Most large cone volcanoes have a complex history of cone-building followed by collapse. The mounds in front of Mt Taranaki (Mt Egmont) are the remains of a huge landslide that occurred about 23,000 years ago when a large volcanic cone collapsed and spread debris over a huge area. The present cone built up after this avalanche. The older Pouākai volcano is at left.
Vince Neall of Massey University has studied the volcanic history of Taranaki for many years, and in the sound clip he describes the process of collapse.
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Photograph by Lloyd Homer
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