Report on Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — 5 July-11 July 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 July-11 July 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, 5 July-11 July 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 shallow volcanic earthquakes at Kuchinoerabujima had been occurring frequently starting in late June with most epicenters located near Furudake Crater, and some near Shindake Crater (just N of Furudake). Both the number and magnitude of the volcanic earthquakes increased on 9 June and remained elevated through 12 July; there were 151 events on 9 July, 319 on 10 July, 276 on 11 July, and 172 by 1500 on 12 July. The public was previously warned that ejected blocks and pyroclastic flows may affect areas within 2 km of Shindake, and at 1600 on 10 June the public was also warned to stay 2 km away from Furudake. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).
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.