Volcanoes In New Zealand

There are many old legends that say a cluster of things come together when they come. One of the common sets is “volcanoes and earthquakes” often listed along with various weather disasters and comets or rocks from the sky.

Oddly, (or perhaps not so oddly…) that looks to be starting now.

After A very long time of being quiet, several volcanic areas are starting to wake up a bit. New Zealand is one of them.

When I visited there some decades back, the folks where nearly apologetic that the volcanic activity was low. The hot springs tour was still interesting, but most of the presentation was about “what used to happen” with respect to volcanoes. Now, inside a few days, we’ve had 2 volcanoes light up.


Has a nice summary page of what is erupting now. Then links to articles about the volcanic activity.

Tongariro volcano (New Zealand) update: scientists make overflight of the 6 Aug eruption area
This morning, NZ scientists could use a brief window of clear weather to make an overflight of the eruption area which was found to be just below the Upper Te Mari crater, where new steam vents were observed. At the moment, Tongariro is calm, but eruptions could resume any time. [more]
White Island volcano (New Zealand): new eruption, ash emissions from Crater lake

A new eruption has started from White Island volcano early today. An ash plume is rising to 4-6000 ft (1.3-1.8 km) altitude. The eruption consists of ash venting from a new cone that is beeing built in the Crater Lake, and followed a sharp DECREASE in tremor. … [more]

http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/white-island/news/11665/White-Island-volcano-New-Zealand-new-eruption-ash-emissions-from-Crater-lake.html (that second article) has this interesting bit:

Volcanic activity world-wide 8 Aug 2012: White Island, Tongariro, Etna, Stromboli, Popocatépetl, Santiaguito, Nevado del Ruiz, Batu Tara, Sakurajima
Wednesday Aug 08, 2012 09:19 AM | Age: 17 min

New Zealand’s 2 currently active volcanoes dominate the volcano-related headlines of news in the world:
A new eruptive phase started on White Island this morning with ash venting from the Crater Lake, where a new cone is beeing built, GNS scientists observed.

NZ scientists could make an overflight of the eruption area of Tongariro volcano in New Zealand and take photos of eruption vents located at the Upper Te Mari craters. They observed numerous ballistic impacts in up to 2 km distance and a debris flow deposit from the violent, probably phreatic eruption on Monday.
At present the volcano is relatively calm, but eruptions could resume any time.

So things being tossed 2 km and building cones from the Crater Lake…

I don’t expect much more than a resumption of the ‘typical’ volcanic activity of prior centuries, but it would be worth watching those very old cones at Christchurch and Auckland for any precursor quake activity.

The article goes on to list a load of other volcanoes active right now. I don’t have any comparison information to sort out if it is ‘more than usual’ or if they just accept smaller sized events into their list.

Also of note: There’s usually a few years lag between a great quake in a subduction zone and volcanoes going off behind it. We can likely expect some Indonesian volcanoes “soon” and a large one in Japan in a half dozen years.

Interesting times in Volcano Land ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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13 Responses to Volcanoes In New Zealand

  1. Pingback: Quakes – None in particular | Musings from the Chiefio

  2. R. de Haan says:

    Not to mention Iceland or South America…
    The human ability to quickly forget events that made headlines just a year ago is fascinating.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Folks are not very well equipped to handle long duration cyclical events. I’m still waiting for Iceland to do the second half of the usual “Icelandic Two Step”… Katla. I’m also pretty sure we’re going to get another major volcano in South America. But it could take a decade to happen, and folks will have long forgotten by then.

    Heck, Christchurch is built on top of a volcano and so is Auckland. Just that they typically take several generations to many thousand years to ‘cycle’ so we can build whole societies and have full cycles of growth and decay between events. Look at Greece. It is NOT done having great quakes and volcanic events. Or Italy. Etna and Vesuvius are both populated now… and have been for a long time… In 1914 Mt Lassen “burped” and when I was a kid we would go about 10 miles out of town and find large rocks from prior major eruptions in the distant past. About 70-80 miles from the vent IIRC. So my whole life has been in the shadow of a active volcano that has done exactly nothing. I’ve been waiting patiently ;-)

    It does look like there is a 179 or so year periodicity of active / very quiet periods (and perhaps longer cycles like 1500-1800 years) likely based on changes of rotation rate from lunar / orbital / tidal forces. Just not enough data to prove it. The data only supports “some coincidences”…

    I’m hoping to live long enough to see this cycle “pick up” and return to activity levels of the early 1800s. It would be evidence for ‘the cycle’. (Not to mention letting me see a world more like the one I used to read about in old books from the 1800s ;-) with volcanic tropical islands smoking in the distance and adventures in the wind…)

  4. tckev says:

    Maybe more volcano activity – Sotarà, Colombia.

