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Concept: Kagoshima Prefecture


Kikai submarine caldera to the south of the Kyushu Island, SW Japan, collapsed at 7.3 ka during the latest supereruption (>500 km3 of magma) in the Japanese Archipelago. Multi functional research surveys of the T/S Fukae Maru in this caldera, including multi-beam echosounder mapping, remotely operated vehicle observation, multi-channel seismic reflection survey, and rock sampling by dredging and diving, provided lines of evidence for creation of a giant rhyolite lava dome (~32 km3) after the caldera collapse. This dome is still active as water column anomalies accompanied by bubbling from its surface are observed. Chemical characteristics of dome-forming rhyolites akin to those of presently active small volcanic cones are different from those of supereruption. The voluminous post-caldera activity is thus not caused simply by squeezing the remnant of syn-caldera magma but may tap a magma system that has evolved both chemically and physically since the 7.3-ka supereruption.

Concepts: Japan, Volcano, Rhyolite, Lava, Volcanology, Caldera, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kumamoto Prefecture


Field investigations and seismic data show that the 16 April 2016 moment magnitude (Mw) 7.1 Kumamoto earthquake produced a ~40-kilometer-long surface rupture zone along the northeast-southwest-striking Hinagu-Futagawa strike-slip fault zone and newly identified faults on the western side of Aso caldera, Kyushu Island, Japan. The coseismic surface ruptures cut Aso caldera, including two volcanic cones inside it, but terminate therein. The data show that northeastward propagation of coseismic rupturing terminated in Aso caldera because of the presence of magma beneath the Aso volcanic cluster. The seismogenic faults of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake may require reassessment of the volcanic hazard in the vicinity of Aso volcano.

Concepts: Japan, Earthquake, Volcano, Lava, Fault, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kumamoto Prefecture, Mount Aso


Monitoring of earthquake faults and volcanoes contributes to our understanding of their dynamic mechanisms and to our ability to predict future earthquakes and volcanic activity. We report here on spatial and temporal variations of seismic velocity around the seismogenic fault of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake [moment magnitude (Mw) 7.0] based on ambient seismic noise. Seismic velocity near the rupture faults and Aso volcano decreased during the earthquake. The velocity reduction near the faults may have been due to formation damage, a change in stress state, and an increase in pore pressure. Further, we mapped the post-earthquake fault-healing process. The largest seismic velocity reduction observed at Aso volcano during the earthquake was likely caused by pressurized volcanic fluids, and the large increase in seismic velocity at the volcano’s magma body observed ~3 months after the earthquake may have been a response to depressurization caused by the eruption. This study demonstrates the usefulness of continuous monitoring of faults and volcanoes.

Concepts: Earth, United States, Earthquake, Volcano, Magma, Mantle plume, Pacific Ring of Fire, Kagoshima Prefecture


Interactions between trees and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are critical for the growth and survival of both partners. However, ECM symbiosis in endangered trees has hardly been explored, complicating conservation efforts. Here, we evaluated resident ECM roots and soil spore banks of ECM fungi from endangered Pinus amamiana forests on Yakushima and Tanegashima Islands, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Soil samples were collected from remaining four forests in the two islands. The resident ECM roots in soil samples were subjected to molecular identification. Soil spore banks of ECM fungi were analyzed via bioassays using a range of host seedlings (P. amamiana, P. parviflora, P. densiflora and Castanopsis sieboldii) for 6-8 months. In all remaining P. amamiana forests, we discovered a new Rhizopogon species (Rhizopogon sp.1), the sequence of which has no match amoung numerous Rhizopogon sequences deposited in the international sequence database. Host identification of the resident ECM roots confirmed that Rhizopogon sp.1 was associated only with P. amamiana. Rhizopogon sp.1 was far more dominant in soil spore banks than in resident ECM roots, and its presence was confirmed in nearly all soil samples examined across the major remaining populations. While Rhizopogon sp.1 did not completely lose compatibility to other pine species, its infection rate in the bioassays was highest in the original host, P. amamiana, the performance of which was improved by the infection. These results indicate that Rhizopogon sp.1 is very likely to have a close ecological relationship with endangered P. amamiana, probably due to a long co-evolutionary period on isolated islands, and to play the key role in seedling establishment after disturbance. We may need to identify and utilize such key ECM fungi to conserve endangered trees practically.

Concepts: Algae, Plant, Fungus, Mycorrhiza, Glomeromycota, Seed, Pine, Kagoshima Prefecture


Fungal strain FKJ-0025 was isolated from deep-sea sediment collected at the Wakamiko Caldera in Kagoshima Bay (water depth: 200 m). The fungal strain FKJ-0025 was identified as the genus Sarcopodium based on its morphology and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence. Two new compounds, designated sarcopodinols A (1) and B (2), were isolated together with the known compound SF-227 (3).

