THE Japan added another island to her already rich archipelago, as one underwater volcanic eruptionat a distance of 1,200 kilometers from Tokyo, “gave birth” to a new land mass.
According to experts, the tiny island emerged after a series of eruptions that began in October near Ivoto.
Fukashi Maeno, from the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Earthquake Research, confirmed that a series of phreatomagmatic eruptions – resulting from the interaction between magma and water – occurred within about one kilometer of Ivoto, forming a new land mass 100 meters in diameter.
Maeno, who flew over the site in late October, told the Kyodo news agency that every few minutes during the eruptions, they were ejected to a height of more than 50 meters. clouds of smoke and ash. Also, due to the underwater volcanic activity, large pieces of rock were thrown into the air, while the spot had changed color, due to the brown pumice that was floating in large quantities in this marine area.
As Maeno pointed out, the recent creation of this small island proves that magmatic activity has returned to the area.
The islet it may grow in size and change shapeif the eruptions continue, just as easily as it was born, it may disappear beneath the waves of the Pacific Ocean.
Similar islet formations in the same way were recorded in this area in 1904, 1914 and 1986. All those islets, however, disappeared due to erosion as, due to their composition of ash and rock fragments, they could not long withstand the incessant hammering of wild waves.
Ivoto, or better known Iwo Jima until 2007 when it was renamed, theater of one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War, It is one of Japan’s 111 active volcanoes.
Months ago, scientists certified that the Japanese archipelago, which was previously thought to consist of four large islands and about 6,000 much smaller and mostly uninhabited ones, actually has twice that number of islands. Using digital mapping technology, Japan’s Geospatial Information Authority confirmed it had identified a total of 14,125 islands – 7,273 more than they knew existed.