Latest news & updates from White Island
White Island volcano (New Zealand): the activity continues at elevated levels; flight observations
Tuesday Mar 10, 2020 10:29 AM | BY: MARTIN
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.
Additionally recorded a temperature of 746 °C. This was measured on one of the lava lobes and is the hottest temperature measured to date. Despite these high fumarole temperatures, a small pond of water is present in the Primary Crater formed on 9 December 2019. Small-scale jetting of this pond water is continuing to occur, like the activity seen in September-December 2019.
High temperatures and large amounts of gas are consistent with the continued presence of shallow magma beneath the primary vent area. There are currently no indications for fresh magma arriving from greater depths.
The active vent area remains a rapidly changing environment and an eruption could occur with limited precursory activity. Plausible triggers for an eruption include 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 10 March 2020
Wednesday, Feb 19, 2020
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. ... [more]
Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020
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. ... [more]
Thursday, Jan 09, 2020
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. ... [more]
Saturday, Dec 28, 2019
GeoNet reported that during 18-23 December the level of volcanic tremor at the volcano remained low and gas-and-steam plumes were strongly emitted from the new vent area. ... [more]
Friday, Dec 13, 2019
No new eruption occurred during the recent phase of intense tremor, which has again declined. However, this could change quickly again and the official Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2. [more]