Story: Historic volcanic activity

Devastation caused by the Tarawera eruption (1st of 2)

Devastation caused by the Tarawera eruption

This map shows the main area affected by the Tarawera eruption, and gives an estimate of the number of deaths at different localities.

The northern end of the Tarawera rift sent up a column of scoria and ash, similar to that of Vesuvius in 79 AD. The eruption at the southern end of Tarawera was phreatomagmatic – the result of contact between hot magma and water – and covered the country with a hot, fast-moving blast of fragmented rock that destroyed everything in its path.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

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Source: David J. Lowe, University of Waikato

How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, Carol Stewart and Graham Leonard. 'Historic volcanic activity - Tarawera', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 23-Dec-14