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Kirishima (新燃岳 in Japanese), one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It is actually a group of 18 young, small stratovolcanoes north of Kagoshima Bay: Takachihonomine, Nakadake, Ohatayama, Karakunidake, Tairoike, Ohachi, and Shinmoedake are the principal vents.
Historic eruptions have been recorded since 742 and there are more than 60 recorded eruptions, mainly from Ohachi and Shinmoedake, with the exception of a small lava flow from Iwoyama in 1768. Relatively large eruptions occurred in 788, 1235, 1716-17 and 1768, and in 2011.
A violent eruption started at Kirishima on January 26, 2011, the largest one for more than 50 years.
Evolution of the fumarole field of Iwo crater between Dec 2015 and Feb 2016 (JMA)
A "near-crater" warning was issued for the volcano by JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency), in particular for the Iwo crater where an increase in seismic activity, fumarole temperatures and degassing (including poisonous H2S) in an area about 100x100 m wide has been observed over the past months. ...more
The observed signs of volcanic unrest are considered weak and no eruption is expected in the near future, but the risk of (always possible) sudden, steam-driven explosions, which could affect an area of up to 1 km radius, needs to be considered elevated. The site, a popular excursion destination and easily accessible by road, has been closed for public access now. A similar warning had already been issued in October 2014 and lifted again in May 2015. [less]
Elevated seismic activity has been recorded since early July, the Japan Meterological Agency (JMA) reported. Yesterday, a phase of volcanic tremor occurred that lasted 3 minutes and a slight ground deformation was detected. ...more
Whether this is caused by an intrusion of fresh magma which in turn could lead to a new eruption is unclear. For the time being, the volcano's alert level remains at 2 (out of 5) where it has been since Oct 2013. While the recorded signs of unrest are weak, sudden phreatic explosions could occur any time and pose a significant risk if visiting the crater area. [less]
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a "near crater warning" for the Shinmoedake vent of Kirishima volcano last Friday. Increased earthquake activity were detected and mean an increased risk of a possible (probably phreatic) explosions. ...more
Following last months deadly eruption of Ontake-san, news articles about this (routine) event have exploded, focusing on the potential hazards of a volcanic eruption towards the Sendai nuclear power plant, located in the city of Satsumasendai in the Kagoshima Prefecture, approx. 40 km away from the volcano. While a small to moderate eruption could threaten anybody in the immediate vicinity of the volcano, only an exceptionally large (on a global scale) eruption would likely be a threat to this. At the moment, nothing seems to be pointing towards such a scenario. [less]
The alert level of the volcano was lowered back to 1, as volcanic activity continued to decrease. Volcanic seismicity remained at low levels and no remarkable change was observed from ground deformation observation and monitoring data. ...more
"Supply of magma from deeper parts to the magma chamber located several km northwest of the the crater has stopped. Since volcanic activity of Shinmoedake has declined, JMA evaluated there was low possibility of eruption that may affect areas more than 1 km from the crater. However, the lava accumulated in the crater has been in high temperature state, and the possibility of small eruptions remains even now." [less]
No eruptions were observed at Shinmoedake since 7 September 2011 (last explosion on 1 March). Overall, the volcano's activity (seismicity, deformation, degassing) has been decreasing, JMA's November volcano activity summary reports: ...more
"Since September 2012, the volcanic seismicity has remained at slightly higher levels than that observed between June and August 2012, and a total of 40 earthquakes occurred in November. 4 hypocenters were determined to be located at the northeast of Shinmoedake, and most of other hypocenters were supposed to be just beneath the crater of Shinmoedake. No volcanic tremors were observed (as in October). According to regional deformation observations conducted by GSI, baseline extension caused by magma supply to a deeper chamber to the northwest of the crater gradually has slowed down to a static state since December 2011. [less]
As our colleague Marc Szlegat reported on Vulkane.Net, the alert level of the Japanese Kirishima volcano (Kirishimayama) was raised last month"orange". This is the third out of 4 warning levels and means that an eruption could occur any time. ...more
Last year in March, the Shinmoedake crater of the complex volcano Kirishima had a violent eruption that make the headlines. The volcano is located close to the other volcano currently on orange alert in Kyushu, Sakura-jima, which last week had a stronger explosion that caused ashfall in the nearby city of Kagoshima. [less]
Kirishima volcano near Kagoshima town on Kyushu Island exploded violently earlier today (13 March), sending an ash plume to 4 km elevation. This is the first significant activity since March 1. It can not be ruled out, but probably remains speculation that the violent 8.9 magnitude earthquake on 11 March played a role in the reawakening of Kirishima.
