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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 39.964°N
  • 140.757°E

  • 1366 m
    4480 ft

  • 283260
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Akita-Yakeyama.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Akita-Yakeyama.

Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

05/1997 (BGVN 22:05) Landslide, explosion, mud- and debris-flows, and tephra

10/1997 (BGVN 22:10) Phreatic explosion on 16 August

Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

All times are local (= UTC - 12 hours)

05/1997 (BGVN 22:05) Landslide, explosion, mud- and debris-flows, and tephra

On 11 May, rapid movement of an older landslide was followed by a steam explosion that triggered mud flows and a small tephra emission. The event occurred at Sumikawa-Onsen (a hot spring resort) at the foot of Akita-Yakeyama, ~4 km NE of the summit. The following is based on a report by Shintaro Hayashi.

Although the landslide began moving a few days before 11 May, the sliding accelerated 20 minutes before the explosion. A field party saw the fast-moving landslide and took refuge prior to 0800 on 11 May. The explosion was witnessed at 0800 by a pilot flying over the area; he saw a water-and-steam column rising like a geyser, followed within seconds by black smoke emissions.

The explosion, heard as far as 1.4 km away, triggered a mudflow along the Akagawa River and eventually developed into a debris flow downstream. The field party noticed a thin coat of ash covering the mudflow deposits; they concluded that the tephra had issued from the explosion site.

Hayashi suggested that the explosion was triggered by sudden depressurization of a hot water reservoir under the hot spring due to removal of the overlying debris. The depressurization led to sudden boiling, generating sufficient steam pressure to explode. The volume of erupted material was estimated to be between 1,000 and 10,000 m3.

According to Hiroyuri Hamaguchi the precursory vibration and tremor were recorded by a short-period seismometer 1 km NNE of the hot spring. The landslide was as large as 500 m wide, 150 m long, and 500 m deep. After 2000 on 10 May, tremors of increasing amplitude built up. They declined by midnight and then returned at 0400 on 11 May. A maximum amplitude was reached at 0732, followed by a hiatus during 0753-0757. Short- and long-period events took place at 0757 and 0758, respectively.

Hayakawa reported that two hotels at the foot of Akita Yakeyama were completely destroyed by the landslide and lahar; however, there were no casualties because the staff and guests had evacuated. Air photos taken on 12 May by Asia Air Survey Co. can be seen on the internet.

Information Contacts: Shintaro Hayashi, Faculty of Education, Akita University, 1-1 Tegata-Gakuen-Cho, Akita 010, Japan (Email hayashi@ipc.akita-u.ac.jp); Hiroyuki Hamaguchi, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-77, Japan (Email: hama@aob.geophys.tohoku.ac.jp); Yukio Hayakawa, Faculty of Education, Gunma University, 4-2 Aramaki-machi, Mae-bashi-chi, Gunma 371, Japan (Email: hayakawa@edu.gunma-u.ac.jp, URL: http://www.edu.gunma-u.ac.jp/~hayakawa/); Tatsuro Chiba, Dept of Disaster Prevention, Asia Air Survey Co., 4-2-18 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160, Japan (URL: http://pweb.aix.or.jp/~tatsuro-chi/hachi/hachi-e.html).

10/1997 (BGVN 22:10) Phreatic explosion on 16 August

According to a Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) volcanic advisory issued in the evening of 16 August, a tourist reported a small-scale phreatic explosion at the Karanuma ("Empty Pond") crater near the summit. The explosion occurred at about noon on 16 August. Seismometers at the volcano recorded volcanic tremors during 1053-1204; high numbers of volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the days following the explosion (table 1). JMA estimated that the epicenters were just below the summit.

Table 1. Seismic activity at Akita-Yake-yama during 16-25 August 1997. Reported on the Volcano Research Center's Current Eruptions in Japan website from JMA reports for 22 and 25 August.

