OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Usu

Latitude (dd): 
42.54
Longitude (dd): 
140.84
Elevation (m): 
737
Country: 
Japan
State (Province, etc): 
Hokkaido
Type: 
Stratovolcano

Usu/Showa-Shinzan, Hokkaido, Japan

Location: 42.5N, 140.8E
Elevation: 2,400 feet (731 m)

Showa-Shinzan is a dome on the east flank of Usu stratovolcano. Showa-Shinzan has an interesting history. Since the eruption occurred during the height of World War II, there was no official record of the growth of the dome. The local postmaster, Masao Mimatsu, placed a piece of paper on his window. On the paper he drew the profile of Showa-Shinzan at different times as the dome grew. The area was uplifted steadily from January 1944 to November 1944. In November, lava broke through to the surface. By September of 1945, the dome and central plug had grown 1,300 feet (400 m) above ground level. Photograph by Christina Heliker, U.S. Geological Survey, July 27, 1988. Note that steam is rising from the dome.

 


Go here to view a slide show of the growth of Showa-Shinzan.


The growth of Showa-Shinzan was accompanied with explosive eruptions, phreatic eruptions, pyroclastic flows, and mudflows. The eruption caused damage and fatalities. Photograph courtesy of and copyrighted by Leslie Sonnenschein.

Showa-Shinzan lava dome.
Photograph courtesy of and copyrighted by Mike Lyvers.

Showa-Shinzan lava dome.
Photograph courtesy of and copyrighted by Leslie Sonnenschein.

Showa-Shinzan lava dome.
Photograph courtesy of and copyrighted by Leslie Sonnenschein.

 


Sources of Information:

Francis, P., 1994, Volcanoes a planetary perspective: Oxford University Press, New York, 443 p.

Minakami. T., Ishikawa, T., and Yagi, K., 1951, The 1944 eruption of Volcano Usu in Hokkaido, Japan: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 11, p. 45-160.

Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press, Tucson, Arizona, 349 p.