Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 22 October-28 October 2008
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 October-28 October 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 October-28 October 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.218°E; summit elev. 639 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 27 October, JMA raised the Alert Level for Kuchinoerabu-jima from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-5). GPS measurements indicated that inflation just below the summit crater, which had started in September, was continuing. Fumarolic activity near summit had also increased. On 4 September, JMA had raised the Alert Level for from 1 to 2 because of the increased seismicity.
Geologic Background. A group of young stratovolcanoes forms the eastern end of the irregularly shaped island of Kuchinoerabujima in the northern Ryukyu Islands, 15 km west of Yakushima. The Furudake, Shindake, and Noikeyama cones were erupted from south to north, respectively, forming a composite cone with multiple craters. The youngest cone, centrally-located Shintake, formed after the NW side of Furutake was breached by an explosion. All historical eruptions have occurred from Shintake, although a lava flow from the S flank of Furutake that reached the coast has a very fresh morphology. Frequent explosive eruptions have taken place from Shintake since 1840; the largest of these was in December 1933. Several villages on the 4 x 12 km island are located within a few kilometers of the active crater and have suffered damage from eruptions.