Magma detected in Mt Tongariro
Fri, 10 Aug 2012 12:08p.m.
By 3 News online staff
GNS Science has confirmed magma is present inside Mt Tongariro, which could mean a larger eruption is possible.
Gas samples collected yesterday have been studied and show sulphur dioxide in the steam plume, which suggests magma is closer to the surface than earlier thought.
GNS Science says it could lead to a magmatic eruption or another steam eruption like the one on Monday - or nothing at all.
“There is magma in the system but quite what depth is something we can’t quite answer just yet,” says Gill Jolly, head of volcanology at GNS Science.
“There’s no pot of magma bubbling at the surface.”
She says the detection of magma was to be expected.
“It is an active volcano and we have been having earthquakes so you’d expect to see some magma somewhere in the system, and now we can confirm that’s the case.”
White Island springs to life
GNS Science says there has been no change in White Island's volcanic activity overnight - that's after it sprang back into life on Sunday.
It was first thought that the ash plume had been discharging lightning, but GNS Science says it was, in fact, a lightning storm about 30 kilometres out to sea.
GNS scientists say the island has been rumbling ever since it first erupted at the weekend.
They say it is not linked to Mt Tongariro's eruptions, and locals have nothing to worry about.
White Island's most recent eruptive phase began in 1975 and it lasted for 25 years.
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10/08/2012 2:22:46 p.m.
The NZ eruptions have tended to become bigger over time, with Rangitoto making up almost 60% of the field's entire volume of erupted material. All of the volcanoes are relatively small, most being less than 150 meters in height.
Lake Pupuke, on the North Shore near Takapuna, is a volcanic explosion crater. A few similar craters such as Orakei Basin are open to the sea.
10/08/2012 12:37:03 p.m.
"not linked to Mt Tongariro's eruptions"
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