Mt Ngauruhoe’s History

My own index of J.A. Mackay’s “Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.” provides a handy reminder to research events in the history of Poverty Bay.

Mackay reminds me that on this day, April 30th, in 1948 “when Mt Ngauruhoe was active … grey, gritty ash, not quite as fine as flour, drifted over Poverty Bay.”

According to “Awesome Forces” Hicks, Campbell et al, 1999, Ngauruhoe is just a new cone on the flanks of the more massive Mt Tongariro. It’s a young cone volcano that has been built up by numerous eruptions of lava, volcanic ash and pyroclastic density currents over the last 2,500 years.

Ngauruhoe last erupted strongly on the 19th of February 1975, when it sent an ash cloud to a height of about 10 km. On this occasion, I recall that a light coating of brick-coloured ash was reported by the residents of Te Araroa.

Since then, the adjacent Mt Ruapehu has occupied our attention with impressive and disruptive eruptions in 1995 and 1996.

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