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Newly formed volcanic island is starting to grow after underwater eruption
Featured Image Credit: X / @JCG_koho / ESO / Copernicus Sentinel

Newly formed volcanic island is starting to grow after underwater eruption

The new island was formed in October

A newly formed volcanic island is starting to grow after an underwater explosion caused its formation last month.

On November 1, officials confirmed that a small island had been formed off the coast of Japan.

The new islet is located about one kilometer off the coast of Iō-tō island - previously known as Iwo Jima island - in the western Pacific, about 1,220 km south-southeast of Tokyo, Japan.

The emergence of the new small island was confirmed by the Maritime Self-Defence Force's air base - which is stationed on Iō-tō island - after it saw and heard an explosion, The Asahi Shimbun reported last month.

Prior to the volcano erupting and islet appearing, since October 21, the Japan Meteorological Agency has detected volcanic tremors on Iō-tō island every few minutes and Iō-tō island has also been rising.

As a result, the volcano erupted, allowing an islet to form near its crater.

The new island was formed in October.
NHK News

A JMA official told The Asahi Shimbun: "It is possible that a large amount of rocks and stones ejected from the crater on the seafloor accumulated and created the islet."

Since being photographed from space at the end of October, the island, formed from volcanic ash and rock, has continued to grow.

The island now measures 8.6 kilometers in the northeast-southwest direction and 5.6 kilometers in the northwest-southeast direction, according to the University of Tokyo.

In a translated press release, the university said: "It is estimated that eruptions are occurring in at least two locations. The crater where the phreatomagmatic explosion occurs, and the vent where the rock masses that make up the island are ejected.

"The location of this eruption is almost the same as the 2022 eruption, and is thought to indicate the resumption of magma activity on Iwo Jima."

The new island is growing.
The European Space Agency

To be honest, it's quite difficult to keep up with how many islands now sit off the cost of Japan as officials are often met with differing numbers.

Earlier this year, a total of 7,000 new Japanese islands were reportedly discovered - a bit enough number in itself.

Japan was previously believed to have around 6,000 islands as per a mapping of the country conducted in 1987 by the Japan Coast Guard.

However, advanced mapping technology used by the Geospatial Information Authority revealed this number was actually pretty inaccurate.

The new research revealed Japan didn't have 6,000 islands, but the country actually has over 14,000.

Pretty impressive, eh?

Topics: Science, World News, News