Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wai-O-Tapu and Rotorua

 Rotorua is built on a volcanic area and so in the local park they have areas block off due to the activity.  When you enter the town there is a distinct smell of sulphur.  I would be afraid to build there for fear that my house would one day collapse.

This is in the center of the park.

About a half hour drive outside of Rotorua is Wai-O-Tapu which means Sacred Water.   It is New Zealand's most colorful and diverse volcanic area.  As you walk around the area there is stunning geothermal activity including mud pools, geysers, craters and pools.

This is the Devil's Home.  This is a collapsed crater where underground acid action has caused the ground to collapse.

Champagne Pool is so hot that it is always steaming.

Look at the steam behind me.  As we walked along the boardwalk the steam was so thick that it was hard to see through it like a thick layer of fog.

In the distance you can see a boardwalk which goes along the edge of the pool.

There are warning signs all over Wai-O-Tapu warning of the temperature of the area.  100 degrees celius is a lot hotter when compared to 100 degree F.

This is one of the mud pool.  It is so hot that the mud is constantly boiling and shooting  mud high up into the air.

Information from the Wai-O-Tapu Pamphlet
Beneath the ground is a system of streams which are heated by magma left over from earlier eruptions.  The water is so hot that it absorbs minerals out of the rocks through which it passes and transports them to the surface as steam where they are ultimately absorbed in the ground.  The so called "rotten egg smell" of geothermal areas is associated with hydrogen sulphide.

December 23, 2012

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