The best part of studying in New Zealand is that the geology here is fascinating. And I have got a chance to do a field trip to Tongariro National Park this year!
There are three active volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park: Mt Tongariro (1967m), Mt Ngauruhoe (2287m) and Mt Ruapehu (Tahurangi, 2797m). I can’t tell you how much I love these mountains (volcanoes), they are just beautiful.
Mt Ngauruhoe is a classic stratovolcano (or cone volcano). It has been built up by many phases of pre-historic and historic eruptions, spilling out lavas, volcanic bombs as well as pyroclastic flows. The latest eruption occurred in 1975, during which block-and-ash pyroclastic flows came down on the northern flank of the volcano. The dark grey, rubble-like rocks (in the front part of the picture) are one of these lava flows. You can probably see and identify some younger lava flows on the slopes as well. These lavas and pyroclastic deposits are mostly andesitic in composition.