Usu Volcano | John Seach


Hokkaido, Japan

42.53 N, 140.83 E
summit elevation 731 m

Mt Usu volcano is located on the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. In late March 2000 Mt Usu erupted for the first time in 22 years, forcing the evacuation of 13,000 residents. The summit of Usu contains lava domes including O-Usu, Ko-Usu and Showa-Shinzan.

Mt Usu volcano photos by John Seach

Mt Usu Eruption, April 2000. This photo was taken from inside the evacuated town of Toyako Onsen by John Seach.

usu volcano Japan
Usu volcano eruption 2000

usu 2000
Media coverage of Usu eruption 2000

Media keeping watch on Usu volcano in 2000.

usu eruption 2000
Usu eruption and Toyako Onsen in 2000

Usu volcano eruption 2000

usu volcano eruption 2000
John Seach at Usu eruption 2000. Active vents in background.

usu volcano eruption japan 2000
Usu volcano eruption, Japan 2000

earthquake japan
Volcanic earthquake damage, Usu volcano, Japan 2000

2000 Eruption
The 2000 eruption of Mt Usu volcano began after several days of increased seismicity and ground deformation. The first new crater opened in the West-Nishiyama area on 31st March 2000, followed by the activity in the Kompira area on 1st April. Eruptive activity lasted for several months, and gradually declined, with the new vents obtaining a fumarolic stage by mid 2001. A large area of Usu volcano deformed during the eruption. The greatest changes occurred near West-Nishiyama craters, with an upward displacement of 80 m. The eruptions were phreatic and phreato-magmatic.

1663 Eruption
In 1663 Usu produced the largest eruption on Hokkaido during historical times.

Further reading
Tomiya, A. and Takahashi, E., 2005. Evolution of the magma chamber beneath Usu Volcano since 1663: a natural laboratory for observing changing phenocryst compositions and textures. Journal of Petrology46(12), pp.2395-2426.

Jousset, P., Mori, H. and Okada, H., 2003. Elastic models for the magma intrusion associated with the 2000 eruption of Usu Volcano, Hokkaido, Japan. Journal of volcanology and geothermal research125(1-2), pp.81-106.

Usu Volcano Eruptions

2001, 2000, 1977-82, 1944-45, 1910, 1853, 1822, 1769, 1663, 1638, 1626, ?1611.