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Report on Aira (Japan) — December 1982

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 12 (December 1982)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Aira (Japan) Frequent explosive activity, ash ejection; little ash

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1982. Report on Aira (Japan). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 7:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198212-282080.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Aira

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive activity at the summit crater of Minami-dake intensified in December when 32 explosions were recorded. Only 12 had been recorded from September through November. Ash ejections lasting less than 25 minutes and not accompanied by instrument-recorded explosions were frequently observed. Although eruptive activity was frequent, large amounts of ejecta were rarely observed. No damage was reported. In early December, 124 hours of volcanic tremor were recorded but only 20 hours were recorded during the middle of the month, when explosive activity peaked.

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.