Towada

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 40.51°N
  • 140.88°E

  • 1011 m
    3316 ft

  • 283271
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Towada.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Towada.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Towada.

The dramatic, 11-km-wide, lake-filled Towada caldera formed during as many as six major explosive eruptions over a 40,000-year period ending about 13,000 years ago. Pre-caldera eruptive activity dates back about 2 million years and produced basaltic-to-dacitic lava cones. Following late-Pleistocene andesitic-to-rhyolitic caldera-forming eruptions, the basaltic Ninokura stratovolcano grew in the SSE section of the caldera. Successive dacitic-to-rhyolitic Goshikiiwa explosive eruptions led to the formation of the roughly 2-km-wide Nakanoumi caldera, whose SW and NE rims form dramatic peninsulas extending into Lake Towada. The andesitic-to-dacitic Ogura-yama lava dome was built over the NE rim of Nakanoumi. The latest eruption took place in 915 CE, when eruptions from Ogurayama produced widespread ashfall and pyroclastic flows.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0915 Aug 17 Unknown Confirmed 5 Historical Observations Goshikiiwa (NE rim Nakanoumi crater)
0750 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (corrected) Nakanoumi, To-B tephra
4150 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 5 Radiocarbon (corrected) Goshikiiwa (Nakanoumi), To-C tephra
5550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected) Goshikiiwa, To-D' tephra
6250 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (corrected) Goshikiiwa, To-D tephra; Oguni Pumice
7250 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 5 Radiocarbon (corrected) Goshikiiwa, To-E tephra; Nambu Pumice
8250 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 5 Radiocarbon (corrected) Goshikiiwa, To-F tephra
9490 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected) Nakanoumi, To-G tephra; Shingo Pumice

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.



Cones
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Aobuna Stratovolcano 733 m
Goshikiiwa Stratovolcano 613 m
Hakka Stratovolcano
Herai-dake Stratovolcano
Ninokura Stratovolcano
Ohanabeyama
    Ohanabe-yama
Stratovolcano 1011 m
Oirase Cone
Towada-yama Stratovolcano 1054 m
Towari-yama Stratovolcano 991 m
Zakura Misaka Stratovolcano


Craters
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Nakanoumi Caldera
Towada Pleistocene caldera


Domes
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Gomonseki
    Gomon-ishi
Dome 402 m
Ogurayama
    Ogura-yama
Dome 690 m
The 11-km-wide lake-filled Towada caldera formed during as many as six major explosive eruptions over a 40,000-year period ending about 13,000 years ago. This view from the south shows the western and northern caldera rims, which rise up to 500 m above the lake. Its bottom is 380 m below the lake surface. Major post-caldera eruptions occurred every 1-2000 years throughout the Holocene.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1977 (Smithsonian Institution).
The jagged peninsula cutting across the center of the photo is the SW rim of Nakanoumi caldera. The 3-km-wide caldera was formed about 5400 years ago during the largest Holocene eruption from Towada volcano. The eruption was followed by collapse of the Goshikiiwa volcano, which had grown on the southern floor of Towada caldera. Breaching of the NW side of Goshikiiwa volcano allowed the waters of Lake Towada to fill the new caldera. Clouds drape the western rim of Towada caldera in the background.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1977 (Smithsonian Institution).
The rounded lava dome at the upper right is Ogura-yama. It was formed at the end of the last eruption of Towada volcano, in 915 AD. Three ash-and-pumice eruptions were accompanied by the emplacement of the ca. 5 cu km Kemanai pyroclastic flow, which covered several large wooden buildings along the Yonesawa River. The Ogura-yama lava dome was constructed along the NE rim of the Nakanoumi caldera, whose SW rim forrms the peninsula in the center of the photo. The northern wall of Towada caldera appears in the distance.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1977 (Smithsonian Institution).
The dramatic 11-km-wide, lake-filled Towada caldera, whose far northern wall is seen here in the distance, was created during a series of major explosive eruptions over a 40,000-year period ending about 13,000 years ago. The peninsula cutting across the center of the photo is the rim of Nakanoumi caldera, formed by collapse of Goshikiiwa volcano, which was constructed in the SSE corner of Towada caldera. The rounded Ogura-yama lava dome at the upper right was the source of the latest eruption of Towada in 915 AD.

Photo by Yukio Hayakawa (Gunma University).
A roadcut west of the Ninokura dam reveals a spectacular exposure of eruptive deposits from Towada volcano. The thick light-colored unit at the base is the Hachinohe ignimbrite, which was deposited about 13,000 years ago during the last of a series of explosive eruptions that resulted in the incremental formation of Towada's 11-km-wide caldera. The thinner light- and dark-colored deposits above the Hachinohe ignimbrite were produced by post-caldera eruptions, the most recent of which took place in 915 AD.

Photo by Yukio Hayakawa (Gunma University).
The spectacular 11-km-wide Towada caldera, seen in an aerial view from the east, formed during as many as six major explosive eruptions over a 40,000-year period ending about 13,000 years ago. The two peninsulas extending into the caldera lake are the rims of Nakanoumi caldera, truncating Goshikiiwa stratovolcano, which grew in the SSE section of the caldera. The rounded lava dome that was constructed at the tip of lower peninsula is Ogura-yama, the source of the latest eruption of Towada in 915 AD.

Copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka (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.

Hayakawa Y, 1983. Chuseri tephra formation from Towada volcano, Japan. Bull Volc Soc Japan (Kazan), 28: 263-273 (in Japanese with English abs).

Hayakawa Y, 1985. Pyroclastic geology of Towada volcano. Bull Earthq Res Inst, Univ Tokyo, 60: 507-592.

Hunter A G, Blake S, 1995. Petrogenetic evolution of a transitional tholeiitic-Calc-alkaline series: Towada volcano, Japan. J Petr, 36: 1579-1605.

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

Kudo T, 2008. Radiocarbon ages of the eruptive products from the eruptive episodes E and G, Towada volcano, northeast Japan. Bull Volc Soc Japan (Kazan), 53: 193-199 (in Japanese with English abs).

Nakagawa H, Chuman N, Ishida T, Matsuyama T, Nanasaki O, Oide K, Oike S, Takahashi H, 1972. Historical development of Towada volcano-an outline. Tohoku Univ Inst Geol Paleont Contr, 73: 7-18 (in Japanese with English abs).

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/.

Volcano Types

Caldera
Stratovolcano(es)
Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Dacite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Rhyolite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
12,366
12,366
103,631
2,237,010

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Towada 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.