Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 30 January-5 February 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 January-5 February 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 January-5 February 2019. 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 during 1713-1915 on 29 January an eruption at Kuchinoerabujima’s Shindake Crater produced an ash plume that rose 4 km above the crater rim and drifted E, and a pyroclastic flow. Ash fell in parts of Yakushima. During 30 January-1 February and 3-5 February white plumes rose as high as 600 m. An event that lasted during 1141-1300 on 2 February generated a plume that rose 600 m. 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 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.