Volcanic Alert Bulletin TON-2013/05 - Tongariro Volcano

23 December 2013, 3:30pm - Tongariro activity update; Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 1 (no change); Aviation Colour Code remains Green (no change)

Tongariro volcano remains quiet. Te Maari has had no eruptive activity since an explosion on 21 November 2012 although there is still a small chance that an eruption could occur with little or no warning.

A few small earthquakes continue to be recorded on the northern flanks of Tongariro, occurring at a low rate of 2-3 per month. We are measuring sulphur dioxide fluxes of about 10-15 tonnes/day which is also a low level. The latest gas measurements were made last Friday.

On Friday GNS volcanologists also sampled the fumaroles on Te Maari that have been active since the eruptions in 2012. The main fumarole, which often provides strong steam plumes visible from Taupo, was emitting gases at over 400 °C.

GNS Science has not changed the Volcanic Alert Level or the Aviation Colour Code.

Through the GeoNet project, GNS Science continues to monitor Tongariro for any new earthquake activity or changes in volcanic gas concentrations, and keeps a close watch for any visible changes.

Background

Aviation Colour Codes are based on four colours and are intended for quick reference only in the international civil aviation community. Code Green indicates that a volcano has no eruptive activity.

The Volcanic Alert Level ranges from 0 to 5 and defines the current status at a volcano. Level 1 indicates volcanic unrest, with departures from background level.

Michael Rosenberg
Duty Volcanologist

Contact: Brad Scott

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