Wudalianchi volcano

Updated: Aug 18, 2022 21:17 GMT - Refresh
volcanic field 597 m / 1,959 ft
Heilongjiang Province, NE China, 48.72°N / 126.12°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)

Wudalianchi volcano is one of the youngest volcanic fields on the mainland of Asia. It covers an area of about 500 sq km located at the junction between Xiaohinggan Mountains and Song-Nen depression in NE China. The last eruption was in 1719-1721 and erupted about 1 cu km of mostly pahoehoe lava.
The volcano's name Wudalianchi means "Five Connected Pools" because of 5 scenic lava-dammed lakes. The area has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Location.
The volcanic field contains 14 steep sided cinder cones surrounded by lava flows.

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Typical eruption style: strombolian, effusive
Wudalianchi volcano eruptions: 1719 (or 1720)-1721
Lastest nearby earthquakes: No recent earthquakes

Background

The Wudalianchi volcanic field formed during 5 eruptive cycles from the early Pleistocene to historical time.
The cinder cones were erupted through basement sedimentary and granitic rocks and show a preferred alignment along 3 chains at the intersection of NE- and NW-trending lineaments. The historical and freshly preserved cinder cones of Laoheishan (166 m high, summit crater 350 m wide and 166 m deep) and Huoshaoshan (73 m high, summit crater 410 m wide and 63 m deep) formed during the 1720-21 eruption. Other young and major cones include Xilongmenshan and Donglongmenshan (both less than 10,000 years old), Gelaqiushan, Wohushan, Jiaodebushan, Bijiashan, Yaoquanshan, and Longmenshan.
Wudalianchi volcano is known for its CO2-rich cold mineral springs. There are 6 springs at Wudalianchi, including 4 cold mineral springs (called respectively birch boiling spring, south spring, north spring, and south balneal spring) with high CO2 and 2 normal cold springs (called respectively Fanhua spring and Er-longyan spring).

Sources:
- Smithsonian / GVP volcano information
- Mao et al (2009) "Geochemical evidence of gas sources of CO2-rich cold springs from Wudalianchi, Northeast China", J of Earth Science, v 20 (6), pp. 959-970

1720 - 1721 eruption
A large eruption started at the Wudalianchi volcanic field on 14 Jan 1720, and formed new cinder cones and erupted about 1 cu km of glassy lava flows, mostly pahoehoe lava and some 'a'a, covering a total of 65 sq km. The main new cinder cones are called Laoheishan and Huoshaoshan and are perfectly preserved. The eruption changed the name of the area, which used to be "Nine Hills," but afterwards counted 14 hills.
New minor eruptions took place in 1776 from Laoheishan vent.

Note: Smithsonian gives the 14 Jan 1720 as start date of the eruption, while 1719-1721 is widely found in literature mentioning this eruption.

See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
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