It is made mainly of pumice stone, has a diameter of about two kilometers and, at the moment, does not have a name. This is the new island formed following the eruption of an underwater volcano within the Ogasawara archipelago, in southern Japan. The activity, which began on October 21st, is occurring one kilometer from the southern coast of Iwo Jima. Over the course of about ten days, ash and volcanic rocks piled up on the shallow seabed, reaching the surface of the sea.
This is a rare phenomenon, especially in areas characterized by intense volcanic activity such as those along the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”. According to Yu ji Usui, analyst of the volcanic division of the Japan Meteorological Agency, this new small island could be short-lived: as volcanic activity decreases, the dimensions of this type of very friable formation often reduce and are easily swept away by the waves. Doctor Setsuya Nakada, professor emeritus of volcanology at the University of Tokyo, has a different opinion, explaining to Japan Times how the new island formed similarly to another one that merged with Nishinoshima in 2013. The scientist says there is a good chance the island could stay. “If more and more lava comes out and covers the area, I think that part will remain forever,” he said.