Recent Reports on Volcanic Gas Problems in Japan

Volcanic Cloud Research Group, Kagoshima Univ. & Kumamoto Univ.
Link Rev. Apr. 2017: Since Feb. 22, 2008


Around the foot of Sakurajima volcano, four stations monitor the surface concentration of sulphur-dioxide (SO2) and suspended particulate matter (SPM), providing a continuous data-set with one-hour resolution since the 1980s. Comparing these data with observations of volcanic clouds and upper wind measurements, it was found that high SO2 concentrations at the foot of the volcano occur only when the winds around the summit are strong enough to blow volcanic plumes and gases down to a measuring station, forming a lee wave.

The same mechanism is confirmed to work at the foot of Miyakejima volcano, which has continually ejected enormous amount of poisonous gases since mid-August 2000, forcing inhabitants to evacuate from September 2000 to January 2005. The number of gas monitoring stations at the foot of the volcano increased from three in December 2000 to fourteen in April 2004. Five-minute concentration values at these stations form the basis of the gas warning system that has been operating since the inhabitants returned in February 2005. In addition, SO2 concentrations on the flank of the volcano have also been measured occasionally, and correlate with the meteorological conditions necessary to blow gas in a narrow, leeward direction. The impact of the gas flow can be seen in the satellite images of the vegetation index, as confirmed by ground observations using near-infrared cameras.

SO2 emission rates can be remotely obtained by recording its characteristic absorption of ultra-violet (UV) light. Measurements were carried out using the correlation spectrometer (COSPEC), but have recently been replaced by compact instruments such as the mini-DOAS or COMPUSS. Such data can also be utilised to study dispersion patterns of the gas. In addition, an imaging camera, using the same principles, can record a 2D image of the SO2 gas plume.

Since May 2005, non-inhabitants have been allowed to visit the island by ferry, and are able to buy gas masks available at Takeshiba port, Tokyo, at a low price (less than 30 US Dollars).
There were two hazardous zones to E and SW from the central crater, where overnight stays were forbidden until quite recently.
However, visitors are very much welcome to Miyakejima - a splendid island in the ocean! You may take the regular ferry from Takeshiba port, which runs every night as long as the wind conditions are okay. Line flights have been operating since April 2008.

Here we show our recent reports on volcanic gas problems.

A. Surface gas concentrations near volcanoes and vegetation damage
B. Ground-based remote sensing of volcanic gas
C. Satellite image analyses of long-range transport of plumes and gas

A. Surface gas concentrations near volcanoes and vegetation damage

Mechanism of high concentration events of sulfur dioxide at the surface around Sakurajima Volcano (ppt-pdf)
IAVCEI 2013 Sci. Assembry, Kagoshima, Abstract OP1_4B-O4

High Sulphur-Dioxide Concentration Events at the Surface of Miyakejima and Sakurajima Volcanoes (ppt-pdf)
Cities on Volcanoes 5 Conf., Shimabara, Japan, 19-23 Nov. 2007

Estimation of Miyakejima volcanic gas hazards using vegetation index images (pdf)
N. Iino, K. Kinoshita, T. Yano and S. Torii
Proc. 11th CEReS Int. Symp. Remote Sensing, December 2005, Chiba, Japan, pp.105-110 (ppt-pdf)

N.Iino, K.Kinoshita, T.Yano and S.Torii
CD-ROM Proc. 1st Int. Symp. Micro & Nano Technology, March, 2004, Honolulu, USA, XXIII-C-01 pp.1-6

Analysis of high volcanic gas concentrations at the foot of Miyakejima volcano, Japan (pdf)
N. Iino, K. Kinoshita, M. Koyamada, C. Kanagaki and A. Terada
J. Nat. Dis. Sci., 25, pp.85-91, 2004

Ground observation of volcanic plumes and high sulphur-dioxide concentrations around Sakurajima volcano (pdf: 1ry version)
K. Kinoshita, C. Kanagaki, S. Iwata, M. Koyamada, K. Goto, K. Hidaka, A.Tupper and N. Iino
South Pacific Studies, 25, 27-34, 2004

B. Ground-based remote sensing of volcanic gas

Atmospheric dispersal of volcanic SO2 at Miyakejima (pdf)
Thomas P. Bouquet, Kisei Kinoshita, Hiroaki Fujiwara and Kazuhiro Inaba
2008 Fall Meeting, Volcanol. Soc. Japan, Morioka, p.118 (poster-pdf)

SO2 degassing observed at Japanese volcanoes using an ultra-violet imaging camera (pdf)
Thomas Bouquet, Matthew Watson and Kisei Kinoshita
2008 Fall Meeting, Volcanol. Soc. Japan, Morioka, p.41 (ppt-pdf)

Imaging SO2 emissions at Japanese volcanoes using an ultra-violet imaging camera (pdf)
T. Bouquet, K. Kinoshita and M. Watson
in Proc. 14th CEReS International Symposium and SKYNET workshop on "Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere for Better Understanding of Climate Change", Chiba Univ., Nov. 13-14, 2008, pp.173-176 (poster-pdf)

Ground-Level Concentrations of Volcanic SO2 at Miyakejima Island, Japan (pdf)
Thomas Bouquet and Kisei Kinoshita
South Pacific Studies Vol.30, No.1. 2009, pp.1-18

C. Satellite image analyses of long range transport of plumes and gas

Satellite analysis and mesoscale behaviour of volcanic plumes and gas from Miyakejima, Japan (pdf: Pre-print version)
N. Iino, K. Kinoshita, M. Koyamada, T. Yano and S. Torii
Int. J. Env. Tech. and Manag. (IJETM),4 (3), pp.253-265, 2004

Satellite detection of volcanic aerosol at Miyakejima and Sakurajima (pdf)
M. Koyamada, K. Kinoshita, N. Iino and C. Kanagaki
Proc. Nagasaki Workshop on Aerosol-Cloud Radiation Interaction and Asian Lider Network, Nagasaki, Japan, pp.96-101, 2001 (ppt-pdf)

Streakline analysis of the 18 August 2000 eruption cloud of Miyakejima (pdf)
N. Iino and K. Kinoshita, Japan Met. Soc. Autumn Assembly 2004, p.426

Observation and Analysis of Plumes and Gas from Volcanic Islands in Japan (pdf)
K.Kinoshita, C.Kanagaki, A. Tupper and N.Iino
Proc. Int. Workshop on Physical Modelling of Flow and Dispersion Phenomena, 3-5 Sept. 2003, Prato, Italy, pp.78-83

Volcanic plumes at Miyakejima observed from satellites and from the ground (pdf)
K. Kinoshita, C. Kanagaki, N. Iino, M. Koyamada, A. Terada and A.C. Tupper
Proc. SPIE 4891(2003), Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Clouds III, part of SPIE's 3rd Int. Asia-Pacific Environmental Remote Sensing Symp., October 2002, Hangzhou, China, 227-236

Related pages by Volcanic Cloud Research Group, Kagoshima Univ. & Kumamoto Univ.

Recent reports on volcanic clouds and related works (2003-2015)

Papers on volcanic clouds and Asian dust (in Japanese and English, 2000-2002)

NOAA satellite images of Miyake-jima plumes
A database of NOAA/AVHRR images of Miyakejima plumes during 2000-2004.
Surface gas concentrations at the foot of the volcano and near-by wind graphs of Hachijo-jima at 925 hPa during 2001-2003 are also displayed for each month.
It turned out to be difficult to recognize the plumes in 2004.

Satellite image Network Group in Kagoshima

Recent reports of volcanic gas in Japanese