Michael A. Stecker


Mount Ruapehu at 9,175 feet (2,797 meters) is the highest mountain in the North Island of New Zealand. Found about 200 miles
(320 kilometers) north of Wellington, Mt. Ruapehu is a volcano with a lake in its crater containing hot acidic water surrounded by
ice and snow. Ruapehu has some of the country's best ski slopes.

The three major types of volcano in New Zealand are the cone volcano, the caldera volcano and the volcanic field.  Mount Ruapehu is
a cone or stratovolcano, situated at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone -- an area extending from White Island to Ruapehu itself.  It is frequently active, and is one of the largest active volcanoes of New Zealand.  Mount Ruapehu has erupted several times in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Most eruptions are phreatic (steam explosions) caused by the contact of lava and water.  Its most recent eruptions were in 1995 and 1996.