Report on Aira (Japan) — January 1984
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 9, no. 1 (January 1984)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Aira (Japan) Lapilli damage car windshields; air shock breaks windows; 1983 explosions and ashfalls tabulated
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1984. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 9:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198401-282080
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Recorded explosive eruptions were fewer in October (21) and November (16), but about as frequent in December (37) as in August  and September (36). About 1/4 of October's explosions were accompanied by large quantities of ejecta. On 10 October, the last and strongest of explosions at 1001, 1131 and 1351 sent an eruption column to 2.5 km above the summit. A large amount of lapilli broke windshields on two cars at Nojiri and Mochiki, at the SW foot of the volcano about 4 km from the summit. Activity remained at a relatively low level from late October to mid November. In late November stronger explosions were again frequently observed. During the first 12 explosions in December, observers at the Kagoshima Observatory witnessed lapilli ejection. Ejecta from an explosion at 1702 on 7 December broke a windshield at Usine in Tarumizu City (10 km SSE). 0n 13 December an explosion at 1028 generated an air shock that broke five windows in a hotel and one in a house. There were 413 recorded explosions in 1983, the second largest annual total since the current eruption began in 1955.
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 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: JMA, Tokyo.