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White Island Volcano

New Zealand - April 06, 2009

  • White Island is New Zealand's most active volcano, located in the Bay of Plenty, 48 km north of Whakatane. Sulfur mining was attempted but was abandoned in 1914 after a lahar killed all 10 workers. The island is roughly circular, about two km in diameter, and rises to a height of 321 m above sea level. However this is only the peak of a much larger submarine mountain, which rises up to 1600 m above the nearby seafloor.
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    Approaching White Island by boat.

    Looking across the crater.

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    Getting up close to a gas fumarole.

    a gas & steam vent spewing out very acidic clouds that stung the skin.

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    The highly acidic, hot lake inside the crater.

    The ph of the water here is -0.1 which is extremely acidic!

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    Sulfur stained walls of the White Island crater.

    Steam coming off the crater lake.

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    Well formed steam devils glide across the acid lake.

    These steam devils are similar to the ones that form on the Great Lakes on very cold, winter mornings.

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    Ruins of the old sulfur mine.

    Amongst the rusting sulfur mining equipment, left behind in the 1930's.

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    One of several large, violently boiling mud pools.