Mount Doom is about to blow! New Zealand volcano used in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies set to erupt

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235108/Volcano-New-Zealand-used-Mount-Doom-Peter-Jacksons-The-Lord-Rings-movies-set-erupt.html

  • Hikers have been warned to avoid the summit of Mount Ruapehu
  • Partially blocked vent means eruptions ‘over the next weeks to months’

By Leon Watson

PUBLISHED: 06:17 EST, 19 November 2012 | UPDATED: 11:17 EST, 19 November 2012

A New Zealand volcano that featured as Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings movies is in danger of erupting as pressure builds in a subterranean vent, officials have said.

The Department of Conservation warned hikers to avoid the summit of Mount Ruapehu, saying that temperature readings by scientists indicated there was an increased risk of eruption at New Zealand’s largest active volcano.

‘The current situation can’t continue, Ruapehu is so active that the temperatures have been going up and down a lot,’ DOC volcanic risk manager Harry Keys told Radio New Zealand.

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Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu, which is set to erupt, in the Tongariro National Park, New ZealandMount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu, which is set to erupt, in the Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

‘They generally haven’t gone up as we’ve expected for some weeks now and sooner or later that situation will be rectified, either in a small, relatively passive way, or with a significant eruption.’

Official monitoring body GNS Science said the temperature a few hundred metres below a lake in the crater of the North Island mountain was estimated at 800C (1,472F) but the temperature at the lake itself was just 20C (68F).

It said this indicated a vent was partially blocked, leading to increased pressure that made eruptions more likely ‘over the next weeks to months’.

The 2,797m (9,177f) mountain last erupted in 2007, sending a lahar – a fast-moving stream of mud and debris – down the mountain but causing no injuries.

Fiery chasm: Director Peter Jackson used Mount Ruapehu and the neighbouring Mount Ngauruhoe to depict Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings moviesFiery chasm: Director Peter Jackson used Mount Ruapehu and the neighbouring Mount Ngauruhoe to depict Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings movies

The last time: A blanket of ash lies over the upper area of Mount Ruapehu about 143 miles) north of New Zealand's capital, Wellington, in 2007The last time: A blanket of ash lies over the upper area of Mount Ruapehu about 143 miles) north of New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, in 2007

Mount Ruapehu, which also erupted in June 1996, sent plumes of steam, ash and debris into the sky which towered an estimated eight miles above its crateMount Ruapehu, which also erupted in June 1996, sent plumes of steam, ash and debris into the sky which towered an estimated eight miles above its crate

In 1953, a massive lahar from the mountain caused New Zealand’s worst rail disaster when it washed away a bridge at Tangiwai and a passenger train plunged into the Whangaehu River, claiming 151 lives.

Director Peter Jackson used Mount Ruapehu and the neighbouring Mount Ngauruhoe to depict Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Another nearby volcano, Mount Tongariro, erupted in August this year, sending a plume of ash 20,000ft (6,100m) into the atmosphere, showering the North Island and disrupting domestic air travel.

VIDEO: Raw footage of Mount Ruapehu erupting in 1995 and 1996
Click the link below to view video:

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Posted on November 21, 2012, in Earth Changes / Extreme Weather, Science / Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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