Japan: A new island had appeared in the Ogasawara Islands

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.



ZetaTalk: Japan

"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."


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Comment by Howard on October 21, 2015 at 2:57pm

Eruption Continues on Japan's Newest Volcanic Island (Oct 18)

The eruption that started in Nov 2013 continues unabated.

During the most recent survey on 18 Oct by the Japanese Coast guard, strombolian activity was observed at the central vent, but lava flows no longer reached the coast of the young island, which is being affected and modified by wave erosion.

According to a bathymetric analysis conducted between June 22 and July 9, the total lava volume erupted so far is approx. 160 million cubic meters, of which 74 million are below sea level.



Comment by Howard on June 24, 2015 at 4:22am

Japan's New Volcanic Island Keeps Growing (Jun 23)

The ongoing eruption at Nishinoshima continues with steady lava flows, the island nearly doubling in size over the past few months to 2.7 square miles.

The above image shows the expansion occurring primarily in the SE corner of the island.

Earlier today, a strong 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck deep under the seabed near Nishinoshima in the Ogasawara islands (later downgraded to 6.3 by USGS).





Comment by Howard on February 26, 2015 at 4:45am

Japan's New Volcanic Island Grows 11 Times Larger in 15 Months (Feb 25)

video link

The newest Japanese island in the Pacific Ocean has grown more than 11 times in size since an underwater eruption started about 15 months ago.

The eruption started in November 2013 near the island Nishinoshima, which is about 621 miles away from Tokyo. Since the island began rising from the sea in 2013, the volcano has soared up about 328,000 feet tall.  The new volcanic island is now larger than 50 sports stadiums combined. 

On Monday, personnel aboard a Coast Guard patrol aircraft said a crater was spewing out volcanic rock five or six times per minute, sending smoke about 4,000 feet high. Infrared footage taken by a Coast Guard vessel showed molten lava flowing from the crater.

The coast guard is warning ships not to approach within a two-point-four mile radius of the island. 

Coast Guard officials said the size of the island is now about 1.5 square miles. It measures 1,950 meters east to west and 1,800 meters north to south.

The officials said they hope to survey seabed formations using remote-controlled submersibles. They also called on ships to navigate areas near the island with caution.




Comment by Howard on January 19, 2015 at 9:31pm

Japan's Newest Volcanic Island Keeps Expanding (Jan 19)

The Nishino-shima volcano island continues to grow with lava flows, which recently have been mostly active towards the east from the main vent, while most growth during Nov-Dec had been towards the north, where a vast plateau has been built.

Sea erosion already has visibly modified the shape of the island, creating sandy beaches in some places and smoothing out its shores.



Comment by casey a on January 4, 2015 at 11:18pm

This island has now grown ten times in size since when it originally showed up.

Authorities in Japan say a new island near Tokyo has grown more than 10 times in size since emerging during an underwater eruption in November 2013.

Researchers say Nishinoshima is now almost 2.3 sq km - and is estimated to rise about 110m above sea level.

The Japanese coast guard says red magma is still visible at the bottom of the crater and are advising ships to avoid the area.


Comment by Howard on November 15, 2014 at 7:17pm

New Volcanic Island off Japan Still Growing One Year Later (Nov 15) 

Nishinoshima island has grown more than eight times larger about a year after a new island appeared and merged with it due to an underwater volcanic eruption.

One year passed Thursday since the emergence of the new island of the Ogasawara Islands in Tokyo was confirmed. The original Nishinoshima island and the new island then coalesced, and the land area has continued to expand due to lava being discharged from the eruption.

The volcanic eruption has continued. From a Yomiuri Shimbun aircraft, which flew over the island on Friday, volcanic smoke intermittently arising from the island was observed.

Nobuo Geshi, senior researcher of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology who is an expert on volcanic geology, observed the island aboard the Yomiuri aircraft.

“The momentum of the eruption has not weakened even after nearly a year, and the original part of Nishinoshima island has almost been swallowed in the lava,” Geshi said.

There are, so far, no signs of the eruption ending. He said, “The lava flows mainly to the north of the island and is filling shallow waters. The size of the island will continue to expand.”

