Ngauruhoe Volcano – Update

Earthquake activity beneath Mt. Ngauruhoe volcano has increased again, according to the latest release from Geonet.

A sharp increase in the number of shallow earthquakes under the volcano prompted GNS Science to issue an alert bulletin on June 5th, and the alert status for Ngauruhoe was raised to 1 – some signs of unrest.

Initially, shallow earthquakes were occurring at the rate of about 50 per day, but this eased to 10 – 20 per day around the middle of the month. However, a bulletin issued on July 3rd says the rate has increased again to about 20 – 40 per day.

The earthquakes are of magnitude 1 or less, and additional monitoring equipment installed last month has refined their location to an area on the northern flank of Ngauruhoe at a depth of about 1 km.

The Geonet media release states that measurements of volcanic gas concentrations and temperatures made at the summit are normal, and show no significant changes from values recorded early in June and in 2003.

The release by Steven Sherburn, Duty Volcanologist, stresses that there are no other signs of unrest at Ngauruhoe, and there is no evidence that an eruption is imminent.

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