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Ohau A hydroelectric power station, South Island, New Zealand (40°40’ S, 175°15’ E).Tree plantation near Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand (43°28’ S, 172°34’E)Sheep farm near Lake Coleridge, Canterbury region, South Island, New Zealand (43°22’ S, 171°31’ E).

Wai-o-tapu geothermal area, North Island, New Zealand (38°20’ S, 176°21’ E).

Jets of hot steam rise constantly from the seething, bubbling surface of the Champagne Pool» and the Artist’s Palette.» In the Maori language, Wai-o-tapu» means sacred waters,» which may be a mark of respect for these steaming waters. This tourist hot-spot is in the middle of an area of intense volcanic activity, positioned immediately above a 6.5-square-mile (17-square-kilometer) pocket of magma lying 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) below the earth’s surface, permanently heating the underground waters. As they rise toward the surface, the water and steam absorb chemicals and minerals, which color the surface pools. Yellow indicates the presence of sulfur, red that of iron oxide, and delicate green points to a dangerously high concentration of arsenic. New Zealand, especially the North Island, is on the Pacific’s famous ring of fire,» and makes use of this resource. In 1999, the country ranked seventh in the world for electricity production using geothermal energy.

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