Report on Suwanosejima (Japan) — 25 July-31 July 2001

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 July-31 July 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Suwanosejima (Japan). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 July-31 July 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (25 July-31 July 2001)



29.638°N, 129.714°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Volcanic tremor was detected near Suwanose-jima's On-take (Otake) crater beginning on 25 July at 2200 until at least 26 July. JMA reported that an eruption on 26 July at 1430 produced a volcanic plume that rose to 1.3 km above the crater and drifted to the S. That day seismometers ~2 km SW of the crater recorded explosions at 0501, 0558, 0935, and 1055. According to the Suwanose-jima Branch of the Toshima Village Office, ash fell the morning of 26 July.

Geologic Background. The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanosejima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. The summit of the volcano is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanosejima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from Otake, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted until 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, and the SW crater produced two lava flows that reached the western coast. At the end of the eruption the summit of Otake collapsed forming a large debris avalanche and creating the horseshoe-shaped Sakuchi caldera, which extends to the eastern coast. The island remained uninhabited for about 70 years after the 1813-1814 eruption. Lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884. Only about 50 people live on the island.

Source: Volcano Research Center-Earthquake Research Institute (University of Tokyo)