Additional Report for Mikura Seamount

Mikura Seamount

Izu Islands, Japan

33.75°N, 139.25°E; summit elev. -300 m

Mikura Seamount is a cone-shaped feature with a summit ~300 m below sea level and 1,400 m above the surrounding sea floor. No surface phenomena have been reported in historical time.


Index of Monthly Reports

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12/1982 (SEAN 07:12) Earthquake sequence not volcanic

10/1990 (BGVN 15:10) Three bursts of seismicity near Mikura Seamount


Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

12/1982 (SEAN 07:12) Earthquake sequence not volcanic

Beginning 27 December there have been many recorded earthquakes with epicenters in the ocean about 40 km S of Miyake-jima Island (~200 km S of Tokyo; figures 1 and 2). The first felt shock occurred at 1533. At 1537 on 28 December the largest, magnitude [6.4] on the JMA scale, originated at the N edge of the epicentral area. It was followed by gradually decreasing aftershock activity. Earthquake swarms or main shock-aftershock events in the sea around Miyake-jima occurred in July and September 1980, and . . . March 1981. The USGS/NEIS recorded four shocks of magnitude 5 or greater (table 1).

Figure 1. Epicenters of earthquakes larger than magnitude 3, 27-31 December 1982. The epicentral area is 40 km S of Miyake-jima Island. The largest open circle is the main shock that occurred 28 December at 1537, 30 km S of Miyake-jima. Focal depths ranged from 0-20 km. The January 1983 earthquakes were located in the same area. Courtesy of JMA.
Figure 2. Hourly and daily (inset) number of earthquakes in the Izu Islands recorded at Miyake-jima Weather Station, 27 December 1982-4 January 1983. Courtesy of JMA.

Table 1. Earthquakes of Ms >= 5 on 28 December 1982 in the Izu Islands, Japan. Courtesy of the USGS.

    Time  Magnitude   Latitude   Longitude   Focal Depth

    1024    5.0       33.74 N    139.46 E      shallow
    1053    5.5       33.70 N    139.44 E      shallow
    1112    5.1       33.70 N    139.52 E      shallow
    1537    6.1       33.77 N    139.51 E       20 km

Personnel from the Miyake-jima Weather Station visited the summit area (Oyama) on 29 December, but observed no unusual phenomena. The events were interpreted as having been too far from Miyake-jima to be precursors of volcanic activity. A group of shallow earthquakes occurred close to Miyake-jima a few months before the last eruption in 1962.

Information Contacts: JMA, Tokyo; USGS/NEIS, Denver, CO.

10/1990 (BGVN 15:10) Three bursts of seismicity near Mikura Seamount

A swarm of earthquakes began at 0624 on 5 October, in the sea ~20 km SW of Mikura-jima Island (figure 3). A second burst occurred 13 October, following a gradual decline from the 5th, and a third burst occurred on 21 October (figure 4). A total of about 30 shocks were felt by residents on Mikura-jima and nine were felt on Miyake-jima Island (at Miyake-jima Weather Station), ~40 km NNE of the epicentral area. The largest event was M 4.3 and occurred on 27 October. Depths of most of the located events ranged from 20 to 30 km, although depth control was poor.

Figure 3. Epicentral distribution of earthquakes (M >= 3.0) off Mikura-jima, October 1990. Courtesy of JMA.
Figure 4. Daily number of located earthquakes off Mikura-jima, October 1990. Courtesy of JMA.

The swarm occurred in the vicinity of Mikura Seamount, a cone-shaped feature with a summit ~300 m below sea level and 1,400 m above the surrounding sea floor. No surface phenomena were reported in the area in October, nor have any been reported in historical time. The last swarm near this site took place in December 1982, and was more vigorous, including one M 6.4 event.

Information Contact: JMA.