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Volcanic eruption produces a new island off Japan's coast

The newly formed island may collapse back into the Pacific Ocean, as is the case with many of these tiny islets.
By Ananth Baliga   |   Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:04 AM   |   Comments

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Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Japan announced the creation of a new island off its coast, after undersea explosions breached the surface at Nishino-shima in the Pacific -- the first eruption to do so in 40 years.

The new island, dubbed Niijima, is still small, measuring 650 feet across and 65 feet high, according to the Japanese Coast guard.

The plume of smoke from these eruptions hasn't been picked up by any satellites yet and officials said there is no real threat for people living near the island. Ships, however, have been advised to stay away form the islet.

With small islands like this, it is left to be seen if they survive, as many are swallowed by the ocean. The small islands are close to another uninhabited island some 600 miles south of Tokyo.

Nishino-shima is part of a caldera, a volcanic feature which results in land collapsing after a volcanic eruption. This is the first eruption in the region after 40 years. The area did have colored water, which suggested underwater eruptions. However this is the first eruption to break the surface in 40 years.

The region is a part of the Ring of Fire, which is the part of the Pacific Ocean basin with a high level of volcanic activity and earthquakes.


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