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Sparks fly in Sakura-jima eruption 11 February 2010

Posted by admin in eruptions, Japan, Sakura-jima.
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Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

Here’s some serious volcanic lightning. As reported in this week’s SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, Sakura-jima volcano in southern Japan – always highly-active – erupted spectacularly on 8 February, producing lava fountaining up to 1 km in height, showering its flanks with incandescent material, and throwing up a very dense ash plume positively pulsating with lightning. There’s a great video at Kago-net showing all this activity, and I can’t resist showcasing some captures from that video here.

(There has been some interesting research on volcanic lightning recently, occasioned by Redoubt’s 2009 eruption. See Eruptions for background and links, and this article from National Geographic News.)

Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

Sakura-jima eruption, 8 February 2010 (Kago-net)

(Acknowledgement: all the above images are captures from this video at Kago-net. H/T: Sally Sennert at the Global Volcanism Program.)

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Comments

1. Tim Stone - 11 February 2010

It appears as though there is traffic on a road at the base of the volcano. If that’s the case, that strikes me as being rather foolhardy!

2. James - 11 February 2010

There are towns around the base of Sakurajima. Even schools. It’s funny seeing the kids walking to and from school with little hard hats on (each hat with a little light too). People here just seem to deal with it – pretty amazing.

I was there in April 2008 and I would have killed to see it producing lava fountains! I had no idea it even did that, honestly. I caught one of the usual little ash plumes but nothing more.

3. Passerby - 11 February 2010

While the eruptive force, magma and ash types are important to the formation of volcanic lightning, the extraordinary photos of the event at Sakura-jima requires an explanation of cause-and-effect.

Lightning formation and conductivity requires an atmospheric circuit that is bridged from near ground to the source of high energy particles aloft.

That provision of highly charged particles can be found in the exceptional timing of a beamed source: Behemoth sunspot 1045, the beaming major solar flares at Earth and responsible for a very large jump in solar flux activity, after an extended solar quiet period.

Now, how do we make sense of this? Solar activity minima, a low energy period that is drawing to a close, one of the longest in 100 years, has, shall we say, ‘loaded the atmosphere’ with cosmic ray induced charge, as it comes to an end with the strong jump in activity at the start of the new solar cycle.

THIS is the reason we have exceptional climate events this winter in North America, and across Europe, Eurasia and northern China. It’s caused by charged particle water droplet nucleation, readily forming clouds and influencing exceptional storm events in the northern hemisphere, aided and abetted by the emergence of an El Nino event. It comes on the heels of a cold, dry La Nina ENSO period.

It neatly explains the explosive formation of very high energy lightning in the Sakura-jima eruption this month, and similar events over the past several years at Redoubt and Chaiten volcanoes, presently under study by Steve McNutt and collaborators.

See: Spaceweather.com archives for Feb 8-9, 2010

4. Chance Metz - 11 February 2010

awesome video.

5. Chance Metz - 11 February 2010

Major dome collpase event at Soufriere Hills to 50,000 feet!

FVXX20 KNES 111830
VA ADVISORY
DTG: 20100211/1830Z

VAAC: WASHINGTON

VOLCANO: SOUFRIERE HILLS 1600-05
PSN: N1642 W06210

AREA: W_INDIES

SUMMIT ELEV: 3002 FT (915 M)

ADVISORY NR: 2010/190

INFO SOURCE: GOES-12. GFS WINDS. RADIOSONDE.
VOLCANO WEB CAMERA. VAFTAD. PILOT REPORT.

ERUPTION DETAILS: LARGE ERUPTION AT 11/1700Z.

OBS VA DTG: 11/1745Z

OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL500 N1704 W06207 – N1648 W06104
– N1637 W06108 – N1628 W06208 – N1643 W06214 –
N1704 W06207 MOV E 50-70KT SFC/FL100 N1805 W06138
– N1744 W06050 – N1648 W06104 – N1704 W06207 –
N1643 W06214 – N1708 W06228 – N1805 W06138 MOV NE
5-10KT

FCST VA CLD +6HR: 12/0000Z SFC/FL500 N1659 W05608
– N1529 W05612 – N1519 W06019 – N1635 W06217 –
N1652 W06210 – N1659 W05608 SFC/FL270 N1637
W06219 – N1528 W06035 – N1448 W06132 – N1504
W06340 – N1637 W06219 SFC/FL100 N1839 W06102 –
N1656 W05915 – N1650 W06211 – N1717 W06230 –
N1839 W06102

FCST VA CLD +12HR: 12/0600Z SFC/FL500 N1644
W06126 – N1608 W05157 – N1419 W05155 – N1411
W05842 – N1546 W06054 – N1644 W06126 SFC/FL270
N1656 W06219 – N1643 W06128 – N1543 W06049 –
N1405 W06205 – N1415 W06410 – N1656 W06219
SFC/FL100 N1812 W06220 – N1807 W05905 – N1637
W05929 – N1643 W06127 – N1656 W06220 – N1812
W06220

FCST VA CLD +18HR: 12/1200Z SFC/FL500 N1551
W05959 – N1452 W04829 – N1307 W04759 – N1305
W05726 – N1452 W05956 – N1551 W05959 SFC/FL270
N1704 W06247 – N1553 W06001 – N1454 W05956 –
N1409 W06232 – N1422 W06523 – N1704 W06247
SFC/FL100 N1828 W06123 – N1739 W05936 – N1552
W05959 – N1704 W06246 – N1828 W06123

RMK: THE LARGE ERUPTION CONTINUES… WITH PILOT
REPORTS TO FL500. STG WINDS WILL MV VA FROM E TO
SE OVER THE COMING DAY WELL INTO THE ATLANTIC.
MIDLEVEL TO FL270 VA WILL BEGIN TO MV S THEN SW
OVER THE FCST PERIOD WITH LOW LEVEL VA BETWEEN
ST.KITTS/NEVIS AND ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA.
…GALLINA

NXT ADVISORY: WILL BE ISSUED BY 20100212/0030Z

6. Les Francis - 11 February 2010

Very interesting information Passerby.
Here’s some more info courtesy of NASA. Probably related to your little comment.

NASA studies TGF’s

7. terumitsu - 13 February 2010

Here’s some many pictures of eruptive event at Sakura-jima
since year of 2008 .(mainly Japanese language)

8. terumitsu - 13 February 2010
9. admin - 13 February 2010

Thanks, terumitsu, for the link to lots more great Sakura-jima images.


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