Thursday, August 9, 2012

HMNZS Canterbury in the pumice

From Stuff

"25,000 sq km sea of pumice floats off New Zealand

A navy ship heading to the Kermadec Islands has sailed into a huge 25,000 square kilometre area of pumice pieces north of Auckland.
It is believed to be from New Zealand's third erupting volcano – the undersea mount Monowai. In the past week both Mt Tongariro and White Island have erupted.
The navy said the raft – 463 kilometres by 55 kilometres – was spotted by an RNZAF Orion returning on patrol from Samoa.
Canterbury, which left Auckland on Wednesday, sailed to the raft to pick up a sample.
GNS scientists are aboard the ship, which is also carrying 30 high school students on a Sir Peter Blake fellowship to Raoul Island.
GNS vulcanologist Craig Miller said they were aware of the ''pumice raft'' but did not know the exact dimensions of it.
He said it was difficult to guess how big the pumice raft could be, but the air force had flown over and assessed its size.
"We've been in contact with the air force recently about it. But it is floating more than 1000 kilometres offshore, so it's a while away."
Miller said the pumice raft was about "half way to Tonga", and just past Raoul Island."

We seem to be having a lot of volcanic activity happening at the moment.  Hopefully some pictures will emerge from the NZ Airforce.

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