Over the past days, Kirishima's overall intensity of the eruption seems decreasing. Kirishima continues to grow its lava dome and produce small to moderate vulcanian-type explosions at rates of 5-10 per day. Strong pressure waves were accompanying the explosions and could be felt in Kirishima town. People are alerted not to approach the volcano in a radius of 4 km because of the risk of falling bombs. ...more
Ash from the various explosions (summarized in JMA's reports (Japanese Meteorological Agency, in Japanese) reaches 500-3000 m altitude and affects the SE of Kyushu island, where it causes much nuisance to life and infrastructure on ground as well disruption to air traffic. [less]
Kirishima volcano had a strong explosion from the lava dome on 31 January. Windows were shattered by the pressure wave up to 8 km away, and bombs landed up to 2 km distance. Authorities have extended the exclusion zone to 4 km from the crater as new explosions can occur any time. ...more
According to the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology this eruption of Kirishima is already 9 times larger than the 1959 eruption of the volcano, with over 70 million tonnes of ash and tephra erupted. [less]
The new lava dome inside Kirishima's Shinmoe-dake crater seen on 31 Jan 2011 and an infrared image showing the hot central part of the dome (Source:Japan Meteorological Agency - http://www.seisvol.kishou.go.jp/tokyo/volcano.html)
The lava dome inside Kirishima's crater is growing at a fast rate. Judging from areal photos, it now more than 500 m wide and well under way of soon over-spilling the Shinmoe-dake crater. If this happens, pyroclastic flows will likely be generated and could threaten nearby areas; although explosive activity has calmed down a lot, large explosions could occur any time. For this reason Japanese authorities have extended the exclusion zone from 2 to 3 km, and evacuated more than 600 residents of the town of Takaharu located on the eastern slope of Kirishima volcano. ...more
Scientists have observed ground deformation at Kirishima since Dec 2009. They estimate that ca 6 million m3 (0.006 km3) of magma have accumulated in a reservoir (magma chamber) at 6 km depth ca. 10 km WNW from Shinmoe-dake and 1 million m3 (0.001 km3) of magma at 3 km depth under the Shinmoe-dake cone itself. [less]
The new lava dome inside Kirishima's crater on 29 Jan (ANN news)
The eruption at Kirishima seems to enter a more magmatic phase; while the ash plume further decreased and ash production declined, a new lava dome has appeared in the summit crater. Visible glow from the crater is now strong.
Webcam image on the evening of 30 Jan 2011 showing strong glow, possibly from a lava flow.
Ash plume from Kirishima volcano drifting SE over Kyushu Island (26 Jan). Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory
The eruption at Kirishima still goes on, but the plume height today is only half in height (reaching 3-4 km, according to VAAC Tokyo). Judging from photos of the webcamera and various reports, the intensity of the ash emission seems to have gone down compared to the past days.
The eruption at Kirishima continues with strong ash emissions. Strong ash falls occurs in southern Kyushu. An ash plume from the eruption seems to reach 7.5 km (25,000 ft) elevation and is drifting southeast, causing (so far minor) disruptions to air traffic. ...more
According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency monitoring the volcano, the eruption poses no thread to the population and a 2 km exclusion zone is established around the volcano. [less]
The explosive eruption of Kirishima goes on unabated. A dense column of ash is being emitted from the vent. Tokyo VAAC issued an ash cloud warning at flight level 210 - in other words, the eruption plume is estimated to have reached or could reach 21,000 ft (ca. 7 km.) ...more
Some residents of Miyazaki city had been evacuated according to news, kindly forwarded by a reader of the excellent eruptions blog. A great time lapse video compiled from the webcam (http://www.seisvol.kishou.go.jp/vo/32.php, select ??? ????????= Kirishima volcano) was posted at: www.youtube.com/watch [less]
The eruption of Kirishima volcano (Photo: FNN news)
A spectacular eruption started at Kirishima volcano on 26 January 2011. Violent explosions emit dense ash plumes and weak incandescent lava fountains. Small pyroclastic flows are devastating the lower slopes of the volcano, and many ballistic blocks impact in the vicinity of the crater. ...more
The ash plume is about 1.5 km high according to Japanese news, and the Tokyo VAAC issued an ash warning for Kirishima to elevations up to ~7.6 km / 25,000 feet. It appears the latest eruption comes from Shinmoe-dake vent of Kirishima volcano, whose last eruption started in 2008. [less]
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