Eruption at Sakurajima

Eruption at Sakurajima

One of Japan’s most active volcanoes, Sakurajima released a plume of ash on November 2, 2010. A pilot reported that the plume reached an altitude of 1.5 kilometers (6,000 feet). This photo-like image of the erupting volcano was taken by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. Such plumes are common at the volcano, where frequent eruptions have been recorded since the 8th century.

Sakura-jima is on the southern end of the island of Kyushu. The volcano sits on the southern edge of the Aira caldera, the circular water-filled hole that formed on the north side of Kagoshima Bay in an eruption 22,000 years ago. Sakura-jima formed an island until 1914, when an explosive eruption produced enough material to join the island to the peninsula on the east.

NASA image by Rob Simmon, using data ALI data from the EO-1 team. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

References & Resources

  • Global Volcanism Program. (2010, November 2). Sakura-jima. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Accessed November 11, 2010.