Gosh yes, it’s all go on the Central Plateau. Note the perfect weather conditions. 🙂
It’s five weeks today since Mt Tongariro reminded us of its presence with an eruption. At present it is still on Alert Level 1 which signifies signs of volcano unrest and a departure from typical background surface activity. Its colour level is yellow which means that volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be monitored for possible renewed unrest.
Take a look at http://www.geonet.org.nz for the latest. Also click on the cameras to get a sequence of images. Today dawn is about 6 am and it’s bright and cloudy, with a few specks of rain on the Tongariro camera.
Imagine Lana and Paul holed up in a hut on the side of Mt Ruapehu, volcanic rocks raining down. Brrr, dangerous stuff. Smashwords ISBN 978-1-47 6-25231-5, Amazon ISBN 978-0-473-22189-8
Although the mountain has been quiet since Monday small earthquakes are still occurring. Preliminary ash analysis by Professor Shane Cronin from Massey University has found moderate levels of soluble flourine, similar to the ash from the 1995 and 1996 Mt Ruapehu eruptions.
When large volumes of this clothe the paddocks it is consumed by stock as they graze and leads to a nasty and deadly disease called flourosis. Luckily, the ash fall was light and we’ve had lots of rain so there shouldn’t be any problems from Monday night’s eruption.
GNS volcanologist Michael Rosenberg said tests showed little or no new magma in the ash. Therefore it is likely that the eruption is steam driven, but of course we cannot rule out magma altogether.
Stay tuned for the latest updates. These should give you a good flavour for the setting to my nearly released book, Fire in the Mountain.