Crater Lake, Mt Ruapehu

The crater lake of Mt Ruapehu. This view no longer exists due to the 1995-96 eruptions. The lake is surrounded by glacier but has only briefly frozen-over a few times in recorded history. It is usually a warm 20-30C but can get to 100C or higher! The lake discharges (or used to) through an ice cave at the far end in this view. The lake is the highest in New Zealand and the peak behind is the highest point on Ruapehu (2797m) - and the highest in the North Island. In the 1960s skiers used to swim in the crater. However, the water is frequently oily with sulphur slicks floating on top. Hydrothermal eruptions (burping) are periodic occurrences even in quiet times. Lahars from the lake are a constant threat to the surrounding district which includes New Zealand's largest ski fields. The lake is about 400m across in this view.
  • Ruapehu 1995-1996 eruptions

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    Copyright (c) 1996 Jonathan Carr