Q:

What is a mudflow?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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:

    How many hurricanes occur each year?

    A:

    A different amount of hurricanes occurs each year. The most hurricanes that have ever happened in a single year in the Atlantic Basin are 12, and the least is two. The Eastern Pacific has had anywhere from four to 14 in one year.

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  • Q:

    Which is more dangerous, tornadoes or hurricanes?

    A:

    The relative danger of hurricanes and tornadoes depends on the situation. While hurricanes are more destructive to large communities, tornadoes are less predictable, more intense and more immediately dangerous to humans who contact them. Hurricanes generally form over empty ocean, but tornadoes often form over populated land areas.

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  • Q:

    Where do floods occur most often?

    A:

    Floods occur most often in low-lying coastal areas and river floodplains. The country that floods the most is Bangladesh due to prolonged monsoon conditions.

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