(1,700 m, 31o55'51"N, 130o5150"E)

(Jan 17, 2004)
New fumarole pits were found at the Ohachi Crater of Kirishima Volcano by Dr. Tetsuo Kobayashi, Kagoshima University, on 13 December. Real-time camera of JMA also showed steam rising above the crater rim. JMA issued the Observation Report on Kirishima Volcano on 14 December 2003. New two pits were formed in the middle part of southern inner-wall of the Ohachi Crater. Steam was rising up to about 100 m. Pebbles of 2-3 cm across and mud were scattered within about 10m from these pits.
JMA issued the Volcanic Advisory on this volcano on 16 December, as the possibility of small eruption had risen, judging from a high level of seismic and thermal activity.
Cities and towns around this volcano announced forbiddance for tourists to approach the Ohachi Crater on 17 December 2003.
Seismic activity increased in 13 December, being peaked in the middle December, and declined with time. However, relatively high seismic activity has continued as of the middle January of 2004.
According to Tokyo Institute of Techonology, chemistry of water-soluble component of the ash, which was attached on pebbles scattered around the fumarole pit, suggested contribution of magmatic gas. Dr. Koichiro Watanabe, Kyushu University, investigated petrologically the ash and he concluded no juvenile materials among the ash particles.

Volcanic Advisory on Kirishima Volcano was issued on 10 November by JMA. Volcanic earthquake events increased since 6 November. Issuing the volcanic advisory of this volcano is the first since 27 August 1995. The daily numbers of volcanic earthquake events are;
5 Nov. = 0
6 Nov. =12
7 Nov. = 16
8 Nov. = 40
9 Nov. = 81
10 Nov. =192
11 Nov. = 128
12 Nov. = 69
13 Nov. = 86
14 Nov. = 11
15 Nov. = 31
(detected at the JMA-A site, 1.7 km SW of Shinmoedake)

No volcanic tremor was observed.

Kirishima is a volcanic group of more than 20 andesitic small stratocones (Takachihonomine, Nakadake, Ohatayama, Karakunidake, Tairoike, Ohachi, Shinmoedake, etc), occupying an area of about 20x30 km elongated in the NW-SE direction. It developed in the southern rim of the Kakuto Caldera of 300 ka. Relatively large craters characterize the volcano. Ebino highland in the northern part and the SW slope are active geothermal regions. Sulfur fumaroles are evident in N-slope of the Karakunidake in N-part of the volcano. Historic eruptions recorded since 742 occurred mre than 60 times mainly within the craters of Ohachi and Shinmoedake. Relatively large eruptions occurred in 788, 1235, 1716-17 and 1768. A small phreatic eruption took place at Shinmoedake in 1991 (below). Geophysical monitoring is maintained mainly by Earthquake Research Institute (ERI), University of Tokyo, and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Steam from Shinmoedake, Kirishima Volcano, from NW taken in 1991. Nakadake is the adjacent cone with a flat top, and the background is Ohachi (crater), Takachiho-no-mine (the highest) and Futatsuishi. Courtesy of T. Kagiyama, ERI.
Link to: Kagiyama's Japanese home page

Information contact: JMA-Fukuoka;, Volcano Research Center, ERI, U-Tokyo;,

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