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White Island volcano
stratovolcano 321 m / 1,053 ft
New Zealand, -37.52°S / 177.18°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
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White Island volcano eruptions:
2019, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2001, 1998-2000, 1998, 1995, 1986-94, 1983-84, 1976-82, 1974, 1971, 1971, 1970, 1969, 1968-69, 1966-67, 1962, 1959, 1958, 1957, 1955, 1947, 1933, 1930, 1928, 1926, 1924, 1922, 1909, 1908 (?), 1886?,1886, 1885 (?), 1885, 1856 (?), 1836, 1826
Typical eruption style:
Explosive (in historic time: frequent small phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions)
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Latest news & updates from White Island

White Island volcano (New Zealand): increased gas flux

Friday May 29, 2020 06:38 AM | BY: MARTIN
Glow visible at night from White Island volcano (image: GeoNet)
Glow visible at night from White Island volcano (image: GeoNet)
Gas emissions from White Island volcano (image: GeoNet)
Gas emissions from White Island volcano (image: GeoNet)
GeoNet volcanologists did a flight observations and aerial-based measurements of the volcano. Results from the most recent gas flight on 27 May indicate an increased gas flux since the previous flight on 20 May. While previous observations indicated a trend back to levels that are typical for this volcano, the recent increase in SO2 and CO2 gas flux, could be attributed to a new batch of the magma beneath the volcano at shallow depth. Thermal infrared images, taken during the observation flight on 20 May, show that the lava extrusions, first detected in early January, are still very hot, at around 500 °C. Hot gases that are being emitted around these lava lobes generate a glow that can be seen on webcam images.
Tremor has not shown significant variations. This week they recorded shallow source volcanic earthquakes. Satellite based measurements of ground deformation show the ground about the active vent area has subsided by several centimetres since the December 2019 eruption.
Recent observations are consistent with a volcanic system that is still very dynamic, despite several monitoring parameters trending back towards pre-eruption levels. An eruption could occur with little precursory activity and could cause the collapse of unstable material around the vents, sudden release of gas from the magma, and the rapid ingress of water onto the shallow magma body.
Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2.
Source: GeoNet New Zealand volcano activity update 29 May 2020
Previous news
Sunday, Apr 19, 2020
The volcano continues to emit SO2 gas, which is derived from magma at shallow depth beneath the surface and is one of the main indicators of volcanic unrest. Since the last update, there have been no significant changes in SO2 output. Emission rates for other gases were not measured due the lockdown from COVID-19. Seismic activity remains at lower levels and continues to fluctuate over periods of hours or days. ... read all
Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020
White steam plume from White Island´s crater today (image: GeoNet)
GeoNet did a flight observations and aerial-based measurements of the volcano in the past two weeks. The most recent gas flight confirms the overall decline in both CO2 and SO2 output since the 9 December 2019 eruption, although latest data shows slightly elevated amounts of gas compared to recent measurements. ... read all
Wednesday, Feb 19, 2020
White steam plume from White Island´s crater today (image: GeoNet)
GeoNet did a gas flight that confirms the steady decline in both CO2 and SO2 flux since the eruption, albeit at slightly elevated levels. The result from this flight is consistent with recent gas measurements and indicates the continued presence of shallow magma beneath the primary vent area. ... read all
Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020
White steam plume from White Island´s crater today (image: GeoNet)
GeoNet did a visual observation and gas flights last week and confirm no further extrusions of lava has occurred. Gas fluxes are lower than two weeks ago but remain elevated. ... read all
Thursday, Jan 09, 2020
Steam plume rising from White Island (image: GeoNet )
GeoNet recorded strong and hot emissions of gases and steam plumes that occured and continue since 9 December, causing a glow that is seen on infrared cameras. Occasional minor ash emissions can be emitted from the active vent due to erosion. ... read all

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