Core sample dating

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Scientists might get hold of these in two different ways – they can use the cylinder of material produced when a pile hole is dug for a new building or to support a road, or they can drill a core sample themselves.Geologically, an ideal place to drill volcanic core samples is in a basin.It was originally a crater lake that was drained in the 1960s and turned into a local park.Sediments that have gathered in this basin over thousands of years now form a record of what has been happening, including volcanic eruptions.

Often, these depressions have filled with water, forming lakes such as the crater lake on Mt Ruapehu or at Lake Pupuke.These lakes protect the ground beneath from erosion.Phil is specifically interested in basins that have been left undisturbed and so contain a record of sediment reaching back over time.Onepoto Basin on the North Shore is a site in Auckland where Phil is drilling core samples.

One important question that the scientists like Dr Phil Shane at The University of Auckland are asking is: “When did the volcanoes in Auckland last erupt?

” Answering this question will help them to predict when the volcanoes might erupt again and determine what the consequences could be.

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