Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 12 December-18 December 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 December-18 December 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 December-18 December 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
JMA reported that at 1637 on 18 December an eruption at Kuchinoerabujima’s Shindake Crater produced an ash plume that rose 2 km and then disappeared into a weather cloud. The event ejected material that fell in the crater area, and generated a pyroclastic flow that traveled 1 km W. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).
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 west 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 Shintake, formed after the NW side of Furutake was breached by an explosion. All historical eruptions have occurred from Shintake, although a lava flow from the S flank of Furutake that reached the coast has a very fresh morphology. Frequent explosive eruptions have taken place from Shintake 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.