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Volcanoes Near Lake Taupo, New Zealand

38.7S 175.8E

November 27th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers, Volcanoes

New Zealand - November 13th, 2009

New Zealand - November 13th, 2009

Several volcanoes are visible near Lake Taupo, the large lake at the upper right, in this orthorectified image of New Zealand’s North Island. Following the Tongariro River, one of the lake’s main tributaries, upstream from the lower end of the lake, one comes to a smaller lake known as Lake Rotoaira.

Between these two lakes is Mount Pihanga, a 1325m volcanic peak on the North Island Volcanic Plateau. Another smaller body of water, Lake Rotopounamu, is at the north-west foot of the mountain. Mt. Pihanga and Lake Rotopounamu are part of the 5,129ha Pihanga Scenic Reserve, which in 1975 was added to the Tongariro National Park.

South of Mount Pihanga is Mount Tongariro, a volcanic complex located 20 kilometres to the southwest of Lake Taupo. It is the northernmost of the three active volcanoes that dominate the landscape of the central North Island. This volcanic massif, often simply referred to as Tongariro, has a height of 1,978 metres.

The volcano consists of at least 12 cones; Ngauruhoe, while often regarded as a separate mountain, is geologically a vent of Tongariro. It is also the most active, having erupted more than 70 times since 1839.

Continuing south of Ngauruhoe is Mount Ruapehu, an active stratovolcano at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. It is 23 kilometres northeast of Ohakune and 40 kilometres southwest of the southern shore of Lake Taupo, within Tongariro National Park.  Ruapehu is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and the largest active volcano in New Zealand. It is the highest point in the North Island and includes three major peaks: Tahurangi (2,797 m), Te Heuheu (2,755 m) and Paretetaitonga (2,751 m).

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