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Taupo

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  • Country
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  •  
  • 38.82°S
  • 176°E

  • 760 m
    2493 ft

  • 241070
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number
Most Recent Weekly Report: 21 September-27 September 2022 Citation IconCite this Report

On 28 September GeoNet reported that seismic unrest and deformation at Taupo continued during the previous week. About 750 earthquakes have been located at depths of 4-13 km beneath the lake since unrest began in May. During the past week the locations were concentrated beneath the E part of the lake and occurred at a slightly lower rate than the week before. An area of deformation at Horomatangi Reef had been rising at a rate of 60 mm (plus or minus 20 mm) per year since May. The data suggested that the seismicity and deformation was caused by the movement of magma and hydrothermal fluids. GeoNet noted that unrest at calderas was common and may continue for months or years without resulting in an eruption; more significant unrest would be indicated by additional indicators of activity and substantial impacts on the local area. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 1 (the second lowest level on a six-level scale) reflecting “minor volcanic unrest” characterized by ongoing seismicity and inflation.

Source: GeoNet

Weekly Reports - Index


2022: September


21 September-27 September 2022 Citation IconCite this Report

On 28 September GeoNet reported that seismic unrest and deformation at Taupo continued during the previous week. About 750 earthquakes have been located at depths of 4-13 km beneath the lake since unrest began in May. During the past week the locations were concentrated beneath the E part of the lake and occurred at a slightly lower rate than the week before. An area of deformation at Horomatangi Reef had been rising at a rate of 60 mm (plus or minus 20 mm) per year since May. The data suggested that the seismicity and deformation was caused by the movement of magma and hydrothermal fluids. GeoNet noted that unrest at calderas was common and may continue for months or years without resulting in an eruption; more significant unrest would be indicated by additional indicators of activity and substantial impacts on the local area. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 1 (the second lowest level on a six-level scale) reflecting “minor volcanic unrest” characterized by ongoing seismicity and inflation.

Source: GeoNet


14 September-20 September 2022 Citation IconCite this Report

On 20 September GeoNet raised the Volcanic Alert Level for Taupo to 1 (the second lowest level on a six-level scale) reflecting “minor volcanic unrest” characterized by ongoing seismicity and inflation. Seismicity beneath Lake Taupo began increasing in May. Earthquakes occurred at a rate of about 30 per week but increased to about 40 per week in early September. A M 4.2 earthquake, the largest so far this year, was recorded on 10 September and felt by over 1,000 people. By 20 September over 700 earthquakes had been located with depths less than 30 km, though most ranged 4-13 km. The earthquake locations were in two clusters: a larger cluster beneath the central and E part of the lake, and a smaller cluster to the W centered just offshore from Karangahape. An area of deformation at Horomatangi Reef had been rising at a rate of 60 mm (plus or minus 20 mm) per year since May. The area of uplift corresponded to the main seismic swarm. The data suggested that the seismicity and deformation was caused by the movement of magma and hydrothermal fluids.

GeoNet noted that unrest at calderas was common and may continue for months or years without resulting in an eruption; more significant unrest would be indicated by additional indicators of activity and substantial impacts on the local area. There have been 17 previous episodes of unrest at Taupo over the previous 150 years, some more notable than the current episode, and many others before written records. None resulted in an eruption, with the last eruption occurring around 232 CE. The Volcanic Alert Level change was informed by ongoing analysis of monitoring data, research, and deepening knowledge of past unrest.

Source: GeoNet


The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Taupo.

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 25 confirmed Holocene eruptive periods.

0260 (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 0

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode East Lake Taupo (Horomatangi Reefs)
0260 (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at East Lake Taupo (Horomatangi Reefs)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Lava dome
0260 (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)
1846 May 7    - - - - Fatalities
1910 Mar 20    - - - - Fatalities

0233 Mar 15 ± 13 years ± 20 days Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 6

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Horomatangi Reefs area, Unit Y
0233 Mar 15 ± 13 years ± 20 days - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 8 Events for Episode 1 at Horomatangi Reefs area, Unit Y

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion research needed
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Caldera Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
   - - - -    - - - - Lahar or Mudflow
0230 Mar 15 ± 16 years ± 20 days    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

0200 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 4 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit X
0200 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 7 Events for Episode 1 at 4 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit X

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Obsidian. Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
0200 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

