Raoul Volcano – Continued Activity

Hydrothermal activity at Raoul Island has continued, but at a low level, since the March eruption according to a media release from GNS Science.

The volcano known as Raoul Island, in New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands, erupted without warning on March 17th. The volcano is part of an island chain that sits above the interface between the subducting Pacific Plate and the overlying Australian Plate between Samoa and New Zealand, an area that has experienced increased activity within the last year.

GNS Science, through their website Geonet, released the first official update on activity at Raoul in 2 months, late yesterday.

The report mentions that hydrothermal activity at Raoul Island continues at a weak level. Within the crater at Green Lake activity has continued at a low level at vents formed in March and, whilst the lake level has continued falling, the lake is still above its pre-eruption level.

An adjacent vent, which forms part of Oneraki Beach on the northern shore of the island has also exhibited continued activity since the March eruption. Following the eruption, the area occupied by hot springs increased and, whilst the temperatures measured in this area remain at normal levels, the extent of the springs has not returned to pre-eruption levels.

Earthquake activity near Raoul declined following the eruption, whilst tectonic quakes in the wider area increased during April and May. However, the report by Steven Sherburn, Duty Volcanologist at GNS Science notes that earthquakes within 30 to 40 km of Raoul have increased slightly within recent weeks.

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