Ruapehu volcano (New Zeland): Crater Lake temperature has peaked at 41 °C, new scenarios and volcanic hazard map

Ruapehu volcano today (image: GeoNet)

The volcanic-seismic unrest of the volcano continues to be elevated.

Steam and gas emissions over the Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe), detected last week, were confirmed of non-eruptive origin. Instead, they were associated with a combination of increased heat flow and cold atmospheric conditions.

The Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) temperature has peaked at 41 °C over the past 12 days followed 36-38 °C period.

The strong volcanic tremor continues and is already considered the most persistent and intense tremor during the past 20 years accompanied by the gradually rising of Crater Lake.

Likely scenarios

1. Minor eruptive activity confined to the lake basin with the possibility to generate lahars (mudflows) traveling in Whangaehu River or no eruption. This is the most likely scenario within the next four weeks.

2. Stronger explosion that may impact the summit area to form volcanic surges and lahars reminding September 2007 or 1969/1975 eruption events.

3. The possibility of a prolonged eruptive episode or a powerful eruption, but this scenario remains very unlikely.

The GeoNet volcano observatory revealed a new volcanic hazard map in case of an eruption today, attached below.

The interpretation of this activity is consistent with elevated volcanic unrest at the heightened level and therefore the Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2. The Aviation Colour Code remains at Yellow.

Source: GNS Science volcano activity update 10 May 2022

Volcanic hazard map of Ruapehu volcano in case of eruption (image: GeoNet)

Volcanic hazard map of Ruapehu volcano in case of eruption (image: GeoNet)

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