This study shows the revised stratigraphy and correlations of the middle Pleistocene tephras in and around the Aizu area, Northeast Japan. Significant marker tephras in this area are as follows, in descending order of stratigraphy : Nm-SB, TG, Hu-TK, and Kn-KD from volcanoes adjacent to Oze, So-OT, and APm. Stratigraphic positions of Sn-MT and Sn-SK are not clear, but they seem to be positioned near Kn-KD.
Nm-SB (110 ka) from Numazawa caldera is mainly a plinian pumice fall deposit distributed in the central to western part of Fukushima Prefecture and northern part of Tochigi Prefecture. Eruption producing Nm-SB associated with ash fall, plinian eruption, and pyroclastic flow or pyroclastic surge. TG (125-135 ka), which is characterized by volcanic glass shards with a low index, was probably derived from the Sunagohara caldera. The distribution of fall-out tephra of TG is similar to that of Nm-SB, and pyroclastic flow deposit of TG is recognized southwest to west of the Numazawa caldera and along the western margin of the Aizu basin. The eruption process of TG comprises plinian eruption, pyroclastic flow, and plinian eruption.
So-OT (300-330 ka) is composed of an ignimbrite and a fall-out tephra derived from the Shiobara caldera. This ignimbrite is known as Otahara pyroclastic flow deposit. On the other hand, fall-out tephra of So-OT has been newly identified. APm tephra beds are significant widespread tephras derived from volcano in the Hida mountains at 330-400 ka. This study corrects a correlation of APm in this area, which was shown by Suzuki (1993). Tephras identified as APm in this study are Nm-13, -14, -16 tephras below So-OT.
Sn-MT (180-260 ka : FT ages) is composed of an ignimbrite and a fall-out tephra derived from the Sunagohara caldera. The former is part of the Sunagohara-Kubota tephra reported by Yamamoto and Sudo (1996) and the Pyroclastic Flow Deposit I reported by Mizugaki (1993). The latter is the Sunagohara-Kachikata tephra along the western margin of Aizu basin reported by Yamamoto and Sudo (1996), and the Okayaji Volcanic Ash Layer at the eastern foot of Adatara volcano reported by Soda and Saijo (1987). Sn-SK (220 ± 50 ka : FT age), originating from the Sunagohara caldera, was defined by Yamamoto and Sudo (1996). Sn-SK is composed of an ignimbrite and a fall-out tephra characterized by abundant accretionary lapilli. The latter is correlative to the Minowa Volcanic Ash Layer (Soda and Saijo, 1987) distributed at the eastern foot of Adatara volcano.
All pyroclastic deposits derived from the Numazawa caldera are Nm-NM (5 ka), Nm-KN (50-55 ka), and Nm-SB (110 ka), and those from the Sunagohara caldera are TG (125-135 ka), Sn-MT (180-260 ka), and Sn-SK (220 ka). This means that, at both caldera, explosive eruptions occurred three times over 260, 000 years, and it appears that the active period of explosive eruptions moved from the Sunagohara caldera to the Numazawa caldera. This resulted in the preservation of volcanic landforms with more dissected caldera landforms at the Sunagohara caldera. Intervals between eruptions at the Numazawa caldera range from 50, 000 to 60, 000 years, and the volumes of the three products are similar, indicating periodic and regular activities with a discharge rate of 0.02-0.06 DRE km3
/1, 000 years. On the other hand, the mean interval of eruptions at the Sunagohara caldera is 70, 000 to 40, 000 years, and the discharge rate is estimated to be 0.05-0.08 DRE km3
/1, 000 years : the latter is equivalent to or a little larger than that of the Numazawa caldera.