A small new island has emerged near Iwoto Island, about 1,200 kilometers south of Tokyo, following underwater volcanic eruptions occurring since late last month, according to a Japanese researcher.
Fukashi Maeno, associate professor at the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute, said he confirmed phreatomagmatic eruptions took place about 1 km off Iwoto Island in the Pacific and a rocky island with a diameter of around 100 meters as he flew over the site on Oct. 30.
Plumes rose every several minutes during the eruptions, which resulted from magma and seawater interacting, and possibly reached heights of more than 50 meters, occasionally spewing rocks with diameters of several meters, Maeno said.
Pumice stones were spotted floating in waters around the new island, and nearby seawater changed color as a result of the volcanic activity, Maeno said.
Iwoto Island, previously known as Iwojima, is part of the Ogasawara Islands.
According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, eruptions have also taken place in the area between July and December 2022, as well as June this year. The agency said it believes the latest eruptions began on Oct. 21.
The eruptions "show the resumption of magmatic activity. The new island is expected to grow larger if the eruptions continue, but the outlook remains uncertain," Maeno said.