Whakaari/White Island Volcanic Alert Level lowered to 1

Published: Mon Jul 1 2019 11:50 AM

Whakaari/White Island shows lower level of gas emissions and the Volcanic Alert Level is lowered to 1.

Two additional gas flights were performed since our last update and these showed lower gas emissions than recorded on Wednesday 26 June. Further modelling of monitoring data and new data collected on the island also suggest a lower level of activity than last reported. As a result, the Volcanic Alert Level has been lowered to 1 (from 2).

The two additional gas flights detected 880 tons/day of sulphur dioxide on Friday 28 June and 693 tons/day on Saturday 29 June, much lower values than the measurement made on Wednesday 26 June. Further gas measurements will be undertaken again as soon as conditions allow.

New measurements made on the island show no change in fumarole temperature. Modelling of ground deformation monitoring data also suggest that the small signal recorded on Whakaari/White Island is likely to be related to the nearby ongoing swarm of tectonic earthquakes, and not an increase in volcanic activity.

Nearby earthquake swarms are continuing, although at lower levels than we reported in previous bulletins.

The lower gas flux measured, new observations and modelling of monitoring data suggest that Whakaari/White Island is back to minor volcanic unrest. As such we have changed the Volcanic Alert Level down to 1. There is no change in the Aviation Colour Code: Yellow.

Volcano Alert Level 1 is mostly associated with volcanic unrest hazards.

GNS Science and the National Geohazards Monitoring Centre continues to closely monitor Whakaari/White Island for further signs of activity.

Agnes Mazot

Duty Volcanologist

Media Contact: Volcanologist Brad Scott (07 3748211)