Incredible aerial footage has captured the explosive birth of a brand new island in the Pacific Ocean. The island, which is around 330ft in diameter, was formed by a huge underwater volcanic eruption near the Japanese Island of Iwo Jima. Rocks and lava were thrown 160ft in the air as steam and magma poured into the ocean. Scientists believe the island may become permanent and could even merge with nearby Iwo Jima if the eruption continues.
Volcanic islands are created when underwater eruptions occur at the boundaries of tectonic plates, resulting in lava spewing out and cooling to form new land masses. The recent eruption was first detected on October 30, and experts say the island's small size is deceptive, as it is part of an underwater volcano 25 miles in diameter at its base and over a mile tall.
The explosive blasts caused by the eruption are known as phreatomagmatic eruptions, triggered by seawater coming into contact with molten rock. The eruptions have produced massive pillars of steam, ash, and smoke, while floating pumice has gathered around the newly formed island.
Despite the possibility of erosion from waves, areas already covered by solidified lava are expected to remain forever. While there is uncertainty about the duration of the eruption, scientists believe that if the lava continues to erupt, the new island could merge with Iwo Jima. This region is part of the 'Ring of Fire', a tectonic fault line, where frequent volcanic activity results in Iwo Jima rising more than 3ft in height annually.
The volcanic region surrounding Iwo Jima is highly active, with over 90% of the world's earthquakes occurring in the area. The 'Ring of Fire' spans approximately 25,000 miles, encompassing more than 450 volcanoes. This geological disaster zone is prone to earthquakes and eruptions, posing a threat due to numerous subduction zones. Scientists continue to monitor this new island's formation and the ongoing activity in the area.