Mount Tongariro is heating up with GNS Science confirming magma is present inside the volcano.
Gas readings taken from a flight this morning reveal the presence of magma in the volcano, which erupted for the first time in 100 years this week.
Mt Tongariro at first light on Tuesday morning. Photo: Robyn Paul - Adrift Outdoors.Inset: Volcanic ash on a car at Poutu near lake Rotoaira. Photo: Ski FM
GNS Science duty volcanologist Craig Miller says the tests show sulphur dioxide in the steam plume indicating another larger magmatic explosion could take place.
But scientists are unsure when and if another explosion will take place.
“What is does confirm is there is a magmatic source at depth. Whether the magma is going to stay at those unknown depths or whether it’s coming to the surface is the question.”
Craig says a minor amount of ash is reported from some of the vents.
Results from the gas flight shows around 2100tonnes per day of sulphur dioxide is being emitted from the volcano along with quantities of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gas.
Despite the presence of magma in the volcano, Mt Tongariro’s volcanic alert level remains at two and aviation colour code is still at yellow.