A new island has been spotted in the middle of the ocean hours after an underwater volcano erupted not far from Australia.
Earlier this month, the underwater Hum Reef volcano – located in the central Tonga islands – erupted and within hours, the newest landmass on Earth had formed.
Lava from the volcano It was cooled by ocean water, forming the island, which grew in size over several days as the lava continued to flow.
On September 14, scientists at Tonga Geological Services announced that the island covered about 4,000 square meters and was 10 meters above sea level, but by September 20, it had grown to 24,000 square metres.
The eruption lasted from September 10 until at least last Friday, September 23, when Tonga Geospatial Services confirmed on Facebook that it “poses a low risk to the environment.” aviation community and the inhabitants of (adjoining island groups) Vavao and Hapai.”
“No visible ash has been reported in the last 24 hours,” the post read. “All seafarers are advised to sail more than 4 kilometers from Home Reef until further notice.”
However, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory, Children’s Island may not be here to stay.
“Islands formed by submarine volcanoes are often short-lived, although they sometimes last for years,” the agency’s Earth Observatory said in an update about the new island.
Home Reef has experienced four recorded periods of eruptions, including events in 1852 and 1857. Small islands formed temporarily after both events, and volcanic eruptions in 1984 and 2006 produced ephemeral islands with slopes 50 to 70 meters high.
“An island created by a 12-day eruption of the nearby Latiki volcano in 2020 drifted two months later, while an earlier island created in 1995 by the same volcano remained for 25 years.”
NASA Earth Observatory Explain it in Southwest Pacific, “The seafloor rim stretching from New Zealand to Tonga has the highest density of underwater volcanoes in the world.”
Reported that Home Reef is located inside Karmadek Tonga The subduction zone, where three tectonic plates “collide with the fastest converging boundary in the world”.
“The Pacific plate here is sinking under two other small plates, leading to one of Earth’s deepest trenches and most active volcanic arcs.”