The island of Niijima, formed by a volcanic fire in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan in late October 2023, continues to rise above sea level.
This is evidenced by pictures taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA), writes Space.com. The constant growth of the island means that the underwater volcanic activity that created it is still ongoing.
Niijima Island still continues to be active. On November 27, the Japanese Coast Guard released footage showing it being shaken by a new volcanic eruption.
竤黄島翁浜沖の新島の噴火の海头(可視) is here↓ pic.twitter.com/gE5R3PCGBD
— 海海保安庁 (@JCG_koho) November 27, 2023
The video shows white steam and smoke rising from the smoldering island, followed by a powerful explosion in the lower left corner. Afterwards, chunks of blackened volcanic rock can be seen falling back towards Niijima in a shroud of smoke. At the same time, the island shakes with a series of smaller explosions.
The island formed on October 30 between 12:20 and 12:35 local time 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) south of Tokyo. It happened when brilliantly hot magma fell into the ocean and exploded, creating chunks of rock, the University of Tokyo reported.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the eruption began on October 21, 2023.
“The location of this eruption is almost the same as it was in 2022. This indicates renewed magma activity on Iwo Jima,” – write researchers from the University of Tokyo.
According to Yuji Usui, an expert at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Volcanic Research Division, whether Niijima Island exists will depend on the type of rock from which it was formed.
If it consists mostly of hardened lava, then Niijima will stand. However, if it is a light, loosely bound rock, it can be dispersed back into the Pacific Ocean.
“We just have to watch the development, but we have to understand that the island may not last long.” Usui said.
Niijima Island is located above a chain of underwater volcanoes called the “Ring of Fire”. It is horseshoe-shaped, 40,000 kilometers long, and stretches from the southern tip of South America to the coast of North America, and from there through the Bering Strait to Japan and down to New Zealand.
According to researchers at the University of Tokyo, the location of the new island has been a hotbed of underwater steam and lava eruptions for years, meaning the region is home to one of the fastest-growing caldera volcanoes in the world.
It will be recalled that 11 mountaineers died during the eruption of a volcano in Indonesia, and another 12 went missing.
Read also: Scientists have shown what Japan looks like from space in autumn. PHOTO