Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Japan's Shinmoedake Volcano Explosive Eruptions

Mount Shinmoedake is one dangerous volcano. A massive explosion from the crater today, February 1st - shattered windows up to 8 kilometers away, felling trees with the shock of the blast. Over a thousand local people have been advised to evacuate as the danger of landslides and lava flow have increased.

This eruption is beginning to look like a very dangerous eruption. What I find again strange is that the last really violent eruption from this volcano took place in February, 1717 with level 3 eruptions from the crater.

Eruptions from Southern japan's Shinmoedake peak are similar to eruptions that took place in 1716 - 300 years ago... See the historical report @ Daily Yomiyuri, Volcanic experts have sounded an ominous warning about the recent eruptions on Shinmoedake peak, saying they closely resemble highly destructive blasts that occurred there nearly 300 years ago.

Japan's 1716 series of violent eruptions from Shinmoedake volcano at Kirishima mountain range, began on March 11, with Central vent eruption, Crater lake eruption, Explosive eruption, Phreatic explosion(s), Mudflow(s), (lahars).

Eruptive Characteristics of Shinmoedake's November 9, 1716 eruptions to February 13, 1717 were: Central vent eruption, Explosive eruption, Pyroclastic flow(s), Fatalities Damage (land, property, etc.), Mudflow(s,) (lahars) - as listed at Volcano.si.edu

On 28 January, 2011 volcanic experts in Japan had observed a lava dome of 50 meters in diameter as the volcano reaches the lava eruption stage. However, the experts say that the 'Edo Period' eruptions were 10 times bigger than the current eruptions. The 1717 eruptions are classed as a VEI 3 (severe), classification Vulcanian/Peléan, ejecta volume 10,000,000 m³, 3-15 km plume.

Residents in South Japan are evacuating the area as the eruptions become more violent. Ash from the eruption has reached over 17 cities in the surrounding area. On January 31 the volcano showed signs of being close to molten lava flows as the lava dome increased from 10 meters in diameter to 500 meters in diameter.