Space radar image of Aira Caldera, with Sakurajima in the bay formed by the caldera.
|Last eruption||c. 22,000 years ago|
Aira Caldera (姶良カルデラ Aira-Karudera) is a gigantic volcanic caldera in the south of the island of Kyūshū, Japan. The caldera was originally thought to have been created by a massive eruption, approximately 22,000 years ago. This eruption, whose widespread deposits are generically known as the Aira-Tanzawa tephra, is now thought to be rather older. The latest/best age estimates derive from cores from Lakes Biwa and Suigetsu and they indicate an age of 29,430-30,150 years ago. Eruption of voluminous pyroclastic flows accompanied the formation of the 17 × 23 km-wide Aira caldera. Together with a large pumice fall, these amounted to approximately 400 km3 of tephra (VEI 7).
The major city of Kagoshima and the 16,000-year-old Sakurajima volcano lie within the caldera. Sakura-jima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay.
- Smith, V.C. (2013). "Identification and correlation of visible tephras in the Lake Suigetsu SG06 sedimentary archive, Japan". Quaternary Science Reviews. 67: 121–137.
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