Volcanic Alert Level Raised to Level 2 at White Island Volcano in New Zealand
Aerial view of White Island volcano with an ash and gas plume (image: @nzherald/twitter)
GeoNet reported that an observations during the gas flight confirmed the presence of fine ash material in the plume. The fine particles originate from the main steam vent at the back of the crater lake. Initial analyses of the ash particles suggest that it is loose material from around the vent or underlying conduit being carried by the steam and gas emission.
Some of the particles may be carried a few kilometres downwind but are unlikely to reach the mainland. The gas and steam plume may be noticed on the mainland as weak acid rain. While the gas output observed yesterday is higher than recent observations, other monitoring parameters do not show significant changes.
Observations from the flight show there is no substantial change in the location and size of active vents. The rainfall has formed a pool of water on the floor of the 1978/90 Crater, re-forming a shallow lakelet.
During the past week, a small sequence of earthquakes has been located close to the volcano and an increase of volcanic tremor has been recorded.
The main plausible triggers for a sudden eruption with little or no warning remain the collapse of unstable material in an active vent and the possible ingress of water underground onto the shallow magma body.
Courtesy of volcanodiscovery.com