Explore #53 - 15.01.2009
The sunrise light reflects off Mt Ruapehu and the large Eucalyptus Tree in the foreground. I got up very early to catch this and took a series of shots of this glorious sunrise... it was worth it :-)
Mt Ruapehu is an andesitic cone at the western end of the Taupo volcanic province which stretches to White island in the Bay of Plenty. The province includes Tongariro, Taupo, Tarawera, Rotorua and Edgecumbe. The oldest rocks on Ruapehu are dated at around 200,000 years, although the earliest activity on the site could date back as much as a million years.
This is one of the most active provinces of its kind in the world.
White Island, for instance, smokes continuously. Taupo erupted
massively in AD 186 (according to references in Roman and Chinese
literature). The last recent major eruption in the province was that
of Tarawera in 1886, which destroyed the world's largest silica
terraces, with smaller eruptions of Ngaruhoe (1967), and the recent
1995/1996 and 2007 events at Ruapehu.
At 2797 m, Ruapehu is the highest mountain in the North Island, and the most recent of the North Island volcanoes to have erupted. Three summit craters have been active during the last 10,000 years including South Crater which contains the currently active vent. The active vent is filled by Crater Lake; water from this lake is frequently ejected on to the ice and snow during eruptions causing lahars.
Most Recent Eruption
* When: September 25 2007
* Effects: This was an explosive eruption, lasting about 7 minutes. During the eruption explosions spread ash, rocks and water across the summit area, producing lahars in two valleys including one in the Whakapapa ski field. In contrast with the previous eruptions in 1996, there was no high ash plume to produce ash fallout over a wide area.
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