Posts Tagged ‘Mount Tongariro’

The Extinction Protocol

August 10, 2012NEW ZEALANDTests have revealed that magma is bubbling higher than usual in Mount Tongariro, which means further eruptions are more likely. A series of samples have been tested since the volcano’s Te Mari crater erupted on Monday night, but the latest results give the greatest insight. “We’re now convinced that the likelihood of this just being a one-off has decreased,” GNS vulcanologist Nico Fournier said. “But it doesn’t mean it’s just about to blow and go pear-shape.” The results detected sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide in the steam plume, which indicated that magma was closer to the surface than it usually was, Fournier said. It was unclear how high the magma was – it could be anything from metres to kilometres, Fournier said. If a magmatic eruption did occur then it wouldn’t necessarily be significant, he said. It could result in a lava flow…

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The Extinction Protocol

August 10, 2012NEW ZEALANDFlashes of lightning have been reported coming from White Island as the volcano continues to erupt since Sunday. White Island, which lies 48 kilometers off the Bay of Plenty coast, was raised to a Volcanic Alert Level 2 after a surveillance camera captured a small eruption from its crater last week. Whakatane Police said they received a number of calls reporting lightning of different colours since just after 7pm. GNS visited the island, which is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, this morning and confirmed it was still erupting with a 300 metre plume of ash spewing from the crater. GNS scientist Michael Rosenberg said volcanic lightning is quite common and is a result of ash generating static electricity. There were also reports this afternoon of ash falling on Papamoa, which is on the coast near Tauranga. “It is extremely fine, but it’s…

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The Extinction Protocol

Steam billowing from the Te Maari area, as seen from the base of the Alpine Crossing.
August 8, 2012NEW ZEALANDThe Department of Conservation says three new lakes have been created by Mount Tongariro’s eruption on Monday night. The weather improved enough on Wednesday morning for a helicopter carrying a team of scientists to fly over Te Maari craters for the first time since the eruption. DoC’s Nic Peet says a stream that flows from the crater has been dammed by material from the volcano, forming three new lakes. He says heavy rain may cause the lakes to overflow and for water to head down the mountain. But it is estimated there is only up to 10,000 cubic metres of water that is dammed, which is smaller than the crater lake atop Mount Ruapehu. GNS Science says there was also a debris flow streaming 2 km from…

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The Extinction Protocol

August 7, 2012NEW ZEALANDAsh from New Zealand’s Mount Tongariro covers houses and farmland in this still image taken from video, August 7. A New Zealand volcano dormant for more than a century has spewed boulders and spread an ash cloud over the center of the country, disrupting air traffic but causing no other damage or injuries. A volcano quiet for more than a century erupted in a New Zealand national park, spreading thick ash for several miles and causing some residents to evacuate their homes. Some domestic flights were canceled Tuesday. Mount Tongariro spewed ash and rocks for about 30 minutes late Monday night after a few weeks of increased seismic activity. It didn’t cause any injuries or damage in the sparsely populated central North Island region. Tongariro National Park has three active volcanos, is a popular tourist destination and was the backdrop for many scenes…

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The Extinction Protocol

August 6, 2012NEW ZEALANDThe volcanic alert level for Mt. Tongariro has risen from 1 to 2 after the central North Island volcano erupted for the first time in more than a century late last night. GNS science is reporting that at approximately 11:50 pm on Monday night ash fall began to be reported in the volcano’s vicinity – it has since been reported as far east as SH5 near Te Haroto and in Napier. GNS duty volcanologist Michael Rosenberg told Radio New Zealand that some people are reported to have left their houses on the southern shores of Lake Rotoaira, though no formal notices of evacuation have been issued so far by Civil Defense. He said residents in the area have told GNS of hearing several loud explosions, lightning and plumes of smoke and police have been told by an onlooker that “a new hole in…

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