    The recent increase in seismic activity under Sotarà volcano promted INGEOMINAS to raise the alert level from yellow (unrest) to orange (eruption warning) yesterday afternoon (Thursday, 09 August, 2012 at 07:46 UTC).

    The increase had been detected on June 24, 2012 and since that date, 6891 earthquakes have been recorded, i.e. an average of 150 quakes per day. Most of them (5177) are of very small magnitude, but the remaining 1714 quakes were of significant energy (local magnitudes 0.1-2.2) and concentrated in an area between 0.1 and 5 km northeast of the volcanic summit at depths between 2 and 6 km.

    On the other-hand it may cool off and go back to sleep.

  5. twawki says:

    Taupo in NZ is an interesting volcanic area and one of the most active in the world, with the largest eruptions in the last 70 years. Well worth watching! http://twawki.com/2012/08/09/is-the-super-volcano-taupo-awakening/

  6. twawki says:

    Reported today, magna bubbling under Tongariro, larger eruption possible

  7. twawki says:

    Volcanic debris the area of Belgium found floating off New Zealand

  8. tckev says:

    25,000 sq km sea of pumice floats off New Zealand.
    A New Zealand navy ship heading to the Kermadec Islands has sailed into a huge 25,000 square kilometre area of pumice pieces north of Auckland.
    The navy said the raft – 463 kilometres by 55 kilometres – was spotted by an RNZAF Orion returning on patrol from Samoa.


  9. E.M.Smith says:


    Looks like it is from a 3rd, underwater, volcano in New Zealand…

    A navy ship heading to the Kermadec Islands has sailed into a huge 25,000 square kilometre area of pumice pieces north of Auckland.

    It is believed to be from New Zealand’s third erupting volcano – the undersea mount Monowai. In the past week both Mt Tongariro and White Island have erupted.

    The navy said the raft – 463 kilometres by 55 kilometres – was spotted by an RNZAF Orion returning on patrol from Samoa.

    Lieutenant Tim Oscar, a Royal Australian Navy officer on an exchange with the NZ Navy, saw what he described as “the wierdest thing I’ve seen in 18 years at sea.”

    “The lookout reported a shadow on the ocean ahead of us so I ordered the ship’s spotlight to be trained on the area. As far ahead as I could observe was a raft of pumice moving up and down with the swell,” he said.

    “The rock looked to be sitting two feet above the surface of the waves, and lit up a brilliant white colour in the spotlight. It looked exactly like the edge of an ice shelf.”

    As the saying goes “Oh Dear!”…

    So if we’re getting more underwater volcanic activity, watch for “hottest ever” sea temperature reports “soon” ;-)

  10. twawki says:

    Mt Monowai records fastest growth of any modern volcano ;

    “The Monowai seamount, which lies at the intersection of the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates at the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone, underwent one of the fastest episodes of volcano growth documented on Earth.

    It added about 8.75 million cubic metres of rock to its summit – a volume equal to 3500 Olympic-size swimming pools – in just five days”.


  11. tckev says:

    Oh dear, surely that will be ‘unprecedented hottest ever’.

  12. Pascvaks says:

    OK, here goes, remember you heard it here first –
    a. Pumice released by undersea volcanoes can be lighter than water and float, forming massive “islands” at sea. The floating pumice during daylight hours collects solar radiation and warms, at night it releases this collected energy and cools. The net effect is “0” (Zero).
    b. Pumice released by undersea volcanoes can be lighter than water and float, forming massive “islands” at sea. The floating pumice during daylight hours collects solar radiation and warms, at night it releases this collected energy and cools. The net effect is “Gradual Global Heating” (Plus).
    c. Pumice released by undersea volcanoes can be lighter than water and float, forming massive “islands” at sea. The floating pumice during daylight hours collects solar radiation and warms, at night it releases this collected energy and cools. The net effect is “Gradual Global Cooling” (Minus).

    I think I covered everything so as to satisfy everyone on the planet today. Remember, someone here said it here first. Is it fair and balanced? (Or is it fare or be lanced?;-)

  13. Paul Felix Schott says:

    Soon all will take note to the sounds and rumbling of Volcanoes and Earthquakes Around Earth that are Waking Up at a Alarming Rate. Just as they did in 1883 from Krakatoa.

    Read well and study on your own after you have read this.

    This is not a game or joke our Sun gives off a Solar Wind all day year round if you live in the State of Alaska you see it in the sky above what a sight it is going through our Earth’s Magnet Polls of the North and the South, North Poll. It’s called the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis.

    The day will come when you will be able to see it all over Earth as in the year 1859 Solar Flare, It was the largest in 500 years. Two Astronomer’s Hodgson and Carrington told the World that the Solar Flare made a Geomagnetic Storm reach Earth in hours not days. Back then it gave new meaning to Reach For The Skies from Telegraph Operators. For hours sparks flew from the key board. Even after the Batteries were disconnected. Nov 3 and 4, 2003 had a X40+ Class Solar Flare.

