Report on Ruapehu (New Zealand) — September 1985
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 10, no. 9 (September 1985)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Ruapehu (New Zealand) Crater lake temperature drops 10°C
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1985. Report on Ruapehu (New Zealand) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 10:9. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198509-241100
39.28°S, 175.57°E; summit elev. 2797 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Geologists visited Ruapehu on 13, 14, and 20 September. Crater Lake's temperature had declined by 10°C since 5 August. On 20 September the lake was 0.4 m below overflow level (it was overflowing on 5 August). There were no clear signs of any eruptions having occurred.
Geological Summary. Ruapehu, one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes, is a complex stratovolcano constructed during at least four cone-building episodes dating back to about 200,000 years ago. The dominantly andesitic 110 km3 volcanic massif is elongated in a NNE-SSW direction and surrounded by another 100 km3 ring plain of volcaniclastic debris, including the NW-flank Murimoto debris-avalanche deposit. A series of subplinian eruptions took place between about 22,600 and 10,000 years ago, but pyroclastic flows have been infrequent. The broad summait area and flank contain at least six vents active during the Holocene. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded from the Te Wai a-Moe (Crater Lake) vent, and tephra characteristics suggest that the crater lake may have formed as recently as 3,000 years ago. Lahars resulting from phreatic eruptions at the summit crater lake are a hazard to a ski area on the upper flanks and lower river valleys.
Information Contacts: P. Otway, NZGS, Wairakei.