Chairman of the Organizing Committee,
Emeritus professor of the University of Tokyo
It is a great pleasure to invite you to the IAVCEI 2013 Scientific Assembly in Kagoshima city. Kagoshima city is one of the Kyushu's largest cities, and is located across Kagoshima-bay only 8 km from the summit of Sakurajima volcano which is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan.
We counted almost one thousand explosive eruptions at Sakurajima volcano last year, and its activity continues, already counting 660 explosive eruptions at the beginning of this August. You may experience ash-fall during the assembly because summer wind often brings ash cloud toward the Kagoshima city.
Frequent historical eruptions have been recorded since the 8th century at Minami-dake of Sakurajima volcano, and the last largest eruption occurred on 12th January, 1914. During this eruption, lava flow issued from one of the fissures on the flank of Minami-dake was poured into the strait between Sakurajima and Osumi-peninsula, transforming Sakurajima from an isolated island to the part of the peninsula. The ash cloud drifted northeastward and fall out ash was detected even in Kamchatka. That was also the last largest eruption we experienced within 20th century in Japan. Several centenary programs are scheduled by Kagoshima city during a period from 2013 to the centennial anniversary of 2014, and this IAVCEI Scientific Assembly is a kind of kick-off event for the series of programs.
I would like to encourage many people from different countries to attend the Assembly and discuss broad aspects of research relevant to the study and understanding of volcanoes. I hope that all of you will take advantage of the beautiful location and the interesting volcanic setting.
President of IAVCEI,
On behalf of the IAVCEI Community, welcome to the 2013 IAVCEI Scientific Assembly in Kagoshima, Japan. The scientific program for this Kagoshima Scientific Assembly is an exciting and very comprehensive one, catering for very diverse research interests. The organisers of the conference and the scientific program are to be congratulated on their dedicated and excellent work in organising this conference in the aftermath of the massive Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 11th March, 2011, and the ensuing Fukushima nuclear disaster. These extreme events have come on top of the impact of the ongoing global financial crisis, and therefore the IAVCEI international community is very grateful to Japan, its people and its scientific community for hosting this meeting under the extremely difficult circumstances experienced by all.
Japan is no stranger to extreme natural disasters, including major volcanic eruptions, volcanic related sector collapse and debris avalanche events, and earthquakes. Here in Kyushu, in southwestern Japan, one of its most active volcanoes, Sakurajima volcano erupts continuously on the doorstep of the host city for the conference, Kagoshima. Sakurajima is a very active stratovolcano that appears to have grown on the ring fault of the Aira Caldera that formed during a major explosive eruption about 22 ka. Not far away sits Mt Unzen, which erupted continuously from 1990 to 1995. On 3rd June 1992, 43 people, mostly Japanese media people, but including three volcanologists, Katia and Maurice Krafft and Harry Glicken, were killed by a block and ash flow event. In 1792, a sector of the Mayuyama lava dome edifice of Mt Unzen collapsed, and generated a tsunami that is estimated to have killed 15,000 people. Conference participants have the opportunity to participate in fieldtrips to these iconic volcanoes and others.
Unlike AGU and EGU meetings, which occur every year, in more or less the same venue, and have developed a sameness about them, IAVCEI Scientific Assemblies occur every 4 years in different, usually exotic locations, between the major IAVCEI General Assemblies, which are held as part of 4 yearly IUGG General Assemblies. Because these two conferences allow IAVCEI to organize scientific symposia, workshops and meetings covering the spectrum of cutting edge volcanological, geochemical and geophysical research relevant to the study and understanding of volcanoes, they represent the two most important international conferences for the IAVCEI community. These conferences provide opportunities to hear cutting edge volcanological research, to network with international colleagues and to welcome and encourage our young scientists to participate in the activities of the global IAVCEI community. In more recent years, the Cities on Volcanoes conferences have also grown in importance, with a focus on the impact of volcanic events on society, hazards, and civil management of volcanic crises. The IAVCEI and IUGG General Assemblies, like AGU and EGU conferences, bring together the broader "geophysical" community to address scientific problems from an interdisciplinary approach, as well as allowing each member association of IUGG, including IAVCEI, to present its own scientific program of symposia and workshops. They are enormously fruitful and insightful meetings in allowing interaction between the volcanological community with the seismology, hydrology, cryospheric, atmospheric, oceanographic, geodetic, and magnetism research communities. The next IUGG and IAVCEI General Assembly will be held in the beautiful city of Prague, in the Czech Republic, in 2015, so be sure to make this a "must attend" meeting in your diaries.
Finally, I welcome you all as members of IAVCEI. You will all automatically become members of IAVCEI when you attend IAVCEI 2013. This is free, but we invite members to become donors to IAVCEI, to help it continue its numerous activities, including supporting conferences and the participation in these by early career researchers and scientists from developing countries. I invite you to visit the IAVCEI website to find out more about IAVCEI and its activities: http://www.iavcei.org