Whakaari/White Island: Update on recent observations. Minor volcanic unrest continues. Volcanic Alert Level remains Level 1

Published: Tue Jun 28 2022 9:00 AM

Volcanic Activity BulletinWI – 2022/07
Tue Jun 28 2022 9:00 AM; Whakaari/White Island Volcano
Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1
Aviation Colour Code remains at Green

Recent monitoring data, including flights to make visual observations and measure gas emissions, confirm volcanic unrest remains at low level at Whakaari/White Island. The Volcanic Alert Level for Whakaari/White Island remains at Level 1. The Aviation Colour Code also remains at Green.

Last week we completed a flight to measure gas emissions, and an observation flight to document any recent changes at the volcano and to remotely measure fumarole temperatures. Data from these flights, together with automatically collected monitoring data indicate that the level of volcanic unrest remains low and there has been little change in activity in the last few weeks.

The gas flight established that emission rates remain within typical long-term levels, with a decrease in the amount of gas being emitted from the active vents since the last observations in mid-May 2022. The temperature of the emitted gas and steam remains low with an observation of approximately 170 °C from 22 June 2022.

No activity beyond moderate fumarole emissions was observed from vents on the crater floor in the active vent area. Fumarole emissions were free of volcanic ash. Satellite based ground deformation indicates minor changes about the active vent-lake area. Seismic activity remains low.

These observations are consistent with low levels of volcanic unrest. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 1 and the Aviation Colour Code remains Green.

The Volcanic Alert Level reflects the current level of volcanic unrest or activity and is not a forecast of future activity. Volcanic Alert Level 1 indicates the primary hazards are those expected during volcanic unrest; steam discharge, volcanic gas, earthquakes, landslides and hydrothermal activity. While Volcano Alert Level 1 is mostly associated with environmental hazards, 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.

Our on-island equipment has degraded over the past two and a half years. However, we are still able to retrieve data from the island due to some rerouting of data to the mainland.

GNS Science and its National Geohazards Monitoring Centre continue to monitor Whakaari/White Island for further changes in unrest.

Steven Sherburn Duty Volcanologist

Media Contact: 021 574541 or media@gns.cri.nz