First it was White Island’s crater lake that was making scientists sit up – and now it is the one atop Mt Ruapehu. But the timing of White Island’s latest bout of unrest, which culminated in an overnight eruption this week, and a volcanic earthquake swarm 241km away beneath Mt Ruapehu’s crater lake should be seen only as a coincidence, a volcanologist says.

This afternoon, GNS Science reported that the mountain’s crater lake had risen from 25C in mid-April to 40C. The lake temperature had been rising since late 2015, at a similar rate to that observed in March 2011, April 2014 and February 2015. And over the past few days, scientists had been recording an earthquake swarm beneath the lake – something that has been an uncommon occurrence there over recent years. FULL REPORT