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Volcano Digest – 3 Feb 2020 to 5 Feb 2020 (White Island update) - Notícia OVGA B 06-02-2020


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White Island  | North Island (New Zealand)  | 37.52°S, 177.18°E  | Summit elev. 294 m

On 4 February GeoNet reported that White island remained at an elevated state of unrest. Temperatures at the vent area remained very hot at more than 550-570 degrees Celsius. Gas emissions measured during an overflight on 30 January had decreased compared to the previous week but remained at high levels. No changes to the vent area, the receding lake, or the area of lava extrusion were visually apparent. Continuing movement of the back-crater wall W of the 1914 landslide deposits was identified in satellite images, though not noted during the overflight. According to the New Zealand Police another person died as a result from the eruption, bringing the total number of deaths to 21. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Geologic Summary

The uninhabited White Island, also known as Whakaari in the Maori language, is the 2 x 2.4 km emergent summit of a 16 x 18 km submarine volcano in the Bay of Plenty about 50 km offshore of North Island. The island consists of two overlapping andesitic to-dacitic stratovolcanoes. The summit crater appears to be breached to the SE, because the shoreline corresponds to the level of several notches in the SE crater wall. Volckner Rocks, sea stacks that are remnants of a lava dome, lie 5 km NW. Descriptions of eruptions since 1826 have included intermittent moderate phreatic, phreatomagmatic, and Strombolian eruptions; activity there also forms a prominent part of Maori legends. Formation of many new vents during the 19th and 20th centuries has produced rapid changes in crater floor topography. Collapse of the crater wall in 1914 produced a debris avalanche that buried buildings and workers at a sulfur-mining project. Explosive activity in December 2019 took place while tourists were present, resulting in many fatalities.

Sources: GeoNet;

New Zealand Police


Adenda OVGA:

Localização de White Island (Nova Zelândia)