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

 


Dormant Whakarewarewa geyser springs into life


12 October, 2013


Dormant Whakarewarewa geyser springs into life


Papakura Geyser - Brad Scott & Tim Cossar (landscape)

A Te Whakarewarewa Valley geyser that has been dormant for nearly 35 years has sprung into life in recent weeks, signifying the first regeneration of a Te Whakarewarewa Valley geyser since Rotorua’s bore closure programme was implemented between 1986 and 1992.

Located near the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, Papakura was historically known as one of the highlights of a visit to Whakarewarewa Valley. The geyser was named after famous Te Arawa guide, Maggie Papakura.

Papakura had been a consistently active geyser until March 1979. The failure of Papakura geyser marked a turning point in the understanding of the damage that the bore use was having on springs and geysers. The area has been hidden by vegetation for many years, but was uncovered by Te Puia|NZMACI maintenance staff last year.

In mid-September, bubbling water was sighted coming from the area, and on Sunday 29 September, there was a series of small “eruptions”, where steam and water were measured shooting up to a metre high in the air.

GNS Science volcanologist, Brad Scott, says the geyser’s reinvigoration is a significant development for the region’s geothermal fields, and is the first sign of renewed life in Te Whakarewarewa Valley since Rotorua’s bore closure programme was implemented.

“Until Papakura became dormant in 1979, she was one of the most consistent geysers in the valley, only stopping once before during a significant drought in the 1930s. As a result, when her activity ceased, it was a very clear signal that the area’s geothermal resources were being depleted.

“Since the bore closure programme was implemented, we have seen a small resurgence in geothermal activity in recent years in areas such as Kuirau Park, Tawera Rd and the Government Gardens, however, this is the first such development in Te Whakarewarewa Valley – an area that is internationally renowned for its geothermal activity.”

Mr Scott says the water temperature within Papakura had been rising steadily for some time, however the geyser’s overflow was a significant milestone.

“It is a significant and reassuring development for the geothermal field,” says Mr Scott.

Te Puia Chief Executive, Tim Cossar, says Papakura’s recent activity is an exciting development for Te Puia staff and visitors, as well as for local iwi who have made the valley their home for hundreds of years.

“Historically, Te Whakarewarewa’s Māori culture and geothermal activity were real attractions for visitors to the valley, and the Papakura Geyser was one of the highlights. Had she not become dormant in the late 1970s, there is every chance she would have been as well known as Pohutu.

“Today, Rotorua is still internationally renowned for its geothermal activity, with the Pohutu Geyser being one of the most photographed attractions in Rotorua”.

“Our geothermal activity is a real asset to our region and our tourism economy, and it is rewarding for everyone involved that the measures that were taken 30 years ago are starting to pay off with some of our natural features starting to come back to life.”

“We are mandated by an Act of Parliament to maintain and preserve traditional Māori art forms, but under that legislation we also have a clear responsibility to ensure the sustainability of the remarkable geothermal landscape and the natural environment that exists in Te Whakarewarewa Valley. This is a responsibility that we take seriously.”

Mr Cossar says manuhiri (visitors) to Te Puia will be able to view Papakura from existing pathways.

“All of the significant geothermal activity in the valley is fenced off to ensure the safety of our manuhiri and staff, however, Papakura can be easily viewed from existing paths and viewing areas.

“She has been bubbling continuously for a few weeks now and that is encouraging, and while we can’t make any promises about any significant additional activity, manuhiri will still have a unique experience if they choose to visit.”

Te Puia is located on the Southern Arikikapakapa and Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserves, on land leased from the Whakarewarewa Joint Trust. The land is jointly owned by Ngati Whakaue and Ngati Wahiao.

Chairman of the Whakarewarewa Joint Lands Trust Malcolm Short, says this is a remarkable recovery of a previous tourist icon in the Whakarewarewa thermal valley.

“It shows the cyclical nature of our geothermal field which is so dependent on groundwater levels. This has happened across our geothermal fields in the past and will happen again in the future.”

-ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>

ALSO:

'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news