Report on Aira (Japan) — January 1995
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 20, no. 1 (January 1995)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.
Aira (Japan) Explosive eruptions cause ashfall but no damage
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1995. Report on Aira (Japan) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 20:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199501-282080.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Activity from Minami-dake crater continued in January with 47 eruptive events, including 41 explosions; no damage was caused. Explosion sounds were heard during nine of these events by personnel at the Kagoshima Meteorological Observatory (10 km W). The highest ash plume of the month rose 2.5 km on 26 January. The next day, a "fire column" rose 300 m above the crater rim. Rockfalls on the 31st traveled midway down the slope of the volcano. A total of 715 volcanic earthquakes registered at the station 2.3 km NW of Minami-dake crater during January. The monthly ashfall amount (10 km W of the crater) was 15 g/m2.
Geologic Background. 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 Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.
Information Contacts: Volcanological Affairs Office, Seismological and Volcanological Dept, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100 Japan.