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Tongariro volcano is a large complex volcano with about 12 craters and vents, including the steep stratovolcano Ngauruhoe, which is the focus of most activity in recent times.
Tongariro with its colorful crater lakes, hot springs, fumaroles, numerous cones and lava deserts is one of the major tourist attractions of the North Island, and the famous "Tongariro crossing" is generally regarded as one of the most scenic hikes in the world.
complex volcano 1978 m / 6,490 ft North Island, New Zealand, -39.12°S / 175.65°E Current status: restless (2 out of 5) Tongariro webcams / live data Tongariro volcano books Tongariro volcano eruptions: Eruptions outside Ngauruhoe, mainly on SSE flank (Red Crater): 6 Aug 2012, 1927 (?), 1926, 1896, 1890 (?), 1886, 1885±1, 1869, 1859, 1855, 1500 ± 50, 550 BC ± 200 years, 9350 BC (?), 9450 BC (?), 9650 BC (?), 9850 BC (?)
Eruptions from Ngauruhoe vent: 1975-77, 1972, 1968-69, 1962, 1958-59, 1956, 1948-54, 1939-40, 1937, 1934, 1931, 1924-28, 1917, 1913-14, 1909-10, 1904-07, 1897-98, 1892, 1883, 1881, 1878, 1875, 1869-70, 1862-64, 1857, 1844, 1841, 1839, 550 BC ± 200 Typical eruption style: explosive Last earthquakes nearby Latest satellite images
On 19 August GeoNet reported that activity at Tongariro's Te Maari Craters had declined significantly since the eruption in 2012, with data suggesting that unrest associated with the eruption was over. ...more
The Volcanic Alert Level was lowered to 0 (on a scale of 0-5). The Volcanic Alert Level for Ngauruhoe is separate and had been lowered to 0 on 20 April. [less]
During the past two weeks, GeoNet has been recording very small earthquakes beneath the volcano. The quakes were too small to be located but show up on local seismic stations. ...more
GNS Science said the earthquakes could simply be part of the background unrest typical of most active volcanoes. However, in this case they are of interest at this time because there have been so few at Tongariro since November 2012 and potentially could signal changes occurring inside the volcano. The amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfur gases emitted from Tongariro have remained at low levels since the start of this year and are about half the amount produced after the November 2012 explosion. These conditions, and the small number and small size of recent earthquakes are not sufficient to alter the unrest status of the volcano and GNS Science has not changed the Volcanic Alert Level from 1, or the Aviation Colour Code from Green. [less]
On 14 February GeoNet reported that Tongariro remained quiet with no eruptive activity being detected since the explosion on 21 November 2012. Steam-and-gas plumes rose from the Te Maari Craters, and were unusually strong during the recent weeks possibly due to weather conditions. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Yellow (second lowest on a 4 four-color scale) and the Volcanic Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5).
Picture of Upper Te Maari Crater looking south west. The main Upper Te Maari Crater is in the centre with the main gas discharge area to the left (east) at the head of the prominent fissure running to the base of the picture. (GeoNet)
Tongariro's current status remains characterized by strong degassing from the Te Maari craters, the site of eruptions in August and November 2012. At present, seismic activity is low. This activity is likely to go on several years, but Tongariro could produce new eruptions with little or no precursors, New Zealand's GNS writes in its recent update: ...more
The Te Maari craters at Mount Tongariro continue to be active with continuous emissions of steam and volcanic gas. Emission of a steam and gas plume has been a continuous feature of the mountain since the August 2012 eruption. The gas is coming from a large fumarole and crack in a cliff just east of the Upper Te Maari crater. The main Upper Te Maari crater is also discharging gas but at a lesser rate. Fumaroles associated with a fissure farther to the east have declined and are no longer easily visible. [less]
A brief eruption occurred at Te Maari Craters, Tongariro at approximately 13:25 pm local time today (Wednesday, 21 November 2012). ...more
