New island may appear in Japan

(ORDO NEWS) — In the Pacific Ocean is the volcanic island of Nishinoshima, which is now experiencing a “powerful growth spurt.” Since mid-June, activity on the island has grown so much that it has increased its southern coast by 150 meters!

The uninhabited island is located 130 kilometers from the nearest village and is the top of a huge underwater volcano. When it first began to erupt, the island was only 370 meters wide, until the eruptions that began in 1973 formed several new islets that eventually merged.

Monstrous eruptions periodically showed a certain cyclical nature and constantly increased the area of ​​the island. As a result of the merger of several pieces of volcanic land, the island grew 12 times compared with the original size in the period only from 2013 to 2015!

Nishinoshima in 1978
Nishinoshima in 1978

So the island lived its life and now, on June 29, aerial reconnaissance by the Japanese coast guard discovered black smoke and magma erupting from the central crater. This suggests that the activity of the volcano has increased dramatically.

Island in 2016
Island in 2016

On July 3, the ash plume rose to 4,600 meters above sea level, and the next day the volcano threw ash to a height of 7,900 – 8,500 meters – this is the highest figure since it went out of hibernation in 2013.

Kenji Nogami, a volcanologist at the Tokyo Institute of Technology who has been following Nishinoshima since 2013, says the volcanic island is located right above a huge supply of underground magma. This means that the lava is likely to continue to flow out, further increasing the size of the island.

“The small island has grown significantly during the current eruption,” says geologist Elizabeth Cottrell. “In fact, almost all the islands of the western Pacific are volcanic, including the Japanese archipelago. It’s just a reminder that every new continent begins with an explosion similar to the one we are seeing now in Nishinoshima.”

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