Report on Tongariro (New Zealand) — 25 July-31 July 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 July-31 July 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Tongariro (New Zealand). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 July-31 July 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
39.157°S, 175.632°E; summit elev. 1978 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 31 July GeoNet reported that seismicity at Tongariro had declined the previous week but increased again during 28-29 July, and as of 31 July, between 3 and 10 events were being recorded daily. The earthquakes were clustered in a zone between Tongariro and the E side of Lake Rotoaira, at 2-7 km depth. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5) and the Aviation Colour Code remained at Yellow (on a four-color scale).
Geologic Background. Tongariro is a large volcanic massif, located immediately NE of Ruapehu volcano, that is composed of more than a dozen composite cones constructed over a period of 275,000 years. Vents along a NE-trending zone extending from Saddle Cone (below Ruapehu) to Te Maari crater (including vents at the present-day location of Ngauruhoe) were active during several hundred years around 10,000 years ago, producing the largest known eruptions at the Tongariro complex during the Holocene. North Crater stratovolcano is truncated by a broad, shallow crater filled by a solidified lava lake that is cut on the NW side by a small explosion crater. The youngest cone, Ngauruhoe, is also the highest peak.