Kusatsu Shirane Volcano, Japan
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Kusatsu Shinare Volcano, Japan
The summit of Kusatsu-Shirane volcano is cut by three craters, the largest of which is Yu-gama, filled by a turquoise lake.
Rafts of yellow sulfur float on the surface of the acidic lake.
This 1977 view looks across the lake from the SW-most crater, Kara-gama, to the NE-most crater, Mizu-gama, located beyond the notch at the left.
Small-to-moderate phreatic explosions have occurred from all three craters during historical time.
The colorful crater lake of Kusatsu-Shirane is a major tourist destination, as are hot spring resorts on the volcano's flanks.
The summit of Kusatsu-Shirane volcano, located immediately north of Asama volcano, consists of a series of overlapping pyroclastic cones and three crater lakes.
The andesitic-to-dacitic volcano was formed in three eruptive stages beginning in the early to mid Pleistocene.
The Pleistocene Oshi pyroclastic flow produced extensive welded tuffs and non-welded pumice that covers much of the east, south and SW flanks.
The latest eruptive stage began about 14,000 years ago.
All historical eruptions have consisted of phreatic explosions from the acidic crater lakes or their margins.
Fumaroles and hot springs that dot the volcano's flanks have strongly acidified many rivers draining from the volcano.
The crater was the site of active sulfur mining for many years during the 19th and 20th centuries.
PHOTO SOURCE: Lee Siebert, 1977, courtesy of the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, used with permission.
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