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Report on Izu-Oshima (Japan) — May 1987


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 5 (May 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Izu-Oshima (Japan) Earthquake swarm; no new eruptive activity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Izu-Oshima (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:5. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198705-284010



34.724°N, 139.394°E; summit elev. 758 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Minor earthquakes began on 6 May, centered 15 km NW of Izu-Oshima Island at ~10-20 km below sea level. More than 900 events had been recorded by 11 May, when seismicity forced Japan Railways to suspend operations in part of Chiba Prefecture E of Tokyo. The earthquakes were felt on Oshima and in Ajiro on the SE part of the Izu Peninsula. 73 events were recorded on 15 May; 140 minor shocks were recorded between 0100 and 0900 on 16 May. The earthquakes were continuing on 17 May. The largest events of the swarm had maximum intensities of 3 on the JMA scale and occurred at 1039 on 10 May, 0635 on 11 May, and 0420 on 17 May [but see 12:6]. No new eruptive activity was reported at the volcano.

Geological Summary. Izu-Oshima volcano in Sagami Bay, east of the Izu Peninsula, is the northernmost of the Izu Islands. The broad, low stratovolcano forms an 11 x 13 km island and was constructed over the remnants of three dissected stratovolcanoes. It is capped by a 4-km-wide caldera with a central cone, Miharayama, that has been the site of numerous historical eruptions. More than 40 cones are located within the caldera and along two parallel rift zones trending NNW-SSE. Although it is a dominantly basaltic volcano, strong explosive activity has occurred at intervals of 100-150 years throughout the past few thousand years. Historical activity dates back to the 7th century CE. A major eruption in 1986 produced spectacular lava fountains up to 1600 m height and a 16-km-high eruption column; more than 12,000 people were evacuated from the island.

Information Contacts: Kyodo radio, Tokyo.