The process of forming a new island 330 feet or 100 meters wide after the eruption of an underwater volcano off the coast of Iwo Jima, Japan. Photo/Live Science
TOKYO – Researchers from the University of Tokyo witnessed the process of forming a new island 330 feet or 100 meters wide after the eruption of an underwater volcano off the coast of Iwo Jima. The volcanic eruption event in the Pacific Ocean on October 30 2023 penetrated the sea surface in at least two locations.
A plane belonging to the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun spotted the first signs of an eruption in the southern part of the Izu-Ogasawara arc, about 1,200 kilometers south of Tokyo, around noon local time. Explosions occur every few minutes when red-hot magma hits the water below the surface, throwing huge blocks of rock more than 50 meters into the air.
The eruption penetrated the sea surface in at least two locations and the explosion only occurred at the southernmost tip of Iwo Jima. However, rocks piled up north of the explosion site, forming a round, rugged island about 330 feet or 100 meters wide.
The waters around the new island are discolored and filled with pumice, a type of highly porous rock that forms during explosive volcanic eruptions. The rocks on the island form a concentric pattern, but there are no signs of craters on the surface.
“Pumice rocks rose to the surface and the water changed color all over the edge of the island, indicating that magma was erupting from this location,” wrote the researchers in an official statement quoted by SINDOnews from the Live Science page, Thursday (9/11/2023).
Several underwater eruptions have been recorded in this region in recent years. Known as a phreatic eruption, this event is characterized by an explosion of steam and volcanic material at the surface.
It is triggered when water comes into contact with sizzling magma, lava, rock, or other hot deposits. Underwater, volcanic material that comes out of the seabed immediately freezes.
Regular eruptions have caused Iwo Jima to rise more than 3.3 feet or 1 meter each year, making it one of the fastest-rising volcanoes in the world.