Eruption of Waimangu Geyser
|Location||near Rotorua, New Zealand|
|Eruption height||up to 1,500 feet (460 m)|
The Waimangu Geyser, located near Rotorua in New Zealand, was the most powerful geyser in the world. Its workings were apparently created by the great 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption, which opened a 14km-long (8.75 miles) fissure down the mountain, through Lake Rotomahana and the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley.
The geyser was first seen erupting in 1900. Its eruptions were observed reaching up to 460 metres (1,500 ft) in height, and it excited worldwide interest. As a result of a landslide which changed the water table, the geyser became extinct on November 1, 1904.
The water expelled by the geyser was black with rocks and mud from the surrounding terrain, so the indigenous Māori people named the geyser Waimangu, meaning 'Black Waters'. The geyser gave its name to the surrounding geothermal region, the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley.
On August 31, 1903, four tourists (sisters Ruby and Catherine Nicholls, David McNaughton and Joseph Warbrick) were killed after ignoring repeated instructions from guide Alfred Warbrick (brother of Joseph) to return to a safe distance, after venturing dangerously close to the edge of the geyser. All four were swept away in a sudden violent eruption.
- Moore, E. S. (November-December, 1917). "The Active Volcanoes of New Zealand". The Journal of Geology (University of Chicago Press) 25 (8): 708.
- MacLaren, J. Malcolm (November, 1906). "The Source of the Waters of Geysers'". The Geological Magazine (Cambridge University Press) 3 (11): 512.
- "Waimangu Geyser - 1903". New Zealand Disasters and Tragedies. United Press Association. August 31, 1903. Retrieved January 21, 2007.
- Historical photos of Waimangu Geyser, State Library of Victoria
- Waimangu geyser: the world’s largest, 'Hot springs, mud pools and geysers', Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Updated 5 November 2007.
- Images of the Waimangu Geyser from the Alexander Turnbull Library's Unpublished Collections
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