Story: Volcanoes

Charred logs in Taupō ignimbrite

Charred logs in Taupō ignimbrite

The Taupō eruption, about 232 CE, generated a very energetic pyroclastic flow. In a roughly circular area, with a radius of about 80 kilometres around Lake Taupō, the forests were knocked over and burnt – as these charred logs testify. Photographed on the Desert Road between Rangipō and Waiōuru, they are set in the deposit (ignimbrite) laid down by the violent flow. The cutting tool, used for scale, is about 30 centimetres long. From studies of the wood and ignimbrite, it is inferred that the temperature of the ignimbrite was between 400°C and 500°C.

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Photograph by Hiroshi Takesako

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How to cite this page:

Richard Smith, David J. Lowe and Ian Wright, 'Volcanoes - The Taupō volcano', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

Story by Richard Smith, David J. Lowe and Ian Wright, published 12 Jun 2006