Tongariro Fireworks

Following the little spike of activity back in August, Tongariro in New Zealand reactivated today with a 5 minute explosive eruption jetting up a small plume and generating some very limited pyroclastic flows. With it being a daytime eruption, and with New Zealand getting firmly into its summer season there were, inevitably, a number of people attempting the Tongariro Crossing – a very popular hike that snakes past the dramatic Mt Ngaruhoe and up onto the nested craters of Tongariro proper.

Among this group of walkers was a pro film crew.  The net result is that some truly spectacular video got captured of the plume immediately after eruption, and showing some of the small PDCs generated from it. I strongly recommend going to have a look here. Not only do you get the joys of some lovely volcanology, but the added bonus of a soundtrack of overexcited and dramatically screaming children.

The volcano is at Alert Level 2 and Aviation Colour Code Orange.

EDIT: Here’s the seismics from Geonet for the last 24 hours. You can see the observed eruption a little before the 10 hour line (the drums are marked in hours before present, with present being about midnight New Zealand time, and the eruption going off at about 1.30 pm local time).  It looks like there’s possibly been a further pulse of activity just over 2 hours ago.

EDIT 2: Quick and dirty compilation of the webcam images from Geonet / GNS Science, showing a lot of geothermal outgassing activity before and after the eruption. Available on YouTube here.

I’ll update as and when I get a bit more info.

About Pete Rowley

Earth Scientist with a background in volcanology and sedimentology. Enjoys a good rant, beer, and games. Dislikes reality TV, crowds, and unreasonable people.
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1 Response to Tongariro Fireworks

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