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300-year-old volcanic debris deposits found

(Xinhua)

13:51, October 18, 2011

Chinese scientists have found the first evidence of volcanic debris avalanche deposits in China.

Liu Xiang with Jilin University found that dozens of hummocks near Wudalianchi Lake in Heilongjiang Province are debris avalanche deposits from two volcanic eruptions that occurred in 1720 and 1721.

Liu's article on the discovery was published in the latest issue of Geological Review, a journal sponsored by China Geological Society.

Liu points out in the article that Mount Laohei and Mount Huoshao at the lake side are volcanos that took shape 160,000 years ago.

Their eruptions in the 1770s were accompanied with strong avalanches, which produced the hummocks.

The largest distance of hummocks from the eruptions is as far as 2 kilometers.

The hummocks are composed of grey purple basaltic volcanic agglomerate and volcanic breccia, which is the same as that of the rocks on the two mountains, Liu said Monday.

He said that globally, scientists have discovered evidence of more than 20 volcanic avalanche events since 1500, but it is the first of such evidence found in China.

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