Magmatic and hydrothermal processes play a significant role in generating seismicity at active volcanoes. These signals can be recorded at the surface and can be used to obtain an insight into the volcano's internal dynamics. Long period (LP) events are of particular interest as they often accompany or precede volcanic eruptions, but they are still not well understood. Piton de la Fournaise volcano, La Réunion Island, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world however LP events are rarely recorded there. A seismic network of 20 broadband seismometers has been operational on Piton de la Fournaise volcano since November 2009. Between November 2009 and January 2011 the volcano erupted five times, but only 15 LP events were recorded. Three of these eruptions were preceded by LP events, and several LP events were recorded during an intrusive phase. A family of three repeating LP events exists within the dataset. In order to characterize these events we locate and perform moment tensor inversion on the LP family. The LP events are located within the summit crater at shallow depths (< 200 m below the surface). Inversions show that the source mechanism is best represented by a tensile crack with horizontal crack geometry. We also investigate the relationship between LP occurrence and eruptive characteristics (size of the eruption, deformation of the edifice, etc.), and we find that the events exist only during flank eruptions and can be generated by the activity of the hydrothermal system and/or by the deformation inside the crater.
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