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Report on Kirishimayama (Japan) — 4 April-10 April 2018


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 April-10 April 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Kirishimayama (Japan) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 April-10 April 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (4 April-10 April 2018)



31.934°N, 130.862°E; summit elev. 1700 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

JMA reported that an explosive eruption at Shinmoedake (Shinmoe peak), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, occurred at 0531 on 5 April and generated an ash plume that rose 8 km above the crater rim. According to news articles lightning was detected in the ash plume. JMA noted that incandescent tephra was ejected 1.1 km from the vent, and a pyroclastic flow traveled 800 m down the SE flank. Sulfur dioxide emissions increased to 1,400 tons/day, from 300 tons/day last measured on 28 March. The eruption possibly ceased at 0715. During an overflight later that day scientists confirmed a large amount of ashfall in parts of Kobayashi City and other areas of the Miyazaki Prefecture, in part of Takahara Town, and in areas of the Kumamoto prefecture. White plumes rose 200 m during 6-9 April. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Geological Summary. Kirishimayama is a large group of more than 20 Quaternary volcanoes located north of Kagoshima Bay. The late-Pleistocene to Holocene dominantly andesitic group consists of stratovolcanoes, pyroclastic cones, maars, and underlying shield volcanoes located over an area of 20 x 30 km. The larger stratovolcanoes are scattered throughout the field, with the centrally located Karakunidake being the highest. Onamiike and Miike, the two largest maars, are located SW of Karakunidake and at its far eastern end, respectively. Holocene eruptions have been concentrated along an E-W line of vents from Miike to Ohachi, and at Shinmoedake to the NE. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 8th century.

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)