January 06, 2010
The North Island of New Zealand is renowned for its volcanic phenomena. Most of the volcanoes are concentrated in the Taupo volcanic zone, an approximately 155 by 30 mile stretch (250 by 50 km) that extends roughly from the center of the North Island to White Island, in the Bay of Plenty, some 30 miles (about 50 km) offshore. Besides the occasional volcanic eruption, this region displays numerous geothermal features including fumaroles, geysers, boiling mud pools, and hot springs.
One of Taupo’s most fascinating peculiarities is Champagne Pool; a hot spring that fills an orbicular crater about 215 ft (65 m) in diameter. The sounds of bubbling gases, mostly carbon dioxide, in the upwelling hot water (165 F or 74 C) resemble that of fizzling champagne, hence the name. Because the water contains high concentrations of heavy metals and sulfur, the pool floor is covered with a rusty looking, reddish-orange deposits of orpiment and realgar (arsenic sulfides) and stibnite (antimony sulfide) in association with opaline silica (amorphous), whereas the pool rim consists of whitish silica sinter.
Champagne Pool coordinates: -38.358919, 176.369275