Volcanic island arises from the Red Sea
Scientists will examine phenomenon to see if land mass will survive waves at sea
It was something out of the Book of Genesis. A volcanic island arose out
of the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, spraying hot steam and lava into
the air. The land mass is the result of a wild eruption earlier this
month. However -- since the island is made of loose volcanic debris from
the eruption, it may not last very long.
Fishermen witnessed lava fountains reaching up to 90 feet tall on December 19, probably the day the eruption began.
Ash plumes were seen emanating from the spot on December 20 and Dec. 22 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites. In addition, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite recorded elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, which indicated an eruption. By December 23, what looked like a new island had appeared in the Red Sea off the west coast of Yemen.
"I am surprised about how quickly the island has grown," Klemetti told Our Amazing Planet.
The activity occurred along the Zubair Group, a collection of small islands that run in a roughly northwest-southeast line. The islands rise from a shield volcano, which is a kind of volcano built from fluid lava flows and poke above the sea surface.
Scientists will closely scrutinize the new island to see if it has "staying power."
"Many times the islands are ephemeral as they are usually made of loose volcanic debris, so they get destroyed by wave action quite quickly," Klemetti said. But the volcanic activity could outpace the erosion due to the wave action.
Newly emerging islands are nothing new. Other newly emerged islands include Surtsey off of Iceland, Anak Krakatau in the caldera of Krakatoa in Indonesia, and Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai in Tonga in the South Pacific.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Volcano, island, Yemen, seimic activity
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