The rise in volcanic action across the world is becoming more and more evident. The result of this change is the discovery of a new volcano in New Zeeland.
Molten rock has been quiet building up underneath the town of Matata, New Zealand, enough to push up the surface by 40cm
Scientists have confirmed discovering the magma buildup near the town with a population of 650 people, which they fear signals the beginnings of a new volcano.
Geophysicist Ian Hamling said enough magma to fill 80,000 Olympic-size swimming pools has pushed up beneath the land near the coastal town, which is 120 miles south-east of Auckland, since the 1950s.
Its discovery helps explains a spate of earthquakes in the area between 2004 and 2011.
A paper published today in the online journal Science Advances revealed the concerns.
Mr Hamling, lead author, said other parts of New Zealand have active volcanoes, but it was thought there were none near Matata in the last 400,000 years.
He said: “It was quite a big surprise.”
Researchers used GPS data and satellite images to identify the 154 miles squared of land that had been rising in height.
Mr Hamling said there was a period of quick uplift between 2004 and 2011, which would have triggered the earthquakes – previously believed to have been caused by tectonic plate shifts.
The magma is six miles below the surface currently and could take hundreds of years to belch out, or it could even cool and harden before the first eruption.
He said further studies should be carried out to create a warning system for any further earthquakes in the area, which could come.
Mr Hamling said it was unusual to find magma build-up where there was no volcano.
There are fears the world has gone into a “volcano season” as there have been several massive eruptions across the globe during 2016.