New Zealand Eruption: Biggest In 100 Years

Havre New Zealand Eruption the biggest in last 100 years

Few know about the Havre volcano, which is located on the floor of the Pacific Ocean off of the coast of New Zealand but scientists sure are aware of it and have been studying it closely for the last two years.

The little volcano was only first identified back in 2002, and when it erupted back in 2012, it still went unnoticed by all, aside from a woman flying home from Samoa.

“I took a couple of pictures, wondering if it was an algal bloom, oil spill or, recalling a conversation with a friend the week before, a deposit from a volcano,” artist Maggie de Grauw told the Waikato Times in 2013.

Scientists from the University of Tasmania and around the world now believe that the last eruption of Havre back in 2012, is the world’s biggest deep-sea volcanic eruption in the last 100 years.

This is a pretty bold statement when you take into account that the eruption was almost missed by any human observer, as usually when a volcano erupts, it makes a lot of noise and people definitely know about it.

Scientists perform study on Havre

“We knew it was a large scale eruption, approximately equivalent to the biggest eruption we’ve seen on land in the 20th Century,” said volcanologist Dr Rebecca Carey, who led the study.

In 2015, the research team set out to study the little volcano, and using submarines – including a remotely operated vehicle and an automated underwater vehicle they were able to not only reach it, but study it in great detail.

“The eruption was very complex, involving more than 14 aligned vents that represent a massive rupture of the volcanic edifice,” Carey stated.

“There is a decade worth of interdisciplinary science to do based on our 2015 voyage data and samples. It’s very exciting to marry the geosciences with other scientific disciplines addressing novel research questions.”

As a result of the volcanic eruption, lava ended up on Pacific beaches, including those of Australia and New Zealand.

According to Carey, 80 percent of the world’s volcanos are under water which makes it really important to understand them.

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About the Author: Brad Bennett

Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada's most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca

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