Report on Aira (Japan) — May 1993
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 18, no. 5 (May 1993)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.
Aira (Japan) Few quiet ash eruptions; no explosions
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1993. Report on Aira (Japan). In: Venzke, E. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 18:5. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199305-282080.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
No explosions occurred . . . in May . . . . The interval 8 April through 14 June (68 days), is the longest explosion-free period since 1989, when 139 consecutive days (between April and August) were without explosions. There were, however, explosion-free ash eruptions during this interval. The first quiet ash eruption was on 24 May, and other single eruptions were recorded on 24, 27, 28, and 30 May, and 12-14 June. The highest ash column of the month rose 2,500 m above the summit on 24 May, and a 3,000-m column was observed 1 June. Seismicity was also at low levels in May and early June.
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.