by Staff Writers
Rotorua, New Zealand (UPI) Jul 26, 2012
A long forgotten geothermal spectacle on New Zealand's North Island could be coming back to life after more than 40 years, scientists said.
In the first half of the 20th century the Waikite Geyser in the Whakarewarewa geothermal area near Rotorua was known for its spectacular hot water eruptions reaching up to 65 feet but had not produced a significant eruption since 1969, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences said.
However, in the past year scientists have increasingly noticed geothermal waters coming into the throat of the geyser, a major tourist attraction, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Geothermal features like geysers can be naturally variable and stay dormant for years, GNS geothermal scientist Ed Mroczek said in a statement.
"This makes it difficult to distinguish what is part of a natural cycle and what is disruption caused by human activity," he said.
Scientists say they believe a sharp increase in the number of bores drilled in Rotorua since the 1950s by homeowners and businesses seeking cheap energy caused underground pressures to drop.
But new research at Whakarewarewa suggests pressure has increased and water from deeper in the earth was being pushed toward the surface, scientists said.
"We have no way of knowing if Waikite will recover to its former magnificence, but the signs we are seeing are very encouraging," Mroczek said.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
How pre-eruption collisions affect what exits a volcano
Atlanta GA (SPX) Jul 26, 2012
How much ash will be injected into the atmosphere during Earth's next volcanic eruption? Recent eruptions have demonstrated our continued vulnerability to ash dispersal, which can disrupt the aviation industry and cause billions of dollars in economic loss. Scientists widely believe that volcanic particle size is determined by the initial fragmentation process, when bubbly magma deep in the volc ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|