Report on Suwanosejima (Japan) — September 1976

Natural Science Event Bulletin, vol. 1, no. 12 (September 1976)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Suwanosejima (Japan) Pilots note unusually high "smoke" columns

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1976. Report on Suwanosejima (Japan). In: Squires, D (ed.), Natural Science Event Bulletin, 1:12. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.NSEB197609-282030.

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Suwanosejima

Japan

29.638°N, 129.714°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


TOA (domestic) airline pilots noted unusually high "smoke" columns from On-take summit crater in July (table 1). [This crater name, used in original SEAN reports (and Volcanoes of the World), should not be confused with the volcano of the same name on Honshu.]

Table 1. Summary of explosions and other observations from Suwanose-jima, October 1975-December 1985. White vapor was emitted during days not listed in the table for 1977-78. "NVO" for 1979-October 1982 data indicates no visual observation due to bad weather. Numbers in parentheses are the local observation times. Dashes indicate no data provided or unknown. Data have been combined from monthly Bulletin tables and JMA has added data missing from original reports, including May 1984 and 1985. Courtesy of JMA.

Date Time Period Plume Height (m) Activity
04 Oct 1975 -- 700 Sometimes moderate explosions
05 Oct 1975 -- 1000 Sometimes large explosions, ashfall
06 Oct 1975 -- 1500 Large explosions, ashfall
07 Oct 1975 -- -- Explosion
08 Oct 1975 -- 1000 Large explosion
09 Oct 1975 -- 500 Explosion
09 Nov 1975 -- 1500 Large explosion
10 Nov 1975 -- 600 Explosion
19 Nov 1975 -- 500 Large explosion
07 Dec 1975 -- 200 Sometimes small explosions
21 Dec 1975 -- 700 Frequent large explosions
21 Dec 1975 -- 400 Remarkable incandescent column, frequent large explosions
23 Dec 1975 -- 700 Explosion
24 Dec 1975 -- 400 Sometimes large explosions
25 Dec 1975 -- 700 Explosion
26 Dec 1975 -- 1000 Frequent large explosions
27 Dec 1975 -- 700 Large explosion
28 Dec 1975 -- 700 Moderate explosion
31 Dec 1975 -- 400 --
08 Jan 1976 -- 300 Large explosion
24 Jan 1976 -- 1000 Ashfall
25 Jan 1976 -- 1000 Large explosion, ashfall
26 Jan 1976 -- -- Ashfall
27 Jan 1976 -- 500 Large explosion, ashfall
28-29 Jan 1976 -- 1500 --
14 Feb 1976 -- -- Moderate explosion
15 Feb 1976 -- 800 Moderate explosion, ashfall
16 Feb 1976 -- -- Sometimes explosion sounds, ashfall
17 Feb 1976 -- -- Sometimes explosion sounds
18 Feb 1976 -- 300 Sometimes explosion sounds
19 Feb 1976 -- 700 Explosion
20 Feb 1976 -- 500 Moderate explosion
26 Feb 1976 -- -- Explosion
12 Mar 1976 -- 500 Frequent large explosions
13 Mar 1976 -- 700 Frequent large detonations
14 Mar 1976 -- 500 Sometimes moderate explosions
13 Apr 1976 -- -- Moderate detonation
14 Apr 1976 -- 300 Ashfall
15 Apr 1976 -- 300 Ashfall, moderate explosion
16 Apr 1976 -- 1000 Ashfall
10 May 1976 -- 500 Explosion
03 Jul 1976 -- 4200 Moderate detonation
04 Jul 1976 -- 3600-4200 TOA airline pilot observed ashcloud
07 Jul 1976 -- 3600 TOA airline pilot observed ashcloud
23 Jul 1976 -- 3000 Explosion, large ash cloud, ashfall
24 Jul 1976 -- 3000 Explosion, ashfall
04 Oct 1976 -- 500 Ashfall
12 Oct 1976 -- 500 Ashfall
01 Nov 1976 -- -- Ashfall
11 Jan 1977 -- 1200 One explosion
