Eruptions aren’t the only thing to be worried about when it comes to volcanoes. Extremely steep, cone-shaped volcanoes can partially collapse and create devastating debris avalanches. Researchers studying Mount Taranaki in New Zealand, where the biggest known volcanic landslide occurred 25,000 years ago, now know a little bit more about the characteristics of these landslides. Their study, published in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, suggests that during a collapse, different sections of sliding debris can reach different velocities.
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