Picture of the Day: New Zealand’s Most Active Volcano
New Zealand’s Most Active Volcano
Whakaari/White Island is an active stratovolcano, situated 48 km (30 mi) from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty. It is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, and has been built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years. The nearest mainland towns are Whakatane and Tauranga.
The island is roughly circular, about 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter, and rises to a height of 321 m (1,053 ft) above sea level. However this is only the peak of a much larger submarine mountain, which rises up to 1,600 m (5,249 ft) above the nearby seafloor, making this volcanic structure the largest in New Zealand. Sulphur mining was attempted but was abandoned in 1914 after a lahar (mudflow) killed all 10 workers. The main activities on the island now are guided tours and scientific research.
Whakaari’s eruptions have produced both lava flows and explosive eruptions of ash. It is New Zealand’s only active marine volcano and perhaps the most accessible on Earth, attracting scientists and volcanologists worldwide as well as many tourists. It is part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Visitors cannot land without permission or remove or disturb any wildlife and must leave only their footprints. [Source: Wikipedia]