Archive for the ‘New Zealand News’ Category

The blackened crater of Mt Ruapehu after it erupted in 2007. Photo / John Cowpland

The blackened crater of Mt Ruapehu after it erupted in 2007. Photo / John Cowpland

 

The likelihood of Mt Ruapehu erupting has increased, GNS Science says.

GNS Science duty volcanologist Steven Sherburn said changes in measurements at Ruapehu over the last few weeks indicate eruptions are “more likely over the next weeks to months”.

“We are monitoring Ruapehu closely, but it often does not give any immediate warning that it is going to erupt,” Dr Sherburn said.

“We think that the temperature a few hundred metres beneath Crater Lake is about 800 degrees Celsius, but the lake itself is only about 20 degrees Celsius. This suggests the vent is partly blocked which may be leading to a pressure build-up beneath Crater Lake.

“A sudden release of the pressure may lead to an eruption.”

As a result, the Aviation Colour Code has increased from Green to Yellow. However, the Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1. Code Yellow indicates a volcano is experiencing signs of elevated unrest above known background levels.

GNS said small earthquakes have been occurring about 5km beneath the summit area of Ruapehu since late-October, but these may not be directly related to the high temperatures beneath Crater Lake as the earthquakes are much deeper.

A build-up of pressure beneath Crater Lake is thought to have caused the 2007 eruption and a smaller eruption in 2006.

Source – nzherald.co.nz

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Kiwis On Mars

Posted: 3 October, 2012 in New Zealand News, Space
Tags: , , ,

Kiwis on Mars: This shot was taken by the Nasa rover, Curiosity.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sideswipe/news/article.cfm?c_id=702&objectid=10837931

The birds appear to be getting braver. Photo / Thinkstock

They are the scavengers of the sky, and now they are dining out at the expense of Mount Maunganui’s cafe scene.

Menacing seagulls are dive-bombing al fresco customers, knocking over coffees and defecating on cafe patrons.

Cafe Cabana barista Luke Edmond said staff at the Marine Parade eatery replaced coffees and meals about three times a week because of birds swooping in and causing chaos.

“Just the other day one of our regulars was sitting down here drinking a bowl latte.

“The bird actually landed in the bowl, flew up and pooed on her. And of course when it spread its wings to fly away, it flicked coffee on everyone else in the area,” he said.

The cafe replaced six coffees and four meals.

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The new bioreactor facility at the Wairakei Power Station near Taupo. Photo / Jeremy Bright

The new bioreactor facility at the Wairakei Power Station near Taupo. Photo / Jeremy Bright

 

A one-of-a-kind new water treatment facility near Taupo is using gas-gobbling bacteria and 378km of underground pipes to clean Waikato River water.

While it may make a fabulous water feature, Wairakei Power Station’s new bioreactor is a serious piece of industrial plant, and a world first.

It uses sulphur-oxidising bacteria to reduce the levels of hydrogen sulphide in the power station’s cooling water.

The $30 million bioreactor was commissioned in July and formally opened yesterday at Wairakei with a blessing from Rev Sonny Garmonsway of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa (the Maori Anglican Church) and Ngati Tuwharetoa.

The bioreactor’s follows years of trials and a 12-month construction project.

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White Island. File photo / supplied

Scientists have confirmed that White Island has erupted and continues to blast ash into the air, indicating the start of a new phase of volcanic activity on the island.

However, as White Island produces a series of eruptions, Mt Tongariro appears to be quieting down.

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Lightning seen around erupting White Island

Flashes of lightning have been reported coming from White Island as the volcano continues to erupt since Sunday.

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Tongariro Ash

NASA has released an image of the ash plume stretching out from Mt Tongariro shortly after it erupted on Monday night.

The central North Island volcano erupted at 11.50pm, the first time in more than 100 years.

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A cloud hangs above the mountain this morning. Photo / Twitter / @richardshype

A huge ash cloud is covering the central North Island as Mt Tongariro erupts for the first time in more than a century.

Roads were closed, flights disrupted and nearby residents have been advised to stay indoors as ash and rock spews from the mountain.

The volcanic alert level for Mt Tongariro has risen from 1 to 2, while the aviation colour code has been raised to red.

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New Zealand has earned two gold medals in the space of 50 minutes at the London Olympics after two impressive rowing performances at Eton Dorney tonight, adding to the gold won in the men’s double sculls yesterday.

New Zealand rower Mahe Drysdale in action in the Semifinal of the Men's Single Sculls. Photo / Brett Phibbs

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Olympics: Who are those cyclists at the rowing?

Who are the cyclists keeping pace with the rowers at the Olympics? Why have a B final? And what exactly is a repechage anyway? NZ Herald’s David Leggat answers all the questions you were too afraid to ask.

1: Who are those cyclists keeping pace with the rowers?

Coaches of the crews. Rather than try and watch how their charges are performing from 1500 metres away with binoculars, they cycle alongside, all the while keeping an eye on traffic in front.

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Owned!

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray react after earning New Zealand its second Olympic gold medal. Source /Brett Phibbs NZ Herald

Unbeaten for four years!

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray have earned New Zealand its second Olympic gold medal. Photo / Chris Carlson.