19-21 Mar 1977 -- 700 Ash ejection and ashfall
24-25 Mar 1977 -- -- Two explosions
01-03 Apr 1977 -- 1000 One explosion, ash ejections
10-11 Apr 1977 -- 3000 Ash ejections and ashfall
14-20 Apr 1977 -- 1000 Two explosions, ash ejections and ashfall
27-29 Apr 1977 -- 3000 Explosions, ash ejections
08 May 1977 -- -- One explosion
13-18 May 1977 -- 2000 Several explosions, ashfall
26 May 1977 -- 1000 One explosion
03-05 Jun 1977 -- 3000 Frequent explosions, incandescent column, ashfall
21-22 Jun 1977 -- 3000 Frequent explosions
09-10 Jul 1977 -- 4000 Ash ejections, one explosion
23 Jul 1977 -- -- Explosions
08-10 Aug 1977 -- 3000 Frequent explosions, incandescent ejecta
10-15 Sep 1977 -- 3000 Frequent explosions, ash ejections, ashfall
18 Sep 1977 -- 3000 Ash ejections and ashfall
23 Oct 1977 -- 1000 One ash ejection
26-30 Oct 1977 -- 2000 Ash ejections
14 Nov 1977 -- -- One explosion
19 Nov 1977 -- 2000 Ash ejections
06 Dec 1977 -- -- One explosion
23 Jan 1978 -- -- Three explosions
19 Mar 1978 -- 500 Two ash ejections
22-25 Mar 1978 -- 1000 Ash ejections
09 Apr 1978 -- 1000 Ash ejections
19-22 Apr 1978 -- 3000 Ash ejections and ashfall
01-03 May 1978 -- 500 Ash ejections and ashfall
31 May 1978 -- 500 Frequent explosions, incandescent column
01 Jun 1978 -- 500 Frequent explosions, incandescent column, ashfall
16-19 Jun 1978 -- -- Frequent explosions
02-05 Jul 1978 -- 700 Frequent explosions, incandescent column, ashfall
19-21 Jul 1978 -- 3000 Ash ejections and ashfall
07-10 Aug 1978 -- 3000 Frequent explosions, incandescent column, ashfall
24 Aug 1978 -- 2000 Ash ejections and ashfall
07 Sep 1978 -- 3000 Frequent explosions, ashfall
17 Sep 1978 -- -- One explosion
23-24 Sep 1978 -- 700 Frequent explosions, incandescence
10-12 Oct 1978 -- 5000 Frequent explosions, ashfall
24-28 Oct 1978 -- 3000 Frequent explosions, incandescence, ashfall
06-10 Nov 1978 -- 700 Explosions, incandescence, ashfall
19-22 Nov 1978 -- 500 Explosions, incandescent column, ashfall
04-05 Dec 1978 -- 300 Explosions
06 Feb 1979 -- 500 Explosions, incandescence
14-15 Feb 1979 -- 500 Explosions, ashfall
19 Feb 1979 -- 500 One explosion
22 Feb 1979 -- -- One explosion
11-13 Mar 1979 -- 500 Four explosions
05 Jun 1979 -- -- Incandescent column, explosions
20 Jul 1979 -- 500 Seven explosions, ash emissions
21 Jul 1979 -- 200 Ash emissions
05-06 Sep 1979 -- 2000 Frequent, strong explosions, incandescent columns, ashfall to sea
07 Sep 1979 -- 1000 Ash emissions
08 Sep 1979 -- 800 Ash emissions
09 Sep 1979 -- 2000 Frequent explosions
12 Sep 1979 -- 1000 Ten explosions
10 Dec 1979 -- 1500 Explosions, incandescent blocks, reflected glow
11 Dec 1979 -- -- Ash emissions
12 Dec 1979 -- -- "Flames" in crater
18 Dec 1979 -- 300 Three explosions
05-06 Feb 1980 -- 1500 About 10 explosions, incandescent column
21-22 Mar 1980 -- 1000 Many explosions
25-26 Apr 1980 -- 1500 Explosions: ashfall on inhabited areas
13 May 1980 -- -- Three explosions
18 May 1980 -- 500 Six explosions; persistent ash ejection
04-05 Jun 1980 -- 500 More than 25 explosions
16-19 Jul 1980 -- -- Many explosions
03-08 Aug 1980 -- 1500 Several tens of explosions; incandescent column
21-23 Aug 1980 -- 1000 More than 20 explosions; incandescent column
08-09 Sep 1980 -- 1000 More than 1000 explosions
20 Sep 1980 -- -- Three explosions
24-27 Sep 1980 -- 2000 More than 1000 explosions
25-27 Oct 1980 -- 500 Persistent ash ejection
