Saturday, 23 June 2018

Shinmoedake volcano eruption on Friday 22 June 2018.

Mount Shinmoedake, a 1421 m volcano that part of the Kirishima Volcanic Complex on southern Kyūshū Island, erupted again on the morning of Friday 22 June 2018, producing a column of ash that rose several kilometres above the summit of the volcano and and through fragments of rock over 1100 m from the caldera. This is the latest in a series of erutpions on the volcano, which began in October 2017, after a six year period of inactivity.

Ash column over Mount Shinmoedake, Japan, following an eruption on Friday 22 June 2018. Reuters.

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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