In the Pacific, a new island has formed as a result of an undersea eruption, and it looks intriguing!
After 16 years of profound ‘sleep,’ a buried volcano on the seamount known as the Home Reef in central Tonga Island has surfaced. Researchers were really left in awe as the discovery proved to be both unexpected and exciting.
Read out below to learn all the cool facts about this new island.
New Island Under the Golden Sun
The recent discovery is quite intriguing, with a pretty cool story! 25 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Late Island, lava and rock pieces started to pour into the ocean on September 10, 2022. The waves’ surface was punctured by plumes of steam and ash.
And the best part comes in:
Within a few days, the pile of rubble had grown into a brand-new island that was 4,000 square meters (about one acre) in size and 10 meters (33 feet) tall. How great, isn’t it? But there’s more.
So, on September 20, the Tonga Geological Services (TGS) representatives stated that the island had actually increased in size six times, reaching 24,000 square meters. When Home Reef last produced an island back in 2006, it took a year for the waves of the ocean to destroy its crest. But this time around, the crest is significantly shorter.
The 2006 discovery was recorded, and you can watch everything below, in all its glory:
The Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone, which contains some of the world’s fastest-converging tectonic plates, is where the seamount that produced those transient formations is actually located. But what’s more intriguing is that the second-deepest trench in the world and a very volcanic arc are being created when the Pacific Plate slides under the Kermadec and Tonga plates at a pace of roughly 24 centimeters (about 9 inches) each year.
Researchers explained that the largest concentration of underwater volcanoes ever discovered on Earth might be found along that extensive undersea ridge that stretches from Tonga to New Zealand. Quite impressive!