Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 20 January-26 January 2021
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 January-26 January 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 January-26 January 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
JMA lowered the Alert Level for Kuchinoerabujima to 2 (the second lowest level on a scale of 1-5) on 19 January, noting downward trends in activity data since mid-2020. Specifically, after May 2020 no volcanic earthquakes were detected, inflation slowed to baseline levels, and sulfur dioxide emissions began decreasing though remained slightly high. Additionally, crater incandescence had not been visible after July and no eruptions were recorded after August 2020.
Geological Summary. 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. 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.