Report on Aira (Japan) — 28 December-3 January 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 December-3 January 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Aira (Japan) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 December-3 January 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
31.5772°N, 130.6589°E; summit elev. 1117 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
JMA reported ongoing eruptive activity at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 26 December 2022-2 January 2023. Crater incandescence was visible nightly. Sulfur dioxide emissions were slightly elevated at 1,700 tons per day on 27 December. Two explosions, on 27 and 29 December, produced ash plumes that rose as high as 1.7 km above the crater rim and ejected blocks as far as 900 m from the vent. An explosion at 1423 on 2 January produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale), and residents were warned to stay 2 km away from the crater.
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.