new species of fish, which had died from the heat of the ocean and returned to the surface. The RN2 road was rebuilt over the lava flow. In places, the new road is some sixty metres above the old road. It took 7 months of studies and work to achieve the feat of rebuilding the road on top of the lava (which is still steaming).

The RN2 road was rebuilt on top of the lava flow. In places, the new road is some sixty metres above the old road. It took 7 months of studies and work to meet the challenge of rebuilding the road over lava (still smoking).

Visits to the lava tunnels of the 2007 flow: too high a risk for over 15 years

The lava emitted by Piton de la Fournaise has reached temperatures up to 1200°C. A few years later, in the tunnels created by the lava, the temperature was still 200°C. The thickness of the 2007 flow, reaching around 100m in places, means that the cooling process takes longer than with another, thinner flow.

Because of the heat and the risk of collapse caused by the cooling lava, access to the coulee has been forbidden since.

At the start of 2024, it is still not permitted to walk on the lava flow or visit the many lava tunnels that have been created. If you still want to appreciate and imagine the scale of the 2007 flowyou can access the belvederenear the Route des Laves (part of the RN2 between Sainte-Rose and Saint-Philippe).

2024 : l’année de l’autorisation préfectorale pour la visite des tunnels de lave 2007

A report commissioned in December 2023 by the Prefect of Réunion identified 15 recommendations for volcanic tourism in Réunion. These recommendations includedauthorisation to access the 2007 lava flow and tunnelswith the exception of the Tremblet well.

La préfecture de la région a autorisé officiellement l’accès au tunnel de lave 2007, le 11 juillet 2024. Plus de détails à venir sur la visite et ses modalités avec Profundo !

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SIRET : 419 831 920 00048

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