The small island came into existence 11 hours after a volcanic eruption and has grown in size to 24,000 square metres.
A new island has emerged in the southwest Pacific Ocean after coral reefs were inundated volcano Falling lava, ash and ejected steam erupted.
The US-based space agency, NASA, said in a statement that the island came into existence 11 hours after the eruption of the volcano on September 10, which caused a change in the color of the surrounding water.
NASA was able to image the new land mass with satellites. The volcano is located in the offshore Mount Home Reef near the central island of Tonga.
“Operational Land Image 2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 captured this natural-color image of the young island on September 14, 2022, with plumes of faint water sprouting nearby,” the statement said.
“Previous research indicates that plumes of very hot acidic seawater contain volcanic rock particles and fragments, and sulfur.”
On September 14, Tonga Geological Services estimated The island has an area of 4,000 square meters (43,055 square feet), with a height of 10.1 meters (33 feet) above sea level. However, by September 20, the agency said the island had grown significantly to 24,000 square meters (258,333 square feet).
While the islands formed from underwater volcanoes don’t last long, some of them can persist for years, NASA said.
“The volcano poses a low risk to the aviation community and residents of Vava’u and Hapai…However, all sailors are advised to sail more than 4 kilometers (2.49 mi) away from Home Reef until further notice,” TGS noted.
Seismic activity is common around Tonga, an archipelago country with 171 islands and a population of 100,000.
NASA said Home Reef volcanoes previously erupted in 1852, 1857, 1984 and 2006 and produced the last eruption of the volcano 50 to 70 meters (164-229 feet) high.
According to the space agency, the Home Reef, a sea-floor ridge stretching from Tonga to New Zealand, has the highest concentration of underwater volcanoes in the world.
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