Monowai, 3rd volcano thought to have erupted

20120810-164348.jpg

25,000 sq km sea of pumice floats off New Zealand

(By MICHAEL FIELD AND STACEY KIRK, Stuff.co.nz)

A navy ship heading to the Kermadec Islands has sailed into a huge 25,000 square kilometre area of pumice pieces north of Auckland.

It is believed to be from New Zealand’s third erupting volcano – the undersea mount Monowai. In the past week both Mt Tongariro and White Island have erupted.

The navy said the raft – 463 kilometres by 55 kilometres – was spotted by an RNZAF Orion returning on patrol from Samoa.

Canterbury, which left Auckland on Wednesday, sailed to the raft to pick up a sample.

GNS scientists are aboard the ship, which is also carrying 30 high school students on a Sir Peter Blake fellowship to Raoul Island.

GNS vulcanologist Craig Miller said they were aware of the ”pumice raft” but did not know the exact dimensions of it.

He said it was difficult to guess how big the pumice raft could be, but the air force had flown over and assessed its size.

“We’ve been in contact with the air force recently about it. But it is floating more than 1000 kilometres offshore, so it’s a while away.”

Miller said the pumice raft was about “half way to Tonga”, and just past Raoul Island.

A science writer on the voyage to the Kermadecs has been keeping a journal of findings from each day.

Rebecca Priestley said it was “an event” which caused the Canterbury’s Commanding Officer, Commander Sean Stewart to give the order to change course.

“Up to 250 nautical miles long by 30 nautical miles wide, it stood out against the blue-grey of the ocean as a great white froth on the surface of the sea,” Priestley wrote.

She said they came across it about midday yesterday.

Navy ratings reportedly lowered buckets, tied to a rope, off the gun deck and down into the water to collect deposits, which Marine Geologist Helen Bostock, who is also on the voyage, would take back to Niwa to examine, Priestly said.

About Monowai

Monowai is a volcanic seamount to the north of New Zealand. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kermadec volcanic arc.

The most recent eruptions were in 2008 and 2011.

The summit is approximately 132 metres (433 ft) below sea level, considerably above the level of the nearby Tonga and Kermadec Trenches. The summit’s position and depth changed between 1998 and 2004, due to a landslide and eruptive regrowth. A 1500 metre deep caldera, 13 by 8 km, lies 5–15 km NNE of the seamount’s main cone.

(6) Comments

  1. jed

    hi i just read i hope the volcanoes that are erupting cause major delays because i hope that some volcanoes erupt in auckland

  2. Ras Mikaere Enoch Mc Carty

    Kiaora, As A Note, I Just Returned Last Week From Tanna Island, Vanuatu, Where Yasur Volcano Has Also Been Much More Active While I Was There, Much More Than What Was Experienced The Last Time I Was There Last Year (Feb. 2011) - Enough For The Vanuatu Government To Issue Serious Warnings. I Think It Reached Level 3. Also Of Note, A Paakehaa Tourist While I Was There For 3 Weeks, Was Burned On The Arm From Falling Lava, Due To The Massive Explosive Activity. It Would Appear That The Pacific Rim Is Entering A Very Volatile Stage That Could Unfortunately Spell Danger And Disaster For My Love: The Maaori People And Te Aotearoa.

  3. Martin O'Brien

    My name is Martin O'Brien I just herd about the MtMonowai Three is a Monowai in Southland called lake Monowai at bottom West side Southland Nz. From Martin .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Tweets

  • DigitalMaoriRT @TovaOBrien: This woman is a woman I've admired from a distance for most of my adult life - Laila Harre on Annette Sykes http://t.co/PAl… about 6 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @Sub_Strata: @DigitalMaori looks like @InternetMana landslide victory in the Most Fun Campaign category about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriQ&A How do you tax the rich? @KimDotcom Build knowledge here, value youth, increase jobs. Transactional tax. Inheritance tax #ManaInternet about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriQ&A. Status of te reo? #AnnetteSykes love respect promote but not support Mataawai. Not involving Govt absolves them their right to protect about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@redheaded2 ahh thats right. I almost forgot you mahi for the Maori Party. Aroha mai. We busy making change, not protecting crumbs. about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriHaka tautoko for Annette Sykes #Ngati Pikiao #ManaInternet http://t.co/YotR3hgWy3 about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriAunty Bea bringing everyone to their feet with 'Simply the Best'. Then sits on @KimDotcoms knee! #ManaInternet http://t.co/gPaXiNo6P0 about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriFree Palestine! #AnnetteSykes #ManaInternet about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriHaha 60 day 1 night stand. Krakup #ManaInternet about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriTake the RENA off the reef. Repeal the Seabed & Foreshore Act. Give jobs for all. No more lies,secrets John Key #AnnetteSykes #ManaInternet about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriWe need to examine these treaty settlements. There is no trickle down to the hapu #AnnetteSykes #ManaInternet about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriWe have young men leaving home at 4am work all day home at 8pm. No wonder we have many deaths in the forest #AnnetteSykes #ManaInternet about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriHomes in Rotorua. Tachikawa. Fordblock. Solidarity. Bringing our home issues to many ears minds & hearts #AnnetteSykes #ManaInternet about 8 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriHow many shops are closed in Rotorua? Over a hundred - this is not a rockstar economy #AnnetteSykes #ManaInternet about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriPower isn't with the dynamism of us on stage. It is with you and your whanau, so talk, register, vote! #AnnetteSykes #ManaInternet about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriAnnette Sykes, #ManaInternet candidate for Waiariki. Leader, lawyer, mother, revolutionary, friend #ManaInternet http://t.co/hwEDWGPWY7 about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriSedition? Hater? Wrecker? I wonder who that might be... #ManaInternet about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@Regan_Gibbons I bet he's not just sipping on Moët right now tho about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @Sub_Strata: @DigitalMaori nothing like going for the jugular when that vein is so tasty looking about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriVote for #Hone #Annette #TeHamua & 2nd tick #ManaInternet party vote to create history! about 9 hours ago