Kunlun Volcanic Group

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 35.52°N
  • 80.2°E

  • 5808 m
    19050 ft

  • 304030
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Kunlun Volcanic Group.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Kunlun Volcanic Group.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Kunlun Volcanic Group.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1951 CE

5808 m / 19050 ft


Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Trachyte / Trachyandesite

Tectonic Setting

Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

The Kunlun volcano group in NW Tibet contains 70 well-preserved pyroclastic cones. The trachyandesitic Ashikule volcano group at the western end of the Kunlun Mountains is the site of at least 10 volcanoes of Pliocene-to-Holocene age, including Ashi Shan volcano, the youngest in China. This and several other young cones lie in the area around Ashi (Aqqikkol) and Wuluke (Ulugkol) lakes. China's most recent volcanic eruption was observed by a road-building crew on May 27, 1951, at Ashi Shan (also known as Ka-er-daxi or Vulkan) pyroclastic cone. The eruption began with a loud detonation and ejected large blocks, emitting "smoke" for a number of days. An unconfirmed eruption was reported in the 19th century.


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

Chen S (ed), 1986. Atlas of Geo-Science, Analysis of Landsat Imagery in China. Beijing: Chinese Acad Sci Press, 228 p.

Gushchenko I I, 1979. Eruptions of Volcanoes of the World: A Catalog. Moscow: Nauka Pub, Acad Sci USSR Far Eastern Sci Center, 474 p (in Russian).

Liu J, 1986. (pers. comm.).

Liu J, Maimaiti Y, 1989. Distribution and ages of Ashikule volcanoes on the West Kunlun Mountains, West China. Bull Glacier Res, 7: 187-190.

Liu J, Taniguchi H, 2001. Active volcanoes in China. Tohoku Asian Studies, 6: 173-189.

Tong W, Mu Z, Liu S, Zhang M, 1988. Late Cenozoic volcanoes and active geothermal systems in China. Proc Kagoshima Internatl Conf Volc, p 847-850.

Vlodavetz V I, Piip B I, 1959. Kamchatka and Continental Areas of Asia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 8: 1-110.

Wei H, Sparks R S J, Liu R, Fan Q, Wang Y, Hong H, Zhang H, Chen H, Jiang C, Dong J, Zheng Y, Pan Y, 2003. Three active volcanoes in China and their hazards. J Asian Earth Sci, 21: 515-526.

Whitford-Stark J L, 1987. (pers. comm.).

Whitford-Stark J L, 1987. A survey of Cenozoic volcanism on mainland Asia. Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap, 213: 1-74.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1951 May 27 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Ashi Shan
[ 1850 ± 50 years ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    

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
Ashi Shan
Pyroclastic cone 4868 m 35° 46' 0" N 81° 35' 0" E
Beihuokou Pyroclastic cone
Dahei Shan Pyroclastic cone 5102 m
Dahei Shan Pyroclastic cone 5104 m
Dong Shan Pyroclastic cone 4652 m
Donghuokou Pyroclastic cone
Dujianshan Pyroclastic cone
Heilong Shan Pyroclastic cone 4842 m
Heishibeihu Pyroclastic cone
Huangyangling Pyroclastic cone
Liuhuangdaban Pyroclastic cone
Maoniu Shan Pyroclastic cone
Migong Shan Pyroclastic cone
Migong Shan Pyroclastic cone
Quanshuigou Pyroclastic cone
Shenglidaban Pyroclastic cone
Wuluke Shan Pyroclastic cone 4820 m
Xihuokou Pyroclastic cone
Yi Shan Pyroclastic cone
Yueya Shan Pyroclastic cone

Photo Gallery

The Kunlun volcano group in NW Tibet contains 70 well-preserved pyroclastic cones, many of which are located near Ashi (left-center) and Wuluke (bottom-center) lakes. The northern cone (top right-center) is the largest in the volcanic field and has many satellitic craters on its SE side. China's most recent volcanic eruption was observed by a road-building crew on May 27, 1951, at Ashi Shan, the cone located between the two lakes in this NASA Landsat image (with north to the top).

NASA Landsat7 image (worldwind.arc.nasa.gov)

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Kunlun Volcanic Group 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.