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Report on Aira (Japan) — January 1980

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 1 (January 1980)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Aira (Japan) Explosions continue; activity since 1955 summarized

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1980. Report on Aira (Japan). In: Squires, D. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 5:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198001-282080.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Aira

Japan

31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thirty-six explosions were recorded in December by the JMA's Kagoshima Observatory (table 3), bringing the total number in 1979 to 149. Tephra cracked airplane windshields on 18 and 24 December; both planes landed safely. In January, 10 explosions had been recorded by the 27th, none of which caused any damage.

Table 3. Explosions recorded at the Kagoshima Observatory, 19 August 1979-27 January 1980. Data courtesy of JMA.

Date Time Cloud Height (km) Activity
19 Aug 1979 -- 1.0 --
03 Sep 1979 -- -- --
07 Sep 1979 -- 1.2 --
08 Sep 1979 -- 2.8 --
09 Sep 1979 -- 0.8 --
10 Sep 1979 -- -- --
04 Oct 1979 0555 1.2 --
08 Oct 1979 1025 1.2 --
09 Oct 1979 0907 -- --
10 Oct 1979 0900 2.0 --
11 Oct 1979 0240 -- --
11 Oct 1979 1408 2.0 --
12 Oct 1979 0012 -- --
12 Oct 1979 2116 -- --
13 Oct 1979 0310 -- --
14 Oct 1979 0623 1.6 --
14 Oct 1979 1321 -- --
14 Oct 1979 1957 -- --
14 Oct 1979 2247 -- --
15 Oct 1979 1403 1.2 --
16 Oct 1979 0550 1.3 --
16 Oct 1979 0751 1.5 --
16 Oct 1979 1658 -- --
16 Oct 1979 1846 -- --
17 Oct 1979 2245 -- --
18 Oct 1979 0509 -- --
18 Oct 1979 1559 -- --
23 Oct 1979 1346 2.5 --
26 Oct 1979 1503 2.7 --
27 Oct 1979 0204 -- --
30 Oct 1979 1655 2.0 --
02 Nov 1979 0246 -- --
03 Nov 1979 1038 -- --
04 Nov 1979 0804 -- --
08 Nov 1979 0807 1.5 --
09 Nov 1979 1054 -- --
10 Nov 1979 0148 -- --
10 Nov 1979 1400 -- --
10 Nov 1979 1815 -- --
14 Nov 1979 0410 -- --
14 Nov 1979 1513 2.3 --
15 Nov 1979 1623 -- --
16 Nov 1979 0156 -- --
18 Nov 1979 0742 -- Two airplane windshields cracked.
19 Nov 1979 1733 1.8 --
20 Nov 1979 1514 2.3 --
20 Nov 1979 1522 2.7 --
20 Nov 1979 1536 2.0 --
21 Nov 1979 1458 1.6 --
21 Nov 1979 1646 1.7 --
21 Nov 1979 1806 -- --
21 Nov 1979 1920 -- Incandescent cinders.
22 Nov 1979 2106 -- --
24 Nov 1979 0834 1.0 --
24 Nov 1979 1955 -- Incandescent cinders, lightning.
27 Nov 1979 2237 -- --
28 Nov 1979 0209 -- --
28 Nov 1979 1305 2.0 Lightning.
29 Nov 1979 0142 -- --
01 Dec 1979 0210 -- --
01 Dec 1979 0435 -- --
04 Dec 1979 0824 0.8 --
04 Dec 1979 1630 1.0 Lightning.
10 Dec 1979 0352 -- --
11 Dec 1979 0147 1.5 --
12 Dec 1979 0516 -- --
13 Dec 1979 0942 1.5 --
14 Dec 1979 1512 1.4 --
14 Dec 1979 1547 2.4 --
15 Dec 1979 1247 1.3 --
15 Dec 1979 1944 -- --
16 Dec 1979 0002 -- --
17 Dec 1979 0038 -- --
17 Dec 1979 0153 -- Lightning, three incandescent columns, rumbling.
17 Dec 1979 2219 -- Incandescent column.
18 Dec 1979 2118 -- Reflected glow after explosion.
19 Dec 1979 2307 -- --
21 Dec 1979 0135 -- --
22 Dec 1979 0119 -- --
23 Dec 1979 1138 -- --
23 Dec 1979 1540 -- Rumbling.
23 Dec 1979 1812 -- --
23 Dec 1979 2007 -- Rumbling.
24 Dec 1979 1710 1.7 --
24 Dec 1979 1740 2.3 Lightning.
24 Dec 1979 2218 -- Two 400-m incandescent columns, lasting 20 seconds; much lightning.
24 Dec 1979 2227 -- Much lightning.
24 Dec 1979 2231 -- Much lightning.
25 Dec 1979 1059 0.8 Lightning.
26 Dec 1979 0827 2.0 --
26 Dec 1979 1033 2.1 --
26 Dec 1979 1049 2.1 Lightning.
27 Dec 1979 0733 1.0 --
27 Dec 1979 0915 1.7 --
28 Dec 1979 1151 2.0 --
08 Jan 1980 1400 2.0 --
10 Jan 1980 0929 2.5 --
10 Jan 1980 1049 2.0 --
18 Jan 1980 1322 1.2 --
19 Jan 1980 0550 -- --
22 Jan 1980 2335 -- --
23 Jan 1980 2216 -- --
24 Jan 1980 1656 1.0 --
24 Jan 1980 1707 1.3 --
27 Jan 1980 0828 1.6 --

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: JMA, Tokyo.