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Akita-Yakeyama

Photo of this volcano
  • Japan
  • Japan, Taiwan, Marianas
  • Stratovolcano
  • 1997 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 39.964°N
  • 140.757°E

  • 1366 m
    4480 ft

  • 283260
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Bulletin Report: October 1997 (BGVN 22:10) Citation IconCite this Report

Phreatic explosion on 16 August

According to a Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) volcanic advisory issued in the evening of 16 August, a tourist reported a small-scale phreatic explosion at the Karanuma ("Empty Pond") crater near the summit. The explosion occurred at about noon on 16 August. Seismometers at the volcano recorded volcanic tremors during 1053-1204; high numbers of volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the days following the explosion (table 1). JMA estimated that the epicenters were just below the summit.

Table 1. Seismic activity at Akita-Yake-yama during 16-25 August 1997. Reported on the Volcano Research Center's Current Eruptions in Japan website from JMA reports for 22 and 25 August.

Date Volcanic earthquakes Tremors
16 Aug 1997 62 2
17 Aug 1997 81 1
18 Aug 1997 71 0
19 Aug 1997 448 1
20 Aug 1997 226 0
21 Aug 1997 27 0
22 Aug 1997 14 0
23 Aug 1997 18 0
24 Aug 1997 14 0
25 Aug 1997 10 0 (by 1500)

A 17 August JMA report detailed the discovery of a new crater 20 m in diameter on the SE rim of Karanuma Crater. Eruptive material including fragments up to 20 cm in diameter were found around the new crater, and volcanic ash "pastes" had been sprayed ~300 m to the S. The report noted that the new crater no longer emitted an eruption cloud on 17 August.

T. Oba and T. Hasenaka, geologists at Tohoku University, conducted a field inspection on 17 August. They reported that the new crater was quiet, and that it had a depth of ~30 m. Fragments up to 30 cm across had been thrown ~25 m away from the crater, but no juvenile materials were included. Ash deposits on the ridge 20-30 m S of the new crater were 4-5 mm thick. The scientists suggested that the 16 August eruption may have created a "new" crater within an old crater formed in 1949, because the volume of recently erupted material was too small to account for the total volume of the crater.

Shintaro Hayashi, a geologist at Akita University, conducted a field inspection on 18 August; he estimated the volume of fallout from the new crater to be ~1,000 m3. He also reported that a mud flow was generated just before the 16 August explosion issued from small depressions just below the new crater (figure 1). The mud was deposited around the depressions, having flowed part of the way down to the crater floor. The total volume of the mud-flow deposit was estimated at ~20,000 m3.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Map of Akita-Yake-yama showing recent craters. Craters A1-A3 were formed in 1949; craters A, B1, and B2 were formed in 1997. Heavy lines indicate ash isopachs; dots indicate ash sampling sites. Courtesy of Shintaro Hayashi, Akita University.

On 20-21 August, new seismometers were installed near the summit and N slope of the volcano; also installed were a microphone on the W foot and cameras (color, high resolution monochromatic, and infrared) on the E foot. Signals are telemetered to Sendai and Akita.

On 22 August, Tatsunori Soya, of the Geological Survey of Japan, drew attention to a document written by the late Prof. H. Tsuya. The document, which appeared in the Tamagawa Hot Spring Study Group's 10th Anniversary Report (1954), describes explosions in 1949, 1950, and 1951 at Akita-Yake-yama; the last two were not officially documented. According to the report, large explosion craters (C1-C4), including the Karanuma crater (C1), existed before the 1949 eruption. Eruptions in 1949 occurred on the E margin of the Karanuma crater, resulting in the formation of craters designated A1, A2, and A3. Although no one in the hot springs area 3 km E of the summit reported hearing an explosion or feeling earthquakes, the eruption products were ~1 m thick along the rim of the A1 crater and contained old lava blocks up to 1 m across. Another explosion occurred at the A1 crater in February 1951; as a result, A1 crater widened to become as much as 50 m across. In terms of volume, the 1951 explosion was smaller than the 1949 eruption. S. Hayashi proposed that the present explosion occurred in A2-A1, and mud spouted out from the A3 crater (figure 1).

