Report on Asosan (Japan) — March 1995

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 20, no. 3 (March 1995)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Asosan (Japan) Mud ejection beyond the crater and an ash cloud to 1 km

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1995. Report on Asosan (Japan). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 20:3. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199503-282110.

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Asosan

Japan

32.884°N, 131.104°E; summit elev. 1592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Mud and water ejections continued during February from the shrinking pool of hot water in Naka-dake Crater 1. Similar ejections occurred on 13 and 17 March. The eruption on 17 March ejected mud and volcaniclastic materials within a 300-m radius, including some beyond the crater rim, and sent an ash cloud as high as 1 km above the crater rim. Large-amplitude tremor associated with the mud ejections was felt at the Aso Weather Station (AWS) on 14 and 19 February, and another nine times during March. An earthquake centered beneath the crater was also felt at AWS on 16 February.

Geologic Background. The 24-km-wide Asosan caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. The last of these, the Aso-4 eruption, produced more than 600 cu km of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Nakadake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 AD. The Nakadake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 CE. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Nakadake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations.

Information Contacts: JMA.