Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 23 October-29 October 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 October-29 October 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, 23 October-29 October 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
A large shallow earthquake at Kuchinoerabujima was recorded at 2133 on 27 October, prompting JMA to raise the Alert Level to 3 (the middle level on a scale of 1-5) within a few hours. The report also stated that the number of volcanic earthquakes had increased on 18 October. A large earthquake was also detected on 18 October but had occurred at a slightly deeper location (below the W part of Shindake Crater) than the 27 October event.
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.