Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — April 1976
Natural Science Event Bulletin, vol. 1, no. 7 (April 1976)
Managing Editor: David Squires
Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) Explosion sends column 3 km high
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1976. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Squires, D (ed.), Natural Science Event Bulletin, 1:7. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.NSEB197604-282050.
30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
An explosion at Shin-dake cone yielded columns of smoke 3,000 m high at about  on 2 April. After 30 minutes the height of the smoke column decreased to about 200 m (twice that of usual emissions). Egg-sized volcanic ejecta fell, and ash 2 cm deep was measured in a village 3 km from the crater. The last explosion took place on 3 June 1974. [JMA reported that there was no damage.]
Geologic Background. A group of young stratovolcanoes forms the eastern end of the irregularly shaped island of Kuchinoerabujima in the northern Ryukyus, 15 km west of Yakushima. Furutake, Shintake, and Noike were erupted from south to north, respectively, to form a composite cone that is parallel to the trend of the Ryukyu Islands. The highest peak, Furutake, reaches only 657 m above sea level. The youngest cone, 640-m-high Shintake, was 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: T. Tiba, National Science Museum, Tokyo.