Researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) say that Mount Fuji may erupt if a future massive earthquake will cause its insides to crack. The last time that the 3,776-metre volcano erupted was in 1707, in what is now known as the Hoei eruption.
The scientists warned that another eruption is imminent because underground magma has been accumulating inside the volcano for 300 years now. They came to this conclusion by observing the number of craters in the mountain through aerial photos and on-site investigations. They also analysed reports from the past eruptions between 10,000 years ago and that last eruption. The study showed that there were a lot of dikes created before 1707 and that prevented the magma from rising. But two magnitude earthquakes struck between 1703 and 1707, which caused the magma to rise to the surface. They expect that magma has accumulated under the ground due to low-frequency earthquakes that have been recorded under the mountain.
In case a large-scale quake occurs, like the predicted Nankai Trough earthquake in the next few years, Mount Fuji will most likely erupt, according to volcanologist and AIST researcher Akira Takada. The explosion will most likely affect two of Japan’s major islands – Honshu and Shikoku. Mount Fuji was recently named a World Heritage site by UNESCO and is one of the most prominent symbols of Japan’s culture.
[ via ABC News ]
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