Report on Aira (Japan) — August 1993
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 18, no. 8 (August 1993)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.
Aira (Japan) Longest non-eruptive period since 1972
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1993. Report on Aira (Japan). In: Venzke, E. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 18:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199308-282080.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
July was the first eruption-free month since June 1989, although a white (occasionally gray) plume weakly rose 100-200 m above the crater rim throughout the month. Seismicity in July was about 10% of normal, with 331 small earthquakes recorded. . . . Eruptive activity had not resumed as of 13 September, bringing the sequence of explosion-free days to 159 since 8 April. This is the longest explosion-free period in over 20 years. Since the current eruption began in 1955, the longest quiet period prior to this was 307 days from April 1971 until March 1972.
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.