Report on Asamayama (Japan) — 24 March-30 March 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
24 March-30 March 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Asamayama (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 March-30 March 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
36.406°N, 138.523°E; summit elev. 2568 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 23 March JMA raised the Alert Level for Asamayama to 2 (on a scale of 1-5), noting slight inflation on the W side of the volcano since 15 March and an increase in the number of daily volcanic earthquakes that have occurred since 20 March (36 recorded on 20 March and increasing to 77 events by 1500 on 23 March). After 23 March the number of daily volcanic earthquakes began to fluctuate, decreasing to 15 on 28 March and then 23 by 1500 on 29 March. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 800 tons per day (t/d) on 22 March, 400 t/d on 24 March, and 700 t/d on 25 March, compared to the previous measurement of 200 t/d on 25 February.
Geological Summary. Asamayama, Honshu's most active volcano, overlooks the resort town of Karuizawa, 140 km NW of Tokyo. The volcano is located at the junction of the Izu-Marianas and NE Japan volcanic arcs. The modern Maekake cone forms the summit and is situated east of the horseshoe-shaped remnant of an older andesitic volcano, Kurofuyama, which was destroyed by a late-Pleistocene landslide about 20,000 years before present (BP). Growth of a dacitic shield volcano was accompanied by pumiceous pyroclastic flows, the largest of which occurred about 14,000-11,000 BP, and by growth of the Ko-Asama-yama lava dome on the east flank. Maekake, capped by the Kamayama pyroclastic cone that forms the present summit, is probably only a few thousand years old and has an historical record dating back at least to the 11th century CE. Maekake has had several major plinian eruptions, the last two of which occurred in 1108 (Asamayama's largest Holocene eruption) and 1783 CE.