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Lakes Rotorua and Taupo, New Zealand

38.1S 176.2E

September 14th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Volcanoes

New Zealand - August 16th, 2009

New Zealand - August 16th, 2009

Several lakes can be seen in this orthorectified image of New Zealand’s North Island. Easily distinguished by its bright grey appearance here is Lake Taupo, the country’s largest lake by surface area. The city of Taupo can be seen on its northeastern shores. A large agricultural area extends east-northeast of the lake, above the Kaweka Range.

In the upper right quadrant of the image is an area with several lakes, all of which appear dark grey here. Lake Rotorua is the second largest lake in the North Island of New Zealand by surface area, and covers 79.8km2. With a mean depth of only 10 metres it is considerably smaller than nearby Lake Tarawera in terms of volume of water.

The city of Rotorua is situated on its southern shore. In the middle of the lake is Mokoia Island, a rhyolite lava dome with an area of 1.35 square kilometres, rising to 180 metres above the lake surface.

The lake was formed from the crater of a large volcano in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Its last major eruption was about 240,000 years ago. After the eruption, the magma chamber underneath the volcano collapsed. The circular depression left behind is the Rotorua Caldera, which is the site of the lake. Several other lakes of volcanic origin are located nearby to the east, around the base of the active volcano Mount Tarawera.

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