GSNZ Taranaki branch meeting

7:30 PM

Disabled Citizens Craft Centre, 83 Hine Street, New Plymouth

GSNZ Branch event

Is Taranaki Exhaling? Detecting Magmatic Gas Emissions from Taranaki Maunga presented by Cynthia Werner

With a peak eruption recurrence interval of ~100 years, and the last major eruption in 1790, many scientists would agree that Taranaki Maunga is overdue for an eruption. Taranaki currently displays no signs of geophysical unrest and little is known about Taranaki's subsurface conditions.

Magmas beneath the volcano may be releasing gas to the surface, but indicators of this gas emission are often subtle, especially at dormant volcanoes like Taranaki. Carbon dioxide (CO2) gas released from deep magmas will react with cold groundwaters in the subsurface, which can be released where these springs emerge on the flanks. On Taranaki these springs deposit the dramatic and culturally significant kōkōwai, sacred to local iwi. While rarely used as a monitoring tool, understanding where gas is being released, and how dissolved volcanic gases vary in time, could provide important insight into the reawakening of the volcano. 

In this talk we explore the volcanic history of Taranaki Maunga, how Taranaki is presently monitored, and results of an ongoing study of mineral spring geochemistry and associated degassing at Mount Taranaki volcano, New Zealand.