Author(s): Karen Williams
A field guide to the volcanoes, volcanic features and dramatic landscapes of Tongariro National Park. New Zealand sits precariously on the collision zone between the continental Australian Plate and the Oceanic Pacific Plate, one of the most active tectonic settings in the world. At the apex of New Zealand's most concentrated area of geothermal activity is the Tongariro Volcanic Centre, a zone slowly widening as the Earth's crust is stretched and thinned by the relentless forces beneath. Tongariro Field Guide provides a comprehensive introduction to the Tongariro Volcanic Centre and the incredible forces that shape and mould the landscape. It tells the turbulent history of the volcanoes, explains the inherent processes at work with detailed photographs and diagrams, identifies the volcanic features found in the park - vents, peaks and flows - and shows you where to find them on the park's famous walks and tracks. Included are the post-eruption events of Ruapehu in 1995-1996, the long-predicted dam burst of the Crater Lake and safe passage of the major lahar in 2007, and the recent eruptions from Mount Tongariro, the first from this volcano in a century. On a smaller scale, Tongariro Field Guide updates the research work of New Zealand scientists, including the study of ash layers using improved techniques to reveal previously incorrect predictions about the age of the volcanoes in the area.
A journalist and historian, Karen managed the Taupo Museum for eight years and now writes fulltime. She has written five books about the central North Island including Skiing on the Volcano and Ruapehu Erupts. Karen is also President of Project Tongariro, a voluntary conservation society working in and around Tongariro National Park.