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White Island in the Bay of Plenty ca. 50 km off the North Island’s east coast is one of New Zealands most active volcanoes, well known for its spectacular crater with strong hydrothermal activity and sulphur deposits. It is part of the active Taupo volcanic zone and last erupted in 2001 (phreatic explosion).
stratovolcano 321 m / 1,053 ft
New Zealand, -37.52°S / 177.18°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
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White Island volcano eruptions:
2019, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2001, 1998-2000, 1998, 1995, 1986-94, 1983-84, 1976-82, 1974, 1971, 1971, 1970, 1969, 1968-69, 1966-67, 1962, 1959, 1958, 1957, 1955, 1947, 1933, 1930, 1928, 1926, 1924, 1922, 1909, 1908 (?), 1886?,1886, 1885 (?), 1885, 1856 (?), 1836, 1826
Typical eruption style:
Explosive (in historic time: frequent small phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions)
Last earthquakes nearby
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Latest news & updates from White Island
White Island volcano (New Zealand): slow cooling of active vent
Thursday Jul 30, 2020 10:53 AM | BY: MATTHEW
Since the last update, minor volcanic unrest continues at /White Island volcano. GNS scientists measured temperatures in the active vent (540°C) and found that these temperatures were lower than the temperatures measured in February (740°C). This is evidence that the active vent is slowly cooling.
Gas measurements of 200-300 tonnes per day of SO2, 20-40 tonnes per day of H2S and 1500-2000 tonnes per day of CO2 per day were regularly recorded since May. These measurements are similar to those measured between eruptive episodes over the last decade according the GeoNet.
There is continued subsidence around the active vent area as well as ongoing subsidence of the main crater wall, south and west of the active vents. In July, the level of volcanic seismic tremor has remained generally low, aside from two short duration bursts of moderate volcanic tremor earlier in the month. Recent rainfall has created small ponds of water on the crater floor. However, these do not appear to be encroaching into hot vent areas.
Links / Sources:
Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020
GeoNet’s latest volcanic alert bulletin has changed the Aviation Colour Code to Green for Whakaari/White Island. This is a result of a “continuously decreasing level of volcanic activity”. This change in Aviation Colour Code comes a week after the Volcanic Alert Level was dropped to level 1 … read all
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2020
Observations and monitoring data over the last few months indicate that Whakaari/White Island has been progressing on a gradual trend back to lower levels of unrest that are typical of the long-term behaviour of this volcano. … read all
Wednesday, Jun 10, 2020
GeoNet volcanologists did a flight observations and aerial-based measurements over Whakaari/White Island in the past week. The observation flight showed continued high heat flow in the crater, while other activity largely remains within the range observed over the past few months. … read all
Friday, May 29, 2020
GeoNet volcanologists did a flight observations and aerial-based measurements of the volcano. Results from the most recent gas flight on 27 May indicate an increased gas flux since the previous flight on 20 May. While previous observations indicated a trend back to levels that are typical for this volcano, the recent increase in SO2 and CO2 gas flux, could be attributed to a new batch of the magma beneath the volcano at shallow depth. Thermal infrared images, taken during the observation flight on 20 May, show that the lava extrusions, first detected in early January, are still very hot, at around 500 °C. Hot gases that are being emitted around these lava lobes generate a glow that can be seen on webcam images. … read all
Sunday, Apr 19, 2020
The volcano continues to emit SO2 gas, which is derived from magma at shallow depth beneath the surface and is one of the main indicators of volcanic unrest. Since the last update, there have been no significant changes in SO2 output. Emission rates for other gases were not measured due the lockdown from COVID-19. Seismic activity remains at lower levels and continues to fluctuate over periods of hours or days. … read all