Volcano Alert Bulletins (VABs) are New Zealand's official source of volcano status information including the current Volcanic Alert Level (VAL).
They are issued on an as needed basis summarising the volcano status and recent events.
They can indicate if activity is increasing, decreasing, or in a steady state. They may contain forecasts, highlight developing, or expected problems.
If you’d like to be notified as soon as we issue a new bulletin, our social media channels and the GeoNet app will keep you up-to-date.
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.
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.
A series of short-lived, low-energy steam explosions occurred on 19 February 2021 at Whakaari / White Island following a small increase in volcanic tremor levels. These explosions took place over about 100 minutes. These small events do not appear to have produced any traces of ash locally. Since the event, activity has returned to low-level. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.
Remote monitoring of the vent area at Whakaari / White Island that erupted in December 2019 has revealed that the temperatures of gas emissions has declined from over 700 oC to 300 oC in the last year. Recent observations suggest no eruptive activity since a series of minor steam explosions on 29 December 2020. Current activity is still characterised by steam and gas emissions at moderate-low levels. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.
General activity at Mt Ruapehu has decreased over the past two weeks. Volcanic gas emissions are back to normal levels and volcanic tremor declined. While the crater lake temperature remains high, the period of moderate to heightened volcanic unrest has now ended. The Volcanic Alert Level at Mt Ruapehu is lowered to Level 1.
A series of short-lived, low energy steam explosions occurred on 29 December 2020 at Whakaari / White Island over a period of ~ 30 mins. This small event consisted of at least 20 individual pulses and may have produced traces of ash locally in the steam plume for a few minutes. Since the event, activity has returned to low-level. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.
During the past week, the temperature of the crater lake (Te Wai ā-moe) at Mt Ruapehu has decreased from 43 to 41 °C. The level of volcanic tremor continues to be moderate to strong and a small number of shallow volcanic earthquakes have been recorded. While the crater lake may have stopped heating, volcanic activity at Mt Ruapehu remains elevated. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2 and the Aviation Colour Code remains at Yellow.
Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) continues heating and is now 43 °C. The heating has been accompanied by bursts of volcanic tremor and a marked increase in the amount of gas passing through the crater lake. The volcanic alert level has been raised to Level 2 and the Aviation Colour code changed to Yellow.
Observations in the last week show that ash is no longer being emitted from Whakaari. Levels of gas emission have also decreased, and other monitoring indicators remain low. The Volcanic Alert Level is lowered to Level 1.
Camera images from Whakaari/White Island appear to show that ash is no longer present in the near-persistent steam and gas plume. The amounts of CO2 and SO2 gas remain elevated. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2.