No further eruptive activity at Whakaari/White Island. Volcanic Alert Level lowered to Level 2 and Aviation Colour Code lowered to Yellow.

Published: Wed May 29 2024 3:00 PM
Volcanic Activity Bulletin
Volcanic Activity BulletinWI - 2024/08
Wed May 29 2024 3:00 PM; Whakaari/White Island Volcano
Volcanic Alert Level is lowered to 2
Aviation Colour Code is lowered to Yellow

Due to the absence of further eruptive activity at Whakaari/White Island since Saturday 25 May, we have lowered the Volcanic Alert Level to Level 2 (moderate to heightened unrest) and the Aviation Colour Code to Yellow.

With the views we have available, we have not been able to detect any further eruptive activity at Whakaari/White Island. However, we cannot rule out any low-level activity that is not visible in our views. When the views are clear, we have observed the typical steam and gas emissions from the active vents with no ash emissions.

Analysis of data collected during a gas flight on Monday indicated elevated levels of magmatic gas compared to previous observations in April and early May. Measured gas compositions indicate that magma is degassing beneath the volcano, possibly enabled by the eruptions on Friday and Saturday last week. During the gas flight, there were no eruptions observed, and there was a general lack of ejecta around the vent area.

While we have lowered the Volcanic Alert Level to Level 2, eruptions can still occur with little or no warning. This is particularly the case following the minor eruptions last week and the presence of elevated magmatic gas emissions.

As we have no sensors on the island, we are currently relying on webcams and satellite imagery, complemented with gas and observation flights to assess the volcanic activity. Further gas and observation flights will be conducted by GNS Science volcanologists over the following days and weeks to check on activity levels.

The Volcanic Alert Level reflects the current level of volcanic unrest or activity and is not a forecast of future activity. While Volcanic Alert Level 2 is mostly associated with volcanic unrest hazards (including discharge of steam and hot volcanic gases, earthquakes, landslides, and hydrothermal activity), potential for eruption hazards also exists and eruptions can still occur with little or no warning.

GNS Science’s National Geohazards Monitoring Centre and Volcano Monitoring Group, through the GeoNet programme, will continue to closely monitor Whakaari/White Island for further changes in unrest.

Further information about the Volcanic Alert Levels and what they mean can be found here.

More information on the recent minor eruptions can be found here.

Oliver Lamb

Duty Volcanologist

Media contact: 021 574541 or