08-10 Nov 1980 -- 1500 More than 1000 explosions
29 Nov 1980 -- 500 Persistent ash ejection
13 Dec 1980 -- -- Explosions
04-08 Jan 1981 -- 100-1000 Continuous ash cloud
29 Jan 1981 -- 500 Ten explosions
30 Jan 1981 -- 300 Two explosions
31 Jan 1981 -- NVO Two explosions
12 Feb 1981 -- 1000 One explosions
20 Feb 1981 -- 1000 Three explosions
26 Feb 1981 -- 500 16 explosions
17 Mar 1981 -- 1000 20 explosions
15 Apr 1981 -- NVO Many explosions
16 Apr 1981 -- NVO 16 explosions
26 Apr 1981 -- 500 Many explosions
14 May 1981 -- 500 Ten explosions
12 Jun 1981 -- 1500 Three explosions
13 Jun 1981 -- NVO Two explosions
15 Jun 1981 -- NVO Three explosions
16 Jun 1981 -- NVO Three explosions
29-30 Jun 1981 -- -- Many explosions
01-04 Jul 1981 -- NVO Many explosions
05 Jul 1981 -- 500 Ten explosions
06 Jul 1981 -- NVO Ten explosions
13 Jul 1981 -- NVO Three explosions
14 Jul 1981 -- 2000 Many explosions
15 Jul 1981 -- NVO Six explosions
26 Nov 1981 -- NVO Many explosions
27 Nov 1981 -- 1500 Many explosions
13 Dec 1981 -- 500 40-50 explosions; rumbling
14 Dec 1981 -- 500 Many explosions; rumbling
15 Dec 1981 -- 500 30-40 explosions; rumbling
16 Dec 1981 -- 500 Two explosions
23 Dec 1981 -- NVO Two explosions
02 Jan 1982 -- 1500 Four explosions
23 Jan 1982 -- 1000 2-3 explosions/hour
25 Jan 1982 -- 200 Ten explosions
26 Jan 1982 -- 500 Many explosions
27 Jan 1982 -- 300 12 explosions
28 Jan 1982 -- 300 Three explosions
03 Feb 1982 -- NVO Five explosions
06 Feb 1982 -- 200 Five explosions
07 Feb 1982 -- 200 One explosion
08 Feb 1982 -- 200 One explosion
13 Feb 1982 -- 1000 One explosion; rumbling
14-15 Feb 1982 -- 500 Many explosions; rumbling
16-17 Feb 1982 -- NVO Many explosions; rumbling
18 Feb 1982 -- 500 Many explosions; rumbling
19 Feb 1982 -- NVO Six explosions
22 Feb 1982 -- 1000 Three explosions
23 Feb 1982 -- NVO Four explosions
24 Feb 1982 -- NVO Three explosions
25 Feb 1982 -- 1000 Seven explosions; rumbling
26 Feb 1982 -- 500 Five explosions
09 Mar 1982 -- 1000 Many explosions; rumbling
10 Mar 1982 -- 1000 Many explosions; rumbling
11 Mar 1982 -- 500 Ten explosions
28 Mar 1982 -- NVO Ten explosions; rumbling
29 Mar 1982 -- NVO 20-25 explosions; rumbling
30 Mar 1982 -- 1000 Four explosions
31 Mar 1982 -- NVO Six explosions
01 Apr 1982 -- 1000 Two explosions
02 Apr 1982 -- 1000 Ten explosions
03 Apr 1982 -- NVO Three explosions
15 Apr 1982 -- 500 18-20 explosions; rumbling
17 Apr 1982 -- 500 5-6 explosions/hour
18 Apr 1982 -- NVO 2-3 explosions/hour
19 Apr 1982 -- NVO Ten explosions; rumbling
05 May 1982 -- 200 One explosion
06 May 1982 -- 1000 Many explosions; rumbling
27 May 1982 -- 1000 One explosion
Jun-Jul 1982 -- NVO Quiet
16 Aug 1982 -- 1000 Four explosions
17 Aug 1982 -- 500 Four explosions
02 Sep 1982 -- 500 Five explosions
16 Sep 1982 -- NVO Many explosions
25 Sep 1982 -- 200 Nine explosions
26 Sep 1982 -- 200 Three explosions
05 Oct 1982 -- 500 Three explosions; rumbling
06 Oct 1982 -- NVO Six explosions
07 Oct 1982 -- NVO Seven explosions
08 Oct 1982 -- NVO Ten explosions; rumbling
09 Oct 1982 -- 300 Seven explosions
17 Oct 1982 -- NVO One explosion
03 Nov 1982 0500-2200 LT 500 3-4 explosions/hour
04 Nov 1982 0500-2200 LT 500 5-6 explosions/hour
05 Nov 1982 0700-2100 LT 500 5-6 explosions/hour
06 Nov 1982 0500-2200 LT 500 3 explosions/hour
07 Nov 1982 0500-2200 LT 500 1-2 explosions/hour
23 Nov 1982 0900-1300 LT 500 Five explosions
