Volcanic Lightning, Sakurajima Volcano

Volcanic Lightning, Sakurajima Volcano

Volcanic eruptions are sometimes accompanied by flashes of lightning. This rare phenomenon also known as “dirty thunderstorm”.This lightning doesn’t descend from storm clouds in the sky. In a normal thunderstorm, the ice crystals collide and generate electric charges, which results in lightning. In an eruption, electrical charges are generated when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in a volcanic plume collide and produce static charges.

Sakurajima, translated as Cherry Island, an active composite volcano (stratovolcano) on the Japanese island of Kyushu, has been erupting on a regular basis since 1955 and is a constant danger to the nearby city of Kagoshima, which has a population of over 600,000.

Sakurajima is the only volcano that has frequent lightning in daily eruptions. But why that rare phenomenon happens so often there remains unclear.

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