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Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 18 March-24 March 2009

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 March-24 March 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 March-24 March 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (18 March-24 March 2009)


Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 18 March, JMA lowered the Alert Level for Kuchinoerabu-jima from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1-5). Sulfur dioxide emissions decreased in January and the rate of deformation decreased in February. Seismicity was also low. The volcano had been in a state of unrest since September 2008.

Geologic Background. A group of young stratovolcanoes forms the eastern end of the irregularly shaped island of Kuchinoerabujima in the northern Ryukyu Islands, 15 km W of Yakushima. The Furudake, Shindake, and Noikeyama cones were erupted from south to north, respectively, forming a composite cone with multiple craters. The youngest cone, centrally-located Shindake, formed after the NW side of Furudake was breached by an explosion. All historical eruptions have occurred from Shindake, although a lava flow from the S flank of Furudake that reached the coast has a very fresh morphology. Frequent explosive eruptions have taken place from Shindake since 1840; the largest of these was in December 1933. Several villages on the 4 x 12 km island are located within a few kilometers of the active crater and have suffered damage from eruptions.

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)