Mount Mayon, also known as the Mayon Volcano is an active stratovolcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It’s located about 15 kilometers northwest of Legazpi City. Its current elevation is 2,463 meters.
This volcano is located on a convergent boundary between the Eurasian and Philippine Plate. The lighter continental plate floats over top of the oceanic plate, forcing it down, and allowing magma to well up from the Earth’s interior. This makes Mayon a very active volcano; in fact, it’s the most active volcano in the Philippines, having erupted 47 times in the last 400 years. The first recorded eruption was in 1616, and the last major eruption was on October 1st, 2006.
The most devastating eruption happened on February 1, 1814 when ash and tephra rained down around the volcano, burying a nearby town to a depth of 9 meters. 2,200 people died.
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Mayon Volcano has a perfect cone shape, and hasn’t suffered any major slides or collapses of its cone (Mount St. Helens used to have a perfect cone shape too). Climbing Mount Mayon takes about 2 days to climb, with the final ascent up a 40-degree slope of volcanic cinder and lava sand.
We have also recorded an episode of Astronomy Cast about Earth, as part of our tour through the Solar System – Episode 51: Earth.