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Report on Asosan (Japan) — January 1993


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 18, no. 1 (January 1993)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Asosan (Japan) Block ejection and steam emission; seismicity remains high

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1993. Report on Asosan (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 18:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199301-282110



32.8849°N, 131.085°E; summit elev. 1592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Field reports confirmed that by 1 January the lake in Crater 1 had dried up. Steam was steadily emitted to ~500 m, with the plume containing ash 13-14 and 17-29 January. A small eruption occurred in the crater on 21 and 22 January, ejecting many scoria blocks to 10-50 m heights from Vent 922. This was the first eruption since 26 October and the first scoria eruption since June 1992. . . . Ejecta fell within the crater, which is 400 m across and 150 m deep. The steam plume, containing ash, rose 1,000 m on the 21st and 1,500 m the 22nd. Seismicity has been relatively high since mid-December, but no significant change was detected before or after the eruption.

Activity continued at the same levels through early February, with steam emission to a few hundred meters, occasionally containing ash.

Geological Summary. The 24-km-wide Asosan caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. The last of these, the Aso-4 eruption, produced more than 600 km3 of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Nakadake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 CE. The Nakadake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 CE. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Nakadake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations.

Information Contacts: JMA.