Volcanic Activity Bulletins

Volcano Activity 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.


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The Volcanic Alert Level for Taupō Volcano is raised to Volcanic Alert Level 1 (minor volcanic unrest). The minor volcanic unrest is causing the ongoing earthquakes and ground deformation at Taupō Volcano.


Web camera images from Whakaari/White Island showed minor ash emission occurred in the crater on Sunday 18 September 2022. Ash was not observed beyond the island, but the overall steam plume could be seen from the Bay of Plenty coast. A strong SO2 gas signal associated with that plume was also detected by satellite on Sunday. No significant ash was observed today and the Volcanic Alert Level remains at 2.


The earthquake sequence beneath Lake Taupō continues, now including a magnitude 4.2 event at 6.36 am on Saturday 10 September 2022 – the largest earthquake in the area to date this year. The earthquake was located on the east side of the lake at a depth of approximately 5 km and was widely felt locally. The Volcanic Alert Level for Taupō Volcanic Centre remains at Level 0.


The recent loss of access to continuous data from Whakaari/White Island means we are effectively unable to distinguish in near real-time between VAL 1 (minor volcanic unrest) and VAL 2 (moderate to heightened unrest). As a result, the Volcanic Alert Level for Whakaari/White Island has been raised to Level 2, not as an indication of a noticed increase in volcanic activity, but as a reflection of the increased level of uncertainty in our interpretation due to the current lack of real-time data.


The earthquake sequence beneath Lake Taupō continues. Ongoing ground deformation indicates a deformation source coincident with the seismically active region. The Volcanic Alert Level for Taupō Volcanic Centre remains at Level 0.


Near real-time monitoring of Whakaari has been lost with the failure of the last surviving seismometer and pressure sensor on the island. We continue to monitor via other, less-frequent methods. The Volcanic Alert Level for Whakaari/White Island remains at Level 1. The Aviation Colour Code also remains at Green.


Since early May 2022, our earthquake monitoring network has recorded an increase in earthquake activity under Lake Taupō. While Lake Taupō sits above the Taupō volcano, the recent earthquakes are not considered to be an indicator that an eruption is on the way. This activity is similar to recent periods of elevated earthquakes activity and ground deformation measured in 2008-2009 and 2019. The Volcanic Alert Level for Taupō Volcanic Centre remains at Level 0.


New Crater Lake chemistry data, low volcanic tremor levels and a stable warm lake temperature indicate a decline in the level of volcanic unrest at Mt Ruapehu. In consequence of these, the Volcanic Alert Level is lowered to Level 1 and the Aviation Colour Code changes to Green. 


Despite intermittent gas pulses, volcanic gas emissions have declined. Volcanic tremor remains low, while the Crater Lake temperature has recovered slightly to 25 °C. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2.


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.