October 19, 2013 - Plume from Sakura-jima, southern Japan

Plume from Sakura-jima, southern Japan

Activity at Japan’s Sakura-jima volcano continued to heat up in October, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite passed over the region on October 1 and captured a true-color image of a plume of ash rising from Sakura-jima and blowing southward over Kagoshima Bay.

From October 1-3 the volcano was reportedly in a particularly active phase, with about 20 explosions which produced plumes reaching 10 – 13,000 feet (3-4 km) altitude. Activity continued through mid-month, with 6 eruptions on October 13 alone, which culminated in one strong explosion that expelled ash to 12,000 feet (3.6) km.

Sakura-jima remains one of the most active volcanoes in the word and is considered to be in constant activity. Located only 8 km east of the heavily populated city of Kagoshima, eruptions typically occur every 4-24 hours, often expelling ash plumes which often blow across the bay and deposit ash on the city. Because it is so active and so close to a major city, Sakura-jima is considered potentially quite dangerous, and is closely monitored.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 10/1/2013
Resolutions: 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC