Report on Aira (Japan) — April 1991
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 4 (April 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Aira (Japan) Continued vigorous explosions
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Aira (Japan). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:4. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199104-282080.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Explosive activity has remained at high levels since mid-January, totaling . . . 42 [explosions] in April (the highest monthly total since April 1986), and 15 through 16 May . . . . The explosions caused no damage. The highest April ash cloud rose 3,000 m on the 30th. April ashfall was 187 g/m2 [at KLMO]. Earthquake swarms were recorded on four days, a normal monthly total for the volcano.
Geologic Background. The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.
Information Contacts: JMA.