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Intermittent activity, with a strong smell of sulphur in the air, is continuing as Mt. Ruapehu rumbles and emits dense dust and smoke, but observers at the Chateau Tongariro said in reply to a telephone inquiry to-day that there had been no unusual features in the past few days. During this week conditions have been overcast and visibility yesterday was limited to between two and three hundred yards. "To-day it is a little clearer," said one observer, "and we can see as far as four miles in a downward direction, but we cannot see far up the mountain. The rumblings we have heard have been no more than we have been accustomed to for some time past. Though the wind has been away from us any major development would make itself felt here. Two field meteorologists of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Messrs. H. F. Fyfe, and A. Beck, arrived at Ruapehu today to carry out special research work in the areas of the mountain. They will be joined by two more Departmental geologists to-morrow. An observation post is being established by the four men, who will have much scientific equipment and will be maintained for a month. Lava Flow Possible "I should not anticipate any exceptionally violent upheaval from the volcano at this stage," said Professor J. A. Bartrum, professor of geology at the Auckland University College, to-day. He explained that over recent months an escape route had been formed for the release of subterranean gases and vapour, and that the explosive force of a volcano would normally be greater when the outlet was plugged >nd the accumulated gases had to blast their way through. Heated rock was evidently working its way gradually to the surface from a considex-able depth, and the smoke and steam generated were responsible for the daily spectacle. The explosions and vibrations were consistent with this theory. Ruapehu and the adjacent peaks were near the junction of a large area of pumice country and an equally large area of papa strata. The region had an extensive past history with intermittent activity, and 'he agreed with other geologists that a flow of lava was quite likely to occur as the internal boil-up reached its final stages.

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Bibliographic details

DEEP RUMBLES, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 185, 7 August 1945

Word Count

DEEP RUMBLES Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 185, 7 August 1945

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