Information Contacts: Shintaro Hayashi, Faculty of Education, Akita University, 1-1 Tegata-Gakuen-Cho, Akita 010, Japan; Noritake Nishide, Sendai District Meteorological Observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency, 1-3-5 Gorin, Miyagino-ku, Sendai 983 Japan; Volcano Research Center, University of Tokyo, Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Tatsunori Soya, Volcanology Section, Environmental Geology Department, Geological Survey of Japan, 1-1-3, Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305 Japan; Tsukasa Ohba and Toshiaki Hasenaka, Institute of Mineralogy, Petrology, and Economic Geology, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University, Miyagi, Sendai 980-77, Japan.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Akita-Yakeyama.

Bulletin Reports - Index

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

05/1997 (BGVN 22:05) Landslide, explosion, mud- and debris-flows, and tephra

10/1997 (BGVN 22:10) Phreatic explosion on 16 August




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


May 1997 (BGVN 22:05) Citation IconCite this Report

Landslide, explosion, mud- and debris-flows, and tephra

On 11 May, rapid movement of an older landslide was followed by a steam explosion that triggered mud flows and a small tephra emission. The event occurred at Sumikawa-Onsen (a hot spring resort) at the foot of Akita-Yakeyama, ~4 km NE of the summit. The following is based on a report by Shintaro Hayashi.

Although the landslide began moving a few days before 11 May, the sliding accelerated 20 minutes before the explosion. A field party saw the fast-moving landslide and took refuge prior to 0800 on 11 May. The explosion was witnessed at 0800 by a pilot flying over the area; he saw a water-and-steam column rising like a geyser, followed within seconds by black smoke emissions.

The explosion, heard as far as 1.4 km away, triggered a mudflow along the Akagawa River and eventually developed into a debris flow downstream. The field party noticed a thin coat of ash covering the mudflow deposits; they concluded that the tephra had issued from the explosion site.

Hayashi suggested that the explosion was triggered by sudden depressurization of a hot water reservoir under the hot spring due to removal of the overlying debris. The depressurization led to sudden boiling, generating sufficient steam pressure to explode. The volume of erupted material was estimated to be between 1,000 and 10,000 m3.

According to Hiroyuri Hamaguchi the precursory vibration and tremor were recorded by a short-period seismometer 1 km NNE of the hot spring. The landslide was as large as 500 m wide, 150 m long, and 500 m deep. After 2000 on 10 May, tremors of increasing amplitude built up. They declined by midnight and then returned at 0400 on 11 May. A maximum amplitude was reached at 0732, followed by a hiatus during 0753-0757. Short- and long-period events took place at 0757 and 0758, respectively.

Hayakawa reported that two hotels at the foot of Akita Yakeyama were completely destroyed by the landslide and lahar; however, there were no casualties because the staff and guests had evacuated. Air photos taken on 12 May by Asia Air Survey Co. can be seen on the internet.

Information Contacts: Shintaro Hayashi, Faculty of Education, Akita University, 1-1 Tegata-Gakuen-Cho, Akita 010, Japan; Hiroyuki Hamaguchi, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-77, Japan; Yukio Hayakawa, Faculty of Education, Gunma University, 4-2 Aramaki-machi, Mae-bashi-chi, Gunma 371, Japan (URL: http://www.hayakawayukio.jp/); Tatsuro Chiba, Dept of Disaster Prevention, Asia Air Survey Co., 4-2-18 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160, Japan (URL: http://www.ajiko.co.jp/en/).


October 1997 (BGVN 22:10) Citation IconCite this Report

Phreatic explosion on 16 August

According to a Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) volcanic advisory issued in the evening of 16 August, a tourist reported a small-scale phreatic explosion at the Karanuma ("Empty Pond") crater near the summit. The explosion occurred at about noon on 16 August. Seismometers at the volcano recorded volcanic tremors during 1053-1204; high numbers of volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the days following the explosion (table 1). JMA estimated that the epicenters were just below the summit.

Table 1. Seismic activity at Akita-Yake-yama during 16-25 August 1997. Reported on the Volcano Research Center's Current Eruptions in Japan website from JMA reports for 22 and 25 August.

