Mount Zaō with Sakura
|Elevation||1,841 m (6,040 ft)|
|Mountain type||Complex volcano|
|Last eruption||May 1940|
Mount Zaō (蔵王山 Zaō-zan) is a complex volcano on the border between Yamagata Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. It consists of a cluster of stratovolcanoes and is the most active volcano in northern Honshu. The central volcano of the group includes several lava domes and a tuff cone, Goshiki-dake, which contains a crater lake named "Okama" (御釜). Also known as the "Five Color Pond" (五色沼, goshiki numa) because it changes color depending on the weather, it lies in a crater formed by a volcanic eruption in the 1720s. The lake is 360 metres (1,200 ft) in diameter and 60 m (200 ft) deep, and is one of the main tourist attractions in the area.
One striking feature of Zaō's famous ski resorts is the snow monsters (樹氷 Juhyō) that appear in mid-winter. Strong wind over the nearby lake fling water droplets which freeze against the trees and their branches, until near-horizontal icicles begin to form. Falling snow settles on the ice formations, and the end result is a grotesque figure of a tree. The effect of a full forest of such trees gives visitors a ghostly impression. Zaō is one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan.
- Deneke, Rainer (2000). "Review of rotifers and crustaceans in highly acidic environments of pH values ≤ 3". Hydrobiologia. 433 (1–3): 167–172. doi:10.1023/a:1004047510602.
- Negoro, K (1940). "A Pinnularia from Okama, an acidotrophic crater lake of volcano Zao". Jap. J. Limnol. 9: 176–179. doi:10.3739/rikusui.9.176.
- Anzai, T (1938). "Limnological observation of Okama, a crater lake of Volcano Zaō". Jap. J. Limnol. 8: 264–272. doi:10.3739/rikusui.8.3-4_264.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mount Zao.|
- Zaozan - Japan Meteorological Agency (in Japanese)
- "Zaozan: National catalogue of the active volcanoes in Japan" (PDF). - Japan Meteorological Agency
- Zao - Geological Survey of Japan (in Japanese)
- Zaozan - Smithsonian Institution: Global Volcanism Program
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