Report on Izu-Oshima (Japan) — June 1987
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 6 (June 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Izu-Oshima (Japan) Three earthquake swarms; intermittent tremor continues
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Izu-Oshima (Japan). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198706-284010.
34.724°N, 139.394°E; summit elev. 758 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Three earthquake swarms occurred in May. The first, 15 km NW of the island, lasted from 6 to about 20 May. It was followed by two weaker swarms; in the SE part of the volcano 22-26 May, and near the summit from 22 May to mid-June (figure 7). About 89 shocks were recorded at the Oshima weather station during the 6-20 May swarm (figure 8), the largest a M 5.1 event at 0635 on 11 May. Swarms have occurred in that area one or two times a year since 1978, most recently in October 1986.
The 22-26 May swarm was the first increase in seismicity in the SE part of the island since the eruption. The largest event, at 0626 on 23 May, had a magnitude of 3.0 and was felt at the weather station. Seismicity in the SE part of the island had decreased steadily and exponentially since the 1986 eruption (figure 9).
|Figure 9. Daily seismicity in SE part of Oshima Island, 10 December 1986 to 10 June 1987. Courtesy of JMA.|
An increase in summit-area microearthquakes also began on 22 May. Recorded events increased from about 20/day February-May, to ~40/day after 22 May, and to 100 daily after 29 May; the number of events decreased in mid-June. Steady microearthquake activity had continued near the summit since February, when observation by seismograph began in the area (figure 10). Tremor that began 1 January was intermittently recorded throughout May and June. Tremor episodes generally occurred at regular intervals of 1-2 hours and lasted for about 30 minutes. Beginning 14 May their regularity decreased, intervals between episodes grew from several hours to 20 hours, and episode durations increased to 60-300 minutes (figure 11). The regular tremor interval resumed on 7 June but toward the end of June became irregular again. Long-duration tremor episodes of more than 10 hours were often recorded. Weak steam emission continued at the summit of Miharayama, the central cone, producing about 50-m plumes. Steam rose steadily 0-5 m from craters that had formed on the N-flank fissure in the 1986 eruption.
|Figure 10. Daily seismicity in the summit area of Oshima, 20 February-10 June 1987. Courtesy of JMA.|
Geologic Background. Izu-Oshima volcano in Sagami Bay, east of the Izu Peninsula, is the northernmost of the Izu Islands. The broad, low stratovolcano forms an 11 x 13 km island and was constructed over the remnants of three dissected stratovolcanoes. It is capped by a 4-km-wide caldera with a central cone, Miharayama, that has been the site of numerous historical eruptions. More than 40 cones are located within the caldera and along two parallel rift zones trending NNW-SSE. Although it is a dominantly basaltic volcano, strong explosive activity has occurred at intervals of 100-150 years throughout the past few thousand years. Historical activity dates back to the 7th century CE. A major eruption in 1986 produced spectacular lava fountains up to 1600 m height and a 16-km-high eruption column; more than 12,000 people were evacuated from the island.
Information Contacts: JMA.