New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu, one of the two volcanoes used by Peter Jackson as Mount Doom stand-ins for The Lord of the Rings, is getting ready to blow. It’s almost like the whole country is turning into one giant The Hobbit promotional tie-in.
Geologists monitoring Ruapehu have noted that while the temperature of the lake inside one of the volcano’s craters is 20° Celcius, the temperature a few hundred meters under the lake is a whopping 800° C. That’s indicative of a blocked vent, leading to increased pressure and possible eruptions in the coming weeks or months. Hikers have already been warned by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to avoid the volcano’s summit.
Says Harry Keys, the volcanic risk manager at the DOC, “The current situation can’t continue. Ruapehu is so active that the temperatures have been going up and down a lot. They generally haven’t gone up as we’ve expected for some weeks now and sooner or later that situation will be rectified, either in a small, relatively passive way, or with a significant eruption.”
Someone put Gwaihir and the rest of the Great Eagles on standby.