The classic cone shape of Mt Taranaki (Mt Egmont) indicates that it is an active volcano. At 2,518 metres, it is the second-highest mountain in the North Island. A small subsidiary volcanic cone, Fanthams Peak, can be seen in the foreground.
Detailed studies by scientists from Massey University have worked out the history of volcanic eruptions at Mt Taranaki over the last 130,000 years. While eruptions have not occurred at regular intervals, on average there has been a moderate-sized eruption every 340 years, with numerous small ones.
Geologist Shane Cronin talks about eruptions over the last 700 years that may have been witnessed by Māori living in the area.
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Photograph by Lloyd Homer
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