Ushishur

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 47.52°N
  • 152.8°E

  • 401 m
    1315 ft

  • 290210
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Bulletin Report: March 1989 (SEAN 14:03) Citation IconCite this Report


Highly active fumaroles in the S part of the caldera

Two groups of highly active fumaroles were observed in the S part of the caldera during a 14 January aerial inspection. In autumn 1988, land observations showed solfataric activity, pressurized gas emission, and sulfur deposits within a 170 x 50 m area. Gas temperatures were 100-104°C.

Information Contacts: G. Steinberg, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

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

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.

12/1981 (SEAN 06:12) Weak gas release from S part of caldera

04/1987 (SEAN 12:04) Fumarolic activity

03/1989 (SEAN 14:03) Highly active fumaroles in the S part of the caldera




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


December 1981 (SEAN 06:12) Citation IconCite this Report


Weak gas release from S part of caldera

Weak gas release was occurring inside the S part of the caldera [during the 20 September overflight].

Information Contacts: G. Steinberg, Sakhalin Complex Institute.


April 1987 (SEAN 12:04) Citation IconCite this Report


Fumarolic activity

Moderate fumarolic activity was noted in the crater and on the W outer slope during 11 and 31 aerial October observations.

Information Contacts: G. Steinberg and B. Piskunov, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.


March 1989 (SEAN 14:03) Citation IconCite this Report


Highly active fumaroles in the S part of the caldera

Two groups of highly active fumaroles were observed in the S part of the caldera during a 14 January aerial inspection. In autumn 1988, land observations showed solfataric activity, pressurized gas emission, and sulfur deposits within a 170 x 50 m area. Gas temperatures were 100-104°C.

Information Contacts: G. Steinberg, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1884 Jul Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations SE caldera wall
1769 (after) Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations Center of caldera bay
1710 ± 10 years Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations SE caldera wall
7450 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

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.

Photo Gallery


A small but spectacular caldera truncates the summit of Ushishur volcano. The 1.6-km-wide caldera formed about 9400 years ago and is narrowly breached on the south, allowing sea water to fill the caldera. Four lava domes (three of which are visible here) were constructed within the caldera. Two younger domes, erupted after the 1769 visit of Captain Snow, form islands in the bay. A cluster of strong fumaroles and hot springs along the SE caldera shoreline was a sacred place to 18th- and 19th-century Kurile Ainu peoples.

Photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, 2000 (Hokkaido University).
See title for photo information.
Carbon beneath pumice-fall deposits associated with formation of the small 1.6-km-wide Ushishur caldera were radiocarbon dated at about 9400 years ago. The highest part of the caldera rim (upper right) rises to about 400 m above sea level on the NW side of the shallow caldera bay. The small island at the left was formed during historical time.

Photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, 2000 (Hokkaido University).
See title for photo information.
The two islands in the center of the caldera bay of Ushishur volcano are lava domes that were emplaced sometime after the 1769 visit of Captain Chernyi. The two domes rise less than 100 m above the shallow caldera floor (measured at 58 m depth by Caption Snow). The closest island is 200 x 300 m wide and 32 m high; the smaller one to its left is 100 x 200 wide and 12 m high. The sharp-topped peak at the end of the spit at the left is one of two older lava domes.

Photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, 2000 (Hokkaido University).
See title for photo information.
A phreatic explosion from the fumarolic area at the lower left took place in July 1884. This fumarolic area at the foot of the SE caldera wall contains hot springs that were a sacred place to 18th-19th century Ainu. The caldera rim of Ushishur volcano is breached on the south side by a 300-m-wide gap, which allows sea water to flood the caldera floor. The sharp peak at the left center is one of two older lava domes connected by a grass-mantled sand bar to the SE caldera wall. Ketoi Island (right) is visible in the distance to the SW.

Photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, 2000 (Hokkaido University).
See title for photo information.
The small, but spectacular caldera of Ushishur volcano is breached on its southern side. The 1.6-km-wide caldera was formed during an eruption about 9400 years ago. Two post-caldera lava domes, erupted sometime after the 1769 visit of Captain Snow, form islands in the caldera bay. Two older domes in front of the islands are joined by a sand bar to the SE caldera wall. A northern island (top) to the north consists of a portion of the volcano's flanks.

Photo by R. Bulgakov, 1990 (Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Yuzhno-Sakhalin).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


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

Affiliated Sites