INDEPENDENT NEWS

White Island eruption – Expert Reaction

Published: Mon 9 Dec 2019 05:27 PM
Tourists were present on Whakaari/White Island when its volcano erupted at 2.11pm today.
A report from GeoNet duty volcanologist Geoff Kilgour states the short-lived eruption generated an ash plume to ~12,000ft above the vent. The Volcanic Alert Level has decreased to Level 3 (out of a possible 5).
Safety advice is available via the National Emergency Management Agency (Civil Defence).
The SMC asked experts to comment on the eruption.
________________________________________
Professor Shane Cronin, Volcanologist, University of Auckland, comments:
"Sudden, unheralded eruptions from volcanoes such as White Island can be expected at any time. Magma is close to the surface, and the heat and gases from this heat the surface and ground waters to form vigorous hydrothermal systems. We know hydrothermal and so-called 'phreatic' eruptions can occur suddenly and with little or no warning because they are driven by the expansion of super-heated water into steam.
"The hazards expected from such events are the violent ejection of hot blocks and ash, and formation of 'hurricane-like' currents of wet ash and coarse particles that radiate from the explosion vent. These can be deadly in terms of causing impact trauma, burns and respiratory problems. The eruptions are short-lived, but once one occurs, there are high chances for further, generally smaller ones as the system re-equilibrates."
Declared conflict of interest: None
Science Media Centre
Our aim is to promote accurate, evidence-based reporting on science and technology by helping the media work more closely with the scientific community.
The Science Media Centre is New Zealand's only trusted, independent source of information for the media on all issues related to science. Thousands of news stories providing context from and quoting New Zealand researchers have been published as a direct result of our work.
Contact Science Media Centre
Website:
Mobile:
Twitter:
YouTube:
Phone:
Facebook:
Email:
Postal Address:
PO Box 598, Wellington 6140

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Scientists Say Methane Emitted By Humans ‘vastly Underestimated’
By: NIWA
Record Dry Spells And Effects On Forests – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Official Cash Rate Remains At 1.0 Percent
By: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Novel coronavirus detected in China –Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Flooding could release toxic gas – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Damning New Report Says Every Nation Undermining Children
By: Common Dreams - Andrea Germanos
‘And Then - Nothing. Silence’: The Deadly Facade Of ‘Democracy’
By: MediaLens
Concentration Of CO2 Hits 416 Ppm - highest EVER daily average, but it still wont be breaking news
By: Common Dreams - Jessica Corbett
23 Former Diplomats Urge Global Leaders To Adopt Paris-Style Agreement To Protect Biodiversity
By: Common Dreams - Jessica Corbett
Greenpeace Campaigner Of 22 Years Announces Bid To Stand For Parliament
By: Steve Abel
Kiwi youth feeling the heat
By: Business NZ
How NZ would fare during a world catastrophe
By: RNZ
Antarctic continent posts record temperature
By: United Nations
Climate action ‘both a priority and a driver of the decade
By: United Nations
Public surveyed on state of the environment
By: Lincoln University
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media