Baitoushan, China/Korea border, Mainland Asia

Location: 42.0N, 128.1E
Elevation: 9,055 feet (2,744 m)
Baitoushan is a stratovolcano on the border of China and Korea. A caldera caps the volcano. The stratovolcano grew on an older shield and basaltic plateau. Baitoushan has erupted five times in the last millennium, most recently in 1702. Details on the eruptions are scarce. This photo shows the Tianchi crater lake at the top of Baitou Peak. Photograph by Ming Zhang.

The 1050 A.D. eruption was one of the largest know eruptions in the last 10,000 years. It had a volcanic explosivity index of 7. About 150 cubic km of pumice was erupted (for comparison, the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens erupted 1 cubic km of ash). A circular area centered on the volcano and extending out to a radius of 25 miles (40 km) was covered by pumice. The caldera probably formed during this eruption. Only 3 other eruptions in the last 10,000 have been as violent (Tambora, 1815; Kikai, 4,350 BC; and Crater Lake, 4895 BC). This photo shows lava, ignimbrite, and tuff (on the top) exposed in the crater wall. The deposit is compositionally zoned with alkali rhyolite at the base (erupted first) to trachyte and alkali rhyolite near the top (erupted later). The pyroclastic deposit at Crater Lake is also compositionally zoned. Photograph by Ming Zhang.


Sources of Information:

Dunlap, C.E., Gill, J.B., and Palacz, Z.A., 1992, U/Th disequilibria in the large-volume chemically-zoned eruption of Baitoushan, 1010 AD (abs.) Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, v. 73, p. 611.

Ming Zhang, GEMOC, Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia

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

Whitford-Stark, J.L., 1987, A survey of Cenozoic volcanism on mainland Asia: Geological Society of America Special Paper 13, 74 p.

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