Bulletin of Volcanology

, 77:11 | Cite as

Construction of the North Head (Maungauika) tuff cone: a product of Surtseyan volcanism, rare in the Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand

  • Javier Agustín-Flores
  • Károly Németh
  • Shane J. Cronin
  • Jan M. Lindsay
  • Gábor Kereszturi
Research Article


The Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF) comprises at least 52 monogenetic eruption centres dispersed over ∼360 km2. Eruptions have occurred sporadically since 250 ka, predominantly when glacio-eustatic sea levels were lower than today. Now that around 35 % of the field is covered by shallow water (up to 30 m depth), any eruption occurring in the present or near future within this area may display Surtseyan dynamics. The North Head tuff cone evidences eruptive dynamics caused by magma interaction with seawater. The first stages of the eruption comprise a phreatomagmatic phase that built a 48-m-high tuff cone. North Head tuff deposits contain few lithic fragments (<10 vol%) and are characterized by deposits from collapsing tephra jets and fall from relatively wet tephra columns. The conditions needed for this eruption existed between 128 and 116 ka, when the sea level in the Auckland area was at least 10–12 m above the pre-eruptive surface. The hazards associated with this type of eruption pose a risk to the densely populated coastal residential zones and the activities of one of the busiest harbours in New Zealand.


Auckland Volcanic Field Monogenetic Phreatomagmatic Surtseyan Tuff cone 



This research was supported by the New Zealand Natural Hazards Research Platform and by the Determining Volcanic Risk in Auckland (DEVORA) project. We also thank the School of Environment, Auckland University, for support, as well as Kate Arentsen for prompt and valuable organizational and administrative assistance; Anja Moebis, Doug Hopcroft and Ritchie Sims for technical assistance; and Jose Rivera and Marc Adamson for providing accommodation in Auckland. We highly appreciate the time and effort of journal reviewers Volker Lorenz and Alexander Belousov, associate Editor Pierre-Simon Ross and Executive Editor James White for their recommendations to improve this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Agustín-Flores
    • 1
  • Károly Németh
    • 1
  • Shane J. Cronin
    • 1
  • Jan M. Lindsay
    • 2
  • Gábor Kereszturi
    • 1
  1. 1.Volcanic Risk SolutionsPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of EnvironmentThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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