Concepts: Chemical compound, A. R. Rahman, Kagoshima Prefecture


Muography is a novel method to highly resolve the internal structure of active volcanoes by taking advantage of the cosmic muon’s strong penetration power. In this paper, we present the first high-definition image in the vicinity of craters of an erupting volcano called Sakurajima, Kyushu, Japan. The muography observation system based on the technique of multi-wire proportional chamber (mMOS) has been operated reliably during the data taking period of 157 days. The mMOS measured precisely the flux of muons up to the thickness of 5,000 meter-water-equivalent. It was shown that high-definition density maps around the Craters A, B and Showa could be determined with a precision of less than 7.5 × 7.5 m2which earlier had not yet been achieved. The observed density distribution suggests that the fall back deposits filled the magma pathway and increased their density underneath Craters A and B.

Concepts: Scientific method, Volcano, Weak interaction, Elementary particle, Magma, Basalt, Lava, Kagoshima Prefecture



Okinawa, comprising remote islands off the mainland of Japan, is an endemic area of human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-1), the causative virus of adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy (HAM). We investigated the tax genotype of HTLV-1 among 29 HTLV-1 carriers, 74 ATL patients, and 33 HAM patients in Okinawa. The genotype distribution-60 (44%) taxA cases and 76 (56%) taxB cases-differed from that of a previous report from Kagoshima Prefecture in mainland Japan (taxA, 10%; taxB, 90%). A comparison of the clinical outcomes of 45 patients (taxA, 14; taxB, 31) with aggressive ATL revealed that the overall response and 1-year overall survival rates for taxA (50% and 35%, respectively) were lower than those for taxB (71% and 49%, respectively). In a multivariate analysis of two prognostic indices for aggressive ATL, Japan Clinical Oncology Group-Prognostic Index and Prognostic Index for acute and lymphoma ATL, with respect to age, performance status, corrected calcium, soluble interleukin-2 receptor, and tax genotype, the estimated hazard ratio of taxA compared with taxB was 2.68 (95% confidence interval, 0.87-8.25; P=0.086). Our results suggest that the tax genotype has clinical value as a prognostic factor for aggressive ATL.

Concepts: Human T-lymphotropic virus, Leukemia, Japan, Mainland, Prefectures of Japan, adult t-cell leukemia/Lymphoma, Kyūshū, Kagoshima Prefecture


Only one Brazilian study has examined the association between dietary patterns and depressive symptoms during pregnancy. The current cross-sectional study examined this issue in Japan.

Concepts: Cross-sectional study, The Association, Japan, The Current, Prefectures of Japan, Okinawa Prefecture, Kyūshū, Kagoshima Prefecture


Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) was detected for the first time in seven years in Japan in October 2013 in Okinawa Prefecture. By December 2013, PED had spread into Miyazaki and Kagoshima Prefectures in the southern part of Kyushu, one of the regions with the highest farm density in the country. The objective of the study here was to assess the spatial dynamics of PED spread during the 8 months of the epidemic in the southern part of Kyushu between December 2013, the month observed first case in the studied region, and July 2014. Information on location and capacity of all farms in the prefectures (n=1269) was obtained from a government database containing demographic information for livestock producers. Additionally, data on PED detection (positive or negative) was obtained from the regional Livestock Hygiene Service Center. The Cuzick-Edwards (CE) test, the Knox test, the directional test, and the permutation model of the scan statistic were used to assess the spatio-temporal distribution of the epidemic. PED cumulative farm level incidence was 19.5% (248/1269) through the study period. The highest density of positive farms was observed in the most farm-populated areas of the prefecture. The CE test revealed an extensive degree of spatial clustering, with clustering of positive sites being significant (P<0.01) up to the 35th level of neighborhood (approximately 5km in the studied data). The observed-to-expected ratio of cases was maximized at short spatio-temporal distances, with values of the observed-to-expected ratio of cases maximized when the thresholds were set at 2km and 10days, respectively. A significant (P<0.01) direction of spread was detected towards the northeastern direction. The permutation model detected five significant (P<0.01) clusters occurring at different stages of the epidemic wave. The strong spatio-temporal clustering of PED-infected farms during the first 6 months of the epidemic in the southern part of Kyushu is consistent with results obtained elsewhere and demonstrates the rapid spread of the virus in naïve populations.

Concepts: Japan, Prefectures of Japan, Okinawa Prefecture, Kyūshū, Okinawa Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, Miyazaki Prefecture, Prefecture