Volcano of mud spouts over farm paddocks
It was thought that it may have been related to movement on the boundary between the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates.
‘‘The origins of these things are a wee bit enigmatic, which is why we and GNS Science have a project looking into these things.
‘‘We’ll be setting up a longterm monitoring programme to study it ... we have similar features within the city limits and they are a potential hazard when you have houses nearby,’’ he said.
This latest eruption was in a remote area, about 150 metres from the nearest house.
Cave said GNS had sensors in the area prior to the eruption and it was hoped that these might shed some light on what led to the eruption.
‘‘There’s obviously been something brewing here for a while since the Te Araroa event and it’s just gone boom,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re also taking rock samples from it to see what mix of materials is involved so we can get an idea of how far down these things come from.’’
There was a hard crust covering some of the mud, but most of it was extremely soft. The eruptions are associated with hydrocarbon gases and these were present in this eruption.
There was another mud volcano in the area that erupted every 10-15 years, but this was the first in this area in known records. The eruption is on private land but can be seen from the Waimata Valley Rd.