Ground temperature associated with eruptive activity of Unzen Volcano, southwestern Japan, was observed in a cave about 680 m west of the central vent. Based on the data during 1991-1996, eliminating the effects of seasonal change, the temperature rose to the highest level probably around the first half of 1992. Hereafter the temperature decreased gradually year by year at least up to the autumn of 1996, beyond the level recovered at the beginning of the lava extrusion in May 1991. Although it is not necessarily conclusive, the present observation suggests a possible rise in ground temperature prior to the commencement of the first phreatic eruption in November 1990. If so, a careful observation may help to predict future eruptions by detecting a precursory rise of the ground temperature in this volcano.
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