28 Feb 11 - Reader tells of a strong smell of sulfur and a yellow powder.
I have discovered your website after from a Google result for an eruption at
the Lyttelton Volcano in Christchurch, New Zealand. I live in Christchurch,
NZ and have just been through the Earthquake on the 22nd Feb (not to mention
the previous earthquake in September) and would like to know something about
the extract I got from your website…as follows:
I am worried that the situation in Christchurch is going to be even
more destructive than it is already. I see it as being a large
volcanic eruption coming on. Perhaps these two picture can give
viewers a better comprehension of what is developing. In my opinion
the NZ government should completely evacuate Christchurch and just
leave it empty. I say this because when the volcano "Mount Cook"
explodes it is going to kill everyone and flatten everything within
a 100 kilometer range of it.
Neil Love, British Isles
It is stated in the passage that Mount Cook is going to erupt, however we
have always been told that Mount Cook is NOT a volcano so find this comment
not quite right? Or is there something I don’t know? I have tried finding
this information out but to no avail but would like to know more about this.
I would be interested in your theories in regards to these ‘aftershocks’ we
are having as there has been some talk by myself and my friends and family
that we feel this could be a lead up to an eruption from our ‘extinct’
Lyttelton volcano as well. We have however been led to believe that there is
no possible chance Lyttelton could erupt but there is a whisper amongst some
people that is this what is coming.
2 weeks before this latest earthquake there had been complaints across
Christchurch of a strong smell of Sulphur and people not knowing where this
smell was coming from, it was downplayed that is probably was broken sewer
lines. After the September earthquake there was also a yellow powder type
substance found around Christchurch which was put down to a certain type of
tree pollen. I am unsure if this could be preceding an eminent volcanic
eruption or activity but I have no expertise in this field.
I would be interested to hear your views on this subject as I am trying to
learn more about what is going on here in Christchurch. I know in my heart
something is not right hence why I am researching as much as I can and
looking at every possible angle. Your input may clarify some points I do not
yet know so I hope you have the time to reply or even get this email.
More than one person has emailed me saying
that Mount Cook is NOT a volcano, and I'm guessing that that is
true. I don't begin to call myself an expert on volcanoes - not even
close - I'm just passing on the information that is sent to me.
So let me be clear. I am not suggesting that the area be evacuated. I don't
begin to have the expertise to say that. I also doubt that Mr. Love is any sort
of expert on volcanoes, or the Christchurch area. Where he is correct, however,
is that the Christchurch area does indeed boast two "extinct" volcanoes.
With that said, let me point out (as I'm sure you already know) that your
city has endured
earthquakes since September 4, with 288 of them having occurred in the past
seven days alone.
needs a volcano? I'd be petrified to live there just because of the earthquakes.
Engineer concurs - Christchurch could be headed for volcanic
Is Christchurch headed for a volcanic eruption?
Amazing animated map
of Christchurch area
Shows every quake since Sept 4, one by one by one.
(Wait a few
seconds after it loads and you'll see
what I mean.) http://www.christchurchquakemap.co.nz/
Thanks to Cam McNaughton for this link
Comments from readers
|Good morning Robert,
I just saw the articles about Christchurch and its
volcanoes. Do not
forget that New Zealand sits on the edge of pacific
plate right over the
"fiery belt" as geologists call that boundary. The name
derives from the
high density of active volcanoes and intense tectonic
activity. So a
volcanic eruption could occur in New Zealand. Whereas
are inactive for a long time - I said "inactive" not
The eruption will almost certainly have an explosive
Following "Not by fire but by ice" and your theories on
subduction I usually take a look at the site
"solarcycle24" and recently
the geomagnetic field is often unsettled or there are
Unfortunately I think that authorities don't want to
for evacuating a whole island...
Dr. Mirco Poletto (Geologist)
|In regards to you're reader Neil Love's article
about Banks Peninsula.
There may be something brewing on the extinct volcanoes,
however Mt Cook(part of the southern alps) is NOT a
volcano, and will not explode or kill people for
hundreds of miles around.
Love your site.
Myles, Wellington NZ.
Your correspondents re the Christchurch earthquakes are
getting carried away by sensationalism.
The earthquakes are tectonic and in the upper part of
Their devastating impact is because their epicenters are
so close to Christchurch and so shallow.
They do not have a volcanic element to them.
Here in New Zealand we do indeed have volcanoes.
In the North island we have some volcanoes that are
active and some that are dormant (i.e. have been quiet
for hundreds of years but can be expected to become
In the South Island (where Christchurch is located)
there has been no volcanic activity for millions of
years. And there is no evidence of a volcanic 'hotspot'.
