Report on Aira (Japan) — October 1987
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 10 (October 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Aira (Japan) Explosions continue; ash plumes; felt airshocks
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:10. Smithsonian Institution.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Sixteen explosions were recorded in October. No explosions had been recorded for about a month after a large explosion on 24 September, but the level of activity increased toward the end of October. Ash plumes rose to 3,000 m above the crater of Minami-dake on 29 and 31 October. Ten air shocks were felt and seven explosion sounds were heard during the month. October ash accumulation was 619 g/m2 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 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.