White Island eruption period over for now – GNS
Monday 7 Jan 2013 3:51 p.m.
A view of White Island about 3pm today (Photo: GNS)
By 3 News online staff
GNS Science says White Island’s current eruption episode has now finished.
Today volcanologists lowered the volcanic alert level for the island from 2 to 1 and changed the aviation colour code from Orange to Yellow.
A lava dome observed by tour operators in late November has now stopped growing, which GNS believes signals the end of an eruption period.
GNS volcanologist Nico Fournier says temperatures of the dome have not changed between December 10 and January 1.
“The dome looked exactly the same as it did on our previous visits.”
He says a nearby lake remained at similar temperatures to earlier visits, but was still hot at 70degC to 80 degC.
“The hot lake was really fizzing, lots of gas coming through it.”
Despite the apparent “end of the current period of eruption”, the island is still showing elevated levels of tremors.
GNS reminds people that White Island is still in a “heightened state of unrest and future eruptions are still possible with little or no warning”.
Activity increased at White Island in August last year when it produced a ‘burp’ and the volcanic alert level was raised to 2, with the aviation colour code increased to orange.