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Report on Aira (Japan) — January 1987

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 1 (January 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Aira (Japan) Lapilli damages car windshields

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Aira (Japan). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198701-282080.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Aira

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Six explosions . . . were recorded during December, bringing the 1986 total to 213. Eruptive activity and seismicity increased toward the end of the month. Explosions on 19 December at 1347 and 30 December at 0916 ejected large amounts of lapilli that broke nearby car windshields. The 30 December ash cloud reached 2,500 m above the crater. Total ashfall for the month was 28 g/m2 at [KLMO]. Earthquake swarms occurred on 5 days.

During January, 13 explosions were recorded. Maximum ash cloud height was 2,800 m above Minami-dake crater, on 8 January. Earthquake swarms were recorded on 2, 4, 13, 18, and 20 January. No ash accumulation was recorded at [KLMO].

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.