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Report on Aira (Japan) — February 1988


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 2 (February 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Aira (Japan) More frequent explosions break windows

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198802-282080



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Explosive activity has become more vigorous in 1988. Explosions occurred at a rate of 1-2/day in February and often ejected large amounts of lapilli that fell on the flanks. The maximum ash cloud height was 2,500 m above the summit crater. A loud explosion at 1252 on 3 February ejected a large ash cloud, and strong air shocks were felt at [KLMO]. Lapilli broke the windshields of two cars and the air shock broke three windowpanes at a hotel and school. An explosion on 9 February at 1852 ejected a large amount of lapilli, breaking a car windshield. Ash accumulation at the observatory was 48 g/m2. February's 35 recorded explosions brought the year's total to 64.

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.