Date Volcanic earthquakes Tremors
16 Aug 1997 62 2
17 Aug 1997 81 1
18 Aug 1997 71 0
19 Aug 1997 448 1
20 Aug 1997 226 0
21 Aug 1997 27 0
22 Aug 1997 14 0
23 Aug 1997 18 0
24 Aug 1997 14 0
25 Aug 1997 10 0 (by 1500)

A 17 August JMA report detailed the discovery of a new crater 20 m in diameter on the SE rim of Karanuma Crater. Eruptive material including fragments up to 20 cm in diameter were found around the new crater, and volcanic ash "pastes" had been sprayed ~300 m to the S. The report noted that the new crater no longer emitted an eruption cloud on 17 August.

T. Oba and T. Hasenaka, geologists at Tohoku University, conducted a field inspection on 17 August. They reported that the new crater was quiet, and that it had a depth of ~30 m. Fragments up to 30 cm across had been thrown ~25 m away from the crater, but no juvenile materials were included. Ash deposits on the ridge 20-30 m S of the new crater were 4-5 mm thick. The scientists suggested that the 16 August eruption may have created a "new" crater within an old crater formed in 1949, because the volume of recently erupted material was too small to account for the total volume of the crater.

Shintaro Hayashi, a geologist at Akita University, conducted a field inspection on 18 August; he estimated the volume of fallout from the new crater to be ~1,000 m3. He also reported that a mud flow was generated just before the 16 August explosion issued from small depressions just below the new crater (figure 1). The mud was deposited around the depressions, having flowed part of the way down to the crater floor. The total volume of the mud-flow deposit was estimated at ~20,000 m3.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Map of Akita-Yake-yama showing recent craters. Craters A1-A3 were formed in 1949; craters A, B1, and B2 were formed in 1997. Heavy lines indicate ash isopachs; dots indicate ash sampling sites. Courtesy of Shintaro Hayashi, Akita University.

On 20-21 August, new seismometers were installed near the summit and N slope of the volcano; also installed were a microphone on the W foot and cameras (color, high resolution monochromatic, and infrared) on the E foot. Signals are telemetered to Sendai and Akita.

On 22 August, Tatsunori Soya, of the Geological Survey of Japan, drew attention to a document written by the late Prof. H. Tsuya. The document, which appeared in the Tamagawa Hot Spring Study Group's 10th Anniversary Report (1954), describes explosions in 1949, 1950, and 1951 at Akita-Yake-yama; the last two were not officially documented. According to the report, large explosion craters (C1-C4), including the Karanuma crater (C1), existed before the 1949 eruption. Eruptions in 1949 occurred on the E margin of the Karanuma crater, resulting in the formation of craters designated A1, A2, and A3. Although no one in the hot springs area 3 km E of the summit reported hearing an explosion or feeling earthquakes, the eruption products were ~1 m thick along the rim of the A1 crater and contained old lava blocks up to 1 m across. Another explosion occurred at the A1 crater in February 1951; as a result, A1 crater widened to become as much as 50 m across. In terms of volume, the 1951 explosion was smaller than the 1949 eruption. S. Hayashi proposed that the present explosion occurred in A2-A1, and mud spouted out from the A3 crater (figure 1).

Information Contacts: Shintaro Hayashi, Faculty of Education, Akita University, 1-1 Tegata-Gakuen-Cho, Akita 010, Japan; Noritake Nishide, Sendai District Meteorological Observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency, 1-3-5 Gorin, Miyagino-ku, Sendai 983 Japan; Volcano Research Center, University of Tokyo, Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Tatsunori Soya, Volcanology Section, Environmental Geology Department, Geological Survey of Japan, 1-1-3, Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305 Japan; Tsukasa Ohba and Toshiaki Hasenaka, Institute of Mineralogy, Petrology, and Economic Geology, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University, Miyagi, Sendai 980-77, Japan.

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.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 17 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1997 Aug 16 1997 Aug 16 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1997 May 11 1997 May 11 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations NE flank (Sumikawa-Onsen)
1957 Jul 2 ± 182 days Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1951 Feb 16 ± 15 days Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1950 Jul 2 ± 182 days Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1949 Aug 30 1949 Sep 1 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1948 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1929 Sep Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1890 Sep 23 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1887 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Karenuma
1867 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
1678 Feb 22 (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Karenuma
1390 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
[ 0807 Nov 1 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
0570 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Ay-2 tephra
1250 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
3050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Thermoluminescence Onigajo lava dome
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Akita-Yakeyama.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Akita-Yakeyama.

