Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Volcano cameras ~ Bugs, aliens and more!

This picture was sent in on the weekend (great spotting, thanks Ross) its a great pic as you can see a black-backed gull flying past (and you can actually see the top of ) Mt Egmont /Taranaki! 

It got me thinking to some other strange things we have seen on the volcano cameras over the years ....

On the left, a spider has a made a home on the Ruapehu cam, and on the right a fly is hanging out with Dino on White Island.

You can also see Dino supporting the All Blacks here

We often get emails in from people curious about black dots (or aliens) showing up on the webcams:

I can assure you these are not aliens!  When the sun is shining directly onto our cameras, they find it a bit bright so the sun is shown as a black dot!

At white Island you can also see the robot-looking camera reflected onto the image.

And here a red 'alien' caused by another camera reflection.

We often see the helicopters landing on White Island and various tour groups (so next time make sure and wave)

To see the current pictures from the volcano cams click here they are updated every 15 minutes.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Out in the field - Taranaki 1.1

The second part of our day was spent out in the field, the TRC have rain gauges at a few of our sites so they travel out there often and have a look at our sites to same sure they are looking ok and help keep our sites tidy (clearing overgrowth, fixing fences and aerials etc) 

First stop was the North Egmont visitors centre to our seismograph site NEZ which was all in order (despite the rain and hail) and after checking the councils rain gauge (very full)  we went to our next site.

DREZ  is located on a dairy farm, and once we waited for the cows to meander their way to the milking shed, we found the site. With no cows to eat the grass within the fence, it tends to get quite long and can even block the solar panels, so Andrew took to it with a weed-eater and its all pretty again!

We keep detailed information on all of our sites, including landowner details and precise details on how to get to each site. Since its construction in 2008, the farmer has moved some fence-lines and the site is in a new paddock, so i made notes of the new directions to the site, and this will be updated on our DELTA database - where this information is kept.

DREZ after clearing the grass

German Hill

We then did the same at our German hill cGPS site.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Out in the field ~ Taranaki 1.0

This week i traveled up to New Plymouth (to some not-so-fantastic weather)  for a meeting, and also i met up with Andrew a Hydrology Officer from the Taranaki Regional Council (TRC).  Back in the pre-GeoNet days the council looked after a small network of instruments around the area, we have since taken these over, upgraded them and added a few more sites (you can see the network here).  Due to their experience and knowledge of the network, the council have a unique relationship with GeoNet where their staff help maintain our current sites and occasionally help our technicians build new sites - this saves a long travel time as our technicians are based in Taupo and Lower Hutt!
Our first stop was the Taranaki Emergency Management Office (TEMO) which is home to one of our volcano cameras (which you can see on our website here), strong-motion instrument NPCS and a repeater-hub where data from other sites goes to TEMO and is then sent on to our data centres (at Wairakei and Lower Hutt).

Volcano camera (circled) New Plymouth city in the background

The strong-motion instrument.

Data from other sites coming into the 'repeater hub'

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Volcanoes, a Dinosaur and Rugby?

So its a big weekend rugby wise all around New Zealand - go teams!

As you know GeoNet monitors all of New Zealand's active volcanoes - one of which is home to 'Dino the dinosaur' - normally he just chills out in the crater of White Island, but he has recently decided to show his support to the boys in black!

So we hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and you can see Dino here (during the day!!)