The world as we know it

Taupo volcanic zone update – more eruptions likely

Update; GNS science hotspot map released showing areas most at risk;

With the Taupo volcanic zone in New Zealand starting to rumble back into life many have expressed an interest in what is going on in New Zealand. The NZ government has highlighted the extreme dangers of the zone and the need to be watchful.

Tests have revealed that magna is bubbling higher than normal in Tongariro Volcano meaning further eruptions are likely. “We’re now convinced that the likelihood of this just being a one-off has decreased,” said GNS vulcanologist Nico Fournier. This magma may be mere metres higher or worryingly kilometers higher.

With the decline of the earth’s magnetic field there is also concern that this correlates with an increase in global volcanism. Likewise the change in the sun’s sunspot cycle is also likely to be a contributing factor in increasing seismic and volcanic activity. Currently solar cycle 24 is almost flatlining creating a regime change that is likely to affect the earth in numerous ways.

OK here’s a list of online resources to keep up to date on the Taupo volcanic zone;

1. Geonet near real–time shaking intensity from New Zealand’s network of seismographs. Earthquakes are often a precursar to volcanic activity as movement of magma & plates often but not always precede erutptions. For global earthquake monitoring there are also the following sites;

USGS real time global earthquake map ; Live global earthquake map ; Global seismic monitor ; Earth alerts

2. Volcano alert system

The New Zealand volcano alert system is as follows (note it is not identical to the rest of the world);

Scientific Alert Level  Indicative Phenomena  Volcano Status 
0 Typical background surface activity; seismicity, deformation and heat flow at low levels.  Usual dormant, or quiescent state.
1 Apparent seismic, geodetic, thermal or other unrest indicators.  Initial signs of possible volcano unrest. No eruption threat. 
2 Increase in number or intensity of unrest indicators (seismicity, deformation, heat flow etc).  Confirmation of volcano unrest. Eruption threat. 
3 Minor steam eruptions. High-increasing trends of unrest indicators, significant effects on volcano, possibly beyond.  Minor eruptions commenced. Real possibility of hazardous eruptions.
4 Eruption of new magma. Sustained high levels of unrest indicators, significant effects beyond volcano.  Hazardous local eruption in progress. Large scale eruption now possible. 
5 Destruction with major damage beyond active volcano. Significant risk over wider areas. Large hazardous volcanic eruption in progress. 

NZ volcano updates can be viewed at the following sites;

GEOnet current volcanic activity updates ; NZ volcanic alert bulletins ; Volcanic ash advisoriesNew Zealand volcano updates ; USGS weekly volcanic update report ; NZ ministry of Civil defense ;

Also local news – like the NZ Herald can have volcano news. Volcanoes in New Zealand

And for interest here is a super volcano comparison. Taupo is the most recent super volcano to erupt, which it normally does every 1000 yrs or so, though the last eruption was 1800 years ago. Earth changes, 2012 and ancient knowledge. The Mayans, The Maoris inhabited New Zealand quite recently – from the 14th century. Many of their legends surround the volcanos and Lake Taupo as well. Lake Taupo characteristics & environment ;

While we are on the topic of NZ here is the real time Christchurch earthquake monitor.

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