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Mokai Mud Geyser at Paerata Road
A quite rare natural landmark is a mud geyser – and Mokai Mud Geyser at Paerata Road is a good example of this.
Map of the site
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Geothermal mud pools is a rather interesting feature – not as beautiful as the lucid thermal springs, nevertheless, a weird spectacle – bubbling and often noisy puddles of mud. They are created by acidic volcanic gases rising through the soil and meeting upper groundwater that is fed by rain.
In rare cases, these gases create mud geysers – mud pools, where the gases create intermittent mud eruptions that are significantly higher than the usual splashes of mud pools. Such features are very rare, rarer than the true geysers.
Mokai geothermal fields
Smaller geothermal fields around Mokai, for the most part, are used for the production of geothermal energy but in some locations, there are interesting geological landmarks.
Approximately 1 kilometer to the north of two food processing facilities – milk powder plant and greenhouse complex (both powered by geothermal power) – is a pine plantation where is the Mokai Mud Geyser. This mud geyser is one of three mud geysers in Waikato Region – others are in Wairakei and Te Kopia.
Mokai Mud Geyser is some 10 by 5 m large pool of mud, geysering up to 1.5 m high. Lots of steam rise from it and it is hard to see the eruptions.
Near it grows a rare New Zealand endemic – prostrate kanuka (Kunzea ericoides var. microflora) – a shrub that grows only at geothermal fields. (2)
- Ashley D. Cody, Ron F. Keam, Jesse Lebe, Bridget Lynne, Katherine Luketina. Sinter-forming springs and geysers of the Waikato region, July 2021. Accessed on January 31, 2022.
- Wildland Consultants 2011. Geothermal vegetation of the Waikato Region – An update based on 2007 aerial photographs. Wildland Consultants Ltd Contract Report No. 2348. Prepared for Waikato Regional Council. 515 pp.
- Jesse Lebe. Geothermal features annual monitoring report – June 2021, August 2021. Accessed on January 31, 2022.
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Hasty hydrogeologista would say: geysers are thermodynamically and hydrodynamically unstable hot springs. “Normal” people would say – geysers are hot springs which at more or less regular intervals shoot up a fountain of boiling water and steam. Sometimes these fountains are even 100 m tall… or even 450 m!
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