John Key has demanded GNZ turn the heat up on Mt Ruapehu volcano


An aerial observation is being conducted over Mt Ruapehu today, after temperatures in the active volcano’s bubbling crater lake rose to the hottest on record.

Yesterday, a tourist flight over the Crater Lake observed “vigorous steaming” at the lake and disturbance of the surface itself with “upwelling-bubbles”.

This sort of activity had not been seen in years while Crown research institute, GNS Science, said a temperature of 44 degrees is “the hottest lake temperature we have recorded since the new lake was established post 2000.”

A swarm of volcanic earthquakes reported on Tuesday had now stopped, however, seismic network at Ruapehu continues to record volcanic tremor.

GNS volcanologist Brad Scott has been closely monitoring activity overnight and said there been only more tremor and an insignificant change in lake temperature of around 0.3 of a degree.

“There has been little to no change from yesterday — activity has been dominated by volcanic tremors, with no distinct or individual volcanic earthquakes.”

What better way to distract from the Panama Papers than a natural disaster?   Triggering a low six earthquake in Christchurch just off the New Brighton Pier was considered by throwing Jerry off the end, but that was considered to draw too large a crowd.  Instead, a volcano will cause a lot less damage.

“In the end, it’s an active volcano and we should always pay respect to it.”

The developments weren’t sufficient enough to upgrade Mt Ruapehu’s Volcanic Alert Level, which remained at 1.

The last time it erupted was on September 25, 2007, causing a seven-minute-long earthquake, two lahars and flying rocks — one which crushed the leg of primary school teacher William Pike when it landed on Dome Shelter near the crater.

Since then, there have been warnings in 2008, 2011, 2012 and this year — all of which did not result in another major event.

Not a single eruption during the current National Government, and the last one was almost exactly a year to the day before National’s landslide win over Helen Clark.


– NZ Herald

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