Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 15 June-21 June 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 June-21 June 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 June-21 June 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 14 June JMA reported that no activity at Kuchinoerabujima had been detected after a small eruption on 19 June 2015. The report noted that volcanic tremor had not been detected, the temperature of thermal areas had declined, sulfur dioxide gas flux was lower than values detected prior to the May-June 2015 eruption, and volcanic earthquake levels were lower than levels detected in August 2014. The Alert Level was lowered to 3 (the highest level on a 1-5 scale) on 14 June, and the public was reminded to stay at least 2 km away from Shindake Crater.
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.