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Saint-Denis-d'Oléron, France

Schmid A.,CNRS Institute of Earth Sciences | Grasso J.R.,CNRS Institute of Earth Sciences | Clarke D.,CNRS Paris Institute of Global Physics | Ferrazzini V.,Institute Of Physique Du Globe | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2012

Volcanic eruptions impact on societal risk, and volcanic hazard assessment is a necessary ingredient for decision-makers. However, the prediction of volcanic eruptions remains challenging due to the complexity and the non-linearity of volcanic processes. Identified forerunners such as increasing seismicity or deformation of the volcanic edifice prior to eruption are not deterministic. In this study, we use statistical methods to identify and discriminate precursory patterns to eruptions, on three sets of observables of Piton de la Fournaise volcano. We analyzed the short-term (i.e. the inter-eruptive period) time series of the seismicity rate, the deformation and the seismic velocity changes (deduced from seismic noise cross-correlations) over the period 1999-2006, with two main goals. First, we characterize the average pre-eruptive time patterns before 22 eruptions using superposed epoch analysis for the three observables. Using daily rate values, we resolve (1) a velocity change within 100-50days from the eruptions onsets, then a plateau value up to eruption onset; (2) a power law increase in seismicity rate from noise level 15-10days before eruption time; (3) an increase of displacement rate on the eruption day. These results support a three step mechanism leading to magma transfers toward the surface. Second we use pattern recognition techniques and the formalization of error diagrams to quantify the predictive power of each forerunner either as used independently or as combined to each other. We show that when seismicity rate alone performs the best prediction in the failure to predict versus alarm duration space, the combination of the displacement and seismicity data reduces the false alarm rate. We further propose a tool which explores the prediction results in order to optimize prediction strategy for decision-makers, as a function of the risk value. © 2012 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Rogers K.M.,Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences | Nicolini E.,Laboratoire Geosciences Reunion
Journal of Contaminant Hydrology | Year: 2012

Nitrate concentrations, water isotopes (δ2H and δ18Owater) and associated nitrate isotopes (δ15Nnitrate and δ18O nitrate) from 10 drinking water wells, 5 fresh water springs and the discharge from 3 wastewater treatment stations in Réunion Island, located in the Indian Ocean, were analysed. We used a multi isotopic approach to investigate the extent of nitrate contamination, nitrate formation altitude and source of nitrates in Réunion Island's principal aquifer. Water from these study sites contained between 0.1 and 85.3 mg/L nitrate. δ15Nnitrate values between + 6 and + 14‰ suggested the main sources of contamination were animal and/or human waste, rather than inorganic (synthetic) fertilisers, infiltrating through the subsurface into the saturated zone, due to rainfall leaching of the unsaturated zone at various altitudes of precipitation. Based on δ15N nitrate values alone, it was not possible to distinguish between animal and human activities responsible for the contamination of each specific catchment. However, using a multi isotope approach (δ18O water and δ15Nnitrate), it was possible to relate the average altitude of rainfall infiltration (δ 18Owater) associated with the nitrate contamination (δ18Onitrate). This relationship between land use, rainfall recharge altitude and isotopic composition (δ15N nitrate and δ18Owater) discriminated between the influences of human waste at lower (below 600 m elevation) or animal derived contamination (at elevations between 600 and 1300 m). By further comparing the theoretical altitude of nitrate formation calculated by the δ18Onitrate, it was possible to determine that only 5 out of 15 fresh water wells and springs followed the conservative nitrate formation mechanism of 2/3δ18Owater + 1/3δ18Oair, to give nitrate formation altitudes which corresponded to land use activities. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Payet N.,Laboratoire Geosciences Reunion | Nicolini E.,Laboratoire Geosciences Reunion | Rogers K.,Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences | MacAry H.S.,CIRAD | Vauclin M.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Agronomy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2010

