Environment

Crater lake at White Island (Whakaari) is in the process of reforming, New Zealand


The crater lake at White Island (Whakaari) in New Zealand is in the process of reforming, GeoNet’s Duty Volcanologist Agnes Mazot said. Volcanic activity remains at a low level and is local to the crater lake site. The alert level remains at 1.

Observations during recent visits to White Island and from the web cameras confirm that the crater lake is starting to reform and volcanic activity remains at low levels, Mazot said.

In the past few weeks water has ponded on the floor of the active crater and started to reform a permanent lake. Volcanic activity is confined to the gas-rich vents on the western side of the active crater. Hot, clear gas continues to be emitted. The seismic and acoustic activity generally remain low, and the SO2 gas flux is also low.

In mid-April and again this week visitors to the island have experienced loud sounds from the active crater area. These are being generated from the vents on the 2012 lava intrusion, the main source of gas and steam in the Main Crater.

The rising lake level and drowning of some gas-steam vents has occurred in the past and minor steam driven activity has occurred near these vents.

The current lake level rise is likely to do the same and the effects are likely to only be local to the vents.

Seismic activity on the volcano during the last month has been at low levels, punctuated occasionally by weak volcanic tremor and regional earthquakes nearby. There is no substantial change in the level of volcanic activity.

The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 1 and the Aviation Colour code remains Green.

Featured image credit: GNS, GeoNet



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