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New Zealand Raises Taupo Volcano’s Alert, Almost 700 Small earthquakes

Taupo Volcano’s Alert

Recently, New Zealand raises alert level on giant Taupo volcano. Almost 700 small earthquakes have been detected below Lake Taupo, the caldera created by the giant volcano, so the volcanic alert level has been raised to 1 from 0 for the first time.

It is important to note that it has already caused the largest eruption on earth in the past 5,000 years when it last exploded about 1,800 years ago.

The volcanic alert system is based on six escalating levels of unrest, but it is not certain that eruption will occur at which level.

During its last eruption around 200 BCE, the Taupo volcano spewed more than 100 cubic kilometres of material into the atmosphere , devastating a large area of New Zealand’s central North Island in a period before human habitation. This eruption was the largest on the planet in the past 5,000 years.

Why Volcano in New Zealand?

It straddles the boundary between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates and thus experiences significant volcanism and earthquakes.

Other major recent volcanic event:

Recently, the Sakurajima Volcano erupted on Japan’s major western island of Kyushu. In 2021, the Fukutoku-Okanoba Submarine Volcano exploded in the Pacific Ocean, off Japan.

About Volcano

A volcano is an opening on the surface that allows magma to escape from its interior. Volcanoes are most often found where tectonic plates are divergent or convergent, and most of them are found underwater. For example, mid-ocean ridge, such as the mid-Atlantic ridge, has volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates whereas the Pacific Ring of Fire has volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates. Pacific Ring of Fire has most number of volcanoes.

Types of Volcanoes:

Based on extrusive landforms formed by the volcanic eruption, volcanoes have been divided in the following types:

Shield volcanoes:

When a volcano produces low viscosity, runny lava, it spreads far from the source and forms a volcano with gentle slopes. Such volcanoes are known as Shield Volcano.
Most shield volcanoes are formed from fluid, basaltic lava flows.

Strato volcano:

Strato volcanoes have relatively steep sides and are more cone-shaped than shield volcanoes.
They are formed from viscous, sticky lava that does not flow easily.

Lava dome:

As viscous lava is not very fluid, it cannot flow away from the vent easily when it is extruded. Instead it piles up on top of the vent forming a large, dome-shaped mass of material.

Caldera:

When a very large, explosive eruption occurs that empties the magma chamber, the roof of the magma chamber can collapse to form a depression or bowl with very steep walls on the surface. Such volcanoes are called as Caldera.

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Taupo Volcano’s Alert – FAQs

Q. Taupo Volcano is located in?

Ans. It is located in New Zealand.

Q. Why New Zealand witnesses volcanic activities frequently?

Ans. New Zealand witnesses volcanic activities frequently because it straddles the boundary between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.

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