07 August 2012

Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Olympics

The conversations today revolve around the Olympics and how well NZ is doing, and that we have volcanoes erupting in two different places and quakes continue to jiggle Christchurch.

Nine quake/aftershocks in just 7 days, one over 5.0

LATEST: A new vent has opened up near the Te Maari Crater area on Mount Tongariro. Volcanic activity at Mt Tongariro could continue for weeks, months or even years after Tongariro rumbled to life after being dormant for more than 100 years last night.
Last night's eruption was a total surprise, so "we have to expect the unexpected", GNS volcanologist Michael Rosenberg said. 
An earthquake lasting about five minutes accompanied the eruption and residents reportedly heard the explosions. 
The mountain erupted at 11.50pm, sending ash across roads and prompting a potential threat warning for central North Island regions.
The eruption threw rocks and spewed ash from the Te Mari craters, near Ketetahi hot springs, on the northern side of the mountain, GNS Science said.Roads were initially closed and flights will be disrupted because of ash.

WITNESS ACCOUNTS Truck driver Tama Coker was heading across the Desert Road while the eruption was happening and said the noise was like a train."There was a big flash," he said. "I thought it was lightning and then it started raining sand. It was pretty thick. I heard it rumbling like a train."Coker said that when he drove through the Desert Road he could not see the white lines on the road."I could just see the yellow glare on the mountain. I only had visibility of about 10 to 15 feet in front of me. It was a bit scary. "It's something I'll probably never see again in my lifetime.""It's a volcano. If it goes. It will go. We'll all be vapourised. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe have erupted regularly over the years. Now it is Tongariro's turn." said a local resident, David Bennett.
SH46 at Lake Rotoaira, just north of Tongariro 
is covered in a "thick, clay-like mud", about 
half a centimetre thick. "It's just carpeted 
everything, all the fields, cars, trees - 
the whole landscape looks quite murky and grey,"

NZ's a busy beautiful place!
I have walked the Tongariro Crossing.
That walk is possibly the significant cause of the plantar fasciitis I've suffered from ever since.

The beauty of the area is a result of violent geothermal activity over the years.

We often think of such events historically.
Auckland itself has up to 60 volcanic cones that shape the landscape, skyline and shoreline.

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