    Date        Volcanic earthquakes   Tremors

    16 August           62                2
    17 August           81                1
    18 August           71                0
    19 August          448                1
    20 August          226                0
    21 August           27                0
    22 August           14                0
    23 August           18                0
    24 August           14                0
    25 August           10                0 (by 1500)

A 17 August JMA report detailed the discovery of a new crater 20 m in diameter on the SE rim of Karanuma Crater. Eruptive material including fragments up to 20 cm in diameter were found around the new crater, and volcanic ash "pastes" had been sprayed ~300 m to the S. The report noted that the new crater no longer emitted an eruption cloud on 17 August.

T. Oba and T. Hasenaka, geologists at Tohoku University, conducted a field inspection on 17 August. They reported that the new crater was quiet, and that it had a depth of ~30 m. Fragments up to 30 cm across had been thrown ~25 m away from the crater, but no juvenile materials were included. Ash deposits on the ridge 20-30 m S of the new crater were 4-5 mm thick. The scientists suggested that the 16 August eruption may have created a "new" crater within an old crater formed in 1949, because the volume of recently erupted material was too small to account for the total volume of the crater.

Shintaro Hayashi, a geologist at Akita University, conducted a field inspection on 18 August; he estimated the volume of fallout from the new crater to be ~1,000 m3. He also reported that a mud flow was generated just before the 16 August explosion issued from small depressions just below the new crater (figure 1). The mud was deposited around the depressions, having flowed part of the way down to the crater floor. The total volume of the mud-flow deposit was estimated at ~20,000 m3.

Figure 1. Map of Akita-Yake-yama showing recent craters. Craters A1-A3 were formed in 1949; craters A, B1, and B2 were formed in 1997. Heavy lines indicate ash isopachs; dots indicate ash sampling sites. Courtesy of Shintaro Hayashi, Akita University.

On 20-21 August, new seismometers were installed near the summit and N slope of the volcano; also installed were a microphone on the W foot and cameras (color, high resolution monochromatic, and infrared) on the E foot. Signals are telemetered to Sendai and Akita.

On 22 August, Tatsunori Soya, of the Geological Survey of Japan, drew attention to a document written by the late Prof. H. Tsuya. The document, which appeared in the Tamagawa Hot Spring Study Group's 10th Anniversary Report (1954), describes explosions in 1949, 1950, and 1951 at Akita-Yake-yama; the last two were not officially documented. According to the report, large explosion craters (C1-C4), including the Karanuma crater (C1), existed before the 1949 eruption. Eruptions in 1949 occurred on the E margin of the Karanuma crater, resulting in the formation of craters designated A1, A2, and A3. Although no one in the hot springs area 3 km E of the summit reported hearing an explosion or feeling earthquakes, the eruption products were ~1 m thick along the rim of the A1 crater and contained old lava blocks up to 1 m across. Another explosion occurred at the A1 crater in February 1951; as a result, A1 crater widened to become as much as 50 m across. In terms of volume, the 1951 explosion was smaller than the 1949 eruption. S. Hayashi proposed that the present explosion occurred in A2-A1, and mud spouted out from the A3 crater (figure 1).

Information Contacts: Shintaro Hayashi, Faculty of Education, Akita University, 1-1 Tegata-Gakuen-Cho, Akita 010, Japan (Email: hayashi@ipc.akita-u.ac.jp); Noritake Nishide, Sendai District Meteorological Observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency, 1-3-5 Gorin, Miyagino-ku, Sendai 983 Japan (Email: nnishide@redc-sn.eqvol.kishou.go.jp); Volcano Research Center, University of Tokyo, Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan (Email: nakada@eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp, URL: http://hakone.eri. u- tokyo.ac.jp/vrc/VRC.html); Tatsunori Soya, Volcanology Section, Environmental Geology Department, Geological Survey of Japan, 1-1-3, Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305 Japan (Email: soya@gsjrstn.gsj.go.jp); Tsukasa Ohba and Toshiaki Hasenaka, Institute of Mineralogy, Petrology, and Economic Geology, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University, Miyagi, Sendai 980-77, Japan (Email: ohbatu@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp, hasenaka@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp).

