— Terrific Caldera Conference in Taupo, NZ

August 20th, 2015
by Eric Grosfils

In December of 2014 I attended my second IAVCEI sponsored conference focused on collapse calderas. Happily, the conference took place in and around Lake Taupo within the Taupo Volcanic Zone on the north island of New Zealand, site of one of the youngest known “supereruptions” on Earth. With two days of conference presentations and discussion, bracketed by field days spent exploring the Taupo and Rotorua calderas and other local volcanics, the conference was a great opportunity to continue advancing our understanding of the chemical signatures, mechanical processes and field deposits that characterize large caldera formation.

-- Rotorua Caldera

— Rotorua Caldera

After the conference I treated myself to a Lord of the Rings day, albeit one that continued to explore a strongly volcanic theme! Driving north from Taupo I first visited the Hobbiton movie set, located within scenic ignimbrite deposits.

-- hobbit holes

— hobbit holes

-- Hobbiton's view of the Green Dragon inn

— Hobbiton’s view of the Green Dragon inn

After enjoying Hobbiton I drove south past Lake Taupo to have a quick look at Mt. Doom (Ngauruhoe) and two adjacent volcanoes (Ruapehu, Tongariro) within Tongariro National Park. I didn’t have enough time for a tramp, but will look forward to that on my next visit!

-- Lovely but dangerous Mt. Ruapehu

— Lovely but dangerous Mt. Ruapehu

With conferences in Bolsena, Italy and now in Taupo, New Zealand setting a high standard, I look forward very much to the next IAVCEI caldera conference, which will be held in Hokkaido, Japan in the Fall of 2016!

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