Story: Hot springs, mud pools and geysers

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

The Craters of the Moon thermal area in Wairākei is a typical acid sulfate geothermal system, with abundant fumaroles, steaming ground, mud pools, explosion craters and colourful soils.

Activity here hotted up as a consequence of the development of the Wairākei field for electricity generation, in 1958. As hot water was withdrawn from deep within the field, the water level in the deep reservoir dropped and the remaining water boiled more violently, producing more steam. Large quantities of this extra steam were able to escape at Craters of the Moon. The total heat output increased dramatically from a pre-development value of 40 megawatts to a high of 420 megawatts in 1964. It has since stabilised at about 200 megawatts.

Using this item

GNS Science
Reference: CN28536/5
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carol Stewart, 'Hot springs, mud pools and geysers - Hot gases, mud pools and craters', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2023)

Story by Carol Stewart, published 12 Jun 2006