Volcanic Alert Bulletins

Volcano Alert 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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Continued heat flow and changes in gas composition indicate increased unrest at Whakaari/White Island. Volcanic Alert Level raised to Level 2.

Persistent observations of night glow on the web cameras indicate continued emission of high-temperature gases. Continued decline of the carbon dioxide to sulphur dioxide ratio points to ongoing degassing of fresh magma. The Volcanic Alert Level has been raised to 2 and the Aviation Colour Code to Yellow. This also acknowledges the uncertainty about what is driving current activity at the volcano.

Last week

Increased heat flow confirms ongoing volcanic unrest at Whakaari/White Island

An observation and thermal infrared (IR) measurement flight has confirmed high temperatures are again present. These are from locations on the 2019 lava extrusions where high temperatures have been recorded before. These observations confirm the source of glow on the web cameras. There is no evidence of eruptive activity. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.

2 weeks ago

Mt Ruapehu status update: new heating phase starts at the crater lake (Te Wai ā-moe)

Another heating phase has started at Mt Ruapehu. Over the last three months the temperature of the crater lake (Te Wai ā-moe) has cooled from 41°C (12 April 2021) to 20°C (2 July 2021). The turnaround of the lake temperature early July has followed two small volcanic earthquakes and has been accompanied by a higher level of volcanic tremor over the weekend, as is often the case at the start of a heating episode. The Volcanic Alert Level at Mt Ruapehu remains at Level 1.

3 weeks ago

Minor volcanic unrest continues at Whakaari/White Island

Although a short-lived burst of seismic activity occurred on 1 June, volcanic activity at Whakaari/White Island remains at low levels. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.

2 months ago

Mt Ruapehu status update: volcanic activity remains at low level, Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) down to 26°C

Following the period of heightened unrest activity in December 2020, volcanic activity at Mt Ruapehu has remained at a low level over the past six months, with gas emissions, lake chemistry and volcanic tremor all within typical ranges. After the December period of high temperatures, Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) cooled then reheated in early April before cooling again now to around 26°C. The Volcanic Alert Level at Mt Ruapehu remains at Level 1.

2 months ago

Minor volcanic unrest continues at Whakaari/White Island

Despite a short-lived burst of activity on 29 April, volcanic activity at Whakaari/White Island remains at low levels. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.

3 months ago

Mt Ruapehu status update: volcanic activity remains at low level, Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) at 40°C

Following the period of heightened activity in December 2020, volcanic activity at Mt Ruapehu has since remained at low level over the last three months, with gas emissions, lake chemistry and volcanic tremor all within typical ranges. After a temporary cooling period, the Crater Lake (Te Wai ā-moe) temperature is now back to around 40 °C. The Volcanic Alert Level at Mt Ruapehu remains at Level 1.

4 months ago

Further minor tremor and steam bursts, explosions

Two short-lived episodes of low-energy volcanic tremor occurred on 11 and 12 March at Whakaari/White Island, following similar episodes in mid-February and early March. Since then activity has returned to typical low-levels. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.

5 months ago

Minor steam explosions at Whakaari/White Island

A series of short-lived, low-energy steam explosions occurred on 19 February 2021 at Whakaari / White Island following a small increase in volcanic tremor levels. These explosions took place over about 100 minutes. These small events do not appear to have produced any traces of ash locally. Since the event, activity has returned to low-level. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.

6 months ago

Year-long monitoring reveals declining vent temperatures at Whakaari/White Island

Remote monitoring of the vent area at Whakaari / White Island that erupted in December 2019 has revealed that the temperatures of gas emissions has declined from over 700 oC to 300 oC in the last year. Recent observations suggest no eruptive activity since a series of minor steam explosions on 29 December 2020. Current activity is still characterised by steam and gas emissions at moderate-low levels. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.

6 months ago