Report on Aira (Japan) — May 1991
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 5 (May 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Aira (Japan) Frequent explosions continue
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Aira (Japan). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:5. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199105-282080.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Frequent explosions continued through mid-June, with 17 recorded in May and 20 as of 19 June, bringing the year's total to 142. The highest ash clouds rose 3,000 m on 3 May and 2300 m on 18 June. An air shock from a 10 May explosion broke a window, the first explosion damage since December 1990.
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.