White Island's crater lake rises

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The water level of White Island's crater lake has continued to rise since it erupted in October.

GNS Science staff have made several visits to the island in the last week to assess the status of the volcano which remains in an elevated state of unrest although no further eruptive activity has occurred.

Volcano seismic activity remains at a low levels, while the gas flux has been at elevated levels.

Observations and photographs suggest the crater lake is about 5m higher than late last year. Average daily sulphur dioxide gas flux has ranged from 133 to 924 tonnes per day. This remains elevated compared to levels before 2012 when daily averages were generally less than 300 tonnes per day.

Volcanologist Brad Scott said a new camera gave scientists fantastic data on the heat coming from the volcano and allowed them to build a better picture of the status of the activity.

White Island remains in a state of volcanic unrest. A range of eruptive activity can occur under these conditions and eruptions can start with little or no prior warning, he said.

The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 1.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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