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Grass-covered conical hills dot the plains around Mount Egmont, on New Zealand's North Island. Small hills such as these, often located in lowland areas well beyond the flanks of a volcano, were once thought to be cinder cones or small secondary vents produced by explosions when a lava flow passed over a body of water. They now are known to be hummocks of massive debris avalanches produced by volcanic landslides. Debris-avalanche deposits originating from repetitive collapse of Egmont surround the volcano to distances of about 40 km.