Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 641–655 | Cite as

A water flow model of the active crater lake at Aso volcano, Japan: fluctuations of magmatic gas and groundwater fluxes from the underlying hydrothermal system

  • Akihiko TeradaEmail author
  • Takeshi Hashimoto
  • Tsuneomi Kagiyama
Research Article


The first crater of Nakadake, peak of Aso volcano, Japan, contains a hot water lake that shows interesting variations in water level and temperature. These variations were discovered by precise, continuous observations of the lake independent of precipitation. We developed a numerical model of a hot crater lake and compared with observational data for the period from July 2006 to January 2009. The numerical model revealed seasonal changes in mass flux (75–132 kg/s) and enthalpy (1,840–3,030 kJ/kg) for the fluid supplied to the lake. The relation between the enthalpy and mass flux indicates that the bottom input fluid is a mixture of high- and low-temperature fluids. Assuming a mixture of high-temperature steam at 800°C and liquid water at 100°C, we evaluated the liquid and steam fluxes. The liquid water flux shows a seasonal increase lagging behind the rainy season by 2 months, suggesting that the liquid water is predominantly groundwater. The fluctuation pattern in the flux of the high-temperature steam shows a relation with the amplitude of volcanic tremor, suggesting that heating of the hydrothermal system drives the tremor. Consequently, precise observations of a hot crater lake represent a potential method of monitoring volcanic hydrothermal systems in the shallow parts of the volcanoes.


Aso volcano Hot crater lake Hydrothermal system Groundwater Volcanic tremor 



We thank Yasuaki Sudo, Takeshi Ohba, Takahiro Okura, Hiroshi Shinohara, Kenji Nogami, Miyuki Yoshikawa, and Shinji Ohsawa for their discussions. We are indebted to Yasuo Miyabuchi for observations of precipitation. We also thank Shin Yoshikawa and the staff at the Aso Volcano Laboratory for their valuable comments. We are grateful to the staff at Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd., and at the staff of Aso Weather Station (Japan Meteorological Agency) for providing data and granting permission for their publication. Constructive reviews by Tony Hurst, David Stevenson, and anonymous reviewers have substantially improved the manuscript. This work was supported by Kyoto University Active Geosphere Investigations for the 21st Century Centers of Excellence Program (KAGI21), which was approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akihiko Terada
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Takeshi Hashimoto
    • 2
  • Tsuneomi Kagiyama
    • 1
  1. 1.Aso Volcanological LaboratoryKyoto UniversityKumamotoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Seismology and Volcanology, Faculty of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Volcanic Fluid Research CenterTokyo Institute of TechnologyGunmaJapan

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