0800 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 2

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Ouaha Hills, Unit W
0800 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 6 Events for Episode 1 at Ouaha Hills, Unit W

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Blocks
0800 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1010 BCE ± 200 years Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 4 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit V
1010 BCE ± 200 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at 4 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit V

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Obsidian. Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra
1010 BCE ± 200 years    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1050 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 5 km NE of Motutaiko Island, Unit U
1050 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at 5 km NE of Motutaiko Island, Unit U

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
1050 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1250 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 4 km W of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit T
1250 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at 4 km W of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit T

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra
1250 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1460 BCE ± 40 years Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 6

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Horomatangi Reefs?, Unit S
1460 BCE ± 40 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 6 Events for Episode 1 at Horomatangi Reefs?, Unit S

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
1460 BCE ± 40 years    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

2500 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 3 km SW of Motutaiko Island, Unit R
2500 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 3 Events for Episode 1 at 3 km SW of Motutaiko Island, Unit R

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra
2500 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

2600 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 3 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit Q
2600 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at 3 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit Q

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra
2600 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

2800 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Unit P
2800 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at Unit P

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra
2800 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

2850 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 2 km S of Te Tuhi Point, Unit O
2850 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at 2 km S of Te Tuhi Point, Unit O

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
2850 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

2900 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 5 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit N
2900 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at 5 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit N

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
2900 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

3070 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 5 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit M
3070 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at 5 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit M

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
3070 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

3120 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 2 km W of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit L
3120 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at 2 km W of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit L

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Obsidian. Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
3120 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

3170 BCE ± 200 years Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 4 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit K
3170 BCE ± 200 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at 4 km NW of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit K

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
3170 BCE ± 200 years    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

3420 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Unit J
3420 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at Unit J

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
3420 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

4000 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Unit I
4000 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at Unit I

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
4000 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

4100 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 4 km WNW of Kohaiakahu Point, Unit H
4100 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 6 Events for Episode 1 at 4 km WNW of Kohaiakahu Point, Unit H

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
4100 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

4700 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode East-central Lake Taupo, Unit G
4700 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at East-central Lake Taupo, Unit G

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
4700 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

5100 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode SE Lake Taupo (Motutaiko Island) (Unit F)
5100 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 6 Events for Episode 1 at SE Lake Taupo (Motutaiko Island) (Unit F)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava dome
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
5100 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

8130 BCE ± 200 years Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 5

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Central, E-central L. Taupo (Opepe), Unit E
8130 BCE ± 200 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 5 Events for Episode 1 at Central, E-central L. Taupo (Opepe), Unit E

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
8130 BCE ± 200 years    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

9210 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Acacia Bay lava dome, Unit D
9210 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at Acacia Bay lava dome, Unit D

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava dome
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
9210 BCE (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

9240 BCE ± 75 years Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 5

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode 4 km W of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit C (Poronui)
9240 BCE ± 75 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at 4 km W of Te Kohaiakahu Point, Unit C (Poronui)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
9240 BCE ± 75 years    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

9460 BCE ± 200 years Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 5

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode East-central Lake Taupo (Karapiti), Unit B
9460 BCE ± 200 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 7 Events for Episode 1 at East-central Lake Taupo (Karapiti), Unit B

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Blocks
9460 BCE ± 200 years    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)
Deformation History

There is data available for 6 deformation periods. Expand each entry for additional details.


Deformation during 1999 - 2010 [Subsidence; Observed by InSAR]

Start Date: 1999 Stop Date: 2010 Direction: Subsidence Method: InSAR
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown

Remarks: Long-term subsidence is associated with the Ohaaki geothermal field.

Figure (see Caption)

Time series of line-of-sight displacement at Ohaaki geothermal field from ALOS PALSAR ascending path 325 starting from 20070113 (date in YYYYMMDD format). Coordinates of TL and BR corners are (?38.48N, 176.25E) and (?38.58N, 176.40E). Red star shows region of fastest subsidence.

From: Samsonov et al. 2011.


Reference List: Hole et al. 2007; Samsonov et al. 2011.

Full References:

Hole, J. K., C. J. Bromley, N. F. Stevens, and G. Wadge, 2007. Subsidence in the geothermal fields of the Taupo volcanic zone, New Zealand from 1996 to 2005 measured by InSAR. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 166: 125-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2007.07.013

Samsonov S, Beavan J, Gonzalez P J, Tiampo K, Fernandez J, 2011. Ground deformation in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand, observed by ALOS PALSAR interferometry. Geophysical Journal International, 187(1), 147-160.

