Japanese island consumes another in unusual volcanic activity
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/8/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
In a spate of highly unusual volcanic activity, one Japanese island has merged with another nearby island. Niijima Island, a volcano which broke through the ocean's surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last erupted 40 years ago.
Two volcanic craters are shown on Niijima on November 22. The island emerged about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Niijima emerged about 550 yards from the older Nishinoshima last November. According to observations taken at the end of last month, they are now one.
The merged land mass measures about six-tenths of a mile across. At its highest point, the new island is almost 200 feet above sea level. That's triple the highest point observed in December, according to NASA's Earth Observatory.
The new island was expected to last several years, according to Japanese scientists. But now as it has continued to grow, it could last much longer.
"A lot of it depends on how fast it erodes," Ken Rubin, a University of Hawaii at Manoa professor and expert in deep submarine volcanism says. Rubin told reporters after the island broke the surface last year, that "Until it shuts off, it's too soon to tell."
Niijima Island is among 30 or so small islands that make up what is known as the Bonin Island chain, all of which were formed by the protrusions of an ancient underwater volcano and are home to some 14 kinds of animals and more than 100 kind of indigenous plants, ScienceWorldReport.com noted.
The island sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," which stretches from the coast of Chile north to Alaska and Siberia and then south to New Zealand.
The newly merged island is about 600 miles south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands.
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