Whakaari/White Island has recorded its hottest temperature in its lava lobes as the island remains in an elevated state of unrest.
Geonet said today the temperature in the lava lobes was sitting at 746C, the hottest temperature recorded to date.
Volcanic gas on the island had increased slightly compared to recent measurements, however, overall it was still on the decline.
Aerial observations by the team showed high-temperature fumaroles remained on the island, but the Volcanic Alert sat at level two. The gas flight showed a decline in CO2 and SO2 since the eruption on December 9, however, there were slightly elevated amounts of gas.
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Despite these high fumarole temperatures, a small pond of water was present in the primary crater formed on December 9.
High temperatures and large amounts of gas were consistent with the continued presence of shallow magma beneath the primary vent area and were within the expected range of fluctuations for post-eruptive processes.
There were currently no indications for fresh magma arriving from greater depths.
The active vent area remained a rapidly changing environment and an eruption could occur with limited precursory activity.
Plausible triggers for an eruption included the collapse of unstable material around the vents, sudden release of gas from the magma, and the rapid ingress of water onto the shallow magma body.