New Island created by Volcanic Eruption in Japan

Volcanic eruption creates new island in Japan

Science! By Matthew Humphries Nov. 21, 2013

Japan has expanded its territory this week, and it’s all thanks to an underwater volcano. A new island has joined the Ogasawara chain of around 30 islands (otherwise known as the Bonin Islands), which are roughly 620 miles directly south of Tokyo and uninhabited except for the islands of Chichi-jima and Haha-jima.

The new island is tiny, measuring just 200 meters in diameter. It was formed from an eruption that saw heavy black smoke, ash, and rock bursting out of the sea. The smoke and ash continues to pour out of the volcano, and for the time being the island looks like it might stick around. Volcanologists can’t say with any certainty if it is going to be a permanent new addition to Japan’s territory, as due to its size, there’s every chance it could be eroded away quite quickly by the sea.
Footage of the new island forming can be seen in the video below:

The area where the island formed is known as the “Ring of Fire” due to the regular seismic activity there. Most eruptions occur underwater and go unnoticed, but this is the first one to occur since the 1970s in the area.

If the island is eventually deemed permanent then it will have to be named something-jima, but for the moment local scientists (and the coast guard) will continue to monitor it. Who knows, if the same volcano erupts again it could grow in size quite significantly.

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