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Report on Aira (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 Aira (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 September-16 September 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (10 September-16 September 2014)


Aira

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 8-16 September JMA maintained Alert Level 3 for Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano. Volcanic earthquakes and tremor were detected during this time period. There were 12 explosions that ejected tephra up to 1,300 m above Showa crater. Sustained eruptions from the crater were recorded on 10 and 11 September and nighttime incandescence was detected during 11-16 September.

During 10-16 September JMA reported ash eruptions, causing the Tokyo VAAC to issue regular advisories; however, ash was not visible in satellite images.

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)