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Report on Aira (Japan) — 29 May-4 June 2013

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Aira (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (29 May-4 June 2013)


Aira

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


JMA reported that during 27-31 May Sakura-jima's Showa Crater had four explosions, ejecting tephra that fell at most 1.3 km from the crater. Crater incandescence was occasionally detected at night. A small pyroclastic flow traveled 700 m down the E flank. A pyroclastic flow also occurred in the crater. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 30 May explosions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. An explosion was detected on 1 June, and on 2 June an explosion produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l.

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.

Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)