Unzen Volcanic Area Geopark, Japan
This park became a global geopark in 2009. The geopark is located in the southern part of Nagasaki Prefecture in Kyushu, western Japan. Before the Unzen volcano formed, the region of the Shimabara Peninsula was a shallow sea. The strata deposited in this shallow sea are called the ‘Kuchinotsu Group’. Visitors can observe these rocks to the south of the peninsula. Volcanic activity, such as the eruption of low-viscosity basaltic lava flows, formed the gentle slope in the south. The Unzen volcano is located in the central part of the peninsula, where many lava domes were created by viscous dacite magma. The narrow region extending from Beppu City to the Shimabara Peninsula is characterised by abundant normal and strike-slip faults trending approximately EW to NE-SW and is described as the Beppu-Shimabara Graben. The Unzen volcano developed within one of these active basins (Unzen Graben).