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January 15, 2010

Mt. Ngauruhoe Erupts!

Mt Ngauruhoe volcano
Mt. Ngauruhoe, New Zealand Print
Mt. Ngauruhoe Erupts! From the road, that is, as you make your way over this rise in the Desert Road to the east of the 3 volcanoes making up New Zealand's Tongariro National Park. All three of the volcanoes take turns letting off steam from time to time, and in March 2007, Mt. Ruapehu spilled its most-recent lahar flow. (YouTube footage of the 2007 Mt Ruapehu Lahar flow). A lahar flow from Mt. Ruapehu on Christmas Eve 1953 washed out a railway bridge not long before a passenger train was due to cross it and 151 people perished in what is known as the Tangiwai disaster.

The volcanic plateau located at the center of New Zealand's North Island is in the vicinity of Lake Taupo, formed by the most-recent "super-eruption" in the history of the plant. Recent being 26,500 years ago! Chances are we won't be around for the next "big one" since they occur only approximately every 100,000 years. But next time you visit Tongariro National Park, or Yellowstone National Park for that matter, don't forget that you are sitting atop one of these giant caldera!

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