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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 42.491°N
  • 141.16°E

  • 549 m
    1801 ft

  • 285034
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Kuttara.

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

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

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1820 CE

549 m / 1801 ft


Volcano Types

Lava dome
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

The Kuttara volcanic group consists of a series of small stratovolcanoes, lava domes, pyroclastic cones, and a caldera near the Pacific coast SE of Toya caldera and SW of Shikotsu caldera. The Kuttara group was constructed during five major eruptive stages, the first of which occurred more than 60,000 years ago. A major dacitic pumice eruption at the end of the 4th stage about 40,000 years ago resulted in the formation of the 3-km-diameter Kuttara caldera. The caldera cut a basaltic-to-andesitic stratovolcano complex, which late in its activity produced two major andesitic lava flows on its north side at Kita-yama. Explosions, probably in early Holocene time, formed two large craters on the west flank of the caldera, and a dacitic lava dome was emplaced about 10,000 years ago. Late-stage phreatic explosion products from Jigoku-dani, a 300-400 m wide crater south of the lava dome, overlie the 1663 tephra from Usu volcano. Jigoku-dani and Noboribetsu Spa are the sites of intense thermal activity, including fumaroles, hot springs, and geysers.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Japan Meteorological Agency, 1996. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (second edition). Tokyo: Japan Meteorological Agency, 502 p (in Japanese).

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

Katsui Y (ed), 1971. List of the World Active Volcanoes. Volc Soc Japan draft ms, (limited circulation), 160 p.

Katsui Y, Yokoyama I, Murozumi M, 1981b. Noboribetsu Spa. In: Katsui Y (ed) {Symp Arc Volc Field Excur Guide to Usu and Tarumai Volcanoes and Noboribetsu Spa, Part 3}, Tokyo: Volc Soc Japan, p 55-64.

Moriizumi M, 1998. The growth history of the Kuttara volcanic group, Hokkaido, Japan. Bull Volc Soc Japan (Kazan), 43: 95-111 (in Japanese with English abs).

Nakano S, Yamamoto T, Iwaya T, Itoh J, Takada A, 2001-. Quaternary Volcanoes of Japan. Geol Surv Japan, AIST, http://www.aist.go.jp/RIODB/strata/VOL_JP/.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1820 ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed 1 Tephrochronology West flank (Jigoku-dani)
0200 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
8050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Hiyori-yama lava dome

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
Jigoku-dani Pyroclastic cone
Shihorei Pyroclastic cone
Takeura Stratovolcano


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Hiroyiyama-Oyunuma-Urajigoku Fissure vent
Kuttara Caldera
Kuttara Caldera
Tachibana Crater
Urajigoku Crater


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude

Photo Gallery

Steam rises from the Jigoku-dani thermal area of Kuttara volcano, which contains active fumaroles, hot springs, hot pools, and mud pots. High-rise hotels have been constructed at the Noboribetsu Spa on the western flank of Kuttara.

Photo by Tom Simkin, 1981 (Smithsonian Institution).
Hiyori-yama lava dome (left) is a dacitic dome that was extruded during late stages of the eruption that produced the O-Yunuma explosion crater in the foreground. The 372-m-high dome is mantled by a thin layer of older sediments and breccias that were striated and baked during uplift of the dome. O-Yunuma explosion crater is 300-400 m wide and is filled with hot water.

Photo by Tom Simkin, 1981 (Smithsonian Institution).
Large areas of hydrothermally altered ground occur at the Jigoku-dani ("Valley of Hell") thermal area of Kuttara volcano. Jigoku-dani is a 300-500 m explosion crater that was formed on the west flank of Kuttara volcano. The major tourist resort of Noboribetsu Spa is located nearby.

Photo by Tom Simkin, 1981 (Smithsonian Institution).
Lake Kuttara fills the 3-km-wide Kuttara caldera, which was formed during major late-Pleistocene explosive eruptions. Pumice-rich pyroclastic-flow deposits from this eruption blanket a wide area around the volcano. Post-caldera volcanism has constructed a group of explosion craters and a lava dome on the western flank of the caldera. The latest eruption consisted of a phreatic explosion from one of the west-flank craters that postdates the 1663 eruption of nearby Usu volcano.

Photo by Mihoko Moriizumi, 1995 (Hokkaido University).
Kuttara volcano, seen here from Shiraoi town, is a low, 581-m-high stratovolcano that is truncated by a 3-km-wide caldera. The caldera formed during the late Pleistocene, but minor explosions occurred from a crater in a west-flank thermal area as recently as about 200 years ago.

Photo by Mihoko Moriizumi, 1995 (Hokkaido University).
Kuttara volcano, seen here in an aerial view from the west, consists of a 3-km-wide, lake-filled caldera near the Pacific coast of Hokkaido. Post-caldera eruptions have produced a series of explosion craters on the west flank. Thermal activity associated with these craters has produced large areas of hydrothermally altered ground seen at the bottom of the photo. The resort town of Noboribetsu Spa is visible at the lower center.

Photo by Yoshio Katsui, 1996 (Hokkaido University).
Volcanoes and calderas fill much of this NASA Shuttle Radar Tomography (SRTM) image of southern Hokkaido with north to the upper left. Usu volcano (bottom center) lies south of Toya caldera. The smaller caldera to the right along the Pacific Ocean is Kuttara. Tarumai and Eniwa volcanoes lie on the estern and western sides, respectively, of Shikotsu caldera (upper right). The conical white peak at left-center is Yotei volcano; Niseko volcano is along the ridge to its left. The city of Sapporo lies at the base of the mountains (top-center).

NASA Shuttle Radar Tomography Mission image, 2000 (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 4 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 112876 Hornblende dacite
NMNH 112876 Hornblende dacite
NMNH 112877 Andesite
NMNH 112877 Andesite

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Kuttara 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).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.