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Report on Aira (Japan) — August 1982

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 8 (August 1982)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Aira (Japan) Explosive activity increases then declines; debris flow

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1982. Report on Aira (Japan). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 7:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198208-282080.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Aira

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thirteen explosions were recorded in July. Activity was low during the first half of the month, then increased 16-24 July. A debris flow [caused by rainfall] carried away a concrete bridge at the S base of the volcano on the 24th. After the 24 July explosion, activity changed to continuous ash ejection without explosion [shocks].

In August, 14 explosions were recorded. Activity continued at the July level. On 24 August, continuous ash ejection without explosion [shocks] began in the morning, causing heavy ashfall to the NW. Ashfall from 1415-1500 was measured at 285 g/m2 at the JMA's Kagoshima Observatory (about 10 km W of the crater). At the Kagoshima Prefecture Office, 2 km N of the JMA Observatory, 5522 g/m2 of ash fell from 0900-1600. The ejection declined in the evening. The ash caused slight damage.

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.