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Natural Hazards – our supervolcano
August 27 - August 29
Did you know the world’s most recent super-eruption created Lake Taupō 25,500 years ago? And did you know that the world’s biggest eruption in the last 5,000 years also happened right here in New Zealand? It’s no surprise that this volcano is part of ‘The Central Taupō Volcanic Zone’; a supervolcano complex stretching from Lake Taupō to Mt Tarawera – and we’re off to explore the Lake Taupō part! But don’t worry, there’s only a very small chance of another eruption any time soon.
You probably think of Taupō as a lake rather than a volcano. That’s because 25,500 years ago the supervolcano erupted from a massive pancake of magma about 5km below the ground surface. When most of the magma had been erupted (more than 500 cubic kilometres!) the ground overhead couldn’t be supported anymore and collapsed – leaving a massive depression in the middle of the North Island. The depression slowly filled with water, becoming Lake Taupō.
During this field trip you will join geologists who are trying to understand how our supervolcano works and what we need to do to prepare for an eruption.