Sakurajima in 2013

July 22, 2015

SakurijimaDSC05864 (1200x900)

LaharDSC05758 (750x1000)
Photographer: Gabrielle Tepp
Summary AuthorGabrielle Tepp
Featured above is the Japanese volcano known as Sakurajima as observed on July 19, 2013. The large ash plume shown here resulted from several hours of small explosions in the Showa Crater. In some years, Showa has produced over a thousand such explosions. Only occasionally does Sakurajima, Japan's most active volcano  (3,665 ft or 1,117 m), generate lava flows. However, a major eruption in 1914 caused a massive lava flow that connected the volcano to the mainland, changing it from an island to a peninsula.

The approximately 2,000 people living on the flanks of Sakurajima are well acquainted with ash deposits and the volcano's other hazards. Safety shelters, hazard maps, sabo dams (for controlling lahars – volcanic mudslides), and ash collecting trucks can be seen around the volcano. The bottom photo is a measurement point for lahars in a flow channel of the sabo dam system.
Even the schoolchildren keep safe by wearing hard-hats during their daily commutes. When asked what it's like to live on an active volcano, one child replied “not special” - a reminder that we grow accustomed to the environment we live in. Only a month after this photo was taken, a large explosion from Showa sent an ash plume 3 mi (5 km) into the atmosphere, leaving the nearby city of Kagoshima covered in ash.
Photo Details: Top - Camera Maker: SONY; Camera Model: DSC-HX200V; Lens: 4.8-144mm ƒ/2.8-5.6; Focal Length: 5.14mm; Aperture: ƒ/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.0006 s (1/1600); ISO equiv: 100. Bottom - Same except: Aperture: ƒ/3.5; Exposure Time: 0.0008 s (1/1250).