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Report on Aira (Japan) — 18 June-24 June 2014


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 June-24 June 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Aira (Japan) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 June-24 June 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (18 June-24 June 2014)



31.5772°N, 130.6589°E; summit elev. 1117 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

JMA reported that during 13-23 June, 4-10 explosions occurred each day from Showa Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano. Tephra ejected from these events landed as far as 1,800 m away. A significant explosion on 19 June lasted for 17 minutes; the plume rose ~3,000 m above the crater rim and tephra was ejected to a distance of 1,300-1,800 m. Field surveys conducted on 12 June determined an SO2 flux of 270 tons/day (previous measurement of 2,300 tons/day was measured on 9 May). During this reporting period there was no activity from Minamidake summit crater.

The Tokyo VAAC reported that volcanic ash was visible in satellite images at 0541 on 23 June. The plume reached 1,830 m (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Geological Summary. 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 caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim and built an island that was joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent eruptions since the 8th century have deposited ash on the city of Kagoshima, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest recorded eruption took place during 1471-76.

Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) via the Volcano Research Center, Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)