STS110-726-6

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Spacecraft nadir point: 38.2° S, 175.8° E

Photo center point: 39.5° S, 174.0° E

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Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 90 nautical miles (167km)
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Image Caption: STS110-726-6 Mount Egmont Volcano, New Zealand April 2002

Mount Egmont Volcano (sometimes referred to as Mount Taranaki) is a young stratovolcano that began to form 70 000 years ago. Located in southwest North Island, New Zealand, Mount Egmont, at 8261 feet (2518 meters) is the second tallest volcanic mountain in New Zealand. Perpetually snow-capped, the volcano last erupted in 1755. Mount Egmont has a history of a major size eruption occurring every 340 years, with numerous minor ones in between. The volcano has had three major cone collapses in the last 25 000 years with the last collapse occurring 6970 years ago. With each collapse, thick layers of ash and lava crumbled into thick, muddy avalanches called lahars. These lahars have reached the coastline 25 miles (40 km) to the west and north of the volcano (bottom center and left center). The volcano is surrounded by forest, especially on its lower flanks, which is part of a National Park. The lush forests of Egmont National Park, on New Zealand's North Island, contrast with the pasturelands outside the circular park boundaries. The unique shape of the park results from its first protection in 1881, which specified that a forest reserve would extend in a 9.6 km radius from the summit of Mt. Taranaki (named Mt. Egmont by Captain Cook). The park covers about 33 500 hectares and Mt. Egmont stands at 2518 m. A series of montane habitats occur in procession up the flanks of the volcano--from rainforest, to shrubs, to alpine, and finally snow cover.