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What is a cone volcano

An image provided by visitor Michael Schade shows White Island (Whakaari) volcano, as it erupts, in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, Dec. 9, 2019.

The White Island Volcano in New Zealand – which erupted Monday with a towering blast of ash and scalding steam, killing at least five people – is one of New Zealand’s most active volcanoes. 

The volcano erupted as tourists were exploring the moon-like surface.

“Our monitoring data shows that there was a short-lived eruption that generated an ash plume to ~12,000 feet above the vent,” according to the GeoNet agency, which monitors volcanoes and earthquakes in New Zealand. 

“Whakaari,” as it is known in the Maori language, is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years, GeoNet said.

“About 70% of the volcano is under the sea, making this massive volcanic structure the largest in New Zealand,” according to GeoNet.

Cone volcanoes are also known as stratovolcanoes or composite volcanoes. They are one of the three main volcano types, along with shield and dome.


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