Lauren Dauphin/NASA Earth Observatory
There is a new island in the South Pacific Ocean.
Earlier this month, an underwater volcano near Tonga erupted, spiking lava and expelling steam and water above the surface. It also formed a new landmass that quickly grew from one to over eight acres in size.
according to NASA Earth Observatorya volcano on what is known as the Hum Reef seamount began erupting on September 10.
Eleven hours later, the unnamed island emerged from the water.
Saturday Appreciate Tonga geological services that the island had expanded to approximately 8.6 acres and stood about 50 feet above sea level as of September 19.
The geological agency said “volcanic activities” were continuing in Hom Reef but posed low risks to the Vava’u and Ha’apai communities.
This isn’t the first time Home Reef has erupted. Submarine volcanoes erupted in 1852, 1857, 1984, and 2006, producing new islands each time.
Islands created by underwater volcanic activity can exist for years, although they usually don’t last long, NASA said.
But there is hope that the small atoll located southwest of the late Tonga will continue. The island created by the neighboring Late’iki volcano in 1995 has lasted for 25 years.
According to the space agency, Home Reef is part of the Tonga Kermadec subduction zone, where three tectonic plates collide with each other and create an active region of undersea volcanoes.
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