Tuesday, 24th November 2015
In General Japan News,
Newly formed volcanic island continuing to grow
An island off the coast of Japan that was created from the eruption of a volcano is continuing to grow, officials say.
According to the Japan Coast Guard, aerial film footage of Nishinoshima shows that eruptions are continuing to occur from the crater in the centre of the island.
The new landmass is located 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo and therefore fairly remote, making aerial views the easiest way to monitor it.
It was originally formed in 2013 and since then has grown to 12 times its size, with a continuous lava flow making it even bigger all the time, reports Japan Today.
When the volcano first erupted a tiny islet was created next to a larger, more established island known as Nishinoshima.
Since then it has grown and engulfed the original island, thus taking on its name.
Reports from the Coast Guard suggest the current dimensions of the island are 1,900 metres from east to west and 1,950 metres north to south.
It is also more than 100 metres tall, but with lava still flowing out of the crater it is thought the island could continue to grow for some time.
This is backed up by experts from the Tokyo Institute of Technology who said that volcanic activity is likely to keep going.
While at present the island is just bare rock, it will eventually be rich with plant, and possibly animal, life.
This will begin with rotting bird guano, which will help to create nutrient-rich soil on Nishinoshima.
It will provide a rare opportunity for scientists to see how nature colonises barren land over time.
Naoki Kachi, professor and leader of Tokyo Metropolitan University's Ogasawara Research Committee, said: “We biologists are very much focusing on the new island because we'll be able to observe the starting point of evolutionary processes.”