Report on Aira (Japan) — August 1999
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 24, no. 8 (August 1999)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.
Aira (Japan) Larger than normal eruptions in late July and early August
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1999. Report on Aira (Japan). In: Wunderman, R. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 24:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199908-282080.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Sakura-jima volcano had a heightened level of eruptive activity during the period 28 July-12 August. Large eruptions occurred at 2022 on 30 July, at 2216 on 1 August, and at 0030 on 2 August when ballistic ejecta fell as far away as the mid-flank of the volcano. The activity level reduced after 13 August; only one-fifth of the number of explosions occurred during following 10 days. As of 23 August, 78 explosions had occurred during 1999.
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: Setsuya Nakada, Volcano Research Center, ERI, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html).