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Okataina (Tarawera) volcano

Updated: Mar 4, 2024 02:16 GMT -
Lava domes 1111 m / 3,645 ft
New Zealand, -38.12°S / 176.5°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Last update: 20 Dec 2021 (Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report)

Mount Tarawera, located 24 km SE of Rotorua, is the main vent of the Okataina volcanic complex. Tarawera produced one of New Zealand's largest historic eruptions in 1886, when a violent explosive basaltic eruption occurred that killed an estimated 120 people. The fissures that opened up run for about 17 kilometres northeast-southwest.

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Typical eruption style: unspecified
Okataina (Tarawera) volcano eruptions: 1981, 1886 (Tarawera eruption)

Latest nearby earthquakes

TimeMag. / DepthDistance/Location
Feb 29, 10:06 pm (Auckland)
Feb 29, 09:06 GMT

131 km
29 km (18 mi) to the NE South Pacific Ocean, 29 km west of Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand Info
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 GMT (1 quake)
Feb 28, 04:23 am (Auckland)
Feb 27, 15:23 GMT

127 km
8.8 km (5.4 mi) to the NE 29 km east of Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Tuesday, February 20, 2024 GMT (1 quake)
Feb 20, 03:17 pm (Auckland)
Feb 20, 02:17 GMT

127 km
10.7 km (6.6 mi) to the NW 18 km northeast of Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand Info
Thursday, February 22, 2024 GMT (1 quake)
Feb 23, 07:25 am (Auckland)
Feb 22, 18:25 GMT

3.9 km
18 km (11 mi) to the SW 20 km southeast of Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand Info
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 GMT (1 quake)
Feb 21, 03:29 pm (Auckland)
Feb 21, 02:29 GMT

165 km
28 km (17 mi) to the SW 9.9 km south of Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand Info
Friday, March 1, 2024 GMT (1 quake)
Mar 2, 08:37 am (Auckland)
Mar 1, 19:37 GMT

140 km
7 km (4.3 mi) to the E Bay of Plenty, 76 km northeast of Taupo, Waikato, New Zealand Info


The massive, dominantly rhyolitic Okataina Volcanic Centre is surrounded by extensive ignimbrite and pyroclastic sheets produced during multiple caldera-forming eruptions. Numerous lava domes and craters erupted from two subparallel NE-SW-trending vent lineations form the Haroharo and Tarawera volcanic complexes.
Lava domes of the Haroharo complex, at the northern end of the Okataina Volcanic Centre, occupy part of the 16 x 26 km Pleistocene Haroharo caldera, which formed incrementally between 300,000 and 50,000 years before present (BP). The oldest exposed rocks on the caldera floor are about 22,000 years old. The Tarawera complex at the southern end of Okataina consists of 11 rhyolitic lava domes and associated lava flows. The oldest domes were formed as late as about 15,000 years BP, and the youngest were formed in the Kaharoa eruption about 800 years BP. The NE-SW Tarawera vent lineation extends from the two dacitic cones of Maungaongaonga and Mangakakaramea on the SW to Mount Edgecumbe on the NE. Construction of the Haroharo and Tarawera complexes impounded lakes Rotoiti, Totoehu, Okataina, and Tarawera against the outer margins of the Okataina ring structure. A major hydrothermal area is located at Waimangu; the world-renowned Pink and White Terrace siliceous sinter deposits were destroyed during the major basaltic explosive eruption of 1886.
Smithsonian / GVP volcano information

See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
Wed, 15 Jun 2016, 06:00

Okataina volcano (North Island, New Zealand) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 15 June-21 June 2016 (New Activity / Unrest)

GeoNet reported that the Mud Rift feature at Okataina's Waimangu Geothermal area erupted during 17-20 May, the first time since 1989. The Mud Rift geothermal vent formed in 1906 in the Raupo Pond Crater (one of multiple craters which formed in June 1886) and is 36 m long, 5-6 m wide, and 15 m deep. The steam-driven events mostly ejected fine sand and mud, and there was abundant evidence of fluids flooding into the rift, especially at the W end. ... Read all
Fri, 16 Jan 2015, 12:05

Tarawera volcano (New Zealand): small earthquake swarm near Lake Rotomahana

Mount Tarawera seismograph drum showing the earthquakes (GeoNet)
A swarm of small earthquakes occurred during 14-15 Jan near Lake Rotomahana. ... Read all