Report on Yakedake (Japan) — February 1995

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 20, no. 2 (February 1995)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Yakedake (Japan) Hydrothermal explosion kills four people

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1995. Report on Yakedake (Japan). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 20:2. Smithsonian Institution.

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36.227°N, 137.587°E; summit elev. 2455 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A hydrothermal explosion around 1430 on 11 February killed four people at a highway construction site, located in a geothermal area along the narrow Azusa-gawa River ~2 km SE of the summit. The Geological Survey of Japan reported that there were at least two explosions from the vent (12 m long and 6 m wide). The first, a large explosion, created a 1,500-m-high plume composed of mud and gas, and caused collapse of the river bank, burying the primary vent. A second explosion scattered mud and gas within 200 m of the vent. JMA staff who surveyed the site on 12 February and 13 March noted that fume rising to a height of 20 m was almost at the boiling point. No explosions have been reported since 12 February.

Geologic Background. Yakedake rises above the popular resort of Kamikochi in the Northern Japan Alps. The small dominantly andesitic stratovolcano, one of several Japanese volcanoes named Yakedake or Yakeyama ("Burning Peak" or "Burning Mountain"), was constructed astride a N-S-trending ridge between the older volcanoes of Warudaniyama and Shirataniyama. Akandanayama, about 4 km SSW, is a stratovolcano with lava domes that was active into the Holocene. A 300-m-wide crater is located at the summit, and explosion craters are found on the SE and N flanks. Frequent small-to-moderate phreatic eruptions have occurred during the 20th century. On 11 February 1995 a hydrothermal explosion in a geothermal area killed two people at a highway construction site.

Information Contacts: JMA.