Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 30 July-5 August 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 July-5 August 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 July-5 August 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 3 August, JMA reported that Kuchinoerabujima erupted in the vicinity of Shin-dake crater and an overflight confirmed traces of ash on the west side of the volcano. Tokyo VAAC reported an ash plume rose to 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. JMA raised the Alert Level for Kuchinoerabujima from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-5). On 5 August, volcanic seismicity and volcanic tremor decreased and views from a remote web camera showed a white plume 50 m above the crater rim.
Geologic Background. A group of young stratovolcanoes forms the eastern end of the irregularly shaped island of Kuchinoerabujima in the northern Ryukyus, 15 km west of Yakushima. Furutake, Shintake, and Noike were erupted from south to north, respectively, to form a composite cone that is parallel to the trend of the Ryukyu Islands. The highest peak, Furutake, reaches only 657 m above sea level. The youngest cone, 640-m-high Shintake, was 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.