A new island is forming in the Pacific Ocean after an underwater volcanic eruption

A new island is forming in the Pacific Ocean after an underwater volcanic eruption
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A volcano that erupted in the southwestern Pacific Ocean has started to create a new island. on Sept. On January 10, a volcano erupted at Home Reef, a seamount that is not usually visible. But as the volcano continued to erupt, a new island rose above the surface of the water, NASA Earth Observatory said.

The seafloor ridge stretching from New Zealand to Tonga has the highest density of underwater volcanoes anywhere in the world. About 11 hours after the volcano erupted, as lava continued to pour out, a new island formed and by September 1. 14, researchers with Tonga Geological Surveywhich is a government agency, estimated the area of ​​the island to be 4,000 square meters, or about an acre.

for Sept. On the 19th, the island was 8.6 acres and about 49 feet above sea level, according to Geological Survey of Tonga. On Sunday, the agency said there were 24 volcanic events in 48 hours, rising from 11 one day to 13 the next.

As the lava continues to pour out of the Home Reef volcano, it forms an island on the surface of the water.

Tonga Geological Survey

During volcanic activity, lava and plumes of steam and ash seep out. The water surrounding the reef is also now discolored, which could be caused by volcanic rock fragments and sulfur from the eruption, NASA says.

The volcanic activity poses a low risk to surrounding communities, but boaters are advised to sail about 2.4 miles away from Home Reef, the Tonga Geological Survey said. CBS News has reached out to the agency for more information and is awaiting a response.


Tonga Geological Survey

Although the island grew rapidly during the last 16 days of lava flow, it is not expected to last. While islands created by underwater volcanoes can persist for years, they are typically short-lived. For example, Home Reef has had four periods of eruptions. During two of these periods, small islands were formed.

During the other two eruption periods in 1984 and 2006, short-lived islands with cliffs 50 to 70 meters high were formed.

When nearby Late’iki erupted for 12 days in 2020, the island it created was leveled within two months. But an island created by a Late’iki eruption in 1995 lasted 25 years.

In January, Tonga experienced a devastating volcanic eruption on the island, sending debris up to 25 miles into the atmosphere and triggering tsunami waves. The country was covered in smoke and practically cut off from communicating with the rest of the world after the eruption, which NASA described as more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

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