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Report on Aira (Japan) — January 1988


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 1 (January 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Aira (Japan) More explosions; windows cracked

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198801-282080



31.5772°N, 130.6589°E; summit elev. 1117 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Although the 1987 total of 106 explosions was significantly below the 216 recorded in 1986, December's 31 explosions represented the highest monthly figure of 1987, and an explosion on 19 December sent an ash plume to 3,500 m above the summit. Monthly ash accumulation at [KLMO] was 3 g/m2. Air shocks were felt at the observatory from 22 of the 31 explosions. No damage was reported.

January had 29 explosions, many of which ejected large amounts of lapilli. An explosion on 30 January at 2206 generated a loud sound, and a strong air shock that cracked 35 windowpanes at hotels and a house on the S part of the island. No explosion had damaged as many windows since 6 February 1986. January's highest ash plume reached 3,000 m above the crater at 1227 on the 3rd. Monthly ash accumulation at KLMO was 5 g/m2.

Geological Summary. 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 caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim and built an island that was joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent eruptions since the 8th century have deposited ash on the city of Kagoshima, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest recorded eruption took place during 1471-76.

Information Contacts: JMA.