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Report on Aira (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 Aira (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 January-5 February 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (30 January-5 February 2019)


Aira

Japan

31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible during 28 January-1 February. An explosion at 1400 on 1 February produced an ash plume that rose 600 m above the crater rim. During a field survey that same day the sulfur dioxide emission rate was high at 3,000 tons/day, an increase from the previous measurement of 1,800 tons/day recorded on 22 January. An explosion at 0228 on 3 February produced an ash plume that rose 1 km and ejected tephra 800-1,100 m from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Geologic Background. 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.

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)