White Island , New Zealand : monitoring flight to White Island.

White Island , New Zealand : monitoring flight to White Island.

Summer weather finally allows for White Island (Whaakari) gas flight

The shorts and t-shirt weather many have been experiencing may have been great for tan lines but the humid and cloudy conditions in the Bay of Plenty have not helped us with our monitoring flights for White Island (Whaakari). However yesterday the weather finally did allow for a monitoring flight to White Island. The gas output from the volcano hasn’t changed much. This great weather also gave us unparalleled views of the Crater Lake, which also remains unchanged.

About our monitoring flights

We use several techniques to monitor and evaluate the volcanic gas output from White Island.

About once a month we plan to make airborne measurements of sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) outputs from the volcano. The recent humid conditions in the Bay of Plenty have challenged us, however yesterday we made a successful flight.

To put some context around what White Island is currently doing, late last year the gas output averaged about 370 tons per day for SO2, 2100 tons per day for CO2 and 20 tons per day for H2S. During our flight yesterday (February 4) we measured 450 tons per day of SO2, 2100 tons per day of CO2 and 20 tons per day of H2S. These results are all very similar to our other recent measurements.

Two DOAS SO2 gas spectrometers are also installed on the island and under favourable conditions measure the sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas output. This has averaged around 300 tons per day in 2015, ranging from 120 to 750 tons per day. During January- February 2016 it has ranged 180-670 tons per day.

We are crossing our fingers that the good weather holds for the next gas monitoring “fly by”.

February 06 , 2016. White Island , New Zealand :

Source : Geonet / Brad Scott.

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