An observation flight confirms the active vents are continuing to emit a moderate steam and gas plume. Rare periods of ash emission were noted during clear weather over the last 2 weeks. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 2.
On 19 October 2022, GNS Science volcanologists observed a moderate gas and steam plume emitting from several sources behind the crater lake during a routine observation flight. The temperature of the gas and steam plume was measured at 145 ºC, down slightly from 165 ºC on October 5.
A gas observation flight on 7 October measured a low discharge rate of sulphur dioxide (SO2) of 217 ± 19 tonnes/day.
Minor, passive ash emissions are still occurring intermittently from an active vent and have been observed occasionally in satellite imagery. Deposits from minor ash emissions are confined to the inner crater walls. Our North Rim web camera remains obscured by a thin ash coating.
The VAL remains at Level 2 (moderate to heightened unrest) and the Aviation Colour Code remains at Yellow, acknowledging the current level of activity, but also continuing to acknowledge the greater level of uncertainty in our interpretation due to the current lack of consistent, useful real-time data.
As the weather allows, we have increased the frequency of our gas and observation flights to the island until we can service our on-island equipment and power supplies. We still have intermittent access to webcams images from the island, providing some level of visual monitoring between our flights.
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.
Further information about the Volcanic Alert Levels and what they mean can be found here.
GNS Science’s National Geohazards Monitoring Centre and Volcano Monitoring Group, through the GeoNet programme, continue to monitor Whakaari/White Island for further changes in unrest.
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