Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 10 September-16 September 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 September-16 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, 10 September-16 September 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 8-16 September JMA reported that Alert Level 3 conditions persisted at Kuchinoerabujima, but no eruptive activity was observed. Low-level seismicity continued and tremor was absent. White plumes were visible on webcamera images rising 800 m from the crater during 8-12 September and to 600 m during 13-16 September. A field survey on 12 September measured SO2 emissions that were similar to pre-eruptive levels (300 tons/day).
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.