. Since then, an unusually high number of earthquakes have occurred from two sections of the lake, some of which were large enough to be felt by nearby residents.. These more than 700 earthquakes primarily occurred. Adjacent to an area which has been undergoing a small amount of ground uplift at a series of vents, referred to as Horomatangi Reef, which is being uplifted at a rate of 6 centimeters a year.. While this might seem small. It is quite scientifically significant, as according to geonet, the uplift is being caused by both the movement of magma and hydrothermal fluids., Due in part to this latest activity. The alert level of the Taupo volcano was raised from 0 to 1 on the 0 to 5 scale. On CORRECTION, not August, but rather September 20th., This is the first time the alert level at this volcano has ever been placed at a level which was not 0.. Because of this, there is a lot of speculation and wild guesses as to what is occurring. So this video will accurately describe the reality and context of the current situation and what is likely to happen next. As a brief overview. The Taupo volcano is located in the central section of the north island of New Zealand, where it is located within a rift zone that is spreading apart to the east and west.. While this volcano does contain some smaller features, such as lava domes, its most striking feature, is its massive caldera.. This measures 30 kilometers wide and formed during a supereruption that ejected about 1100 cubic kilometers of volcanic rock around 25500 years ago.
. Since this eruption ejected such large volumes of material, it significantly drained the volcanos underlying magma chamber.. The overlying rock then collapsed downwards to fill the empty space in the magma chamber, forming a massive caldera, which now represents the northern two thirds of Lake Taupo.. A second major explosive eruption occurred in the year 233, ejecting more than 100 cubic kilometers of volcanic rock.. After this major eruption, Taupo would go on to produce another eruption in 260, but has not erupted since.. During this seemingly quiet period, Taupos magma chamber has been slowly refilling, meaning it is technically now potentially capable of another explosive eruption., But do not worry at least not yet., Although this isnt always the case at volcanoes around the world. It is generally true that the larger of a magma chamber, a volcano, has the more episodes and severity of volcanic unrest it will produce.. Thus, while a hypothetical measurement of 6 centimeters a year of uplift at Belknap, Crater in Oregon would be noteworthy the same measurement at Yellowstone or in this case Taupo is not.. Thus, during the last 150 years, there have been 17 episodes of volcanic unrest at Taupo.. Strangely enough, the current episode of unrest ranks in the mid end of this episodes, as others such as those which occurred in 1897, 1964 to 1965 and 1983 to 1984 had more pronounced effects.. It just so happens that the modern volcano rating system in New Zealand was only created in 1994.
With a few revisions since., I asked geonet scientists and they stated that if modern equipment and the volcano alert level designations had existed during those three more severe episodes of volcanic unrest, that the volcano would have also been raised to an alert level of 1., An alert Level of 1 does not indicate that an eruption will occur anytime soon, just that a volcano is showing minor, elevated levels of activity when compared to its background levels.. Of course, a volcanic eruption could theoretically occur unexpectedly, while the alert level is 0, 1 or 2. With a higher chance of this occurring at each increase in level., However, volcanoes generally do not erupt at such low alert levels. So for the moment there is nothing to worry about.. You might note that a similar minor episode of unrest occurred in 2008 and 2019 without a change in alert level.. So why is this unrest different? The answer is that a series of recent papers have been published which give scientists a better understanding of the overall volcano.. In other words, they can now more correctly interperet sensor data, and there is less ambiguity of when Taupos alert level should be raised. In the next. Several weeks to months this volcanic unrest episode is likely to continue causing more minor ground deformation and earthquakes.. The chance of a volcanic eruption occurring at the moment is either zero or pretty close to zero. Thanks for watching. If you would like to request a specific topic, please leave a comment below.