Logo link to homepage

Report on Aira (Japan) — February 1986


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 11, no. 2 (February 1986)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Aira (Japan) Plumes detected on NOAA satellite images

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1986. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 11:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198602-282080



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Plumes . . . were recorded on images from the NOAA 9 polar orbiting weather satellite in January (table 8). Most plumes extended SE of the volcano.

Table 8. Lengths of plumes from Sakura-jima detected on NOAA 9 weather satellite images, January 1986.

Date Time Plume Length
11 Jan 1986 1416 150-160 km
12 Jan 1986 1409 40-50 km
20 Jan 1986 1424 25-30 km
22 Jan 1986 1401 160 km
27 Jan 1986 1446 180 km
28 Jan 1986 1446 180 km

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: Will Gould, NOAA/NESDIS/SDSD.