Scientists on White Island off the Bay of Plenty coast believe volcanic activity on island appears to be changing.
GNS Duty Volcanologist Michael Rosenberg says there are large ash clouds and mud sprayed on the crater rim camera on the island, which he says could be due to the weather.
White Island crater taken at 11.15am on August 9. Photo: Geonet.
“It’s all very weather dependant at the moment but we plan to fly over this morning and take a look at the volcanic activity,” says Michael.
Michael says the recent activity on White Island, and the Tongariro eruption earlier this week, is just part of living in New Zealand and the country’s location in relation to the Pacific Ring of Fire.
“Basically the plates under New Zealand push together and magma finds its way through the volcanoes plumbing.
“Every volcano is a unique system, so there’s no link between Tongariro’s activity and White Island. It is just coincidence that they are active at the same time,” says Michael.
“With the wind conditions there is a lot of mud and ash that’s all.
On Tuesday night tremors were triggered around 11:30 pm. It is unclear if there was an explosion associated with it - there is some acoustic signal on GNS instruments, however it’s not clear if it is wind noise or not.
There was another short burst of tremor activity around 3 am on Wednesday morning and again some kind of acoustic signal.
The crater rim camera appears to be splattered with mud and ash indicating some sort of gas release.
The plume out of the crater lake from the Sulphur Factory camera also appears darker and maybe rich in ash, says Michael.
A plane is going up to survey the area this morning.