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Results from September 2007 Mt Ruapehu Eruption

5 October 2007

Mt. Ruapehu
Mt. Ruapehu, 2007

Instrumentation developed and installed for the March 2007 Crater Lake break-out lahar successfully detected lahars from Mt Ruapehu caused by the September 2007 eruption. The equipment, which was purchased as part of a Marsden Fund project led by Shane Cronin and Dr Vern Manville from GNS Science, detected the short-lived lahars when the Department of Conservation warning system did not.

Staff and students from the Volcanic Risk Solutions group were at the scene as soon as news of the eruption was received. The quick response enabled the team to analyse the deposits of the lahars which were an unusual mix of snow, mud and rock and were very short lived. This analysis, along with data from the instruments, allowed the team to develop insights into the internal properties and physics of these rarely observed flows which will feed into more precise physical and numerical models and more accurate computer simulations of their hazard potential.

The results from this research have been published in the highly regarded journal Geology, along with a companion paper in the respected journal Geophysical Research Letters.