Home / Science / News /  New island appears in Southwest Pacific Ocean after underwater volcano eruption. Details here

The new island has emerged in the southwest Pacific Ocean after underwater volcanoes. As per NASA Earth Observatory, “In the southwest Pacific, a seafloor ridge that stretches from New Zealand to Tonga has the highest density of underwater volcanoes in the world. On September 10, one of them—the Home Reef seamount—awoke, giving rise to a new island."

As per NASA, eleven hours after the eruption began, a new island rose above the water surface.

NASA observed that the newborn island grew quickly in size. On September 14, researchers with Tonga Geological Services estimated the area of the island to be 4,000 square meters i.e. 1 acre and the elevation to be 10 meters which is 33 feet above sea level. However, by September 20, the island had grown to cover 24,000 square meters i.e. 6 acres.

The island said that the island is located southwest of Late Island, northeast of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai, and northwest of Mo‘unga‘one. Home Reef sits within the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone, an area where three tectonic plates are colliding at the fastest converging boundary in the world. The Pacific Plate here is sinking beneath two other small plates, yielding one of Earth’s deepest trenches and most active volcanic arcs, it added.

NASA also added that Islands created by submarine volcanoes are often short-lived, though they occasionally persist for years.

It is important to note that this is not the first such incident where an island has born. Earlier when Home Reef has had four recorded periods of eruptions in 1852 and 1857, small islands were temporarily formed after both events.

NASA also informed that eruptions in 1984 and 2006 produced ephemeral islands with cliffs that were 50 to 70 meters high. An island created by a 12-day eruption from nearby Late‘iki Volcano in 2020 washed away after two months, while an earlier island created in 1995 by the same volcano remained for 25 years.

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