The eruption occurred from the Upper Te Maari crater, in the same area that erupted on 6 August this year. Today’s eruption lasted for less than 5 minutes although local earthquake activity continued for about 15 minutes. The eruption appears to have ceased for now, GeoNet writes. GNS Science staff Nico Fournier, Agnes Mazot and Craig Miller witnessed the eruption from a few kilometres away. “We didn’t hear anything but could suddenly see an ominous dark grey cloud of ash drifting towards us” said Dr Fournier. The eruption was also seen by trampers walking on the Tongariro Crossing. There are no reports of injury. [less]
On 5 November, GeoNet reported that several teams of scientists had been visiting Tongariro's Te Mari Craters to service portable seismometers (complementing four permanent installations), sample gas vents, and collect samples of ejecta. ...more
The report noted that not many earthquakes had been recorded recently, and that the hottest gas vent was 235 degrees Celsius while the others ranged from 95-104 degrees. On 30 October the sulfur dioxide flux was 154 tonnes per day and the carbon dioxide flux was 477 tonnes per day. The volcano continued to actively degas. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Yellow and the Volcanic Alert Level remained at 1 (signs of volcano unrest). [less]
Current seismic signal from West Tongariro station (GeoNet)
The volcano continues to show increased degassing mainly from the Te Maari eruption site. The hottest temperature measured from gas vents in this area was 235 °C, while others range from 95 °C to 104 °C (GeoNet). Seismic activity overall has remained low with only few earthquakes. GeoNet maintains alert level 1 and aviation color code yellow.
GeoNet reported on 20 Sep, that "No further volcanic activity has occurred from the reactivated Upper Te Maari craters on Tongariro. Scientific teams have been busy collecting and analysing data to understand the current unrest. ...more
Seismic activity has also remained low over the six weeks since the eruption, however, some small earthquakes have been recorded near Te Maari." [less]
This morning, NZ scientists could use a brief window of clear weather to make an overflight of the eruption area which was found to be just below the Upper Te Mari crater, where new steam vents were observed. At the moment, Tongariro is calm, but eruptions could resume any time.
- The eruption started at 11:52 PM (NZ time) and lasted about 30 minutes. ...more
- There was no significant precursory activity (such as sudden tremor) indicating an immediate eruption (although seismic activity had been increased since a few weaks ago). - The eruption WAS followed by 15-20 minutes of strong seismic activity instead. [less]
We got great news from our friend and team member Luca Montagni from New Zealand, reporting that Mt. Tongariro volcano has been erupted 11:50 p.m. in the night of Monday/Tuesday 7-8 August. Due to the bad weather there are no visible observations possible that moment.
Sesimic activity has picked up under Tongariro volcano in New Zealand, GeoNet confirms in its latest bulletin. The earthquake activity had started on 13 July, peaked on 20 July, sharply decreased and picked up again with currently about 3-10 events per day. The earthquakes cluster in a zone between Mount Tongariro and the eastern side of Lake Rotoaira at 2-7 km depth. They are mostly very small and unlikely to be felt. ...more
are occurring each day. Scientists have increased their monitoring of the volcano. Gas samplings of springs and fumaroles confirm that volcanic gases above normal levels are present.
Seismic recording from 31 July - the red lines are earthquakes under the volcano (GeoNet)
Tongariro volcano is showing signs of a possible awakening. On 13 July 2012, an increase in small (<M2.5) earthquakes was detected. The quakes were clustered at depths of 2-7 km under the area between Emerald crater and Te Mari crater. ...more
More than 20 earthquakes were recorded until 20 July, when the seismic activity peaked and prompted GeoNet to raise the alert level from 0 to 1. Compared to a background average of 2 quakes per year, the swarm is significant and could indicate magma movements. Seismic activity dropped on 21 July with only 1 quake since then, but preliminary measurements show an increase in volcanic gas emission. NZ Scientist started to increase their monitoring at the volcano. [less]
Current activity of Bardarbunga volcano, Iceland: An intense seismic crisis started at Bárdarbunga volcano on 16 August 2014 and is continuing at the time of writing (23 Aug). It may or may not lead to a volcanic eruption, possibly under the Vatnajökull ice cap.
Follow updates as news come in!
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