Researchers at Auckland University are looking into how much warning Aucklanders will get if one of their volcanoes erupt.
The research team has been given $67,315 from an EQC grants programme to investigate how long it will take for magma to rise from the earth's mantle in an eruption.
Research co-ordinator Dr Marco Brenna said crystals in deposits from previous eruptions will reveal the information.
Seismic sensors are already in place throughout Auckland's volcanic field to warn of any impeding eruption.
The volcanoes are calm at present, but Three Kings and Mangere were last year identified as Auckland's most at-risk suburbs if the volcanoes erupt.
Civil Defence planners told the Herald after the Massey University study that warning signals would probably provide enough time for an evacuation.
"Overseas research shows it might take days or weeks for the magma to rise, but this is not necessarily applicable to the Auckland volcanic field, so localised research is so important," Dr Brenna said.
The research is one of 15 project to receive $1 million from EQC's Biennial Grants Programme.