The Terraces of Tarawera

It was a quintessential English village, with simple houses along streets and fenced cottage gardens of precisely 100 m2 each. This is what the heart of England, the Cotswolds, looked like. Perhaps 85% of the population was local; the others were distant immigrants. The people were farmers and workers in the local flour mill. But…

Ten volcanoes with super-eruption potential: Part III

Here comes the conclusion to the series, the 3 volcanoes that I considered the likeliest to produce a VEI-8 eruption. 3. Calabozos and neighbours (Chile) This volcano is located in Chile. It forms part of a little known, little studied, silicic flare-up of the Southern Andes Volcanic Zone. Steepening of the subducting Payenia Slab gave…

Batholiths and flare-ups

An eruption that ejects more than 1000 km3 of material (ash, pumice, rock…) is considered a super-eruption, a VEI-8. These represent the greatest volcanic events that have taken place during human existence. Such apocalyptic phenomena attract a lot of attention, from scientists, volcanoholics and doomsayers. The term supervolcano has become increasingly popular but also increasingly…

White Island

The Bay of Plenty is an evocative name. The Bay is sandwiched between the two northerly peninsulas of The North Island. The name includes the adjacent land region, so this is a Bay you can live in. The geyser of Rotorua is world-renowned. So are the adjacent Taupo volcanoes, although not quite as widely publicised.…

Faults of New Zealand

It is a wonderful, and funny place. New Zealand has more than its fair share of the world’s beauty. You want volcanoes, rivers, beaches, forests, mountains, liveable cities, it has it all. Its history is out of this world. Apart from a few bats and some dolphins, the first mammals to arrive were human. In…

The volcano and the albatross

It is lonely out here, 850 km east of Christchurch, New Zealand, a small archipelago unprotected from the Roaring Forties. Even the international date line carefully avoids it, bending around it to the east. Few people live here; of the eleven Chatham islands, only two are occupied: Chatham island itself, and Pit island. The bending…