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Ash Eruption of Nakadake Volcano, Aso Caldera, and its Products(<Special Section>Volcanic History and Eruptive Deposits)

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  • 阿蘇火山中岳の灰噴火とその噴出物(<特集>堆積物による火山噴火史研究)
  • 阿蘇火山中岳の灰噴火とその噴出物
  • アソカ ザンナカダケ ノ カイフンカ ト ソノ フンシュツブツ

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We describe in this paper the character of ash eruption of Nakadake volcano presently going on and maintain that the products of the volcano during the recent geologic past are the main constituents of ashy soils distributed around, especially to the east of, the volcano. Nakadake volcano, the only active central cone of Aso caldera, mainly discharges black, sandy essential ash of basaltic andesite during its active period. The ash is the most voluminous constituent of the products of Nakadake through its activity of recent more than 20,000 years. We call ash eruption for the activity which discharges dominantly ash. The ash is divided into three groups : block-type ash, splash-type ash, and free crystals. The block-type ash, most common, is polyhedral surrounded by a few flat planes. It is formed by brittle fracturing of semi-solid top part of the magma column. While, the splash-type ash, discharged only during the very active phase in active periods, is derived from liquid magma which underlies the semi-solid top of the column. The ash is transported by gas stream from the magma in a quasi-steady state or intermittently, and is distributed around Nakadake volcano in a near-circular pattern by a low eruption column usually less than 1,000 m in height. Long-term thickness contours of the ashy soil from Nakadake volcano in three time intervals, separated by the present earth surface and three ash or pumice layers, of recent more than 20,000 years also show near-circular pattern but a little elongated to the east. 'Loam beds', mainly composed of decomposed and argillized volcanic ash, are said to be formed by accumulation of aeolian dusts during periods of no eruption in volcanic districts. But, loam beds (Akaboku) and black humic soils (Kuroboku) distributed around Aso volcano are composed mainly of primary fall-out deposits of ash or pumice along with aeolian dusts. Ash eruption of Nakadake mostly produces sandy ash rather continuously without long time break but in small rate of discharge. A correlation of detailed columnar sections eastwards of Nakadake crater shows most single strata of ashy soils, light brown- to black-colored, thin according to the increase of distance from the source crater. The ash, especially very fine ash distributed in the distal area, easily decompose and lose primary stratification to form a massive layer which is hardly discernible from aeolian loam beds by their close resemblance. Not only fine ash layers but Plinian pumice fall layers form 'loam' beds which are not distinguishable with adjacent aeolian beds by further decomposition. The thickness contours of the Kanto loam elongate and thin eastward from Fuji volcano over the Kanto plain. The thickness of loam beds changes regionally, thicker in volcanic areas and thinner in non-volcanic areas. These facts suggest contributions of primary pyroclastic falls for thickening of ‘loam beds’


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