Photo Gallery

Snow-capped Akita-Yake-yama is seen in an aerial view from the east. It is one of several Japanese volcanoes named Yake-yama ("Burning Mountain"). Yake-yama contains a small lava dome in its 600-m-wide summit crater. The flat-topped parasitic lava dome of Kuroshimori (left) lies 4 km south of Yake-dake. Several thermal areas are located at the western foot of the volcano, including Tamagawa Spa, noted for its strongly radioactive waters.

Copyrighted photo by Hiroshi Yagi (Japanese Quaternary Volcanoes database, RIODB, http://riodb02.ibase.aist.go.jp/strata/VOL_JP/EN/index.htm and Geol Surv Japan, AIST, http://www.gsj.jp/).
See title for photo information.
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.

Title: Computer Generated Geologic Map of Japan
Publisher: Geological Survey of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1990
Series: No 22
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:2,000,000
Map of Computer Generated Geologic Map of Japan
Title: China, Japan, Soviet Union
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Japan, USSR, China
Year: 1988
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of China, Japan, Soviet Union
Title: Japan, South Korea
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Japan, S Korea
Year: 1988
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Japan, South Korea
Title: Japan, Soviet Union
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Japan, USSR
Year: 1987
Series: TPC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Japan, Soviet Union
Title: (A) Q Maps of Japan Landforms, Geol, Tect: NEast
Publisher: Univ of Tokyo Press & Japan Association for Quaternary Research
Country: Japan
Year: 1987
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of (A) Q Maps of Japan Landforms, Geol, Tect: NEast
Title: Japan
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Japan
Year: 1985
Series: TPC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Japan
Title: Geol Map of Sengan Geothermal Area
Publisher: Geol Survey of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1985
Series: USGS-MM
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:100,000
Map of Geol Map of Sengan Geothermal Area
Title: Tayama
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1985
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Tayama
Title: Historical Japan
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Country: Japan
Year: 1984
Series: National Geographic
Map Type: Geographic
Scale: 1:2,982,000
Map of Historical Japan
Publisher: Soviet Ministry
Country: USSR
Year: 1984
Series: B1754
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:2,500,000
Map of
Title: Geol Map of Japan/ Geol Atlas
Publisher: Geol Survey of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1982
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Geol Map of Japan/ Geol Atlas
Title: Araya
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1981
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Araya
Title: North Japan
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1980
Series: CIM 1:1 mil
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of North Japan
Title: North Japan
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1980
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of North Japan
Title: North Japan
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1980
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of North Japan
Title: Geological Map of Japan
Publisher: Geological Survey of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1978
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Geological Map of Japan
Title: Geological Map of Japan
Publisher: Geological Survey of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1978
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Geological Map of Japan
Title: Numakuni
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1978
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Numakuni
Title: Hachimantai
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1975
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Hachimantai
Title: Distribution Map of Hot Springs in Japan
Publisher: Geological Survey of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1975
Series: 1:2,000,000
Map Type: Unknown
Scale: 1:2,000,000
Map of Distribution Map of Hot Springs in Japan
Title: (Japanese) Geol map of Japan
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1974
Series: from Natl Atlas Japan
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:2,500,000
Map of (Japanese) Geol map of Japan
Title: Landform Classification
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1972
Series: from Natl Atlas Japan
Map Type: Unknown (Land)
Scale: 1:2,500,000
Map of Landform Classification
Title: Land Use
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1972
Series: from Natl Atlas Japan
Map Type: Unknown (Land)
Scale: 1:2,500,000
Map of Land Use
Title: Population Distribution
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1972
Series: from Natl Atlas Japan
Map Type: Unknown
Scale: 1:2,500,000
Map of Population Distribution
Title: River Systems
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1972
Series: from Natl Atlas Japan
Map Type: Unknown
Scale: 1:2,500,000
Map of River Systems
Title: North Japan
Publisher: Geographical Survey Institute of Japan
Country: Japan
Year: 1966
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of North Japan
Title: Aomori
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1955
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Aomori
Title: Hachinohe
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1955
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Hachinohe
Title: Akita
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1954
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Akita
Title: Moroika
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1954
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Moroika
Title: Hachiman-Tai
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1944
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Hachiman-Tai
Title: Numakunai
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1944
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Numakunai
Title: Araya
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1944
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Araya
Title: Sendai
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1943
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Sendai
Title: Hakodate
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Japan
Year: 1943
Series: AMS
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Hakodate
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Akita-Yakeyama in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites