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

 


Study may improve predictions of volcanic eruptions

MEDIA RELEASE

20 February 2014

Study may improve predictions of volcanic eruptions

Investigating material thrown out of Mount Tauhara on the outskirts of Taupo during several eruptions has provided accurate data which could be used to predict how quickly some volcanic eruptions occur.

Dr Monica Handler, Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, is part of a team of researchers which studied the Tauhara volcano, in the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

By understanding the characteristics of the magma erupted from Tauhara, says Dr Handler, we are better able to predict the behaviour of volcanoes of similar compositions, which also occur in continental volcanic regions such as the Cascades and Andes ranges of North and South America.

“If movement is detected underground, we now have a better understanding from Tahara’s example, how these types of volcanoes can work and are better able to predict how quickly the magma can reach the surface of the earth and erupt.”

Tauhara has some peculiar aspects, says Dr Handler, which have allowed scientists to gain new knowledge about volcanic eruptions. “Only minor amounts of the type of magma erupted have been found in the Taupo Volcanic Zone and the individual crystals in the rocks erupted by Tauhara should not normally be found together in the same rock.”

To understand how the unusual magma formed, the team carried out investigations on individual crystals found in the rocks using the state-of-the-art geochemistry laboratory at Victoria University.          

The mineral chemistry gives information about the composition of the molten magma it grew in, as well as the pressure and temperature at which it formed. This provides information about what depths the magma formed and was stored. And also, importantly, for how long.

“Our data show that different magma batches took from as little as two months to up to two years to form under Tauhara volcano. We were also able to calculate that it took only two to three weeks for the magma to ascend to the surface and erupt,” says Dr Handler.

“The more we understand how the different types of volcanoes work, the better we’re able to monitor them. If we start to see evidence of activity we may be able to identify the pattern and understand what might happen and how to mitigate the results of that.”

People live in close proximity to the Taupo Volcanic Zone, says Dr Handler, so it’s vital to have the best information possible about the different types of eruptions that can occur.

The work, undertaken by Master of Science student Chelsea Tutt, with the supervision of Dr Handler, Dr Marc-Alban Millet, and Professor Joel Baker, is part of a broader research programme, applying the laboratory facilities at Victoria University to problems of understanding the rare but hazardous eruptions in the central North Island.

The findings add to a global understanding of volcanoes and their timeframes for erupting, which is critical to predicting how much of a risk they pose.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Fairfax Moves To Create Modern Newsroom

Fairfax Media New Zealand continues its newsroom transformation this week, with a proposal to further organise its editorial operations into focused, local teams and specialist national topic areas. More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Forecast For 2015/16 Season

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2014/15 season to $4.40 per kgMS. Along with its previously announced forecast dividend range of 20-30 cents per share, the change amounts to a forecast ... More>>

ALSO:

BusinessDesk: SkyCity Lifts Minimum Convention Centre Investment To $430M

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator, has lifted the minimum it will invest in the Auckland International Convention Centre to $430 million and said total costs including land may be $450 million to $470 million. More>>

Statistics: Drop In Dairy Prices Leads Fall In Exports

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>


BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news