A new island emerged in the waters of the southwest Pacific Ocean. The island was observed by NASA Earth Observatory satellites following a volcanic eruption near Home Reef island. The island is located on a seafloor ridge dominated by underwater volcanic activities that run from New Zealand to Tonga.
On September 10, one of the underwater volcanoes on the ridge erupted. The eruption led to the spread of ash and gases in the atmosphere, suffocating the surrounding skies. Things started settling down in a few hours and the eruption eventually attended down on into a brand new island.
The new island was first spotted 11 hours after the eruption, but it only covered a small area of about 4,000 square meters. By September 20, the island had grown in size to measure 24,000 square meters.
The new island is just but one among the many ocean islands that have emerged over the years. Although its emergence might be exciting, it is likely that it will be submerged underwater sooner or later. From past experiences, few oceanic islands last long enough to inhabit life. A few islands last for decades, but are then submerged into the ocean. The Home Reef island itself has had four other eruptions in the past that did not result in a permanent island.
In earlier eruptions elsewhere, islands were formed but later disappeared. The eruptions that led to islands were recorded in 1852 and 1857. There were also other minor eruptions in 1984 and 2006 that brought about small islands. Some of the islands featured cliffs reaching 50 to 70 meters but still got submerged.
Lead image via Pexels