Bulletin of Volcanology

, 75:706

Review of eruptive activity at Tianchi volcano, Changbaishan, northeast China: implications for possible future eruptions

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00445-013-0706-5

Cite this article as:
Wei, H., Liu, G. & Gill, J. Bull Volcanol (2013) 75: 706. doi:10.1007/s00445-013-0706-5


One of the largest explosive eruptions in the past several thousand years occurred at Tianchi volcano, also known as Changbaishan, on the China–North Korea border. This historically active polygenetic central volcano consists of three parts: a lower basaltic shield, an upper trachytic composite cone, and young comendite ash flows. The Millennium Eruption occurred between 938 and 946 ad, and was preceded by two smaller and chemically different rhyolitic pumice deposits. There has been at least one additional, small eruption in the last three centuries. From 2002 to 2005, seismicity, deformation, and the helium and hydrogen gas contents of spring waters all increased markedly, causing regional concern. We attribute this event to magma recharge or volatile exhalation or both at depth, followed by two episodes of addition of magmatic fluids into the overlying aquifer without a phreatic eruption. The estimated present magma accumulation rate is too low by itself to account for the 2002–2005 unrest. The most serious volcanic hazards are ash eruption and flows, and lahars. The available geological information and volcano monitoring data provide a baseline for comprehensive assessment of future episodes of unrest and possible eruptive activity.


Changbaishan Tianchi volcano 2002–2005 unrest Magma replenishment and eruption rates Aquifer Hazards assessment 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Active Tectonics and VolcanoInstitute of Geology, CEABeijingChina
  2. 2.CHVOEarthquake Administration of Jilin ProvinceJilinChina
  3. 3.Earth and Planetary Sciences DepartmentUniversity of California Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

Personalised recommendations