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A plume from Sakura-jima 30 October 2009

Posted by admin in Japan, NASA Earth Observatory, Sakura-jima.
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Plume from Sakura-jima, 30 October 2009

Sakura-jima on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu is one of the most active volcanoes on earth: there is nearly always a current Volcanic Ash Advisory reporting explosions and emissions from its Minami-dake summit cone, which has been the focus of eruptive activity for about 5000 years.

Sakura-jima sits in Kagoshima Bay, the northern portion of which is formed by Aira Caldera, created in a very large eruption ~22,000 years ago. The volcano has developed on the southern edge of the caldera, and was an island until erupted material joined it to the Osumi Peninsula to the east during the major eruption of 1914. On the western rim, meanwhile, sits the city of Kagoshima, population 600,000.

In the image above, captured by NASA’s Terra satellite on 30 October 2009, Sakura-jima is releasing a grey ashy plume which crosses the Satsuma Peninsula to the west of the volcano and spreads out over the East China Sea. The plume crosses directly over the city of Kagoshima, where ashfall from Sakura-jima is a frequent occurence. The general haziness of the image is not the result of the eruption, but of air pollution blowing over from China.

Click here to see the original uncropped image (1 pixel = 250 m) at the NASA MODIS Rapid Response site. Many thanks to Robert Simmon of the NASA Earth Observatory for providing this image.

The Volcanism Blog