Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — March 1996

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 21, no. 3 (March 1996)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) Increasing number of earthquakes since January

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1996. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 21:3. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199603-282050.

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Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

30.443°N, 130.218°E; summit elev. 639 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


According to the Sakura-jima Volcanological Observatory of Kyoto University, the number of earthquakes has increased around Shin-dake since January. The total number of earthquakes recorded was 32 in January, 40 in February, and 77 in March.

A group of young stratovolcanoes forms the E end of Kuchinoerabu-jima Island, midway between Suwanose-jima and Kyushu. Several villages on the 4 x 12 km island are located within a few kilometers of the active crater of Shin-dake and have suffered damage from historical eruptions. Shin-dake is the summit cone, and has been the site of all 13 eruptions known since 1840. The last eruption was a weak 30-minute explosion on 28 September 1980 that sent an ash plume 2-3 km high.

Geologic Background. A group of young stratovolcanoes forms the eastern end of the irregularly shaped island of Kuchinoerabujima in the northern Ryukyu Islands, 15 km west of Yakushima. The Furudake, Shindake, and Noikeyama cones were erupted from south to north, respectively, forming a composite cone with multiple craters. The youngest cone, centrally-located Shintake, formed after the NW side of Furutake was breached by an explosion. All historical eruptions have occurred from Shintake, although a lava flow from the S flank of Furutake that reached the coast has a very fresh morphology. Frequent explosive eruptions have taken place from Shintake since 1840; the largest of these was in December 1933. Several villages on the 4 x 12 km island are located within a few kilometers of the active crater and have suffered damage from eruptions.

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Volcanological Division, Seismological and Volcanological Department, 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japan.