Report on Suwanosejima (Japan) — January 1996
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 21, no. 1 (January 1996)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman
Suwanosejima (Japan) Small eruptions in January; nine explosions throughout 1995
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1996. Report on Suwanosejima (Japan). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 21:1. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199601-282030.
29.638°N, 129.714°E; summit elev. 796 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Monitoring from the Sakurajima Volcanological Observatory revealed nine explosions from Suwanose-jima in 1995. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency and the Kagoshima Prefectural Government, small eruptions during 10-13 January 1996 sent plumes 300-600 m above the volcano and caused ashfall to the S. Activity has been high since 1950, with 1-2 ash emissions every month, and some Strombolian explosions.
Geologic Background. The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanosejima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. The summit of the volcano is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanosejima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from Otake, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted until 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, and the SW crater produced two lava flows that reached the western coast. At the end of the eruption the summit of Otake collapsed forming a large debris avalanche and creating the horseshoe-shaped Sakuchi caldera, which extends to the eastern coast. The island remained uninhabited for about 70 years after the 1813-1814 eruption. Lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884. Only about 50 people live on the island.
Information Contacts: Volcano Research Center, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan (URL: http://hakone.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/vrc/vrc.html).