Egmont National Park, New Zealand
Crews aboard the International Space Station recently captured this photograph of the prominent, circular Egmont National Park in New Zealand, on 30 September 2014.
The park protects the forested and snow-capped slopes of Mount Egmont. The protected area was designated in 1900, setting up a radius of 10 kilometres (6 miles) centred on the volcanic peak. The curved shoreline of the promontory has been formed by volcanic lava flows spreading out from the volcano on many occasions. In turn, sediments eroding from the coast ring the peninsula with a faint arc of lighter-coloured water.
Also known by its Maori name-Taranaki-Mt. Egmont stands 2,518 metres (8,260 feet) tall and it is one of the world's most symmetric volcanoes. It first became active about 135,000 years ago. By dating lava flows, geologists have figured out that smaller eruptions at Mount Egmont occur roughly every 90 years and major eruptions every 500 years.
In the photo, the town of New Plymouth stands out from the surrounding agricultural lands as a gray patch. Other smaller towns stretch out across the plain on the inland side of the volcano. A nadir, or straight-down looking, photo of the volcano was taken from the space shuttle in 2002.
View the full resolution image.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory