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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 43.608°N
  • 144.443°E

  • 574 m
    1883 ft

  • 285080
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Kussharo.

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

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

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1320 CE

574 m / 1883 ft


Volcano Types

Lava dome(s)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

The 20 x 26 km Kussharo caldera (also spelled Kutcharo or Kuccharo), is the largest of a cluster of calderas in NE Hokkaido. The caldera was formed in a series of major eruptions between about 340,000 and 30,000 years ago. Nakajima, a Holocene post-caldera dacitic-to-rhyolitic lava-dome complex, forms an island in the large lake that fills much of the western half of the caldera. The Holocene Atosanupuri stratovolcano and lava-dome complex is located near the center of the caldera, east of the crescent-shaped Lake Kutcharo. Many lava domes were formed between about 1000-10,000 years ago. No historical eruptions are known, although intense fumarolic activity occurs on and around Atosanupuri volcano and along the shores of Lake Kutcharo.


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

Hayakawa Y, 1994. A catalog of the volcanic eruptions during the last 2000 years in Japan. Sci Rpt Fac Education Gumma Univ, (in Japanese with English abs).

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

Japan Association Quaternary Research, 1987. Quaternary Maps of Japan: Landforms, Geology, and Tectonics. Tokyo: Univ Tokyo Press.

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.

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, http://riodb02.ibase.aist.go.jp/db099/eruption/index.html.

Kuno H, 1962. Japan, Taiwan and Marianas. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 11: 1-332.

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
1320 ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Atosanupuri, At-a tephra
0700 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Atosanupuri
0450 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Atosanupuri, At-b tephra
1550 BCE ± 2000 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Atosanupuri
3550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Atosanupuri
5800 BCE ± 2250 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Atosanupuri

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
Ko-Atosanupuri Stratovolcano 400 m


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Atosanupuri Caldera
Pleistocene caldera


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Dome 508 m 43° 36' 37" N 144° 26' 19" E
Dome 574 m 43° 36' 54" N 144° 25' 38" E
Dome 274 m
Dome 355 m 43° 38' 0" N 144° 19' 0" E
Dome 195 m
Dome 230 m
Dome 504 m
Dome 397 m
Dome 520 m
Dome 370 m
Wakoto-Oyakotu Dome 216 m

Photo Gallery

The 20 x 26 km Kutcharo caldera, seen here from its west rim, is the largest of a cluster of calderas in NE Hokkaido. It formed around 30,000 years ago. Naka-jima, a Holocene post-caldera lava-dome complex, forms the large island at the left in Lake Kutcharo, which fills much of the western half of the caldera. The Atosanupuri stratovolcano and lava dome complex is located near the center of the caldera, east of the crescent-shaped Lake Kutcharo. Atosanupuri erupted about 1000 years ago, and remains fumarolically active.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1977 (Smithsonian Institution).
A cluster of lava domes is located in the center of Kutcharo caldera, partially filled by Lake Kutcharo (upper right). Light-colored areas of hydrothermal alteration cover the slopes of Atosanupuri (left), seen here from the east with the rounded Sawanchisappu lava dome to its right. The far western wall of the 20 x 26 km Kutcharo caldera lies in the clouds at the far end of the lake.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1977 (Smithsonian Institution).
Atosanupuri lava dome, its hydrothermally altered flanks only sparsely vegetated, was emplaced about 1000 years ago. This marks the latest known eruption of Kutcharo volcano. The 900-m-wide dome was constructed within a 1-km-wide explosion crater. Atosanupuri is one of a cluster of lava domes that occupy the eastern side of Kutcharo caldera.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1977 (Smithsonian Institution).
Intense fumarolic activity occurs on the margins of Atosanupuri lava dome and along fissures cutting the dome. Constant high-temperature emisson of steam and gas has extensively altered rocks on the dome. Areas of sulfur deposition such as this are common and have been mined since 1887.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1977 (Smithsonian Institution).
Souvenir vendors at Atosanupuri volcano take advantage of intense fumarolic activity to cook baskets of hard-boiled eggs for visiting tourists. Atosanupuri is the youngest of a group of lava domes on the east side of Kutcharo caldera. Its last known eruption occurred about 1000 years ago, but fumarolic areas abound on the margins of the dome and on radial fissures cutting it.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1977 (Smithsonian Institution).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

A listing of samples from the Smithsonian collections will be available soon.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Kussharo 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.