Report on Aira (Japan) — March 1989
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 3 (March 1989)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Aira (Japan) Ash emission; earthquake swarm
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1989. Report on Aira (Japan). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 14:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198903-282080.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
In March, activity remained weak, with a small amount of ash emission on the 1st. Only one explosion . . . was recorded, bringing the year's total to five. The explosion, at 2258 on 11 March, ejected a 1,500-m plume and was accompanied by an air shock and small explosion sound. No damage was reported. Monthly ash accumulation at KLMO was 116 g/m2. An earthquake swarm was recorded 14-15 March by a seismometer 2.3 km NW of the crater.
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.