Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 20 May-26 May 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 May-26 May 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 May-26 May 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.218°E; summit elev. 639 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
JMA reported that no eruptions occurred from Kuchinoerabujima during 18-22 May, although the level of activity remained elevated. White plumes rose 600 m above Shindake Crater, and incandescence from the W part of the crater was observed at night. Volcanic earthquakes were detected; tremor was absent. Fumarolic activity in a crack in W part of the crater was observed during a field survey. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).
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.