Report on Aira (Japan) — December 1989
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 12 (December 1989)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Aira (Japan) 1989 activity summarized
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1989. Report on Aira (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 14:12. Smithsonian Institution.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
A total of 13 explosions were recorded in December; the largest, at 1155 on the 13th, ejected ash to 3,000 m above the crater. Monthly ash accumulation at [KLMO] was 13 g/m2. The explosions caused no damage.
A total of 44 explosions from the summit crater of Minami-dake were recorded in 1989, a decrease from 155 recorded in 1988. Yearly ash accumulation at KLMO was 2,352 g/m2. A seismometer (2.3 km NW of the crater) registered 18,296 earthquakes in 1989.
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.