Pacific island swallows nearby island
Jan. 12, 2014 (Credit: Japan Coast Guard)
Jordan Chittley, Kevin Newman Live
Published Monday, April 7, 2014 3:16PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 7, 2014 6:13PM EDT
About five months ago a new island was born. A seafloor volcano about 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo spewed enough material to rise above the water line.
This newest Pacific island was about 500 metres from another volcanic island that last erupted and expanded in 1974.
For the past five months, this tiny new island, called niijima in Japanese, continued to expand. Even though many thought it may get pounded by the waves and vanish.
NASA’s Earth Observatory reports last week the new island has now swallowed the old one. The two islands first touched shores around New Year’s, but now the new island has completely overtaken the old one. The island now measures about a kilometer across and about 60 metres at its highest point above sea level. So the one island is now three times higher than it was in December and it continues to grow.
The island sits on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, an area that experiences 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes and has more than 75 per cent of the world’s volcanoes.
"The intermittent, pulsing shape of the cloud stream might be a reflection of the volcanic eruption itself," officials with NASA's Earth Observatory wrote as reported by LiveScience. "Strombolian explosions are essentially bubbles of lava and gas rising from Earth's interior in pulses. Underwater, sediment appears to be stirred up in a green plume that stretches eastward from the island."