Aso Volcano, Japan

This is a repost from my other blog, first published on August 11, 2013. Since then, Aso has had some remarkable eruptions: check out the Global Volcanism Program link below for more details and images.

NASA Earth Observatory

Click to enlarge. Yes, some volcanoes are occupied. See the Naka-dake volcanic cone in the middle of the large caldera, sitting there just like Wizard Island sits in the Crater Lake caldera? Only this caldera isn’t full of water. The people of Aso – not supervillains – have built a city in the caldera, around Naka-dake. (Source: NASA Earth Observatory)

Information: Global Volcanism Program (Smithsonian). Volcano World. (Oregon State)

Monitoring (note: only the Japanese-language website seems to be working right now). See also the Japan Meteorological Agency – despite the name, they watch for all natural hazards in Japan. Currently JMA has no warnings posted for Naka-dake, which does have frequent, small-scale eruptions and is quite a tourist draw.

Webcam (in Japanese, but real-time images).

Featured image: ka.sha (busy & OFF). CC BY 2.0


Sayonara, Japan? The Aira Caldera

Update: I have followed this at my other blog with posts on predicting eruptions and on the published paper by the Kobe University volcanologists.

Image of Mount Fuji by Swolib.  Taupo image by NASA

Image of Mount Fuji by Swollib. Taupo image by NASA

Some stark headlines have come out recently, along the lines of “Major Volcanic Eruption Could Make Japan ‘Extinct,’ Study Warns.”

The fuss is over news of a study on Japanese volcanoes that’s due out on November 11.

Kobe University volcanologists Yoshiyuki Tatsumi and Keiko Suzuki-Kamata studied 120,000 years’ worth of eruptions at Aira caldera and other Japanese volcanoes. Some of these have been supereruptions. They discovered that the country faces a 1% risk of such an eruption in the next 100 years.

That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s exactly the same statistical risk that the city of Kobe faced for a major earthquake the day before a M6.9 earthquake happened there in 1995.
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