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Report on Aira (Japan) — January 1992


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 17, no. 1 (January 1992)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Aira (Japan) Monthly explosion total largest since 1985; increased seismicity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1992. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 17:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199201-282080



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Sixty explosions were recorded at Minami-dake cone in January, . . . marking the highest monthly total since December 1985. The month's highest ash cloud rose > 2,500 m at 0906 on 16 January, and a car windshield was cracked by lapilli during an explosion at 1725 on 2 January. A total of 206 g/m2 of ash was deposited [at KLMO] during the month . . . . Seismicity was higher than usual, with earthquake swarms on 5, 7, 9, 10, 15, 19, 20, and 26 January. Similar activity continued through early February.

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.