||Mount Fuji, Japan |
The 3,776 meter high Mount Fuji volcano, located on the island of Honshu in Japan, is one of the world's classic examples of a stratovolcano. The volcano's steep, conical profile is the result of numerous interlayered lava flows and explosive eruption products - such as ash, cinders, and volcanic bombs - building up the volcano over time. The steep profile is possible because of the relatively high viscosity of the volcanic rocks typically associated with stratovolcanoes. This leads to thick sequences of lava flows near the eruptive vent that build the cone structure, rather than low viscosity flows that spread out over the landscape and build lower-profile shield volcanoes
Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san in Japan, is actually comprised of several overlapping volcanoes that began erupting in the Pleistocene Epoch (1.8 million to approximately 10,000 years ago). The currently active volcano, known as Younger Fuji, began forming approximately 11,000 to 8,000 years ago. The most recent explosive activity occurred in 1707, creating Hoei Crater on the southeastern flank of the volcano (image center). This eruption deposited ash on Edo (present-day Tokyo) located 95 km to the northeast. While there have been no further eruptions of Mount Fuji, steam was observed at the summit during 1780 - 1820, and the volcano is considered active.