Volcanic Alert Bulletin WI-2013/06 - White Island Volcano

30 January 2013, 11:30am - Small tuff cone forming; Volcanic Alert remains at level 1, Aviation Colour Code remains Orange.

The ‘hot lake’ has now dried out and a small tuff cone has started to form on the former floor of the lake. The active vent continues to produce vigorous bursts of mud, rock, steam and gas from 50-100 m high. Ash is not being carried into the plume. This activity is intermittent as is the seismic activity. Current activity is not sufficient for Volcanic Alert Level 2.

Larger explosions of mud, rock and perhaps molten sulphur are always possible and occur with little or no warning. A greater than usual hazard does exist for visitors to the island as a result of the current level of volcanic activity.

GNS Science’s past monitoring of the island shows that new eruptive episodes often develop out of this type of activity. Small muddy lakes sometimes form in craters, as the unrest develops geysering and explosions occur through these lakes, becoming more vigorous with time.

This morning the gas and steam plumes appear to have declined, judging from the various web camera images available. A gas flight is being conducted to day to ascertain if the volcanic gas flux has changed since Friday.

Michael Rosenberg
Duty Volcanologist

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