“At the beginning of November, the island measured about 100 meters in diameter and had a surface of up to 20 meters above sea level,” said Yuji Usui, an analyst at the Japan Meteorological Agency, according to the BBC news station.
The submarine volcano itself, located in the Pacific Ocean about a kilometer off the southern coast of Iwo Jima, began its latest series of eruptions on October 21. Within 10 days, volcanic ash and rocks accumulated on the shallow sea floor, and its summit rose above sea level.
The island is shrinking
Volcanic activity at the site has since subsided, and the newly formed island has shrunk somewhat as its “crumbly” surface is easily washed away by waves, as Usui noted. The question is how long it will last.
An undersea eruption created a new island near Iwo Jima
Volcanologist Secuja Nakada of the University of Tokyo said recently, according to The Japan Times, that the islet is formed by solidified lava that had been building up under the sea for some time and broke through to the surface after the volcano erupted on October 30. He also pointed out that the islet can easily be subject to erosion.
In any case, experts continue to analyze and monitor the area.
The new piece of land is – like Iwo Jima – part of the Volcano Islands, the southernmost and uninhabited part of the Bonin Islands, also known as the Ogasawara Archipelago. The Ogasawara Pacific Islands are administratively part of Tokyo Prefecture, although they are about 1,000 km away from the Japanese capital.
The Kamchatka volcano spews smoke and ash to a height of ten kilometers
Japan, which is a country of frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity, is famous for its large number of islands – according to the AFP agency, there are over 6,850 of them. The most famous of the Bonin Islands is the volcanic island of Iwo Jima (officially Iótó), which the Americans during World War II contested with the fierce Japanese battle.
The US occupied the island until 1968, before returning it to Japan.