Welcome to the Volcanology Lab at Shimane University

This webpage is a place to share some of our passion about volcanology, but also to attract interest of prospective students. The primary focus of our group is the recent and ancient volcanic activity in the San’in region. The area has a rich and interesting geology, which makes it a unique place to study a large variety of volcanic phenomena.

The magmatic systems of arc volcanoes. The most prominent landmarks in the area are the two stratovolcanoes Mount Daisen and Mount Sanbe. Both volcanoes had several phases of intense activity during the Quaternary and both are complex edifices, which consist of several dome complexes surrounded by an extensive apron of pyroclastic material. The erupted products can be used to understand magma evolution and eruptive processes at arc type volcanoes.

Volcanic activity related to the opening of the Japan sea. Continental rifting and the subsequent opening of the Japan Sea was accompanied by voluminous volcanism. Especially during the earliest period intense silicic volcanism took place, forming large caldera systems before the Japanese islands parted from the main Asian continent. Within this newly formed ocean basin yet another large volcanic complex formed – the Oki islands, a group of intraplate volcanoes, that formed from the eruption of alkali rich magmas.

Submarine Volcanism. At the Shimane Peninsula, Miocene submarine volcanic successions are exposed in great detail. These include shallow intrusive rocks and pillow lavas as well as products from explosive submarine eruptions such as agglomerates and deposits from submarine pyroclastic density currents. Wave cut cliffs allow studying the architecture and interior of these submarine volcanoes as well as depositional processes and erupted products.

Magma chambers. Numerous granitic intrusions exist along the entire San’in region. They represent the magmatic systems of the ancient Cretaceous and Paleogene magmatic arc, exposed at various structural levels. This provides a great opportunity to look inside a volcano und unravel its internal workings, because these intrusions are the ancient magma chambers of a volcanic arc that has been eroded back into the ocean long ago.

These and many other interesting topics are waiting for the curious student. Sound’s interesting?

If you want to get in contact, please write to

Dr Andreas Auer
Department of Geoscience, Shimane University
e-mail: auer (at) riko.shimane-u.ac.jp