In Réunion Island, expanding human populations, urbanization and agriculture during the last 50 years have all contributed to a steady increase in the level of nitrates in drinking water. Various nitrate point sources are responsible for the nitrate contamination around the island including chemical fertilizers, animal effluent applied to pasture and crops, and urban waste such as sewage and domestic waste water. In terms of agricultural fertilizers, pig effluent is the most widely used, but the cumulative effects of slurry applications on soil water and groundwater are unknown. Our objectives were (1) to characterize and follow in situ the fate of nitrogen through the subsurface after application of pig effluent onto a cultivated soil using stable nitrate isotopes, δ15N and δ18O, and (2) to compare the isotopic signatures of Réunion Island's principal aquifers with results from the experimental site to infer potential contamination sources. The study was conducted on an experimental field site planted with maize in the western part of Réunion Island during the rainy season. A control site with no fertilizer application to the maize was compared with the investigation site which had pig effluent applied once a year. The site which had pig effluent applied over one year had an average maximum surface soil water 15N- value of +9.0‰ at 0.45 m depth. This signature was significantly more enriched in 15N than the corresponding subsurface soil water 15N- value of +3.8‰ at 10 m depth. The control site average maximum surface soil water 15N- value of +3.6‰ at 0.45 m is similar to the subsurface pig effluent application plot. This indicates that nitrates derived from pig effluent have not reached 10 m depth in the subsurface, even though over the last 18 months this site was subjected to two effluent applications, each around 200 kg N ha-1, and more than 1900 mm of rain, more than half of which drains directly into the root zone. This slow migration shows that mobilization of nitrates through cultivated soil can take many tens of years before infiltrating and contaminating the saturated zone situated at several tens, and in places, hundreds of meters depth. On an island-wide scale, an isotopic assessment of nitrates from the experimental site's soil water and other drinking water wells highlights a nitrogenous contamination derived primarily from urban and/or agriculture via effluent application. © 2010 INRA, EDP Sciences.

Pelleter A.-A.,Institut Universitaire de France | Pelleter A.-A.,CNRS Institute of Earth Sciences | Caroff M.,Institut Universitaire de France | Cordier C.,University Grenoble alpes | And 5 more authors.
Lithos | Year: 2014

Ocean island basalts (OIB) from the Comores archipelago (Indian Ocean) display mineralogical and geochemical features different from the other Indian OIB. We present here new geochronological data (40Ar/39Ar), major and trace element compositions and isotopic (Sr, Nd, Pb) ratios of silica-undersaturated alkaline rocks from Mayotte, the oldest island of the Comores. Two trends are defined using major element composition: (1) a highly silica-undersaturated trend which includes basanites, (melilite-bearing) nephelinites, intermediate lavas and phonolites from the southern part of the island and (2) a moderately silica-undersaturated trend which is mainly represented by alkali basalts, basanites, intermediate lavas and phonolites from the northern part of the island. Both trends could be explained, to some extent, by variable degrees of partial melting. Normative larnite-bearing olivine melilitites and nephelinites exhibit, in addition to their high silica-undersaturation, elevated concentrations in CaO (>12wt.%) and P2O5 (up to 1.35wt.%). These exceptional rocks would result from low degree deep partial melting of a CO2-metasomatized source in the presence of carbonate (probably dolomite) and apatite. Igneous rocks from southern and northwestern shield volcanoes are characterized by a radiogenic Pb composition, revealing the existence of a HIMU (high μ=238U/204Pb) component in their source. Its influence decreases from the main building stage (>10.6-~3.0Ma) to the post-shield stage for the benefit of a depleted MORB-mantle (DMM) component, especially in the north central rocks. This feature would reflect increasing melting degrees of the depleted dominant source, bearing small-scale HIMU heterogeneities progressively consumed with time. The HIMU signature might have been introduced in the Comorian lithospheric mantle by thermal erosion or delamination of a continental lithosphere during the Gondwana break-up. The other islands of the Comores archipelago (Moheli, Anjouan and "La Grille" type lavas from Grande Comore) display also a DMM-HIMU mixing trend. Only a few lavas from Grande Comore ("Karthala" type) and one sample from Mayotte show the clear EM1 contribution (87Sr/86Sr>0.7035) of the Comorian plume. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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