Following the period of heightened activity in December 2020, volcanic activity at Mt Ruapehu has since remained at low level over the last three months, with gas emissions, lake chemistry and volcanic tremor all within typical ranges. After a temporary cooling period, the Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) temperature is now back to around 40 °C. The Volcanic Alert Level at Mt Ruapehu remains at Level 1.
Last week (23 March) over 1200 people reported feeling an earthquake in the Bay of Plenty, although many of these reports were far from the quake itself. Today we explore the science of deep earthquakes in the North Island and why this phenomena happens.
The landscape on Raoul Island is dominated by steep forested slopes of the volcanic Raoul caldera and rugged coastal cliffs. Following the March 5 M8.1 earthquake, our team of experts discovered over 300 new landslides on the island.
After plans to depart for Raoul Island for maintenance on 1 March were stalled due to COVID-19 alert level changes, our team had planned to depart for Raoul Island on 8 March. Then three large offshore earthquakes and tsunami occurred on 5 March.
Two short-lived episodes of low-energy volcanic tremor occurred on 11 and 12 March at Whakaari/White Island, following similar episodes in mid-February and early March. Since then activity has returned to typical low-levels. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.
One week on from the three large earthquakes off the East Cape and the Kermadec Islands (Rangitāhua), GNS Science researchers are digging into the data to find out more about the massive forces that caused them.
Last Friday three large earthquakes occurred offshore New Zealand –a M7.3 off East Cape at 2:30am, followed by two Kermadec quakes M7.4 and M8.1 several hours later. They all produced tsunami that overlapped and were recorded all around New Zealand.
It’s natural to ask the question about how many aftershocks there have been since the M7.2, but the answer isn’t so simple.
While no one can scientifically predict earthquakes, we can provide forecasts of future earthquakes using computer models that are updated as an earthquake sequence continues. Forecasts based on the 5 March 2021 East Cape Earthquake are in the table below.
Three large earthquakes have struck offshore New Zealand this morning all triggering tsunami alerts. Our scientists have developed three scenarios for what earthquakes may happen over the next 30 days.