Persistent low-level ash emission from Whakaari/White Island. Volcanic Alert Level remains at 2.

Published: Thu Sep 2 2021 4:00 PM

Volcanic Alert BulletinWI – 2021/10
Thu Sep 2 2021 4:00 PM; Whakaari/White Island Volcano
Volcanic Alert Level remains at 2
Aviation Colour Code remains at Yellow

Minor-weak ash emission has been occurring at Whakaari/White Island since early this morning. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 2.

Since 6:50 AM this morning, minor ash emission has been observed from the active vent area at Whakaari/White Island by the web camera. It has not been clearly visible in camera images from Whakatane, until recently when images became hazy. Satellite images indicate a weak ash plume has now reached the area above the Bay of Plenty Coast. Any impact on the ground is unlikely, but traces of ash could be detected on surfaces.

This weak ashing phase is a continuation of the short episodes observed over the past few weeks at Whakaari. Today’s is more sustained through time, and due to the northerly wind direction, traces of ash are being transported toward the Bay of Plenty.

The seismic activity at the volcano has been minor with low level of tremor. There is no relationship between the ash emission and the seismic activity.

Webcam images continue to show night glow, suggesting that temperatures in the active vent area probably remain around 500-600°C, consistent with recent observations.

Satellite images from MetService show the volcanic ash going toward the Bay of Plenty coast and reaching the area above it at 1 PM. This ash plume is unlikely to create any ashfall on the ground.

Equipment that provides real-time monitoring on the island is currently degraded and we are continuing to work on restoration options.

The current level of activity is consistent with moderate levels of unrest. As such the Volcanic Alert Level remains at 2 and the Aviation Colour Code remains at Yellow.

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

Agnes Mazot

Duty Volcanologist

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