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Tarawera 1886: an integrated review of volcanological and geochemical characteristics of a complex basaltic eruption


Rowe, MC and Carey, RJ and White, JDL and Kilgour, G and Hughes, E and Ellis, B and Rosseel, J-B and Segovia, A, Tarawera 1886: an integrated review of volcanological and geochemical characteristics of a complex basaltic eruption, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics pp. 1-24. ISSN 0028-8306 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 The Royal Society of New Zealand

DOI: doi:10.1080/00288306.2021.1914118


The cataclysmic basaltic eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886 represents a significant cultural and scientific event for New Zealand. This review utilises published and new observations, to reinterpret eruptive parameters encompassing the entirety of the eruption. The ∼17 km eruptive fissure, active for 4+ hours, extends across Mt. Tarawera to the hydrothermally active Waimangu region. Correlating published observations of bed thickness, componentry and microtextures from Mt. Tarawera to new bed descriptions and granulometry for the Rotomahana-Waimangu rift segment allows for a re-assessment of eruption variations along the length of the fissure. Variably thick pyroclastic fall sequences at Mt. Tarawera contrast with the pyroclastic surges and an eruption plume that together deposited the 'Rotomahana Mud' erupted along the Rotomahana-Waimangu segment. Providing insight into pre-eruptive conditions, new mineral chemistry from Mt. Tarawera provides the first constraints on crystallisation pressures (<2 kbar), temperatures (<1100C), and magmatic water content (<2.8 wt%). Recalculated volumes indicate a bulk eruptive volume of 1.1-1.3 km3, and a juvenile basalt volume of up to 0.67 km3, which then lead to calculated discharge rates of 3.7נ107-7.8נ107 kg s-1 for the northern Mt. Tarawera segment of the fissure and 1.4-5.7נ106kgs-1 for the Rotomahana segment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fissure eruption, phreatomagmatic, componentry, mineralogy, eruptive volume, basaltic plinian, geochemistry, mass discharge rate, rotomahana
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Volcanology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Natural hazards
Objective Field:Geological hazards (e.g. earthquakes, landslides and volcanic activity)
UTAS Author:Carey, RJ (Associate Professor Rebecca Carey)
ID Code:144312
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150101190)
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Earth Sciences
Deposited On:2021-05-11
Last Modified:2021-06-02

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