There’s a brand-new island in the Pacific Ocean, and it’s a baby! According to the NASA Earth Observatory, a new island has emerged in a region of the southwest Pacific Ocean that is studded with underwater volcanoes. This information was obtained from the region.
On September 10, an underwater volcano in the Central Tonga Islands began to erupt. Within eleven hours, a landmass emerged from the watery depths, created by oozing lava that had been cooled by the ocean waters and solidified. This event was the beginning of what is now known as the Lava Island Volcanic Event.
The subsequent days saw a continuation of the flow of lava, which led to the expansion of the newly formed island. On September 16, the diameter of the island was 170 meters (558 feet), and it eventually grew to 182 meters over the course of the following two days.
By the 20th of September, the island had expanded to span a total area of 24,000 square meters (6 acres), and it stood at a height of 10 meters (33 feet).
On September 14, footage acquired by the Landsat 9 satellite revealed that a new island was beginning to emerge. This photograph, which was taken in natural color, shows a large plume of steam and ash drifting away from the volcano. You can also see a cloud of discolored water forming around the landmass; this cloud is caused by the presence of superheated and acidic saltwater containing volcanic rock and sulphur, and it can be seen growing in size surrounding the landmass.
The location of the new island is to the southwest of Late Island, to the northeast of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, and to the northwest of Mo’unga’one. The Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone may be found in this region of the Pacific Ocean. This zone is an area where three tectonic plates are gently colliding with one another.
Because of all of the tectonic activity that has taken place in this region of the Pacific, the seafloor ridge that is located here is home to the greatest number of volcanoes that can be found anywhere in the globe.
Regrettably, it’s possible that the young island won’t survive for very long. The newly formed island is susceptible to weathering and erosion by waves and currents, which can swiftly damage the volcanic rock. As a result, the island typically disappears rather soon.
There are, however, new islands that are successful in surviving. An undersea volcano in this region of the Pacific Ocean erupted in 2014, which resulted in the formation of the sizeable island of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai. In spite of the fact that the island is still quite young, it has already given rise to a flourishing ecosystem, complete with pink flowering plants, nesting sooty tern birds, and barn owls. This has taken the scientific community by surprise.