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Mt Ruapehu Alert

Posted by feww on May 10, 2008

UPDATE #1
Earthquake Magnitude 6.7 (reviewed by PTWC as Magnitude 6.9 )
– GUAM REGION [Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 07:51:31 AM at epicenter]

Submitted by a reader

Will one or both of New Zealand islands break up and sink in the south-western Pacific Ocean?

Increased risk of eruptions on Mt Ruapehu

Scientists are alarmed by an increased risk of eruptions on Mt Ruapehu. Climbers are warned about the increased gas concentrations near the Ruapehu’s crater lake that will affect some people.

In a moderate-sized eruption last year, William Pike, a geography teacher, lost part of his leg after a lahar partially buried him under tons of debris.

The crater lake temperature normally rises and drops in regular cycles. However, since the last eruption, the temperatures have remained above the of 34 – 38 °C range, a Conservation Department scientist said.

“Since September there’s been a long period of heating in the volcano, which is unusual. Normally the crater lake temperature goes up and down every nine to 15 months.

“But it has been hovering around 34-38 degrees when it normally should be lower than this.

“Basically, the temperature has stayed hot for longer this time.

“There’s no clear pattern – before the last two eruptions it was at the bottom of the cycle.”

Predicting how close the mountain was to erupting involves monitoring numerous factors, especially the crater lake temperature, the scientist said.

“It’s a combination of gas, lake temperature and magma temperature… We are issuing a warning that people should be alert if they go into the summit hazard zone.” (Source)

A train passes over a bridge over the Whangaehu River at the scene of the historic Tangiwai Rail disaster after a mud flow from the crater lake of Mount Ruapehu, in the central North Island, New Zealand, Sunday, March 18, 2007. A potentially lethal mix of mud, acidic water and rocks tore down the slope of New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu on Sunday, emergency officials said, but there was no immediate threat to life. Credit: AP Photo/NZPA, Stephen Barker (Source and Caption: Live Science) Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice!

What is a
– Lahar?
– Plate tectonics?

– Convergent boundary?

Will a magnitude 9.8 (MW) earthquake centered at 42° 00′ 59″ South, 175° 05′ 07″ East herald the end of New Zealand Islands?

For more information and related links see: Mt Ruapehu Eruption Alert

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