Not only does the new islet that came out of a volcanic eruption seems to not be going away, it looks like it’s attaching itself to other land masses in the area. According to the Japan Coast Guard on Thursday, the islet has merged at two points with Nishino-shima, a volcanic island that is part of the Ogasawara (Bonin) chain.
Located 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, the uninhabited island is estimated to be 10 million years old. Meanwhile, the islet has been slowly growing in mass since it was first spotted last November 20. It is now 450 meters from east to west, and 500 meters from north to south, and occupying ground space of 0.06 square miles. It also has two craters that have been erupting every 30-60 seconds. The coast guard also says it has been spewing brown smoke 100 meters high, with pale volcanic gas and ash-grey smoke coming out as well.
According to Kenji Nogami, a geology professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, “The amount of volcanic smoke has apparently grown with a continuous flow of lava.” He also said, from his vantage view on a plane, that the magma from the deep subsurface has also been increasing. During the 70s and 80s, similar volcanic eruptions also produced islets in Japan’s territorial waters. However, they have since been submerged in the ocean once again, either totally or partially. This is why the new islet still hasn’t been officially named or claimed by the government.
[ via Rappler ]