Aso volcano

Updated: Jul 6, 2022 18:48 GMT - Refresh
caldera 1592 m / 5,223 ft
central Kyushu, Japan, 32.88°N / 131.11°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Last update: 20 Apr 2022 (Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report)
The huge Aso caldera seen from space: 25 by 18 km in size, it was created by at least 4 huge eruptions between 270 to 90 thousand years ago (image: NASA Earth Observatory)
The huge Aso caldera seen from space: 25 by 18 km in size, it was created by at least 4 huge eruptions between 270 to 90 thousand years ago (image: NASA Earth Observatory)

Aso (or Asosan) volcano in central Kyushu Island in southwestern Japan is one of the world's most active volcanoes. In recent years, it has been the site of frequent ash eruptions.
Aso is no single edifice, but a complex of active vents in the center of a large 24 km wide caldera.

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Typical eruption style: explosive
Aso volcano eruptions: 2021, 2019-2020, 2016, 2014-15, 2011 (May), 2005, 2004, 2003, 1994-95, 1992-93, 1989-91, 1988, 1984-85, 1983, 1981, 1980, 1979-80, 1977-78, 1975-76, 1973-75, 1970-72, 1967-69, 1964-66, 1964, 1963-64, 1963, 1960-62, 1960, 1959, 1957-58, 1957, 1956, 1955, 1954, 1953, 1952(?), 1951, 1950-51, 1949, 1948, 1947, 1946, 1945, 1943-44, 1943, 1942(?), 1940-41, 1938-39, 1937, 1936, 1935, 1934, 1932-33, 1931(?), 1930, 1928-29, 1926-28, 1925, 1923, 1920, 1919, 1918, 1916, 1914, 1911-12, 1910, 1909, 1908, 1907, 1906, 1898-99, 1897, 1894, 1884, 1874, 1872-73, 1856, 1854, 1838, 1837, 1835, 1830-32, 1830, 1829, 1828, 1827-28, 1827, 1826, 1816, 1815, 1814, 1806, 1804, 1781-88, 1772-80, 1765, 1753(?)-54, 1709, 1708(?), 1691, 1683, 1675, 1671, 1668-69, 1668, 1649, 1637, 1631, 1620, 1613, 1612, 1611, 1598-99, 1592, 1587, 1584, 1583, 1582, 1576, 1564, 1563(?), 1562, 1558-59, 1542, 1533, 1522, 1506, 1505, 1485, 1473-74, 1438, 1434, 1390(?) 1388(?), 1387, 1377, 1376, 1375-76, 1369, 1346, 1343, 1340, 1335, 1331-33, 1331, 1324, 1305, 1286, 1281, 1274, 1273, 1272, 1272, 1271, 1269, 1265, 1240, 1239, 1229, 986(?), 867, 864, 796(?), 553
Lastest nearby earthquakes: No recent earthquakes

Background

The 24-km-wide Aso 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 cu km of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Naka-dake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 AD. The Naka-dake 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 AD. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Naka-dake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations.
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Source: GVP Aso volcano information

Aso Photos

Alaid stratovolcano, Atlasof Island, Northern Kuriles (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Alaid stratovolcano, Atlasof Island, Northern Kuriles (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ancient inscriptions at the wall of the Paliocastro that say: Keep a distance with building because of safety and defense reasons. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Ancient inscriptions at the wall of the Paliocastro that say: Keep a distance with building because of safety and defense reasons. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Alaid volcano on Atlasov Island (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Alaid volcano on Atlasov Island (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The Malia Vgethi volcano and the western cape of Methana (Krasopanagia). (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
The Malia Vgethi volcano and the western cape of Methana (Krasopanagia). (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
 


1997 fatalities
2 tourists were killed by volcanic gas 100 m south of the rim of Crater 1 on 23 November 1997. Since 1980, more than 70 people have been injured by volcanic gases at Aso and have been hospitalized.

1979 fatalities
3 people were killed and 11 injured by ballistic blocks ejected by an explosion that occurred at about 1pm local time on 6 September 1979.

See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
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