Video shows what would happen if an Auckland volcano erupted

NZ 11/10/2017

A video created for the Auckland Museum shows the devastation an undersea supervolcano eruption would bring to Auckland.

Victoria University's Professor Colin Wilson won the prestigious Rutherford Medal on Tuesday night for his work studying the risk of a New Zealand super-eruption.

Prof Wilson's research includes creating new techniques to link long-term volcanic cycles to eruptions - and analysing how much of a threat they are.

"Professor Wilson is a world-renowned geologist whose research has provided profound insight into how volcanoes behave," said the Rutherford Medal selection panel.

"He is a meticulous, insightful and highly productive researcher who melds acute field observations with advanced analytical techniques."

Previous research by University of Canterbury researchers looked at what would happen if there was a two-month-long volcanic eruption near the Mangere Bridge, south of Auckland's CBD.

Their paper concluded the volcanic eruption would destroy anything up to two-and-a-half kilometres away and would leave transport networks crippled and a third of the population reduced to refugees.

And the footage shows the destruction one would cause to New Zealand's largest city, if it woke from its slumber in the Hauraki Gulf.

"This projected sequence was designed to simulate a window view in a purpose built set of an Auckland lounge room," the video's creators say.

"High-end 3D technologies and particle effects were combined with a background plate creating a realistic rendering of a catastrophic event. The result? Happy client, frightened children, de-valued waterfront property."