Photo of this volcano
Google Earth icon
  Google Earth Placemark
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 35.139°N
  • 132.621°E

  • 1126 m
    3693 ft

  • 283002
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Sanbesan.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Sanbesan.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Sanbesan.

Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone
Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

Sanbesan stratovolcano in SW Honshu, along the Japan Sea coast, has a summit cut by a small caldera about 1 km in diameter. The highest point on the dacitic-to-andesitic volcano is 1126-m-high O-Sanbe, at the northern end of the complex. Sanbesan has had several large explosive eruptions during the Pleistocene and one strong Holocene eruption from Taiheizan lava dome about 3700 years ago. This eruption was accompanied by pyroclastic flows that swept down the NE-to-SE flanks and traveled 9 km down the Hayamizu River to the SW. Younger, undated eruptions have also occurred (Machida and Arai, 1992).

Eruptive History

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0650 ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
1920 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 4 Tephrochronology Taihei-zan
3550 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.




Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Kosanbe Dome
Taiheizan Dome 855 m

Photo Gallery

The summit of Sanbe volcano in SW Honshu, the SW-most Holocene volcano on the island of Honshu, is cut by a caldera. Seen here from the south, the highest peak is called O-Sanbe (Male-Sanbe or Father-Sanbe). It is flanked by Me-Sanbe (Female-Sanbe) on the right, Ko-Sanbe (son) on the left, and Mago-Sanbe (grandson) in the center. Sanbe (also known as Sambe) had a large explosive eruption about 3700 years ago that originated form Taihei-zan lava dome (the lighter-colored area on the west side of the caldera).

Photo by Yoshinobu Tatsu, 1998 (Shimane Prefectural Sanbe Shizenkan Nature Museum).


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Japan Meteorological Agency, 2013. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (fourth edition, English version). Japan Meteorological Agency.

Kudo T, Hoshizumi H, 2006-. Catalog of eruptive events within the last 10,000 years in Japan, database of Japanese active volcanoes. Geol Surv Japan, AIST,

Kusano T, Nakayama K, 1999. Preliminary report on the depositional processes of block-and-ash flow deposits; an example from the Taiheizan pyroclastic flow deposits at Sambe volcano, southwest Japan. Bull Volc Soc Japan (Kazan): 44: 143-156 (in Japanese with English abs).

Machida H, Arai F, 1992. Atlas of tephra in and around Japan. Tokyo: Univ Tokyo Press, 276 p.

Nakano S, Yamamoto T, Iwaya T, Itoh J, Takada A, 2001-. Quaternary Volcanoes of Japan. Geol Surv Japan, AIST,

Ono K, Soya T, Mimura K, 1981. Volcanoes of Japan. Geol Surv Japan Map Ser, no 11, 2nd edition, 1:2,000,000.

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Sanbesan Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.