Huge field of molten magma found under North Island town

A huge deposit of magma has been detected just 9km below a small North Island town - and scientists say it may be causing earthquakes.

Magma discovered close to the surface of the earth could be responsible for a series of earthquakes. Source: 1 NEWS

Matata is nestled between Tauranga and Opotiki, and new research using satellite image, GPS data and surveying has revealed the molten secret.

The level of the town has been steadily rising over the last few years - up to 10mm per year of uplift, but it is now beginning to slow to about four-five millimetres per year.

Scientists are confident there will not be an eruption in the near future, but say they will continue to monitor the magma field.