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Posts Tagged ‘japan air quality’

Shinmoedake Saying Something?

Posted by feww on February 4, 2011

Volcanic Ash Affecting Japan’s Air

Shinmoedake Volcano Continues to Erupt on Japan’s Kyushu Island

FIRE-EARTH is advised that volcanic ash from Shinmoedake has traveled to at least as far as the Osaka region, some 500km northeast of the volcano, affecting air “quality.”

A combination of volcanic ash and dust from China has created a haze in the atmosphere, reducing solar power generation in the region by up to 20 percent in the last 48 hours, local sources told the blog.

The 1,421-meter (4,660 feet) volcano in the Kirishima volcanic complex erupted today at about 9:40JST following three eruptions yesterday, ejecting a plume of ash and smoke up to 3,000m into the air, local reports say.

University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute professor Setsuya Nakada says a much larger eruption is possible.

“Following the first major eruption on Jan. 26, the second and the third eruptions occurred at one to three-day intervals. After the fourth eruption shortly before 8 a.m. on Feb. 1, however, a total of five eruptions, including the latest at around 8 a.m. on Feb. 3, occurred at shorter intervals of five to 15 hours.” Japan’s Mainichi Daily News said.

A lava dome created by the eruption covers the volcano’s crater, which is 700m wide and 200m deep.   The dome has reached a height of about 110m above the crater rim, a Geospatial Information Authority of Japan announcement on Feb. 2 said.

Sakurajima Volcano

Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) has raised the alert level to 3 for Sakurajima volcano, located about 45 kilometers (28 miles) to the southwest. The volcano is one of Japan’s most active, accounting for more than 1,000 episodes  in 2010, the most activity recorded since 1982, JMA reported.

“Most worrying is the enormous damage that could be caused by volcanic rock spewed out of the mountain, as well as by pyroclastic flows. In fact, a volcanic rock about 50 centimeters in diameter was found about four kilometers from the crater, and in a forest about three kilometers from the crater, there is a hole 5 meters wide and more than 2 meters deep that was created when volcanic rocks struck the spot.” Said  a report.

Ash plume from Shinmoedake, Kirishima volcanic complex, Japan


A photo-like satellite image of Shinmoedake shows an ash plume from the volcano captured by MODIS on the
Terra satellite on February 4, 2011. The volcanic ash has forced flight cancellations, stopped trains, made roads impassible and closed all nearby schoolsn. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download larger image (511 KB, JPEG)


Shinmoe-dake Volcano continues to erupt violently. MODIS on Aqua satellite captured this photo-like image at 1:30 pm local time on February 3, 2011. “The image also shows a faint plume of ash and steam rising from Sakurajima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes.” Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download larger image (926 KB, JPEG)


After a week of violent activity, the eruption of Japan’s Shinmoe-dake Volcano shows no signs of slowing down. This natural-color satellite image shows Shinmoe-dake on the morning of February 3, 2011. The image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) at about 10:30 a.m. local time, between an early-morning eruption at 3 a.m. and an early-afternoon eruption at 12:17 p.m. Image and caption: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download larger image (2 MB, JPEG)

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