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News Undersea volcanic eruption creates new island

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Japan keeps increasing its territory but its neighbours needn't worry: an undersea eruption has created a new island some 1,200km south of Tokyo, about 50km south of Minami Ioto, the southernmost island of the Ogasawara group.


Japan’s coastguard said the new island is crescent-shaped with a diameter of about 1km. But if history is any precedent its presence could prove ephemeral. Much will depend on what it is formed from: ash and other fragments are unlikely to resist a constant battering from waves, but continued volcanic activity could produce lava flows that eventually form a more durable hard shell. Islands formed in a similar way in the area in 1904, 1914 and 1986 all disappeared due to erosion. In 2013, weeks of volcanic activity gave rise to an island that merged with an existing island, Nishinoshima, to create a new landmass that, for a while, bore a resemblance to the cartoon dog Snoopy.

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