·

Explosive eruption of Mount Aso spews ash 11 km (36 000 feet) a.s.l., Japan

explosive-eruption-of-mount-aso-asosan-spews-ash-11-km-36-000-feet-a-s-l-japan

Japanese Asosan volcano (Mount Aso; the largest active volcano in Japan) erupted at 16:46 UTC on October 7, 2016, sending a column of ash up to 11 km (36 000 feet) above sea level. JMA issued its third-highest alert (of 5), warning people not to approach the volcano.

The agency said this was the first 'explosive eruption' at the peak since January 1989.

Japanese media said volcanic ash had accumulated on cars, houses and roads in the city of Aso. Ash, however, was reported as far as 320 km (200 miles) from the crater.

According to Reuters, farmers have reported that some vinyl greenhouses where tomatoes and asparagus were being grown 6 – 8 km (4 – 5 miles) away from the crater had been broken by ash and small rocks. A window was cracked by a falling rock at an Aso youth center about 5 km (3 miles) away from the crater.

Some 29 000 households lost power shortly after the eruption, but the problem was fixed in less than two hours, Kyushu Electric spokesman said and added the eruption had no impact on its Sendai nuclear plant, located about 160 km (100 miles) south of the volcano.

“Mount Aso is in an unstable condition and could erupt again on the same scale,” JMA official told reporters, warning residents of volcanic ash, rocks and gas.

It is unclear whether the eruption was related to powerful earthquakes that hit Kumamoto and neighboring Oita Prefecture in April, killing 49 people, he said.

This is the first eruption since a minor one took place in May.

Japanese broadcaster NHK captured the moment on video when Asosan erupted:

Video courtesy AP

Geological summary

The 24-km-wide Asosan caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. The last of these, the Aso-4 eruption, produced more than 600 cu km of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Nakadake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 AD.

The Nakadake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 CE. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Nakadake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations. (GVP)

Featured image: Explosive eruption at Asosan volcano, Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan on October 7, 2016. Credit: NHK (via AP)

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:


Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

3 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *