16 Jul 2009

Quake nudges Ruapehu crater level up

9:09 pm on 16 July 2009

Vulcanologists say that Mt Ruapehu's crater lake has risen 15cm as a direct result of a small earthquake on Monday evening.

A new research project measuring the lake's temperature and level has allowed GNS scientists for the first time to correlate a small rise with a single tremor.

The magnitude 2 tremor did not cause an eruption or the water temperature to change.

But it did mean an extra 20 million litres, or eight Olympic-sized swimming pools of water, flowed into the lake from the hydrothermal system below, and it has continued to steadily overflow.

GNS hopes its latest data-gathering experiment will help identify potential hazards from the crater lake.