Mt Ruapehu volcanic alert lowered to Level 1

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According to GeoNet, the volcanic alert level for Ruapehu was raised to an alert level 2 on December 21 of 2020; however, it has now been lowered to an alert level 1.

The water in the crater lake was at a temperature of 43°C, and now it has dropped to 40°C after observations of volcanic gas emissions declined to normal levels.

Duty Volcanologist Steven Sherburn wrote: “On 29 December 2020, volcanic tremor, which had previously been slightly elevated following a volcanic earthquake on 26 December 2020, declined to a low level, and has remained low.”

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“Chemical analysis of water collected from Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) on 31 December 2020 showed only small changes in key parameters since previous observations a few weeks earlier on 2 December 2020.”

“While the temperature of the water in Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) remains high, at 40 ºC, taking all of the observations into consideration, the period of moderate to heightened volcanic unrest is now judged to have ended.”

Reduce levels of volcanic tremors and low gas emission rates was the reason for lowing the alert level. 

For the next week up to two weeks, further observations will take the place of monitoring volcanic gas emissions. 

“Together with our real-time data sets (seismic, ground deformation, and visual observations), these will help us monitor what we expect to be a slow decline in lake temperature,” Sherburn wrote.

Video: CC/ Sam Hudson

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