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Wairakei geothermal area (Craters of the Moon), Wairakei, Taupo District, Waikato Region, North Island, New Zealandi
Regional Level Types
Wairakei geothermal area (Craters of the Moon)Area
Wairakei- not defined -
Taupo DistrictDistrict
Waikato RegionRegion
North Island- not defined -
New ZealandCountry

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 38° 38' 36'' South , 176° 4' 8'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -38.64347,176.06904
GeoHash:G#: rcjhnt1t3
Locality type:Area
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate


The Wairakei geothermal field is part of the Wairakei-Tauhara geothermal system and is located 8 km north of Taupo. The boundary between Wairakei and the interconnected Tauhara field is placed at the Waikato River. The Wairakei field is exploited by the Wairakei, Poihipi Road and Wairakei Binary power stations. Initially attention was drawn to the field by extensive surface manifestations including a geyser valley.

The northern section of the field is occupied by geothermal power stations with limited access. The development of the power stations caused the ceasing of geyser activity in the Wairakei Valley, which were once impressive, and an early tourist attraction. However, the same power stations caused the Craters of the Moon section to form to the south.

On the highway, just south of Wairakei is a private venture containing gardens, mineral springs for bathing, and hot spring viewing. Craters of the Moon is at the southern section of the field, being a series of hot springs, mud pools, fumaroles, and hydrothermal eruption craters. The site is community run, and for a small entrance fee, a one hour walk can be taken around the site. Huka Falls is nearby on the Waikato River.

Some reviews online regarding the site are poor (although probably by people with a cursory interest in geology), comparing it to more popular geothermal areas closer to Rotorua. These sites are also up to 7 times more expensive to enter.

So far the Craters of the Moon site has not revealed itself as a specimen location, although collecting is forbidden due to its conservation reserve status.

TL for wairakite. It would appear Wairakite was found from the study of several drill cores, and rock fragments ejected by steam from drill holes, in the northern section of the field, during investigations for the establishment of a geothermal power station in the early 1950's. It was named in 1955 after the location by Alfred Steiner. D.S. Coombs from the University of Otago Dunedin, also had a hand in initially studying it.

Wairakite is a zeolite, with the same structure as analcime, colourless to white, with a vitreous lustre grading to dull. It is found in hydrothermally altered rhyolitic tuffs, ignimbrites, tuffaceous sandstone and breccia at a depth of 440 to 2120 metres. It can occur disseminated within the rock, as drusy subhedral crystals in veinlets or fractures, or massive material filling the fractures. Crystals have also been found up to 15 mms in diameter on a base of calcite and aragonite.

Specimens are relatively uncommon from the type locality, due to the depth of the material. The species has since been found at depth in other geothermal areas within the region, and a relatively large number of other sites worldwide, either as hydrothermal alteration, or in low metamorphic rocks.
Geothermal drill cores 19 and 24 near Lake Taupo.

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Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


11 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Albite
Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
Reference: Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World, Geoscience Press, Inc.
Alunite
Formula: KAl3(SO4)2(OH)6
Reference: Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World, Geoscience Press, Inc.
Aragonite
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Steiner, A. (1955) Wairakite, the calcium analogue of analcime, a new zeolite mineral. Mineralogical Magazine, Vol. 30, 691-698.
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Steiner, A. (1955) Wairakite, the calcium analogue of analcime, a new zeolite mineral. Mineralogical Magazine, Vol. 30, 691-698.
Epidote
Formula: {Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Reference: Bird, D.K., Schiffman, P., Elders, W.A., Williams, A.E., McDowell, S.D. (1984) Calc-silicate mineralization in active geothermal systems. Economic Geology 79:4, 671-695.
'Heulandite subgroup'
Reference: Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World, Geoscience Press, Inc. Bird, D.K., Schiffman, P., Elders, W.A., Williams, A.E., McDowell, S.D. (1984) Calc-silicate mineralization in active geothermal systems. Economic Geology 79:4, 671-695.
Kaolinite
Formula: Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Reference: Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World, Geoscience Press, Inc.
Laumontite
Formula: CaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
Reference: Bird, D.K., Schiffman, P., Elders, W.A., Williams, A.E., McDowell, S.D. (1984) Calc-silicate mineralization in active geothermal systems. Economic Geology 79:4, 671-695.
Opal
Formula: SiO2 · nH2O
Reference: Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World, Geoscience Press, Inc.
Prehnite
Formula: Ca2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
Reference: Bird, D.K., Schiffman, P., Elders, W.A., Williams, A.E., McDowell, S.D. (1984) Calc-silicate mineralization in active geothermal systems. Economic Geology 79:4, 671-695.
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World, Geoscience Press, Inc.
Wairakite (TL)
Formula: Ca(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
Type Locality:
Reference: Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World, Geoscience Press, Inc. Bird, D.K., Schiffman, P., Elders, W.A., Williams, A.E., McDowell, S.D. (1984) Calc-silicate mineralization in active geothermal systems. Economic Geology 79:4, 671-695. Steiner, A. (1955) Wairakite, the calcium analogue of analcime, a new zeolite mineral. Mineralogical Magazine, 30, 691-708. Mineralogical Magazine(1955) 30, 691-708

