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Usu volcano

stratovolcano 737 m / 2,418 ft
Hokkaido, Japan, 42.54°N / 140.84°E
Current status: dormant (1 out of 5)
Usu volcano books
Typical eruption style: explosive
Usu volcano eruptions: 2000-01, 1977-82, 1944-45, 1910, 1853, 1822, 1769, 1663, 1638, 1626, 1611 (?)No recent earthquakes
TimeMag. / DepthDistanceLocation
Mt Usu (有珠山) volcano is Hokkaido is one of Japan's most well-known volcanoes. The summit of Usu consists of several lava domes that formed in historic time.
The last eruption was in March 2000 - September 2001, when Usu erupted for the first time in 22 years and forced the evacuation of 13,000 residents.

Background:

from Smithsonian / GVP volcano information:
Usu is a small stratovolcano located astride the southern topographic rim of the 110,000-year-old Toya caldera. The center of the 10-km-wide, lake-filled caldera contains Naka-jima, a group of forested andesitic lava domes. The summit of the basaltic-to-andesitic edifice of Usu is cut by a somma formed about 7-8,000 years ago when collapse of the volcano produced a debris avalanche that reached the sea. Dacitic domes erupted along two NW-SE-trending lines fill and flank the summit caldera. Three of these domes, O-Usu, Ko-Usu and Showa-Shinzan, along with seven crypto-domes, were erupted during historical time. The 1663 eruption of Usu was one of the largest in Hokkaido during historical time. The war-time growth of Showa-Shinzan from 1943-45 was painstakingly documented by the local postmaster, who created the first detailed record of growth of a lava dome.

Usu Photos:



2000-01 eruption
The 2000 eruption of Usu volcano was the first in 22 years and followed several days of increased seismicity and ground deformation.
A first new vent opened in the West-Nishiyama area on 31 March 2000, followed by activity in the Kompira area on 1 April. Eruptive activity lasted for more than a year and gradually declined until September 2001. The eruptions were phreatic and phreato-magmatic, and caused small pyroclastic flows.
A large area of Usu volcano deformed during the eruption by uplift of up to 60 m vertical displacement and involving a volume of ca. 40 million m3.

1663 Plinian eruption
In 1663 Usu had a Plinian eruption (VEI5), one of the largest eruptions on Hokkaido during historical times. It caused wide-spread damage and fatalities.

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