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Mount Mayon, also known as Mayon Volcano, is an active volcano in the province of Albay, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Renowned as the perfect cone because of its almost symmetric conical shape, Mayon forms the northern boundary of Legazpi City, the largest city in terms of population in the Bicol Region. The mountain was first declared as a national park and a protected landscape on July 20, 1938 in the country. It was reclassified and renamed as Mayon Volcano Natural Park in the year 2000.
Local folklore refers to the volcano as Bulkang Mayon (Bikol: "Mayon volcano"), after the legendary heroine Daragang Magayon (Bikol: "Beautiful Lady"). Mayon Volcano is the main landmark of Albay Province, Philippines, rising 2463 m from the shores of the Gulf of Albay about 10 km away. The volcano is geographically shared by the eight cities and municipalities of Legazpi City, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao City, Tabaco City, Malilipot, and Santo Domingo (clockwise from Legazpi), which divide the cone like slices of a pie when viewed from above. Mayon is a classic stratovolcano type of volcano capped by a small central summit crater. The cone is considered to be the world's most perfectly-formed volcano for its symmetry, which was formed through layers of pyroclastic and lava flows from past eruptions and erosion. The upper slopes of the basaltic-andesitic volcano are steep averaging 35–40 degrees. Like other volcanoes located around the Pacific Ocean, Mayon is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. It is located on the eastern side of Luzon, near the Philippine Trench which is the convergent boundary where the Philippine Sea Plate is driven under the Philippine Mobile Belt. When a continental plate or belt of continental fragments meets an oceanic plate, the lighter continental material overrides the oceanic plate, forcing it down into the Earth's mantle. Magma may be forced through weaknesses in the continental crust caused by the collision of the tectonic plates. One such exit point is Mayon. Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines having erupted over 48 times in the past 400 years. The first record of a major eruption was witnessed in February 1616 by Dutch explorer Joris van Spilbergen who recorded it on his log in his circumnavigation trip around the world. The first eruption of which there is an extended account was the six-day event of July 20, 1766. Three telemetric units are installed on Mayon's slopes, which send information to the seven seismometers in different locations around the volcano. These instruments relay data to the Lignon Hill observatory and the PHIVOLCS central headquarters on the University of the Philippines Diliman campus. PHIVOLCS also deploys electronic distance meters (EDMs), precise leveling benchmarks, and portable fly spectrometers to monitor the volcano's daily activity.
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