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Report on Aira (Japan) — January 1987


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 1 (January 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Aira (Japan) Lapilli damages car windshields

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198701-282080



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Six explosions . . . were recorded during December, bringing the 1986 total to 213. Eruptive activity and seismicity increased toward the end of the month. Explosions on 19 December at 1347 and 30 December at 0916 ejected large amounts of lapilli that broke nearby car windshields. The 30 December ash cloud reached 2,500 m above the crater. Total ashfall for the month was 28 g/m2 at [KLMO]. Earthquake swarms occurred on 5 days.

During January, 13 explosions were recorded. Maximum ash cloud height was 2,800 m above Minami-dake crater, on 8 January. Earthquake swarms were recorded on 2, 4, 13, 18, and 20 January. No ash accumulation was recorded at [KLMO].

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.