Volcanic Alert Bulletin WI-2013/05 - White Island Volcano
Early this morning the continuous volcanic tremor which has been recorded during the past few weeks at White Island has changed to a pattern of intermittent tremor. When occurring, the volcanic tremor remains strong. The current level of unrest means that there is a greater than usual hazard to visitors.
The crater lake is drying out and the frequent bursts of mud, steam and gas are still vigorous. During the last few days, the bursts have thrown mud and rock several tens of metres out from the lake area. Steam and gas clouds above the volcano are often visible from the Bay of Plenty coastline.
GNS Science's past monitoring of the island shows that weak ash eruptions have often followed drying out of this type of mud-filled lake. More vigorous explosions of mud, rock and perhaps molten sulphur are possible in future with little or no warning. The current level of unrest means that there is a greater than usual hazard to visitors.
The amounts of volcanic gases measured last week were similar to those measured in December 2012 and do not suggest a large eruption is imminent. However, both the ongoing mud bursts and the strong seismic activity indicate that White Island is still at an elevated state of unrest.
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