Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 3 September-9 September 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 September-9 September 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, 3 September-9 September 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.218°E; summit elev. 639 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 1-8 September, JMA reported that Alert Level 3 conditions persisted at Kuchinoerabujima, but no eruptive activity was observed. Seismicity increased during 3-5 September; tremor was occasionally detected. Based on webcamera images, white plumes were visible rising 400 m from the crater during 1-5 September and to 200 m during 5-8 September. Tremor was not detected during 5-8 September and JMA noted that poor weather conditions due to a typhoon were affecting the seismic network.
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.