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New eruption at underwater Funka Asane vent near Kita-Ioto volcano, Japan

A new eruption has started at the underwater Funka Asane vent near Kita-Ioto volcano, Japan on Sunday, March 27, 2022. The last confirmed eruption at this volcano lasted from 1930 to 1945 (VEI 2).

The eruption started at around 09:00 UTC on March 27, with ash rising up to 7 km (23 000 feet) above sea level by 14:30 UTC. The emissions continued into March 28 and dissipated on satellite imagery by 05:20 UTC.1

As a result, the Japan Meteorological Agency has raised the alert level to 3 (of 5).

Ash rising from underwater Funka Asane volcano (Kita-Ioto), Japan at 14:30 UTC on March 27, 2022. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, EUMETSAT, RAMMB/CIRA, TW

Aircraft and ships were warned to avoid the area due to the risk of ash and gasses, pumice and other debris.2

Geological summary

No historical eruptions have occurred from the deeply eroded Kita-Ioto stratovolcano, which forms a steep-sided basaltic cone rising about 800 m (2 600 feet) above the sea.

However, eruptions have been recorded since the 18th century from Funka Asane, a submarine vent 4 – 5 km (2.5 – 3.1 miles) NW of the island.

Kita-Ioto is the northernmost of the Kazan Retto (Volcano Islands), located in the middle of the Izu-Marianas arc.3

References:

1 Tokyo VAAC VAA – March 27, 2022

2 Asane Eruption warning (surrounding sea area) March 27, 2022 – JMA

3 Kita-Ioto – Geological summary – GVP

Featured image: Ash rising from underwater Funka Asane volcano (Kita-Ioto), Japan at 14:30 UTC on March 27, 2022. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, EUMETSAT, RAMMB/CIRA, TW

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