Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 21 June-27 June 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 June-27 June 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 June-27 June 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
JMA reported that the number of volcanic earthquakes increased at Kuchinoerabujima. A total of 100 shallow volcanic earthquakes were recorded during 17-26 June with most epicenters located near Furudake Crater and some located near Shindake Crater (just N of Furudake). Sulfur dioxide emissions were low, and typical white emissions rose 100-500 m above Shindake on 13 and 25 June. No changes at the geothermal area on the W flank of Shindake were observed during a field inspection during 19-20 June. The Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 1-5) on 26 June due to the increased seismicity. The public was warned that ejected blocks and pyroclastic flows may impact areas within 2 km of Shindake.
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.