Iō Yama, a 1562 m stratovolcano (cone shaped volcano made up of layers of ash and lava) at the northwestern end of the Kirishima Volcanic Complex on southern Kyūshū Island, erupted suddenly slightly before 3.40 pm Japan Standard Time on Thursday 19 April 2018. The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a warning to avoid going within 3 km of the volcano, due to the dangers of flying rock fragments or pyroclastic flows.
Eruption on Io Yama on 19 April 2018. Japan Meteorological Agency.
Japan has a complex tectonic situation, with parts of the country on four different tectonic plates. Kyūshū Island lies at the northeast end of the Ryukyu Island Arc, which sits on top of the boundary between the Eurasian and Philippine Plates. The Philippine Plate is being subducted beneath the Eurasian Plate, in the Ryukyo Trench, to the Southeast of the Islands. As it is drawn into the interior of the Earth, the tectonic plate is partially melted by the heat of the Earth's interior, and liquid magma rises up through the overlying Eurasian Plate to form the volcanoes of the Ryukyu Islands and Kyūshū.
The movement of the Pacific and Philippine Plates beneath eastern Honshu. Laurent Jolivet/Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans/Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement.
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