Report on Asosan (Japan) — July 1995

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 20, no. 7 (July 1995)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Asosan (Japan) Water rises and covers the crater floor, minor water and mud ejections

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1995. Report on Asosan (Japan). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 20:7. Smithsonian Institution.

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During June, occasional water ejections took place from a hot water pool at the bottom of Naka-dake Crater 1. The volume of water in the crater increased towards the end of June such that by July Naka-dake's crater was completely covered with hot water. During July, the occasional water ejections were accompanied by the ejection of mud, the highest reaching 10 m.

In July, 791 isolated tremors were recorded at Station A, 800 m W of Crater 1. Continuous tremor occurred through early July, with a maximum amplitude of 8 µm. There were seven natural tremors during July, including four felt at the Aso Weather Station and three earthquakes. Only one large-amplitude tremor was recorded during June.

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 km3 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 CE. 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: Volcanological Division, Seismological and Volcanological Department, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100 Japan.