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White Island volcano
stratovolcano 321 m / 1,053 ft
New Zealand, -37.52°S / 177.18°E
Current status: restless (2 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)
Last earthquakes nearby
White Island volcano tours
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Latest news & updates from White Island

White Island volcano (New Zealand): ash emissions, alert level raised to 3

Tue, 13 Sep 2016, 17:53
17:53 PM | BY: T
Ash plume from White Island today seen on Nasa's Suomi NPP satellite
Ash plume from White Island today seen on Nasa's Suomi NPP satellite
Ash plume seen from the north (image: GeoNet)
Ash plume seen from the north (image: GeoNet)
A small eruption occurred this morning from the volcano. Weak ash emissions were seen from the vent of the volcano's 2012 lava dome in the central crater; the alert level was raised from 1 (green) to 3 (orange).
The eruption consisted in a phase of passive (without significant explosions) ash venting starting at about 11:50 local time. The activity produced a whitish-gray plume of fine ash that rose a few hundred meters and was blown by strong winds to the east where it formed a narrow plume several tens of kilometers long.

In its latest bulletin, GeoNet states that "there has been no escalation in the level of activity at White Island since late morning. Seismic activity remains low on the island. Some of our cameras are now been affected by ash and steam, so we may not see much from them in the short term."
The level of volcanic activity was described as "very minor" and has not increased so far. Without specific information on the chemistry of the erupted ash it is impossible to be sure whether or likely not fresh magma is involved in the eruption. Most likely, the activity has been caused by destabilization (e.g. overheating) of parts of the shallow hydrothermal system with its circulating fluids (hot watery solutions, gasses) and is not necessarily a sign of new magma approaching the surface.
Previous news
Thu, 28 Apr 2016, 12:05
Geonet's instruments inside White Island covered with ash from the eruption on 27 April 2016 (image: Geonet)
A small phreatic explosion occurred inside the main crater of the volcano on the evening of 27 April around 21:50 local time, Geonet reported. The volcanic alert level was raised to 3 and aviation color code to Orange. ... read all
Sat, 30 Aug 2014, 10:41
Seismic spectrum over the past 30 days (GeoNet)
A swarm of small earthquakes was detected on Thursday near White Island, New Zealand scientists monitoring the volcano reported. The largest event is magnitude 3.3 and was located within 5km of the island. ... read all
Mon, 4 Nov 2013, 19:59
Current webcam image of White Island (GeoNet)
No further eruptive activity has occurred since the moderate eruption on the evening of 11 October 2013. Seismic activity and gas flux from the volcano have been at a low level since the eruption. The Aviation Colour Code has been lowered from Yellow to Green. (GeoNet) ... read all
Sun, 13 Oct 2013, 10:29
Comparison of the eruption site in White Island before (l) and after the eruption on Friday evening(r)
A moderate explosive eruption occurred at around 20:09pm NZDT last Friday, GeoNet writes. "The eruption lasted about 1 minute based on data from acoustic and seismic sensors, and was confirmed by subsequent analysis of web camera images during daylight hours." The Volcanic Alert Level was raised to Level 2 and the Aviation Colour Code to Orange. ... read all

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