White Island Crater Camera Back Online

The camera which takes regular images of the crater at White Island volcano has been replaced, and Dino is once again able to welcome Internet visitors to his island home.

The camera which provides hourly snapshots of crater activity at White Island volcano failed at the end of October last year. Its replacement seems to have been delayed by availability of equipment, with one of the proposed replacements being diverted to the crater of Mt Ruapehu, where it is monitoring the debris dam which has started leaking. It is hoped that the camera will take images of the dam collapse which is expected to cause a lahar on the volcano in the near future.

Images from the volcano webcams at or near White Island, Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki can be seen here. The page also includes images of seismic drums for each volcano.

The White Island replacement was further delayed by poor visibility which delayed the deployment of another camera and an installation team to the island volcano in the Bay of Plenty in recent times. It seems that the replacement camera was undergoing initial tests late yesterday and this morning’s images suggest that some adjustment is still being carried out.

However, Dino the volcanic island’s pink dinosaur has waited patiently, and is back in pride-of-place in the lower left of the image. The toy dinosaur, which was expected to disintegrate within months when he mysteriously appeared in May 2004, has survived the acidic conditions that exist on the volcano well.

It is speculated that, between his hourly appearances, he has found time to settle down and father a dynasty of pink dinosaurs who now take turns at camera sentry duty. Only time will tell how this story will play out….

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