In New Zealand, the alert level is rising around the “supervolcano” Taupo

In New Zealand, the alert level is rising around the “supervolcano” Taupo

This is only the first threshold on an alert scale of five, but for the first time since monitoring began, Taupo volcano has crossed the threshold. Tuesday, September 20 GeoNet, the organization that examines earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in New Zealand, has revised upwards Alert for this volcano.

“Ground movements and earthquakes have been going on since May 2022, causing slight activity,” Monitor Institute writes. More than 700 tremors were recorded, at depths ranging from 4 to 13 kilometers around Lake Taupo. This lake is located in the center of the North Island in New Zealand, is actually the ancient caldera of the volcano. Under the water, the ground rises a few millimeters where one of the magma chambers is located.

A “supervolcano” like Yellowstone

Taupo volcano has had 17 episodes of moderate activity over the past 150 years. Its last eruption, dating back 1,800 years, was one of the most violent eruptions known to mankind in the last five thousand years. Accounts of the disaster have been found in China and traces in ice cores taken from Antarctica. Historians estimate that 20,000 square kilometers of the island had been destroyed by then, with a column height of more than 35 km.

This sunken giant is considered a “supervolcano”, like the American Yellowstone Park: it is capable of refusing more than 1000 kilometers.3 From dust and ash during a major volcanic eruption. These volcanoes spew magma that rapidly descends from the flanks, clouds of particulate matter that can cover vast areas depending on the wind.

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Part of the same volcanic chain, Whakaari Island (White Island in English) is also active, at Level 2 on the New Zealand Volcanic Alert Scale. Uninhabited, this area in the north of the North Island has been spitting smoke and ash since last Sunday. In December 2019, Whakaari had already revolted without warning and killed 22 tourists who were visiting the island.

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