Q:

What is a mudflow?

A:

A mudflow is the downhill movement of soft, wet earth and debris made fluid by rain or melted snow. Mudflows occur when water mixes with soil and rock. They are most common in mountainous regions when a long dry season is followed by heavy rains.

Mudflows from volcanic eruptions, also known as lahars, are the most dangerous. This type of mudflow is composed of a slurry of hot gases, rocky debris and water. Lahars are as thick as liquid concrete and can move up to 80 miles per hour. They can be caused by lava, melting snow and glaciers during an eruption.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What causes mudflow?

    A:

    Mudflows are caused by conditions favorable to soft, wet mud sliding downhill instead of staying put. Earthquakes, heavy rains, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and even nearby explosions have been known to trigger mudflows.

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  • Q:

    Where do typhoons mostly occur?

    A:

    Typhoons occur most often in the far western Pacific Ocean. They tend to form east of Guam and track west towards Taiwan before heading north and northeast towards Japan. This region is colloquially referred to as "typhoon alley." Typhoons strike the Philippines more often than any other nation.

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  • Q:

    Has there ever been an F6 tornado?

    A:

    There has never been a recorded F6 tornado. The original Fujita scale of tornado categorization was based on wind speed and damage potential, with F6 labeled as "inconceivable." This category required wind speeds above 318 miles per hour. As of 2014, the updated Fujita scale has no F6 category.

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  • Q:

    What happened in the Chicago Blizard of 1967?

    A:

    The National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office cites the Chicago snowstorm of 1967 as the worst snowstorm in the city's history. CBS Chicago notes that this storm left 23 inches of snow in the city between Jan. 26 and 27.

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