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Posted by
Anina Botes (Auckland, New Zealand) on 20 September 2009 in Landscape & Rural.

Going up Mount Ruapehu to Whakapapa skifield

Spectacular eruptions occurred during 1995 and 1996. Mt Ruapehu had been showing signs of increased activity since late November 1994, with elevated crater lake temperatures and a series of eruptions that increased in intensity over about nine months. Several lahar were observed, both in the Whangaehu River and other areas of the mountain, between September 18 and September 25, 1995, indicating the crater lake was being emptied by the eruptions. The Department of Conservation immediately issued hazard warnings and advised people to keep off the mountain, thus ending the ski season. The eruption cloud disrupted air travel, occasionally closing airports and the central North Island airspace. Episodic eruptions continued until the end of November 1995. Since then Ruapehu has been monitored by at least one and sometimes several volcanocams

Mt Ruapehu erupted again on 4 October 2006. The small eruption created a volcanic earthquake of magnitude 2.8, sending a water plume 200 m into the air and 6-m waves crashing into the wall of the crater.

On 18 March 2007, the tephra dam which had been holding back the crater lake burst, sending a lahar down the mountain. An estimated 1.4 million cubic metres of mud, rock, and water thundered down the Whangaehu river.
Luckily the river banks held and no spill overs occurred. No serious damage was done and no one was injured.

PENTAX *ist DL 1/1500 second F/5.6 ISO 200 35 mm

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1/1500 second
ISO 200
35 mm