New volcanic island in Ogasawara chain doubles in size


A new island around 1,000 km south of Tokyo that was created by a volcanic eruption a month ago has more than doubled in mass.

The new island measured about 200 meters in diameter when it was confirmed by the Japan Coast Guard on Nov. 20. Continued lava flows had driven its area to 400 meters east-west and 300 meters north-south as of Dec. 13.

It has not been named, given the possibility it will unite with neighboring Nishinoshima Island in the Ogasawara chain.

As volcanic activity is continuing, the government is closely watching. If recognized as Japanese territory, the new island would expand the nation’s territorial waters by several hundred meters.

It is not expected to sink below sea level, at least in the near term, since the lava on it has hardened, according to the coast guard.

  • DanielM_113

    Reminds of the Surtsey islands that were used for marvelous observations on pioneering organisms that turn bare volcanic rock into living wilderness.