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Mount Unzen Volcano Group, Japan – May 7th, 2010

32.7N 130.2E

May 7th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Mountains, Volcanoes

Japan - April 28th, 2010

Japan - April 28th, 2010

Mount Unzen (center right in this orthorectified image) is an active volcanic group of several overlapping stratovolcanoes. The group is located near the city of Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture, on the island of Kyūshū, Japan’s southernmost main island.

In 1792, the collapse of one of its several lava domes triggered a tsunami that killed about 15,000 people in Japan’s worst-ever volcanic-related disaster. The volcano was most recently active from 1990 to 1995, and a large eruption in 1991 generated a pyroclastic flow that killed 43 people, including three volcanologists.

Currently its highest peaks are Fugendake at 1,359 metres (4,459 ft) and Heisei Shinzan at 1,486 metres (4,875 ft). The latter emerged during the eruptions of the eponymous Heisei era.

Mount Aso, Kyushu Island, Japan

February 25th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Kyushu, Japan - February 16th, 2009

Kyushu, Japan - February 16th, 2009

Kyushu is the third-largest island of Japan and the most southwesterly of its four main islands. It has a population of 13,231,995 (2006) and covers 35,640 km².

Parts of Kyushu have a subtropical climate, particularly the Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures.

The island is mountainous, and Japan’s most active volcano, Mt Aso, at 1,591 m, is located towards its center. There are also many other signs of tectonic activity, including numerous areas of hot springs. The most famous of these are in Beppu, on the east shore, and around Mt. Aso.

Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan, and is among the largest in the world. Its peak is 1592 m above sea level and is easily identifiable here by its orange-brown color around the grey caldera.

Mount Aso’s caldera is 25 km across north to south and 18 km across east to west. The caldera has a circumference of around 120 km (75 miles), although sources vary on the exact distance.

The central cone group of Aso consists of five peaks: Mounts Neko, Taka, Naka, Eboshi, and Kishima. The highest point is the summit of Mount Taka, at 1592 m above sea level. The crater of Mount Naka, contains an active volcano which continuously emits smoke and has occasional eruptions.

source Wikipedia

Korean Peninsula

January 24th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Korean Peninsula - January 15th, 2009

Korean Peninsula - January 15th, 2009

Clouds over the Sea of Japan and the Korean Strait frame the Korean Peninsula, left. At the bottom right, part of the Japanese island Kyushu is also visible.

The southern and western parts of the peninsula have well-developed plains, while the eastern and northern parts are mountainous.

Because the mountainous region is mostly on the eastern part of the peninsula, the main rivers tend to flow westwards.

The southern and southwestern coastlines of Korea form a well-developed ria (drowned river valley) coastline that provides mild seas.

In addition to the complex coastline, the western coast of the Korean Peninsula has an extremely high tidal amplitude (as high as 9 m in some places). Vast tidal flats have been developing on the south and west coastlines.

source Wikipedia

Japan – October 28th, 2008

October 28th, 2008 Category: Image of the day

Japan - October 16th, 2008

Japan - October 16th, 2008

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, People’s Republic of China, Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.

Japan comprises over 3,000 islands, making it an archipelago. The largest islands are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku, together accounting for 97% of Japan’s land area. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano.

Japan has the world’s tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Close-up of Tokyo and Mount Fuji

Close-up of Tokyo and Mount Fuji

Tokyo is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan and located on the eastern side of the main island Honshū. The twenty-three special wards of Tokyo, each governed as a city, cover the area that was once the city of Tokyo in the eastern part of the prefecture, and total over 8 million people. The population of the prefecture exceeds 12 million. Tokyo is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family.

Tokyo lies in the humid subtropical climate zone, with hot humid summers and generally mild winters with cool spells. Annual rainfall averages 1,380 mm (55 inches), with a wetter summer and a drier winter. Snowfall is sporadic, but does occur almost annually.Tokyo is an example of an urban heat island; the city’s population is a significant contributor to its climate. Tokyo also often sees typhoons each year, though few are strong.

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 m (12,388 ft). An active volcano with an exceptionally symmetrical cone that last erupted in 1707–08, it straddles the boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures just west of Tokyo, from which it can be seen on a clear day. It is located near the Pacific coast of central Honshū. Three small cities surround it: Gotemba (east), Fujiyoshida (north) and Fujinomiya (southwest).

Mt. Fuji stands at 3,776 m (12,388 ft) high and is surrounded by five lakes: Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Sai, Lake Motosu and Lake Shoji. The climate is very cold due to the altitude and the cone is covered by snow for several months of the year.

source Wikipedia

Japan issues highest flood alert as storm Sinlaku lashes Kyushu

September 18th, 2008 Category: Tropical Cyclones

September 18th, 2008 - Tropical Cyclone SinlakuSinlaku

September 18th, 2008 - Tropical Cyclone Sinlaku

Tropical Storm Sinlaku, which killed 12 people in Taiwan when it struck as a typhoon, brought torrential rain and strong winds to Kyushu in southern Japan, where authorities warned of flooding and landslides.

The Japan Meteorological Agency raised its highest alert for coastal areas of Kyushu, warning more than 80 millimeters (3.2 inches) of rain an hour may fall in some areas, triggering landslides on the mountainous island. Warnings were also issued for strong winds, high waves and a storm surge in southern Kyushu and islands to the south.

Sinlaku’s sustained winds strengthened to 111 kilometers (69 miles) per hour from 93 kph earlier today. The storm’s eye was over Yaku Island, famed for its primeval forests, 128 kilometers south of the city of Kagoshima on Kyushu at 2 p.m. local time.

Sinlaku - Image Enhanced

Sinlaku - Image Enhanced

Sinlaku was moving east-northeast at 20 kilometers per hour, with winds gusting to 157 kph. The storm’s center is forecast to pass to the south of Kyushu and Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, before approaching Tokyo on Sept. 20, according to the weather agency’s latest advisory.

More than 30 people were forced to evacuate their homes in Kagoshima prefecture due to flooding, national broadcaster NHK reported on its Web site. One house was damaged by a small landslide, it said.

source Bloomberg