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Report on Asosan (Japan) — October 1988

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 10 (October 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Asosan (Japan) Glow on crater floor; crater closed to tourists

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Asosan (Japan). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:10. Smithsonian Institution.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Asosan

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On the night of 16 October, JMA geologists noted irregular areas of red glow in a 30 x 10 m area on Naka-dake's crater floor, the first glow seen there since June 1985. The local government prohibited access within 1 km of the crater 17-27 October. Steam emission was observed from Crater No. 1 and its small crater lake shrank. The lake temperature was 71°C on 1 October. Seismicity and tilt showed no significant changes.

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: JMA.