or White Island is New Zealand's most active volcano,
and has recently (July, 2000) had it's largest eruption in 20
years. Located 48 km offshore, the eruptions are clearly visible
from the Bay of Plenty. Iin the last 160 years no eruptions have
caused any significant effects to inhabitants of the North Island.
Since 1976 the Island has been more active than the last few hundred
years, sparking considerable interest. Although not evident in
history, recent studies show White Island capable of large
eruptions. This potential arises from the large magma body beneath
ash and pumice is the usual threat, but, as with other offshore
volcanoes, the possibility of a tsunami has also been discussed.
It would take a very large eruption from White Island to
cause such an event. (Krakatoa's 1883 eruption caused a tsunami)
A hot lake was permanently drained on White Island's crater floor
in 1913 to allow the sulphur deposits to be mined. In 1914 the
crater wall collapsed causing a hot avalanche that buried 11 sulphur