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Since the Kobe Ocean Bottom Exploration Center (KOBEC) was established in 2015, it has carried out three survey voyages to the Kikai Caldera, south of Japan's main islands. Based on these voyages, researchers have confirmed that a giant lava dome was created after the caldera-forming supereruption 7300 years ago. The dome is in the world's largest class of post-caldera volcano, with a volume of over 32 cubic kilometers. The composition of this lava dome is different from the magma that caused the giant caldera to erupt - it shows the same chemical characteristics as the current post-caldera volcano on the nearby Satsuma Iwo-jima Island. It is possible that currently a giant magma buildup may exist under the Kikai Caldera.
These findings were published in the online edition of Scientific Reports on February 9.
Percent - Chance - Eruption - Archipelago - Years
There is roughly a 1 percent chance of a giant caldera-forming eruption occurring within the Japanese archipelago during the next 100 years. An eruption like this would see over 40 cubic kilometers of magma released in one burst, causing enormous damage. The mechanism behind this and how to predict this event are urgent questions.
Researchers equipped training ship Fukae Maru, part of the Kobe University Graduate School of Maritime Sciences, with the latest observation equipment to survey the Kikai Caldera. They chose this volcano for two main reasons. Firstly, for land-based volcanoes it is hard to carry out large-scale observations...
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