Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/54

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
48
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

looked back at Aso from the top of Sobo-san, the highest mountain in the island, and appreciated more than ever the roundness of the crater and its great size, which can be better grasped from such a distance than from nearer at hand. The square, high block of Taka-dake and the turreted peak of Neko-dake stood impressively out of the huge bowl.

Some miles to the south and east of Aso-san the surface covering of volcanic ejectamenta which has filled up and blotted out the ancient features of the landscape ceases to be a solid sheet, but lava streams continue for great distances beyond, partly burying the old river channels that radiate away from the region occupied by Aso-san. Aso has evidently been the center of all the volcanic activity of this portion of Kiushiu, and the source of supply of the erupted material mantling the region. The longest of the lava arms follows the Gokase river for a distance of over 30 miles beyond the edge of the volcanic sheet as far as the sea, or a total distance of 50 miles from the volcano. It must have started as a broad stream or as successive streams of lava from Aso and have become narrowed into the old canyon of this river. The width of the present lava filling of the canyon is on the average 2½ to 3 miles, and the depth amounts certainly to several hundred feet.

The Gokase-gawa runs to the east coast, and down its canyon we took our course after a few more days in the heart of Kiushiu. The

 
PSM V71 D054 Kagoshima city and the bay near sakura jima volcano in southmost japan.png
Fig. 10. Overlooking from the hills the beautiful city and bay of Kagoshima in southernmost Japan. In the deep bay stands the island volcano Sakura-jima, almost 4,000 feet high, another of the active volcanoes of Kiushiu. In 1863 this city was bombarded and partly burnt by an English admiral and his squadron. Again in 1877 it was set on fire during the last days of the Satsuma rebellion, and here at that time the final desperate stand of some of the Japanese nobility was made against the principle of Europeanization.