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Opal4.DA.10SiO2 · nH2O
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Aragonite5.AB.15CaCO3
Calcite5.AB.05CaCO3
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Alunite7.BC.10KAl3(SO4)2(OH)6
Group 9 - Silicates
Albite9.FA.35Na(AlSi3O8)
Epidote9.BG.05a{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Kaolinite9.ED.05Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Laumontite9.GB.10CaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
Prehnite9.DP.20Ca2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
Wairakite (TL)9.GB.05Ca(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Heulandite subgroup'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
Group 30 - ANHYDROUS SULFATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
(AB)2(XO4)Zq
Alunite30.2.4.1KAl3(SO4)2(OH)6
Group 58 - SOROSILICATES Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups
Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups with cations in [6] and higher coordination; single and double groups (n = 1, 2)
Epidote58.2.1a.7{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Group 72 - PHYLLOSILICATES Two-Dimensional Infinite Sheets with Other Than Six-Membered Rings
Two-Dimensional Infinite Sheets with Other Than Six-Membered Rings with 4-membered rings
Prehnite72.1.3.1Ca2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with H2O and organics
Opal75.2.1.1SiO2 · nH2O
Group 76 - TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
Albite76.1.3.1Na(AlSi3O8)
Group 77 - TECTOSILICATES Zeolites
Zeolite group - True zeolites
Laumontite77.1.1.4CaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
Wairakite (TL)77.1.1.3Ca(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
Aragonite-CaCO3
'Heulandite subgroup'-
Kaolinite-Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H WairakiteCa(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
H KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
H OpalSiO2 · nH2O
H AluniteKAl3(SO4)2(OH)6
H LaumontiteCaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
H PrehniteCa2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
H Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
CCarbon
C AragoniteCaCO3
C CalciteCaCO3
OOxygen
O WairakiteCa(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
O QuartzSiO2
O KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
O AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
O OpalSiO2 · nH2O
O AluniteKAl3(SO4)2(OH)6
O LaumontiteCaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
O PrehniteCa2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
O Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
O AragoniteCaCO3
O CalciteCaCO3
NaSodium
Na AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
AlAluminium
Al WairakiteCa(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
Al KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Al AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Al AluniteKAl3(SO4)2(OH)6
Al LaumontiteCaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
Al PrehniteCa2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
Al Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
SiSilicon
Si WairakiteCa(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
Si QuartzSiO2
Si KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Si AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Si OpalSiO2 · nH2O
Si LaumontiteCaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
Si PrehniteCa2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
Si Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
SSulfur
S AluniteKAl3(SO4)2(OH)6
KPotassium
K AluniteKAl3(SO4)2(OH)6
CaCalcium
Ca WairakiteCa(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
Ca LaumontiteCaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
Ca PrehniteCa2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
Ca Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Ca AragoniteCaCO3
Ca CalciteCaCO3
FeIron
Fe Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Steiner, A. (1955) Wairakite, the calcium analogue of analcime, a new zeolite mineral. Mineralogical Magazine, Vol. 30, 691-698.
Yang, K., Huntington, J.F., Browne, P.R.L., Ma, C. (2000) An infrared spectral reflectance study of hydrothermal alteration minerals from the Te Mihi sector of the Wairakei geothermal system, New Zealand. Geothermics 29:3, 377–392.

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