Tongariro Volcano | John Seach


North Island, New Zealand

39.12 S, 175.647 E
summit elevation 1978 m
Complex volcano

Tongariro volcano is a complex consisting of twelve vents. The volcano is well known for the world class hiking on the Tongariro crossing.

The volcano has several craters, hot springs and fumeroles. The most recent eruptions occurred at Te Maari and Red craters.

Tongariro volcano photos by John Seach

tongariro crossing
Tongariro alpine crossing, New Zealand

red crater tongariro volcano
Red Crater, Tongariro volcano

Tongariro volcano, new zealand
Red Crater, Tongariro volcano

tongariro volcano
Emerald Lakes, Tongariro volcano - John Seach

tongariro volcano
Red crater in 2010

Tongariro crossing, new zealand
Tongariro crossing

tongariro alpine crossing
Tongariro alpine crossing

2012 Eruptions
Beginning on 13th July 2012 small earthquakes were recorded under Tongariro volcano. The earthquakes were small (less than magnitude 2.5). The seismic activity was located in a cluster between Emerald crater and Te Maari crater at a depth of 2-7 km. More than 20 earthquakes were recorded between 13th-20th July 2012. This compares to a background rate of 2 per year. On 20th July 2012 the alert level at the volcano was raised from 0 to 1.
Tongariro volcano erupted at 11:30 pm on 6th August 2012. The eruption occurred at Te Maari crater and lasted a few minutes and was followed by earthquakes over the next half hour. Activity subsided the following morning. Ketetahi Hut was destroyed by volcanic boulders 1 metre in diameter. The hut is located 1.5 km from the eruption. There were no hikers in the hut at the time of the eruption. All four national park huts around Mt Tongariro have been closed for safety reasons. No one was injured in the eruption. The alert status at Tongariro volcano has been raised to level 2.
An eruption occurred at Te Maari Craters, Tongariro volcano at 1:25 pm on 21st November 2012. The eruption was preceded by increasing seismicity during the previous 4 hours. Volcanic ash was observed to an altitude of 21,000 ft.

1869 Eruption
On 10th July 1869 dense black ash was emitted from Tongariro volcano. Loud booming noises were heard from the volcano. A broad stream of lava flowed down the side of the volcano.

Further reading
Hobden, B.J., Houghton, B.F., Lanphere, M.A. and Nairn, I.A., 1996. Growth of the Tongariro volcanic complex: new evidence from K‐Ar age determinations.

Cole, J.W., 1978. Andesites of the Tongariro Volcanic Centre, North Island, New Zealand. Journal of volcanology and geothermal research3(1-2), pp.121-153.

Tongariro Volcano Eruptions

2012, 1926-27?, 1896, 1892, 1890, 1886, 1885, 1869, 1859, 1855, 1500 ± 50, 550 BC ± 200, 9350 BC?,