Kirishima Volcano | John Seach


(Kirishimayama, Kirisima)
Kyushu, Japan

31.93 N, 130.87 E
summit elevation 1700 m
Shield volcano

Kirishima is one of Japan's most active volcanoes.
Kirishima is a group of 20 volcanoes located north of Kagoshima Bay.
Volcanoes include Takachihonomine, Nakadake, Ohatayama, Karakunidake, Tairoike, Ohachi, and Shinmoedake.

The volcanoes cover an area occupying an area of about 20 x 30 km elongated in the NW-SE direction. Solfatara are located on North slope of the Karakunidake.

An annual geomagnetic variation at Kirishima volcano is caused by seasonal changes in the near-surface heterogeneous magnetization due to a diffusion of atmospheric temperature change into the ground.

Eruptions at Ohachi
Katazoe scoria eruption in Ohachi volcano has erupted three types of magma, each magma composition are Basalt, Basaltic-andesite and Andesite. The magma chamber in Katazoe eruption was estimated to be at shallow depth 1000-2000 bar. In 1800's and 1900's, eruptions from Ohachi, at Kirishima volcano was similar to current day eruptions at Sakurajima Volcano, based on paintings. Ohachi Volcano has erupted repeatedly and explosively in the 1800's and early 1900's, producing ash fall over a wide area. Injury and death have resulted to hikers, hunters, who were near the crater. Many hikers and tourists still visit the Ohachi Volcano.

Geothermal Activity
Hydrogen sulphide springs, acidic sulphate springs and chloride springs are found in geographically narrow zone at Kirishima volcano. Bicarbonate springs are distributed in the Shinkawa ravine and the Hinatayama-Himegi region, both of which are on the southwestern side of the Kirishima volcanic area.

2018 Eruption
Eruptions continued at Shinmoedake, in the Kirishima volcano group in 2018.

2016 Unrest
Volcanic earthquakes increased at Kirishima volcano in February 2016. A 1-km radius exclusion zone was placed around the crater.

2011 Eruption
An eruption occurred at Kirishima volcano, Japan on 26th January 2011. Some residents evacuated their homes from a town located 7 km from the crater at Shinmoe-dake. The eruption forced the cancellation of train services on the JR Nippo Main Line between Tano and Kokubu stations, on the Nichinan Line between Aoshima and Shibushi stations, and on the Kitto Line. Part of the Miyazaki Expressway remained closed off due to poor visibility. The eruption produced lava fountains, lava flows and ash emissions. Ash emissions reached a height of 25,000 ft.

2009 Earthquake
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake with a focus of 28km occurred 60 km east of Kirishima volcano on 5th April 2009.

2008 Eruption
A Vulcanian eruption began at Shinmoedake stratovolcano on 22nd August 2008. ash fell 25 km from the volcano, including Kobayashi City, 10 km NE.

2003-04 Unrest
Seismic activity increased at Kirishima volcano in December 2003. New fumarole pits were found at Ohachi Crater.

1999 Earthquakes
An earthquake swarm occurred under Kirishima volcano in November 1999.

1992 Eruption
Minor ash emissions occurred from the summit crater of Shinmoedake.

1991 Earthquakes
In late 1991 earthquake swarm were recorded and a steam explosion in Shinmoe-dake crater, which is one of the most active craters in the volcano group during the past a few thousand years.

1979 Sulphur flow
A 50 m long, 10 cm wide, sulphur flow occurred in early 1979.

1903 Eruptions
On 25th November 1903 there was a great explosion reported.

1900 Eruptions
In 1900 eruptions at Kirishima volcano occurred on 16th February.

1899 Eruption
An eruption occurred at Kirishima volcano on 28th July 1899 at 1:30 am, with a loud explosion.

1898 Eruptions
In 1898 eruptions occurred at Kirishima volcano on 8th February, 11th March, and 30th December. The March eruption was the loudest.

1897 Eruptions
Eruptions occurred on 4th September.

1896 Eruptions
On 15th March 1896 an eruption at Kirishima volcano produced a loud explosion, emission of smoke and ashfall. On 26th June, an explosion was reported with emissions of smoke and ash. On 21st December and explosion and ash emission occurred.

1895 Eruption
During 1895 there were eruptions reported on 16th July, 16th October, and 18th December, with explosions and emissions of smoke. The December eruption was described as the loudest.

Further Reading
Further Reading Tajima, Y. et al. 2020. Shallow magmatic hydrothermal eruption in April 2018 on Ebinokogen Ioyama volcano in Kirishima volcano group, Kyushu, Japan. Geosciences, 10(5), p.183.

Nagaoka, S. and Okuno, M., 2011. Tephrochronology and eruptive history of Kirishima volcano in southern Japan. Quaternary International, 246(1-2), pp.260-269.

Kirishima Volcano Eruptions

2018, 2017, 2011, 2008, 1992, 1979, 1971, 1959, 1946?, 1923, 1914, 1913-14, 1903, 1899-1900, 1898, 1898, 1897, 1896, 1895-96, 1894, 1891, 1889, 1888, 1887, 1880, 1832, 1822, 1771-72, 1769, 1768, 1719, 1717, 1716-17, 1716, 1706, 1690, 1678, 1677, 1667?, 1662-64, 1659-61, 1637-38, 1628, 1620, 1615-18, 1613-14, 1598-1600, 1596?, 1595, 1588, 1587, 1585, 1576-78, 1574, 1566, 1566, 1554, 1524, 1381, 1235, 1184, 1175?, 1167, 1113, 1112, 945, 858, 857, 843-48, 837-39, 788, 742.