Project Period: November 2017 - October 2022
Organisations: Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University and GNS Science
Project Funders: Endeavour Fund, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (New Zealand)
Project Location: Taupō Volcanic Zone
New Zealand’s central North Island hosts a huge supervolcano system, the most active of its kind on Earth. It erupts every few hundred years on average and sometimes it will erupt in small events and at other times it will erupt in large events, devastating much of the country. Scientists know that this system will reactivate in the future, to become restless or erupt, yet their understanding of what occurs during these events is limited.
As the East Coast lies many kilometres from any active volcano it will be spared many of the highly damaging near-source effects of a volcanic eruption, except in the event of a very large eruption from the Taupō Volcanic Zone. However, the region is vulnerable to volcanic ash-falls and their associated hazards, because the prevailing winds in the North Island are from the west and south.
Twenty nine scientists from a number of different organisations will investigate the underground roots of the Taupō volcanic system to identify what conditions cause it to become restless or erupt. They will see if they can identify a tipping point between unrest and eruption and use this new knowledge to advise how best to monitor the supervolcano system.
Scientists will also model possible future eruptions to better understand the impacts of any future events and design strategies to reduce uncertainties about future unrest or eruptions scenarios.The more we understand the behaviour of this supervolcano system the better prepared we can be.
Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the East Coast Life at the Boundary to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, East Coast Life at the Boundary shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. East Coast Life at the Boundary cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.
© East Coast Life at the Boundary - www.eastcoastlab.org.nz / 06 835 9200 / email@example.com