Scientists confirm location of New Zealand's Pink and White Terraces

Scientists at NIWA have confirmed the location of New Zealand's Pink and White terraces, which were lost after the 1886 eruption of Mr Tarawera.

The incredible natural phenomenon had been called the eighth wonder of the world before it disappeared, and attracted international tourists from far and wide.

The Terraces had been formed over thousands of years as silica-rich water emerging from springs and geysers crystallised into giant tiered staircases.

Previous research from Professor Ron Keam and GNS Science had suggested the terraces were at the bottom of Lake Rotomahana, near Rotorua.

NIWA scientists Dr Andrew Lorrey and John-Mark Woolley have been able to confirm this, using data from the only survey conducted in the area before the eruption, as well as light detection and ranging (LIDAR).

The research was undertaken at the request of Tūhourangi Tribal Authority, who said it is very happy to have confirmed the location of the terraces.

"We are very pleased to have this information that enables us to better understand where Te Tarata and Otkuapuarangi (Pink and White Terraces) were located, and what became of them," Chair Alan Skipwith said in a statement.

While scientists now know where the Terraces are, it remains to be seen what condition they are in.

"There is a lot more science that is yet to be done to see what's down there," Dr Lorrey said.

The research was published on Wednesday in the scientific journal Frontiers in Earth Science.