Japan Gets New Island After Volcanic Eruption

Japan, known for its stunning landscapes and geological activity, has recently witnessed the birth of another island in its archipelago. This phenomenon occurred due to a series of volcanic eruptions near Iwoto Island in the Ogasawara island chain, showcasing the dynamic nature of the country’s geography.

Volcanic Eruptions Give Birth to New Land

  • The emergence of a new island resulted from undersea volcanic eruptions that commenced in October.
  • Iwoto Island, part of the Ogasawara island chain, is approximately 1,200km (745 miles) south of Tokyo.
  • Phreatomagmatic eruptions, which occur when magma interacts with water, created a landmass approximately 100 meters in diameter.

Iwoto’s Unique History

  • Iwoto Island, previously known as Iwo Jima, was the site of a significant battle during the Pacific War.
  • It is among the 111 active volcanoes in Japan and has witnessed previous eruptions.
  • The island’s name was officially changed to Iwoto in 2007 by Japanese authorities.

Volatile Area Prone to Eruptions

  • Japan’s meteorological agency reported similar eruptions near Iwoto in 2021 and earlier in 2023.
  • Fukashi Maeno’s findings confirm the return of magmatic activity to the area.
  • The newly formed island’s fate remains uncertain; it could grow, change shape, or eventually disappear due to erosion.

Potential for Island Durability

  • Islands formed from ash and rock fragments may face erosion challenges from constant wave action.
  • However, continued volcanic activity could lead to the formation of more durable surfaces through lava flows.
  • Past instances of volcanic island formation in the region have varied in longevity.

Expanding Archipelago

  • Japan’s archipelago has been found to consist of more islands than previously known.
  • Geospatial mapping technology revealed a total of 14,125 islands, 7,273 more than previously recorded.
  • While new islands emerge, Japan occasionally loses them due to natural processes, such as Esanbe Hanakita Kojima’s disappearance in 2018.



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