Deformation during 1996 - 2010 [Subsidence; Observed by InSAR]

Start Date: 1996 Stop Date: 2010 Direction: Subsidence Method: InSAR
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown

Remarks: Long-term subsidence is associated with the Wairakei-Tauhara geothermal field.

Figure (see Caption)

Time series of line-of-sight displacement at Tauhara-Wairakei geothermal system from ALOS PALSAR ascending path 325 starting from 20070113 (date in YYYYMMDD format). Coordinates of TL and BR corners are (?38.58N, 176.00E) and (?38.72N, 176.17E). Red star shows region of fastest subsidence.

From: Samsonov et al. 2011.


Reference List: Hole et al. 2007; Samsonov et al. 2011.

Full References:

Hole, J. K., C. J. Bromley, N. F. Stevens, and G. Wadge, 2007. Subsidence in the geothermal fields of the Taupo volcanic zone, New Zealand from 1996 to 2005 measured by InSAR. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 166: 125-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2007.07.013

Samsonov S, Beavan J, Gonzalez P J, Tiampo K, Fernandez J, 2011. Ground deformation in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand, observed by ALOS PALSAR interferometry. Geophysical Journal International, 187(1), 147-160.

Deformation during 1996 - 1999 [Uplift; Observed by Leveling]

Start Date: 1996 Stop Date: 1999 Direction: Uplift Method: Leveling
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown

Reference List: Otway et al. 2002.

Full References:

Otway, P. M., Blick, G. H., & Scott, B. J., 2002. Vertical deformation at Lake Taupo, New Zealand, from lake levelling surveys, 1979-99. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 45(1), 121-132.

Deformation during 1984 - 1996 [Subsidence; Observed by Leveling]

Start Date: 1984 Stop Date: 1996 Direction: Subsidence Method: Leveling
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown

Reference List: Otway et al. 2002.

Full References:

Otway, P. M., Blick, G. H., & Scott, B. J., 2002. Vertical deformation at Lake Taupo, New Zealand, from lake levelling surveys, 1979-99. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 45(1), 121-132.

Deformation during 1983 - 1984 [Uplift; Observed by Leveling]

Start Date: 1983 Stop Date: 1984 Direction: Uplift Method: Leveling
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown

Remarks: Deformation at Lake Taupo is observed from 1983 to 1984 and is related to an earthquake swarm that began on 17 June 1983.


Reference List: Otway et al. 2002.

Full References:

Otway, P. M., Blick, G. H., & Scott, B. J., 2002. Vertical deformation at Lake Taupo, New Zealand, from lake levelling surveys, 1979-99. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 45(1), 121-132.

Deformation during 1979 - 1982 [Variable (uplift / subsidence); Observed by Leveling]

Start Date: 1979 Stop Date: 1982 Direction: Variable (uplift / subsidence) Method: Leveling
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown

Reference List: Otway et al. 2002.

Full References:

Otway, P. M., Blick, G. H., & Scott, B. J., 2002. Vertical deformation at Lake Taupo, New Zealand, from lake levelling surveys, 1979-99. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 45(1), 121-132.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Taupo.

Photo Gallery

An aerial view shows the E margin of Lake Taupo with Taupo City on its shore. The 35-km-wide caldera is not topographically prominent but has been the source of powerful rhyolitic eruptions from the late Pleistocene throughout the Holocene. The 35,000-year-old Tauhara lava dome forms the peak in the background.

Photo by Jim Healy (New Zealand Geological Survey).
Volcanologists Colin Wilson and Peter Ballance examine a roadcut that dissects deposits of major eruptions from the Taupo volcanic center. The bottom visible unit is an exposure of an unwelded pyroclastic flow deposit from the Oruanui eruption, which formed Taupo's initial caldera about 22,600 years ago. Light-colored pumice fall deposits from other major eruptions are between it and the deposits of the 1,800-year-old Taupo eruption (upper right), which were responsible for Taupo's second caldera.

Photo by Bruce Houghton (Wairakei Research Center).
This view looking SW across Lake Taupo, the southernmost major caldera of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, shows several major peaks of Tongariro and Ruapehu. The broad forested peak below the center horizon is the Pleistocene Pihanga volcano. The steep-sided cone on the horizon to its right is Ngāuruhoe, the youngest cone of the Tongariro complex. The broad massif to its right is Tongariro. The snow-capped massif on the left-center horizon is Ruapehu.

