Shinmoedake volcano eruption ejects ash up to 7.6 km (25 000 feet), Japan

Shinmoedake volcano eruption ejects ash up to 7.6 km (25 000 feet), Japan

A brief but strong explosive eruption, the first since April 6, took place at Mount Shinmoedake in southern Kyushu at 05:44 UTC on May 14, 2018. 

The eruption sent ash up to 7.6 km (25 000 feet) above sea level, making it nearly 1 km higher than April 4th eruption and the highest since a series of eruptions began on March 1, 2018.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has maintained the alert level at 3, meaning people should stay away from the mountain and remain cautious of falling large rocks within a 3-km (1.8 miles) radius of the crater.

According to Tokyo VAAC, the volcanic ash was continually observed up until 11:20 UTC on May 15.

Geological summary

Kirishimayama is a large group of more than 20 Quaternary volcanoes located north of Kagoshima Bay. The late-Pleistocene to Holocene dominantly andesitic group consists of stratovolcanoes, pyroclastic cones, maars, and underlying shield volcanoes located over an area of 20 x 30 km (12.4 - 18.6 miles).

The larger stratovolcanoes are scattered throughout the field, with the centrally located, 1700-m-high (5 577 feet) Karakunidake being the highest.

Onamiike and Miike, the two largest maars, are located SW of Karakunidake and at its far eastern end, respectively.

Holocene eruptions have been concentrated along an E-W line of vents from Miike to Ohachi, and at Shinmoedake to the NE. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 8th century. (GVP)

Featured image: Shinmoedake erupting on May 14, 2018. Credit: Fobos Planet

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