Report on Aira (Japan) — November 1988
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 11 (November 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Aira (Japan) Continued explosions but lighter ashfall
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:11. Smithsonian Institution.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Explosive activity . . . continued with five explosions in November . . . . The explosions caused no damage. An explosion on 1 November at 0234 produced a large air shock and an incandescent column that was 500 m high for 10 seconds. Lightning was seen in the eruption cloud. The highest November ash cloud rose 1,000 m above the summit, accompanying an explosion at 1211 on the 10th. The month's ashfall at KLMO was only 12 g/m2.
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; AP; UPI.