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Kuju volcan éruptions

stratovolcans 1791 m / 5,876 ft
Kyushu, Japan, 33.08°N / 131.25°E
Liste des éruptions: 1995-96, 1738 (?), 1675, 1662, 370 AD ± 40 years (radiocarbon-dated)


1995 phreatic eruption & seismic unrest

A phreatic eruption began at Kuju volcano on 11 October 1995. 1 month earlier, steam had been detected rising 400 m from a fumarole area on the eastern slope of the Honsho lava dome. There had been 3 vents and fissures in an area about 300 m E-W by 100 m N-S wide.
"Smoke" was seen in the Kuju area around 6pm on 11 October 1995, when the eruption had started. Ash fell as far as 60 km. The eruption came from the same area observed previously, where several vents along a 300 m long fissure had opened.
Vigorous steaming was observed on 12 and 13 November field observers. Another ash eruption occurred on 18 December. Investigations showed that the erupted ash contained about 1% of juvenile rhyolite lava, suggesting that a shallow intrusion had taken place and almost reached the surface.

The eruptions ceased, but intense steaming continued. In addition, tens of thousands of earthquakes were detected over the following 2 years. In January 1996 alone, 861 earthquakes occurred, some of which could be felt. They were horizontally concentrated north of the new vents at depths between 1000 m below sea and 800 m above sea level.
On 10 January 1997, activity peaked with a high of 1,262 earthquakes in a single day and the steam plume reached 700 m height.
The activity started to slowly decrease after 1997. Interesting deformation measurements indicated that the Iwoyama fumarolic area near the summit of Honsho has been steadily deflating over more than 6 years after the eruption.

Sources:
- Smithsonian / GVP monthly reports
- Nakaboh et al (2003) "Continuing deflation by fumaroles at Kuju Volcano, Japan", Geophysical Res. Letters, v. 30 (0), pp.1-5
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