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Latest news:

Tremor spectrum and amplitude at Ruapehu volcano (GeoNet)
Monday, Nov 07, 2016
Volcanic tremor (which is normally present at the volcano) has increased a notch since mid October, but not enough to trigger a raise in alert status of the volcano (which remains at level 1). New Zealand's GNS Science issued a note but does not expect the volcano to erupt soon. ... [more]
Ruapehu's crater lake in August 2016 (image: Geonet)
Friday, Sep 09, 2016
After reaching record-low temperatures in August, the volcano's closely-monitored crater lake has started to heat up very quickly since 2 September, Geonet reported. ... [more]
 

Ruapehu volcano

Stratovolcano 2797 m / 9,176 ft
North Island, New Zealand, -39.28°S / 175.57°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Ruapehu webcams / live data | Reports
Ruapehu volcano books | Tours
Last update: 7 Nov 2016 (increased volcanic tremor)
Typical eruption style: Mildly explosive, formation of lahars
Ruapehu volcano eruptions: Ruhapehu volcano
TimeMag. / DepthDistanceLocation
Thu, 15 Nov
Thu, 15 Nov 20:10 UTCM 0.4 / 6.6 km17 kmNew Zealand
Thu, 15 Nov 18:54 UTCM 1.2 / 14.3 km22 kmNew Zealand
Thu, 15 Nov 17:02 UTCM 1.2 / 35.9 km8 kmNew Zealand
Thu, 15 Nov 09:57 UTCM 0.4 / 9.7 km5 kmNew Zealand
Thu, 15 Nov 09:57 UTCM 0.3 / 9.7 km5 kmNew Zealand
View all recent quakes
Ruapehu is one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes and forms the highest peak of the North Island. The andesitic stratovolcano has an age of around 200,000 years and contains a large summit crater containing a lake. Eruptions from the vent inside the lake often cause the lake to drain and form dangerous lahars.

Background:

Ruapehu is a complex volcanic edifice constructed over several cycles and has a NNE-SSW elongated shape. The cone is surrounded by a large plain formed by debris from flank collapse and lahar deposits.
A series of very explosive (Plinian) eruptions occurred at Ruapehu between about 22,600 and 10,000 years ago. Since then, only one vent has probably been active, Crater Lake in the summit region. Activity in historic time consisted of mild explosive phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions often accompanied by lahars threatening the popular ski area on the volcano as well as structures in the surrounding valleys.
An eruption on 24th December 1953 caused a catastrophic lahar that destroyed a rail bridge 42 km from the volcano, just as the Wellington-Auckland passenger train was crossing and fell into the valley, causing 151 fatalities.


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