Photo by Tom Simkin, 1986 (Smithsonian Institution).
Lake Taupo fills a roughly 35-km-wide caldera that is the site of the most prolific rhyolitic volcano of the Taupo volcanic zone. The caldera was formed during two major explosive eruptions, the Oruanui eruption, roughly 22,600 years ago, and the Taupo eruption, about 1,800 years ago. The latter was one of the world's largest Holocene eruptions. Additional Plinian eruptions during the Holocene have produced widespread airfall pumice deposits.

Photo by Richard Waitt, 1986 (U.S. Geological Survey).
This thick outcrop exposes deposits of the 1,800-year-old Taupo eruption, one of the world's largest during the past 10,000 years. The Taupo eruption produced phreatomagmatic surge deposits, Plinian tephra deposits, and the overlying Taupo ignimbrite, seen at the upper half of this photo above the thin, light-colored layers. The eruption occurred from a vent at Horomatangi Reefs, now submerged beneath Lake Taupo.

Photo by Richard Waitt, 1986 (U.S. Geological Survey).
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.


Title: Bay of Plenty-Southern Havre Trough Physiography
Publisher: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1990
Series: Misc
Map Type: Bathymetric
Scale: 1:400,000
Map of Bay of Plenty-Southern Havre Trough Physiography

Title: Bay of Plenty
Publisher: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1989
Series: Coastal
Map Type: Bathymetric
Scale: 1:200,000
Map of Bay of Plenty

Title: New Zealand Geol
Publisher: NZGS, DSIR (Dept Scientific & Industrial Research)
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1987
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:2,000,000
Map of New Zealand Geol

Title: Central N Island, Touring Map
Publisher: Department of Lands and Survey New Zealand
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1986
Series: NZMS
Map Type: Geographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Central N Island, Touring Map

Title: New Zealand Topo Map
Publisher: Department of Lands and Survey New Zealand
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1983
Series: NZMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of New Zealand Topo Map

Title: Late Quaternary Tectonic Map of New Zealand
Publisher: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1977
Series: Misc Map Series
Map Type: Geology (Tectonic)
Scale: 1:2,000,000
Map of Late Quaternary Tectonic Map of New Zealand

Title: N Island, Geol Map of NZ
Publisher: NZGS, DSIR (Dept Scientific & Industrial Research)
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1975
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of N Island, Geol Map of NZ

Title: N Island, Quaternary Geol
Publisher: NZGS
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1973
Series: Misc
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of N Island, Quaternary Geol

Title: Quaternary Geology-North Island
Publisher: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1973
Series: Misc Map Series
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Quaternary Geology-North Island

Title: New Zealand
Publisher: US Central Intelligence Agency
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1971
Map Type: Geographic
Scale: 1:7,500
Map of New Zealand

Title: Rotorua
Publisher: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
Country: New Zealand
Year: 1964
Series: NZMS 1
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Rotorua
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 28 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections, and may be availble for research (contact the Rock and Ore Collections Manager). Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description Lava Source Collection Date
NMNH 116210-10 Pumice -- --
NMNH 116210-11 Pumice -- --
NMNH 116210-12 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-23 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-24 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-25 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-28 Welded Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-29 Welded Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-30 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-32 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-33 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-34 Basalt -- --
NMNH 116210-35 Rhyolite -- --
NMNH 116210-37 Ignimbrite LAKE TAUPO --
NMNH 116210-38 Ignimbrite LAKE TAUPO --
NMNH 116210-4 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-5 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-6 Airfall Pumice -- --
NMNH 116210-7 Pumice -- --
NMNH 116210-8 Ignimbrite -- --
NMNH 116210-9 Volcanic Ash -- --
NMNH 116566-12 Volcanic Rock TAUHARA --
NMNH 116691-5 Pyroclastic Rock -- 1 Feb 1986
NMNH 116691-9 Pyroclastic Rock -- --
NMNH 117454-55 Pumice -- --
NMNH 117454-56 Obsidian -- --
NMNH 117454-57 Obsidian Taupo breccia --
NMNH 117551-15 Obsidian Tauhara 'dacite' flow; Tauhara --
External Sites