Cutting-Edge Research
in Kyoto University


Mitigation of Volcanic Hazards Sakurajima—the most active volcano in the world.

Sakurajima Volcano

I have been conducting studies on forecasting the volcanic eruptions of Sakurajima at the Sakurajima Volcano Research Center since 1981. Sakurajima is the most frequently erupting volcano in the world. This year alone, over 600 vulcanian eruptions occurred at the Showa crater of the volcano. The most effective method to detect precursory signals of eruptions is ground deformation observation using tiltmeters and strainmeters in underground tunnels. A very large eruption occurred in 1914, ejecting over 2 km3 of volcanic ash and lava. After the eruption, the magma was recharged in the reservoir north of the volcano and is now back to 90% of what it was before the 1914 eruption. It is vital that we establish methods to counter such a large eruption. The first step towards mitigating volcanic hazards is obtaining an early warning of eruption by detecting precursors and evaluating the time and scale of the forthcoming eruption.

Masato Iguchi, PhD
Professor, Sakurajima Volcano Research Center, DPRI