Of course one can never say that new volcanoes will not
arise, and volcanoes are indeed found adjacent to
tectonic plate boundaries, but there is absolutely no
reason to associate the current devastating shallow
tectonic earthquakes we are having here in Christchurch
(where I live) with volcanic activity.
Found your site while I was searching for geothermic
pictures of the South Island as I too, have a fear that
there will be a volcanic eruption.
The interesting thing about the Akaroa and Lyttelton
Volcanos is their time scale - erupted somewhere between
12 - 6 million years ago. The youngest rocks they've
found have only been in the 6ma age range.
The Earthquake that originally struck September 4, was
on a previously unknown faultline, which geologists
estimated last snapped somewhere between 800,000 - 1
million years ago.
The new quake on February 22, was
on yet another unknown faultline, which some geologists
are already surmising went off some 3 - 4 million years
Now, the "scientists" say that Volcanic Eruption
requires a magma chamber which is already in existence,
and the tremors before an eruption would only be
magnitude .05 - 1 for the most part. This is only based
on current knowledge, and Nature is somewhat
My theory, bearing in mind I'm not a scientist, just
well read and a bit of a philospher (which is all the
greeks were when it came to science) is that the quakes
over the last six months have been opening fissures deep
within the earth as well as on top. These fissures
provide for an easy path for magma to follow, and the
resulting aftershocks simply open more fissures.
It's entirely possible that the magma is coursing it's
way through these fissures. Lets not forget that magma
down here in the southern hemisphere is barely 20 km
below the surface. The 7.4 quake was 10 km deep, and it
opened big cracks across the land. Entirely feasible
that cracks opened downwards towards the magma chamber
too - we haven't ever gone deep enough to write this off
as a discreditable theory.
I don't think Neil Love's estimation of where a volcano
will blow, are entirely correct. The most likely place
would be for a volcano to appear to the south south east
of Akaroa, but is part of the same volcanic chamber.
This is based on Plinys observations also that some 7 -8
years before Vesuvius blew, there was a major quake in
the region. So are the quakes that are now happening in
an area that previously had no quakes until September 4
2010, a precursor to a volcanic eruption?
It's interesting watching the trend line of where the
quakes epicentres are hitting, are following a south -
south east course. Darfield in September, Christchurch
CBD on Boxing Day 2010, and now Lyttelton.
I am pretty sure you will find that New Zealand is being
formed by two different processes when the two plates
join at new Zealand. These different processes create
the two main islands.
South of Cook strait where canterbury is, the plates
collide and the south eastern canterbury plate moves
northwards every 300 years or so while meanwhile the
australian plate buckles and goes higher to form the
southern alps. There is little or no subduction here as
far as i know. Providing the alps keep going higher the
pressure of the movement together is released
North of Wellington is where you get the subduction.
Wellington is formed on a complex mixture of these
processes rather like two pieces of metal where half way
along one piece of metal splits and goes under one of
the other pieces.
I have a house in Wellington.
In fact I can see now that there is subduction in the
South Island. But it appears that it mainly happens in
the North Island by about 4 to 1?
I am from New Zealand, not from Christchurch though, I
am now in Brisbane Australia.
I am a big fan of your site. I have a physics and
engineering background and have studied geophysics and
atmospheric physics therefore I understand the science.
I am a BIG AGW hater!
Well I have been following the Christchurch earthquake.
Ive looked at the earthquake drums at
Geonet do a great job! The tremors are extraordinary
carrying on for months with it seems constant numbers.
I'm not sure how much GNS NZ (govt geophysic dept) have
studied it I haven't sen any references, but it does
And as you have mentioned the city is next to a very
old hot spot volcanic system.
Maybe its all just plate movement, but with your
theories of magnetic reversals causing volcanic
upheavals is there something in this? Would you think
that the earths crust is being stretched somehow by some
mantle movement that we science doesn't understand yet?
I think you are onto something to regards coming cold
spells or ice-ages (small or big).
There certainly is some odd things going on
geographically, where is significant yet well will find
out over the next few decades I guess.
As far as AGW goes the sooner its down the rubbish bin
of history the better! Looks like the stupid Aussie PM
is going to tax us here too in 2012!
Thanks for the great site I follow it each day.
Ex pat in Brisbane Aust.
You said that there is a volcano (supposedly extinct) at
Did you know that Lyttlelton was the epicenter of the
quake? That lends more support to the volcano theory.