15 Dec 1982 -- 500 Ashfall
17 Dec 1982 1300-2000 LT 1000 15-16 explosions
18 Dec 1982 -- 500 Ashfall
19 Dec 1982 0900-2100 LT 1000 2-3 explosions/minute
20 Dec 1982 0600-2100 LT 1000 1-2 explosions/5 minutes
29 Dec 1982 1000-1300 LT 500 Two explosions
17 Jan 1983 0630-0800 LT 500 4-6 explosions/minute
17 Jan 1983 0800-2000 LT -- 3-4 explosions/hour
18 Jan 1983 0600-2200 LT Unknown 3-5 explosions/hour
19 Jan 1983 0600-1700 LT Unknown 15-20 explosions
28 Jan 1983 1700-2200 LT 500 25-30 explosions
29 Jan 1983 0500-1800 LT 700 2-3 explosions/minute
29 Jan 1983 1800-2200 LT -- 4-5 explosions/hour
30 Jan 1983 0500-1600 LT 1000 4-5 explosions/hour
10 Feb 1983 -- 200 A few explosions
11 Feb 1983 1900-2100 LT 500 1-2 explosions/minute
26 Feb 1983 1530-2300 LT 1000 5-6 explosions/minute
27 Feb 1983 0500-1200 LT 1000 Ten explosions
04 Mar 1983 -- Unknown One explosion
11 Mar 1983 1400-2300 LT 1000 2-3 explosions/minute
12 Mar 1983 0600-1200 LT Unknown 12 explosions
13 Mar 1983 0800-1200 LT -- Three explosions
28 Apr 1983 1400-1600 LT Unknown 3-5 explosions/minute
29 Apr 1983 1500-1900 LT 500 Three explosions
08 May 1983 0700-1500 LT 200 Six explosions
11 May 1983 1400-1500 LT 200 Three explosions
12 May 1983 1300-1500 LT 200 Three explosions
08 Jun 1983 1400-1900 LT 1500 Seven explosions
09 Jun 1983 1500-1800 LT 1500 Four explosions
10 Jun 1983 0900-2000 LT 500 Seven explosions
05-06 Jul 1983 2100-0300 LT -- Incandescent column
27 Jul 1983 1200-1730 LT 500 Two explosions
30 Sep 1983 0500-0900 LT 1500 7-9 explosions/hour
01 Oct 1983 0500-0900 LT 1000 17 explosions
17 Oct 1983 0600-1800 LT Unknown 15 explosions
18 Oct 1983 0530-1130 LT 1000 Five explosions
27 Oct 1983 1400-2300 LT 500 Rumbling
28 Oct 1983 0500-1330 LT 1000 Rumbling
29 Oct 1983 0500- ? LT 1000 Rumbling
22 Nov 1983 1000-2200 LT 500 10-15 explosions/minute
23 Nov 1983 0920-1100 LT 500 15-20 explosions/minute
23 Nov 1983 1400-1700 LT -- 15-20 explosions/minute
25 Nov 1983 0600-1800 LT 300 16 explosions
03 Dec 1983 1500-2300 LT 500 2-10 explosions/minute
04 Dec 1983 1000-2200 LT 300 Six explosions
18 Dec 1983 0400-1500 LT 500 2-3 explosions/minute
18 Dec 1983 1500-2200 LT -- 10 explosions
19 Dec 1983 0500-0900 LT 500 15-20 explosions/minute
19 Dec 1983 1500-2300 LT -- 20 explosions
20 Dec 1983 0400-0700 LT 500 2-3 explosions/minute
20 Dec 1983 0700-2100 LT -- 20 explosions
02 Jan 1984 0500-2000 LT 300 13 explosions
26 Jan 1984 0600-2200 LT 300 13 explosions
27 Jan 1984 500 5-7 explosions/hour
28 Jan 1984 0800-2300 LT 500 30-40 explosions/hour
29 Jan 1984 0500-1200 LT 500 Seven explosions
30 Jan 1984 0400-1500 LT 500 10 explosions
14-16 Mar 1984 -- -- 4-5 explosions/minute
18 Mar 1984 0500-2300 LT -- 10 explosions
12 Apr 1984 2100-2300 LT 1000 Seven explosions
15 Apr 1984 0730-1300 LT -- Seven explosions
15 Apr 1984 1700-2200 LT -- 5-6 explosions
16 Apr 1984 0700-1700 LT -- Six explosions
17 Apr 1984 0500-1000 LT -- 12 explosions
18 Apr 1984 0600-1000 LT -- Three explosions
15 May 1984 -- -- 12-13 explosions
28 Jun 1985 -- 2000 Airplane pilot saw the ash cloud, light ashfall
03 Aug 1985 -- -- Airplane pilot saw the ash cloud
14-15 Sep 1985 -- -- Frequent explosion sounds
01 Oct 1985 -- -- Airplane pilot saw the ash cloud
17-21 Nov 1985 -- -- Frequent explosion sounds
05-06 Dec 1985 -- -- Frequent explosion sounds

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: JMA, Tokyo.