New island rising from Red Sea

Dec. 29, 2011 at 6:46 PM
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GREENBELT, Md., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- NASA satellites have confirmed ground observations of a new island rising from volcanic activity in the Red Sea, the space agency said.

NASA said its Terra, Aqua and Earth Observing One satellites confirmed a new island being created in the Zubair archipelago, first spotted by Yemeni fishermen who saw lava spewing 100 feet into the air Dec. 19.

The growing lava mass rose above the water's surface on Dec. 23 and the new island began to take shape on the Red Sea Rift, where the African and Arabian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart, reported.

The island, so far unnamed, is about 1,600 feet wide and still growing, scientists say.

It may continue to grow if the volcanic activity continues or the newly formed and fragile lava mass may be broken up by the action of the sea's waves, they said.

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