Hi from New Zealand!

I’ve been here on the North Island a week now –first Auckland, and now Rotorua. Tomorrow we go to Turangi for another week. Turangi’s on the south side of Lake Taupo, which fills a gigantic caldera that erupted some 1800 and 26,500 years ago respectively. Those were big eruptions–the most recent erupted more than 100 cubic km –the older one erupted more than 1000 cubic km! It’s all part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone –the most active rhyolitic province on Earth.

The theme of this trip is volcanoes–I’ve joined up with a group from Centre College (Danville, KY)–so along with some wonderful companionship, I’m getting to see –and photograph! –many very cool features. I just posted images from White Island, an andesitic volcano that built itself up from the seafloor. It was an amazing trip, with a spectacular landslide deposit, pyroclastic deposits and fumaroles spouting through SULFUR chimneys! Type “White Island” into the search to see more. Or type “New Zealand” to see others. I’ll be continuing to add photos for the next few weeks –so check back frequently!

I leave the group on Jan 20 and head to Wellington –from there, I’ll be on the South Island traveling with my friend Megan.