Auckland Volcanic Field Yields One New Lava Cave Monthly, Sparking Research Initiative

Thursday 25 January 2024, 3:13AM

By Expert Briefing


One of the hundreds of lava caves under Auckland.
One of the hundreds of lava caves under Auckland. Credit: EQC


A new research project aims to create a database of all the lava caves under Auckland, to help developers avoid damaging the sites.

Around one new cave a month is being discovered as building work takes place in the Auckland Volcanic Field, which comprises 53 volcanoes and hundreds of lava caves, some of which are up to 290 meters long.

The caves, which are relatively rare globally, can only be created under very specific conditions and are of cultural and historical significance to the local Maori population.

The project, by DEVORA (Determining Volcanic Risk in Auckland), funded by EQC and Auckland Council, aims to collate existing information and create a system for sharing it with relevant parties.