Eruption 6 August 2012

An eruptive episode began in August 2012 at the Upper Te Maari Crater(s) on the northern side of the volcano.

Tongariro vents map

After a couple of weeks of unrest indicators (increased earthquake activity and changes in gas emission), Mount Tongariro had a phreatic (gas and steam driven) eruption on Monday 6 August 2012 at 11.52 pm. The eruption lasted only a couple of minutes and occurred partly from existing vents at the Upper Te Maari Crater. It also involved the formation of a new crater and eruption fissure. 

This is what the eruption looked like on the nearby seismograph drum:


Teams of Volcanologists continue to closely monitor the volcano. No further explosive eruptions have occurred, however there has been some minor amounts of ash vented. Volcanic gas and steam emissions have continued since the eruption, with 2100 tons per day of sulphur dioxide (SO2), 3900 tons per day of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 364 tons per day of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) being measured on 9 August. These gases can cause the smell of sulphur to be observed in areas downwind of the volcano.


The landscape changed during the eruption, and now there are many steam vents to be seen on the northern flanks of Tongariro, along with Ketetahi. Learn more about the Te Maari eruption phenomona.

Further photos of Mount Tongariro and the effects of the eruption can be seen in our image gallery