Latest news & updates from White Island
White Island volcano (New Zealand): Aviation Colour Code changed to GREEN
Wednesday Jun 24, 2020 11:10 AM | BY: MATTHEW
GeoNet’s latest volcanic alert bulletin has changed the Aviation Colour Code to Green for Whakaari/White Island. This is a result of a “continuously decreasing level of volcanic activity”. This change in Aviation Colour Code comes a week after the Volcanic Alert Level was dropped to level 1
The Volcanic Alert Level 1 indicates that the most likely hazards are those expected during lower levels of volcanic unrest, for example, steam discharge, volcanic gases, earthquakes, landslides and hydrothermal activity. GeoNet stress that while Volcano Alert Level 1 is associated with these environmental hazards, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of eruptions occurring with little or no warning.
Despite the decision to lower the Aviation Colour Code, an eruption could still occur with little or no advanced warning. Plausible triggers for an eruption remain the collapse of unstable material from the crater walls onto the vents, increased release of gas from the shallow magma, and the ingress of water onto the shallow magma body.
Should any explosive activity produce an ash cloud, the likelihood of ash affecting the mainland remains very low. Under suitable weather conditions, the gas and steam plume may be noticed on the mainland as weak acid rain.
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Links / Sources:
White Island volcano (New Zealand): Volcanic Alert Level lowered to Level 1; seismic unrest continues
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2020
Observations and monitoring data over the last few months indicate that Whakaari/White Island has been progressing on a gradual trend back to lower levels of unrest that are typical of the long-term behaviour of this volcano. ... [more]
Wednesday, Jun 10, 2020
GeoNet volcanologists did a flight observations and aerial-based measurements over Whakaari/White Island in the past week. The observation flight showed continued high heat flow in the crater, while other activity largely remains within the range observed over the past few months. ... [more]
Friday, May 29, 2020
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. ... [more]
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. ... [more]
Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020
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. ... [more]