Another Camera at White Island Volcano

A new image has appeared on the Geonet site this morning, bringing the number of cameras monitoring White Island to 3.

The new, high resolution image is taken from the crater rim, looking down into the crater. The file size is larger owing to the higher resolution.

The availability of the new image has not yet been announced, and it is not being updated hourly as are the other two cameras.

White Island is New Zealand’s largest volcanic structure being the summit of a 16 km by 18 km submarine volcano. Seventy percent of the volcano, which has a maximum height of 321 m above sea level, lies underwater about 50 km offshore in the Bay of Plenty, according to GNS Science.

The GNS website states, “Geological investigations have established that the island is capable of producing eruptions that are larger than any it has produced in the past 150 years. Scientists have also established that no eruption deposits from the island are preserved on the mainland. This indicates that although there have been large eruptions in the past, they have not had a significant impact on the Bay of Plenty region.”

Interestingly, the transition zone of heat from volcanoes to geothermal systems is commonly 3km to 4km beneath the surface; but at White Island it is within a few hundred metres of the surface.

Currently, the crater lake at White Island is within 1 metre of its overflow level, having risen to this level in the middle of February. The Alert Level for the volcano is 1 (some signs of unrest). The new crater rim camera shows the steaming crater lake.

More than 10,000 people visit White Island every year.

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