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Natural Hazards - our supervolcano

Posted by Barrie Matthews

When: 27 Aug 2019 - 29 Aug 2019

Venue: Online

Organiser: LEARNZ team at CORE Education

Contact: barrie.matthews@core-ed.org

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. Enrol now.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • natural hazards - earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, and landslides
  • the tectonic plates of New Zealand
  • the natural hazards of New Zealand
  • volcanic eruptions - magma, pyroclastic density currents (massive super-fast hot ash clouds), ash, lava flows
  • preparing for natural hazards
  • responses to natural hazards
  • reducing volcanic hazards

During this field trip you will:

  • follow tweets from Shelley, the LEARNZ field trip teacher
  • get to know scientists studying our supervolcano
  • learn about Māori perspectives on and connections to the volcano
  • visit Te Papa's new exhibition on supervolcanoes
  • find out about GeoNet, a partnership between EQC and GNS Science
  • see how GeoNet uses smart technology to monitor earthquakes and much more
  • follow the history of volcanic eruptions by looking at ash deposits
  • drive through the central North Island exploring the volcanic landscape
  • see how volcanic activity at Taupō might impact you
  • find out more about volcanic ash as a hazard
  • get to know what emergency managers do
  • appreciate the benefits of volcanoes eg geothermal power