|Subregion Name:||Kyushu (Japan)|
|Volcano Type:||Shield volcano|
|Last Known Eruption:||2011|
|Summit Elevation:||1700 m||5,577 feet|
Kirishima is a large group of more than 20 Quaternary volcanoes located north of Kagoshima Bay. The late-Pleistocene to Holocene dominantly andesitic volcano group consists of stratovolcanoes, pyroclastic cones, maars, and underlying shield volcanoes located over an area of 20 x 30 km. The larger stratovolcanoes are scattered throughout the field, with the centrally located, 1700-m-high Karakuni-dake being the highest. Onami-ike and Mi-ike, the two largest maars, are located SW of Karakuni-dake and at its far eastern end, respectively. Holocene eruptions have been concentrated along an E-W line of vents from Mi-ike to Ohachi, and at Shinmoe-dake to the NE. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 8th century.
Japanese volcano group Mount Kirishima erupted on 29/01/11 in its biggest explosion since 1959. The Daily Mail reports that volcanic alerts have been raised as rocks and ash billow and spew nearly a mile in the air.
Japan lies at the intersection of four tectonic plates which fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Many volcanoes occur at plate boundaries where a heavier plate subducts or dives below a lighter one. Crust from the subducting plate melts to form magma when it hits Earth's upper mantle. Magma makes its way back to the surface through volcanoes.
According to Bloomberg News, flights in the region have been canceled and nearby homes have been evacuated: Shinmoedake, in the Kirishima range, erupted yesterday, spewing ash as high as 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) into the air, Japan's Meteorological Agency said in a statement on its website. A second eruption occurred today at about 1 p.m. local time, national broadcaster NHK reported. Ash from the volcano reached Miyazaki city, 50 kilometers (30 miles) to the east, according to the broadcaster.Japan Airlines Corp. canceled 37 flights to or from nearby Miyazaki airport, according to its website today. Three additional flights will be scrapped tomorrow, it said. All Nippon Airways Co., Asia's largest listed carrier, canceled 24 flights affecting 3,350 people, spokeswoman Nana Kon said by phone today.
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