Mayon Volcano Facts: Learn About Its History And Eruption | Kidadl


Mayon Volcano Facts: Learn About Its History And Eruption

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The Mayon volcano is said to be the most active in the Philippines, located on Luzon Island.

Due to the periodic erosion and eruption, the Mayon volcano is a symmetrical cone-shaped stratovolcano. It has a small central summit crater from which the lava erupts.

Mount Mayon is the highest point of Albay province and a renowned tourist spot. This mountain is considered very sacred according to Philippine mythology. On July 20, 1938, the volcano's landscape was announced as the first national park in the Philippines. Later in 2000, Mayon Volcano Natural Park was declared, covering 14,272 ac (5,775.5 ha) of land area, with the Mayon volcano in the center. In 2016, UNESCO declared Mayon Volcano Natural Park as the centerpiece of Albay Biosphere Reserve and it is now one of the World Heritage Sites.

Mayon mountain is 8,081 ft (2,463 m) high and is located 6.2 mi (10 km) away from Albay gulf. The volcano is the quadripoint where eight municipalities and cities of the Philippines (Legazpi, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Tabaco, Malilipot, and Santo Domingo) meet, and these cities form the cone slices of the pie. As Mayon is an active volcano, it is monitored by the Philippines Institute Of Volcanology and Seismology, located 7.5 mi (12 km) away from the mountain.

Formation Of The Mayon Volcano

Mount Mayon is located in a subduction zone. Subduction zones are located around the Pacific Ocean edge, forming the 'Ring of Fire'. These zones are the places where the worst volcanic earthquakes and eruptions occur.

A subduction zone is where two plates, called Earth's tectonic plates, collide and slide over each other. During this collision, the continental lithosphere subducts under the oceanic lithosphere. The plate descends the layer under the Earth's crust, and hot magma under the crust melts. Due to this pressure, it erupts the lava out through the crater rim of the volcanoes.

The Mayon volcano is located between the Philippines and Eurasian plates. The Eurasian plate slides over the Philippine plate and forces it down the crust. The magma under the crust melts as lava and lava flows through the craters in the Mayon volcano.

Characteristics And Features Of The Mayon Volcano

The Mayon volcano is an active volcano, and an eruption occurs very frequently. Its eruption style is explosive. The upper slopes of the Mayon volcano are 30-40° steep, having a small summit crater at its mouth with a diameter of 820.2 ft (250 m).

This eruption is sometimes smaller, called Strombolian style. It is then followed by violent lava flow, called Basaltic Plinian style. The nature of the lava depends on the composition of the rock that melts beneath the Earth's crust. The magma from the Mayon volcano is of medium composition and viscosity, and it differs between eruptions.

Conduit is a pipe-like structure located at the heart of the volcano through which melted magma rushes from beneath the Earth's surface. Eruptions occur through the conduit, and as gases in the magma cannot escape easily due to the pressure, the lava erupts like lava fountains.

This volcanic activity creates a lava dome at the summit. Pyroclastic flows, mudflows, and ash plumes are the features of the Mayon volcano. Pyroclastic flows occur in the Mayon volcano during explosive eruptions. Pyroclastic density current produced by hot gases and magma flows along the slopes at a speed of 62-435 mph (100-700 kph). The farthest flow reached 5.3 mi (8.5 km) along Fiedel Surtida, Santo Domingo.

Mayon volcano is a composite volcano, and hence the ash deposits are formed by these eruptions. These deposits are a mixture of hot rocks, minerals, and glass particles. Due to low density, these particles are easily carried by the wind, forming ash plumes. This volcanic ash is very dangerous, irritates the eyes and nose, and causes breathing problems. This ash also contaminates water. These ash plumes contain sulfur dioxide, a very poisonous gas.

Volcanic debris called lahars occurs in the Mayon volcano due to the rainstorms at the time of eruptions. Lahars are violent mudflows that destroy structures in their path, the mudflows down the volcano's slopes and along the river valley.

Much of the city was destroyed during the 1814 eruption of the Mayon volcano except for the ruins of Cagsawa church.

Mayon Volcano Eruption

In the past 400 years, around 50 eruptions occurred from the Mayon volcano. The first eruption occurred in 1616. The eruion on July 20, 1766, lasted for six days. The most devastating eruption happened in 1814. Though the lava flow was less than in the previous eruptions, ash emissions with tephra destroyed Cagaswa town. More than 1,200 people died.

There was a continuous eruption from June 1827, to February 1828. The next eruption occurred from May 1834 to May 1835. Minor ash eruptions happened during 1839, 1845, 1846, and 1851. The casualties count was 34 during the 1853 eruption. The eruption during 1855 and 1857 was minor. The strombolian eruption occurred for the whole year of 1858 with few casualties. There were many minor eruptions from 1861 to 1876.

A continuous strong eruption happened in the Mayon volcano from July 1881 to August 1882, with a crater outburst on November 21, 1881. The successive eruptions were during 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1892, 1893, 1895, and 1896. There was a strong, uninterrupted eruption from June 4, 1897, to July 23, 1897. The casualties count due to pyroclastic flows was around 350. During the eruption, volcanic lightning was visualized.

During 1900, 1902, 1928, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1947, 1968, and 1978, the eruptions varied from minor to strombolian with ashfall and lava flows. Since the 1984 eruptions, around 70,000 people were moved from this danger zone to avoid casualties. But, 77 farmers were killed in the 1993 eruption. In 1999, an eruption occurred with no sign of volcanic earthquakes.

Followed by a series of eruptions, the 2000 eruptions lead to the move of 68,426 people from the danger zone, causing damage to properties and crops. Minor eruptions occurred in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. The seismic network in the Philippines recorded the last eruption during 2018. Alert level 3-4 has been raised, evacuating 40,000 residents from the danger zone to avoid casualties.


Why is the Mayon volcano famous?

Mayon volcano is famous for its symmetric cone structure and frequent eruptions.

How did Mayon volcano get its name?

Mayon volcano got its name from the name of the mountain where it is located. The name 'Mayon' is from the bicol word 'Magayon' which means 'the beauty'.

How was the Mayon volcano formed?

Mayon volcano formed due to the collision between Eurasian and Philippines tectonic plates.

When was the last time the Mayon volcano erupted?

The last eruption of this volcano occurred in 2018.

How old is the Mayon volcano?

The volcano is more than 20,000 years old.

What is the most active volcano in the Philippines?

Mayon volcano is the most active volcano in the Philippines.

What is the story of Mayon Volcano?

It is said that the volcano is located on the burial site of two lovers, Daragang Magayon and Pangaronon, according to Philippine mythology.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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