Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


White Island Lava Dome Episode Over - Alert to level 1

Volcanic Alert Bulletin WI-2013/1 - White Island Volcano

7 January 2013, 2:00 pm - Lava dome eruption episode now over; Volcanic Alert changed to level 1; Aviation Colour Code changed to Yellow.

GNS Science Volcanologists today lowered the Volcanic Alert Level for White Island to level 1 and the Aviation Colour Code to Yellow. This reflects the end of the current period of eruption which involved the growth of a small lava dome in the crater.

The lava dome that was first observed in late November by tour operators has been monitored over the last 6 weeks. The most recent visit was on 1st January 2013 and this showed that the dome had not grown since previous visits on the 10th and 20th December 2012. As such we consider that the current episode of eruption to have ceased.

Lava dome temperatures measured on the 1st January were at around 200-240°C and the nearby hot lake was 70-80°C. These temperatures are similar to those made previously. GNS Science Volcanologist Nico Fournier said that “the dome looked exactly the same as it did on our previous visits. Good viewing conditions allowed us to get some remote temperature measurements using an infrared thermometer. The hot lake was really fizzing, lots of gas coming through it”

Results of airborne gas measurements from 20th December showed that White Island is emitting volcanic gases at the rate of approximately 400T/d SO2, 1300T/d CO2 and 10T/d H2S.

Seismicity continues to show elevated levels of tremor.

Observers of the GeoNet webcams may notice a slight glow in the night time images which is related to the relatively hot dome and gases.

Even though the current episode of eruptive activity is over White Island still remains in a heightened state of unrest and future eruptions are still possible with little or no warning.

GNS Science continues to closely monitor White Island through the GeoNet project.


The Volcanic Alert Level ranges from 0 to 5 and defines the current status at a volcano. Level 1 indicates departure from typical surface background activity.

Aviation Colour Codes are based on four colours and are intended for quick reference only in the international civil aviation community. A reduction to Code Yellow from Orange indicates volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be closely monitored for possible renewed increase.

Volcanoes can erupt in many different ways. They can erupt explosively like Tongariro in 2012 when rocks and ash were hurled into the sky. They can erupt effusively with lava flows like Ngauruhoe in 1954 or in Hawaii. A lava dome is a type of effusive eruption.

The GeoNet project is funded by EQC and provides monitoring for all of New Zealand’s volcanoes.

Craig Miller
Duty Volcanologist


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news