Tuesday's Geology Photo: Ngauruhoe
    By Gareth Fabbro | December 13th 2011 02:56 PM | 3 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Gareth

    For those of you who are not geologists, a tuff is a volcanic rock, made up of solidified ash. Hence the pun as my blog title. Actually, my research...

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    Day two of Evelyn Mervine's photo meme, and today I have a picture of Ngauruhoe, New Zealand.  Ngauruhoe makes almost a perfect cone, broken only at the top by a small crater.  This photo was taken from the summit, looking north.  A small amount of steam can be seen rising from Ngauruhoe itself, showing this volcano is far from dead.  Further in the background is part of Tongariro, the larger volcanic complex that Ngauruhoe is just one vent of.  In the distance is lake Taupo, which is itself a large, volcanic caldera.  All in all, this shows how the Taupo Volcanic Zone is one of the most volcanic areas in the world.

    Steam emitted from the peak of Ngauruhoe, New Zealand. Lake Taupo, a large caldera, can be seen in the background.


    Active volcanoes, even when not erupting, are one of the few things I'd rather enjoy in pictures. Reason? Sulfur dioxide. I climbed the slopes of a Big Island (Hawaii)volcano, and it was not a pleasant experience.
    Fortunately, it didn't smell up there.  It was mostly water coming out of those fumaroles.  I have been to some rather more smelly places, though...
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I once visited Hawaii and drove alone to the top of volcano called Pu'u 'Ula'ula, which  is the highest point on Maui, where I experienced altitude sickness which made me find everything very funny, it was very enjoyable but also apparently quite dangerous. I can clearly remember the strange smell of the air there. 

    Pu'u 'Ula'ula is a cinder cone like Magnetic Peak, at 10,023 feet (3,055m) and is the highest point on Maui. From sea level, you make the ascent in 38 miles (61 km), which is one of the steepest climbs of any road in the world. I have since read that you are supposed to drive down in low gear to save your brakes but because I was suffering from altitude sickness (which I knew nothing about at the time) I remember that drive down being one of the most enjoyable drives of my life, definitely not using low gear and laughing all the way! 

    What I find amazing looking back, is that I don't remember any signs by the road warning people about the possibility of altitude sickness but it was a long time ago, probably they are there now. Its a bit like the tourists who have arrived here in Australia and then have immediately gone for a swim in the ocean and been caught in rips and even drowned. At least here though, we now have big signs on most beaches warning about the dangers of rips and advising people to swim between the flags.
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