According to Geshi, rocks accumulated in the central part of Nishinoshima island, forming a hill shaped like an upside-down bowl.

The hill is 400 meters to 500 meters in diameter and about 100 meters high. Geshi said that from a volcanic vent atop the hill, liquid lava and rocks several meters long were actively belching out together with gray volcanic smoke.

It was Nov. 20 last year when the Japan Coast Guard confirmed the new island had appeared. It is unknown when the volcanic eruption began.

On Dec. 26, the new island and the original Nishinoshima island, which was about 500 meters northwest of the new one, coalesced.



Comment by Howard on October 13, 2014 at 6:42am

Former Volcanic Island Buried Under Fresh Lava (Oct 8) 

The volcanic eruption on the new Nishino-shima volcanic island continues.

A recent satellite image that the lava flows from the active vents have now covered the older part of the island, the original tiny Nishino-Shima island.

The ongoing eruption started as a submarine eruption almost one year ago, when it built a second island to the SE of the existing one. In early January this year, the growing new island had merged with the old one, and has been growing in size ever since.

Culture Volcan Blog posted the above Landsat 8 photo from 8 Oct which shows that the old Nishino-Shima island has now disappeared under fresh lava flows.

Since late June-early July, the lava flows had been spreading northwards, covering more and more of the older land.

The surface of Japan's newest land is approximately 6 square km.



Comment by Howard on August 20, 2014 at 2:56am

Rapid Growth of Japan's New Volcanic Island Could Cause Tsunami (Aug 20)

The newly formed erupting volcanic island off Japan is expanding so fast, it could trigger a tsunami if its freshly-formed lava slopes collapse into the sea, scientists say.

The small, but growing, island appeared last year and quickly engulfed the already-existing island of Nishinoshima, around 1000 kilometres south of Tokyo.

It now covers 1.26 square kilometres.

The island's craters are currently spewing out 200,000 cubic metres of lava every day - enough to fill 80 Olympic swimming pools - which is accumulating in its east, scientists said.

"If lava continues to mount on the eastern area, part of the island's slopes could collapse and cause a tsunami," warned Fukashi Maeno, assistant professor of the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo.

He said a rockfall of 12 million cubic metres of lava would generate a one metre tsunami that could travel faster than a bullet train, hitting the island of Chichijima - 130kms away - in around 18 minutes, he said.

Chichijima, home to about 2000 people, is the largest island in the Ogasawara archipelago, a wild and remote chain that is administratively part of Tokyo.

"The ideal way to monitor and avoid a natural disaster is to set up a new tsunami and earthquake detection system near the island, but it's impossible for anyone to land on the island in the current situation," Maeno added.



Comment by Howard on July 29, 2014 at 5:06am

Continuous Eruptions and Expansion of Japan's Nishino-shima Volcano (Jul 23)

Activity at the growing island continues, perhaps even with increased intensity, judging from the recent pictures obtained by the Japanese Coast Guard on 23 July.

They show active lava flows reaching the sea and enlarging the island continuously, most notably towards the east, where a stretch of new land up to 250 m wide was added during only 1 month!

At the central vent, a prominent cone has grown by ongoing explosive activity, ejecting lava bombs and ash plumes. The cone now probably surpasses the still official summit height of the island, 38 m, formed by the peak of the older, now small-in-comparison part that formed the island before the current eruption.

Above is a video of the overflight on 23 July 2014.



Comment by Howard on June 30, 2014 at 6:53pm

Continuing Eruptions at Japan's Nishino-shima Volcano (Jun 29)

An explosive event occurred on June 29 at the growing island volcano. VAAC Tokyo reported an ash plume at 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude drifting to the northeast.

Eruptions continue to add land to the remote island volcano. Recent pictures by the Japanese Coast guard on 11 and 13 June show steaming along the shoreline, indicating active lava flow fronts.

A large steam plume mixed with bluish gas and light brown ash was rising from at least 3 vents, two of which belong to the large central cinder cone, while the other smaller vent to the east of the base of the cone emitted most of the bluish gas (SO2) and seems to host a small lava lake feeding an active flow.

Pulsating strombolian eruptions ejecting tephra and brown ash plumes were seen from the central cinder cone.



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