Champagne Pool, Wai-O-Tapu, New Zealand (with Map & Photos)

The Wai-O-Tapu geothermal region of New Zealand's North Island has an entire Champagne Pool. In fact, it is a hot thermal spring. It is located about 30 km (20 mi) southeast of Rotorua and about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of Taupo. The name “Champagne Pool” is derived from the abundant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), similar to the bubbles of gas in a glass of bubbling champagne.

Champagne Pool Waiotapu
Champagne Pool Waiotapu

The hot spring originated 900 years ago as a result of a hydrothermal eruption, making it a relatively young system in geological terms.

Champagne Pool Waiotapu
Champagne Pool Waiotapu

Below the Champagne Pool, geothermal waters are warmed to around 260 ° C (500 ° F), but the pool water temperature is maintained at 73 ° C (163 ° F) to 75 ° C (167 ° F) due to atmospheric heat loss. The acidity of the water is relatively constant due to the flow of CO 2 acting as a buffer.

Champagne Pool Waiotapu
Champagne Pool Waiotapu

The gases are mainly CO 2, to a lesser extent nitrogen (N 2 ), methane (CH 4 ), hydrogen (H 2 ), hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S), as well as oxygen (O 2 ). The geothermal fluid is oversaturated with metal compounds such as orpiment (As 2 S 3 ) and stibnite (Sb 2 S 3 ), which precipitate and form an orange underwater plaque. The unusual beauty of the place is created by the stark contrast between the orange edge of the water and the gray-white quartz surrounding the pool.

Champagne Pool Map