    Our Sun’s UV Rays will get stronger as each passing day goes by, read and i will tell you why.

    The Great big forest have be stripped from most of the Earth for Greed of Money by the Wicked. The trees are our Main Source of Oxygen on this Plant.
    The Forest Trees scrubs the Pollution out of the air and makes Oxygen from the rain and dirt that it grows in.

    The Forest Trees do more than just make Oxygen they stop Soil Erosion, just Look at the 1930 Dust Bowl. Greed by our Government taxes led farmers to clear cut all their Forest and farm all the land they were being Tax on. They had to farm it to pay for the Taxes. Why leave the Trees when food crop makes Money. This Did not Help the Depression that effected most all Worldwide. This coming year 2013 more than 100 million will suffer from Malnutrition lack of food and Dehydration lack of water. Many will not make it and die! as have in the last few years.

    Soon many will run out of Safe Drinking Water from pollution going into the worlds water supply. The rise in food prices will be global.

    In the United States of America alone more than 46+ Million Americans Received Food Stamps and that number is going up every day every year for more than 4 years in a row now.

    The Pollution and CO2 Carbon Dioxide go into the Tree Bark as a shield from most bugs so they do not eat the tree.

    Less Forest less Oxygen this is why the moon. That has no Oxygen is very cold on the side with out Sun Light, And hot as ever on the side with Sun Light. Way too cold and too hot to live there. You would need at least 10 times the Energy we use on Earth to even live there and life on the Moon would be very short.

    With no blank of Oxygen to lessen or reduce the Sun’s UV Rays and Solar Wind they are deadly there on our Moon. Every Mt. Climber and Aircraft Pilot knows the higher you go the thinner the Oxygen and colder it gets.

    Just spend a night on a Mt. top above 13,000 feet with no Sun Light and you will see or should i say feel the cold stinging any of your exposed skin. If you are new to Mt. Climbing stay below 10,000Ft. The Astronauts and the Cosmonauts and Fighter Pilots that i have been with for years know this very well, and the Radiation Hazards to humans at High Altitudes.

    Soon the Sun’s Solar Wind and UV rays will be way to strong for most to go out in the Sun Light for even a short time. The Geomagnetic Storm to come and the Bad Weather Storms well you have not seen nothing yet and the Sea Level is Rising the Oceans. Many Millions have been affected by Floods in China and Pakistan just last year. In 2005 Over a Thousand dead in New Orleans flood, and the list going on. The sounds and rumbling of Volcanoes and Earthquakes Around Earth are Waking Up at a Alarming rate.

    And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and Earthquakes, in divers places such as was not from the beginning of the Creation.

    The last 30 years On Earth we have broke all High Temp Records and the temp it is still going up. All the Worlds Ice Glacier are melting at an Accelerating Rate. The Glaciers and Polar Ice Caps store more water than all the Fresh Water Lakes on Earth. Many of them are drying up or water levels are going down past the lowest point every recorded.

    The Bad Weather Storms now are Babies compared to what is to come.

    They will get even bigger and worse less Oxygen the more UV Rays to the Earth and more Water molecules will evaporate and go up into the Earth’s Atmosphere. Less Oxygen the colder without sun light and hotter with it.

    The Sky full of more water vapor molecules, more snow in the winter and more Flash Floods in the Summer. All earth will see way more fires and the Deserts are growing larger.

    If every living person on Earth were to Plant A Tree Today we might have a chance.


    The Earth’s Atmosphere Blanket surrounding it protects life on Earth as Our Lord and GOD will all that seek Him.

    Then it is written when the tree is full it is harvest time. All the Earth will someday burn away.

    This is all Foretold in the Bible Read it
    and may our Lord Bless all that do so.

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott


    2 Peter 3:10
    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the Earth and its works will be burned up.

    GOD Bless You and Your Love ones
    Give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ every day.

    Earth is at its Limits


    The United Nations is now taking a serious look into “Earth’s Limits” Earth will very soon be at its Limits of no return for many things including all life on Earth.

    If we keep going at this rate we will not have another 20 years to go back to Rio De Janeiro to play. Most all in the Scientific Community said this 20 years ago at the last time Leaders set up this meeting in Rio De Janeiro. Of course on the Tax payers money, and of course they said about the same thing again we need to do something!

    There is enough Energy from our Sun to Power all are needs on Earth and more.

    Solar Energy

    The Fastest growing energy on Earth.

    Albert Einstein 100 years ago showed the World it could get
    Free Energy, Electric from the SUN. (THE PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT).

    He won the Nobel Prize for this.

    We still do not teach this to are YOUNG in SCHOOLS why?

    Church’s all over the Globe have gone Solar why have not are SCHOOLS ?

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