One of several Japanese volcanoes named Yakeyama ("Burning Mountain"), Akita-Yakeyama is the most recently active of a group of coalescing volcanoes in NW Honshu immediately west of Hachimantai volcano. The main volcano, Yakeyama, contains a small lava dome in its 600-m-wide summit crater. Tsugamori volcano to the east is a stratovolcano of roughly the same height and has a 2-km-wide crater breached to the NE. The flat-topped parasitic lava dome of Kuroshimori lies 4 km south of Yakedake. Tamagawa Spa at the western foot, one of several thermal areas, is strongly radioactive. The last magmatic eruption formed the Onigajo lava dome in the summit crater about 5000 years ago. The only known historical activity has consisted of somewhat uncertain 19th-century eruptions and mild phreatic eruptions in the 20th century.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1997 Aug 16 1997 Aug 16 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1997 May 11 1997 May 11 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations NE flank (Sumikawa-Onsen)
1957 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1951 Feb Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1950 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1949 Aug 30 1949 Sep 1 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1948 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kare-numa
1929 Sep Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1890 Sep 23 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1887 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Karenuma
1867 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
1678 Feb 22 (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Karenuma
1390 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
[ 0807 Nov 1 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
0570 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Ay-2 tephra
1250 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
3050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Thermoluminescence Onigajo lava dome

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Yake-yama | Akita-Yake-yama

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Stratovolcano 1350 m

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Kani-numa Crater
Kare-numa Crater

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Kuroishimori Dome 1231 m

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Tamagawa Spa Thermal
Snow-capped Akita-Yake-yama is seen in an aerial view from the east. It is one of several Japanese volcanoes named Yake-yama ("Burning Mountain"). Yake-yama contains a small lava dome in its 600-m-wide summit crater. The flat-topped parasitic lava dome of Kuroshimori (left) lies 4 km south of Yake-dake. Several thermal areas are located at the western foot of the volcano, including Tamagawa Spa, noted for its strongly radioactive waters.

Copyrighted photo by Hiroshi Yagi (Japanese Quaternary Volcanoes database, RIODB, http://riodb02.ibase.aist.go.jp/strata/VOL_JP/EN/index.htm and Geol Surv Japan, AIST, http://www.gsj.jp/).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Japan Meteorological Agency, 1996. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (second edition). Tokyo: Japan Meteorological Agency, 502 p (in Japanese).

Japan Meteorological Agency, 2013. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (fourth edition, English version). Japan Meteorological Agency.

Kano K, Ohguchi T, 2004. Pyroclastic deposits of unknown source, discovered in the Tamagawa Welded Tuffs, west of Hachiman-Tai volcano, NE Japan. Bull Volc Soc Japan (Kazan), 49: 283-297 (in Japanese with English abs).

Kudo T, Hoshizumi H, 2006-. Catalog of eruptive events within the last 10,000 years in Japan, database of Japanese active volcanoes. Geol Surv Japan, AIST, http://riodb02.ibase.aist.go.jp/db099/eruption/index.html.

Kuno H, 1962. Japan, Taiwan and Marianas. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 11: 1-332.

Nakano S, Yamamoto T, Iwaya T, Itoh J, Takada A, 2001-. Quaternary Volcanoes of Japan. Geol Surv Japan, AIST, http://www.aist.go.jp/RIODB/strata/VOL_JP/.

Ohba T, Taniguchi H, Miyamoto T, Hayashi S, Hasenaka T, 2007. Mud plumbing system of an isolated phreatic eruption at Akita Yakeyama volcano, northern Honshu, Japan. J Volc Geotherm Res, 161: 35-46.

Volcano Types

Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Akita-Yakeyama Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.