Mount Suribachi

Coordinates: 24°45′01″N 141°17′20″E / 24.75028°N 141.28889°E / 24.75028; 141.28889
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Iwo Jima Suribachi DN-SD-03-11845.JPEG
Mount Suribachi as seen in 2001
Highest point
Elevation169 m (554 ft)[1]
Prominence169 m (554 ft)
Coordinates24°45′01″N 141°17′20″E / 24.75028°N 141.28889°E / 24.75028; 141.28889
Suribachi is located in North Pacific
Parent rangeVolcano Islands
Mountain typeCinder cone
Volcanic arc/beltVolcano Islands
Last eruptionMay 2, 2012[1]

Mount Suribachi (摺鉢山, Suribachiyama) is a 169-metre (554 ft)-high mountain on the southwest end of Iwo Jima in the northwest Pacific Ocean under the administration of Ogasawara Subprefecture, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan.

The mountain's name derives from its shape, resembling a suribachi or grinding bowl. It is also known as "Mount Pipe" (パイプ山, paipu-yama), since the volcanic gas and water vapor that rolls in from the summit, alongside the rest of the island, give the appearance of a smoking pipe when viewed from the sea.[citation needed]

Joe Rosenthal's iconic World War II photograph, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, depicting United States Marines raising an American flag, was taken at the mountain's peak during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Ammunition ship USS Suribachi was named after this mountain.


Geologically, the mountain is a cinder cone of andesite, formed by volcanic activity. It is thought[by whom?] that the mountain is a dormant vent to a still active volcano (designated Iō-tō, the name of the island as a whole). From 1889 to 1957, the Japanese government recorded sixteen eruptions on the peak. One eruption lasted for sixty-five minutes, and created a crater with a diameter of 35 meters and a depth of fifteen meters on the runway near the former airfield from World War II.[2] The Japanese Meteorological Agency reported that on May 2, 2012, a small eruption caused water discoloration to the northeast, and confirmed the appearance of a new fumarole.[1]


During World War II, the Japanese built tunnel and bunker systems in and on Mount Suribachi. In February 1945, United States Marines invaded the island and initiated a major battle. For the United States, Iwo Jima was an important strategic point between the United States and mainland Japan, needed for its close proximity to Japan as an airstrip for supporting aircraft in Japanese mainland bombing operations but became useful for damaged B-29s returning to the Mariana Islands from bombing Japan, a status that resulted in severe fighting that took the lives of over 20,000 Americans and over 20,000 Japanese.

In popular culture[edit]

U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Ioto". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
  2. ^ Fisherl, Richard Virgil; Grant Heiken; Jeffrey B. Hulen (1997). Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-6910-0249-5.

External links[edit]