A volcanic eruption in the waters south of Japan has produced a new island, and while it's uncertain if it will last, it could become a permanent new part of the nation's territory.
On Wednesday morning, November 20 2013, the first indications of the eruption reached the public, as Japan's coast guard issued a warning about smoke rising from the area. Footage filmed by the coast guard and shown on Tokyo TV showed up very shortly after.
The island apparently measures about 200 metres wide at the moment, and it joins an island chain known as the Ogasawara Islands, which is a mostly uninhabited archipelago about 1,000 km to the south of Tokyo.
This is the second island to sprout from ocean waters in recent times. A mud volcano was credited with creating a small island off the coast of Pakistan after a major earthquake shook the country's southern mountains in late September.
"The folding of the Pacific (whereby the Marian Trench folds against the Mariana Plate, which folds against and under the Philippine Plate, which folds against and under the plate tongue holding Indonesia) will of course involve Japan in the shocks. How would this not be so? The Philippine Plate is also pushing under the south island of Japan, and the point of juncture at Mount Fiji, a three-plate boundary where the Pacific and Philippine plates slide past each other, will be a focus. The south island will have jolts as the Philippine Plate tilts and pushes under it, and Mount Fiji will also receive jolts as the Pacific Plate reverberates from having the Philippine Plate scrape along its side. These quakes we would place in the magnitude of 8, though they will be downgraded to be in the range of magnitude 7. The north island shocks will be worse, as the Pacific Plate is not going to tilt the way the Philippine Plate did, thus it will ram its way under the north island. Here is where the great shocks will occur, where they will unquestionably be called of a magnitude 8 but will in truth be more akin to magnitude 9 quakes."