Report on Aira (Japan) — 30 July-5 August 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
30 July-5 August 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Aira (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 July-5 August 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
JMA reported an explosion from Showa Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano on 30 July that ejected ballistics 300-500 m from Showa crater and six other explosions on 31 July accompanied by volcanic earthquakes and volcanic tremor. In general, explosions, volcanic tremor and volcanic earthquakes decreased 1-4 August. On 31 July-4 August, incandescence was clearly visible by high-sensitivity camera at night. The Tokyo VAAC reported that a plume from the 30 July explosion rose to an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).
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 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.
Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)