The undersea volcano forms a new island off the coast of Nishinoshima. Credit: Japanese Coast Guard.
Location of the island group south-west from the Japanse mainland, for which the new island joins. Credit: Telim tor

An exploding volcano has just provided Japan with a new island off the east coast just south of the island of Nishinoshima.

The Japanese Coast Guard shoot the below video during which the new island is slowly born in a violent process of volcanic explosions. The film shows how the volcano spews ash and lava, making the island slowly bigger and bigger. And according to the Japanese coast guard, the island is about 200 meters (600 feet) in diameter at present moment.

The Ring of Fire. Credit: Gringer.

To Early to Name

The last time this happened for Japan was circa 40 years ago when an island appeared from the depths in the same area. It is however not certain that this new island will actually stay an island, since volcanic islands often disappear again shortly after being born, as their foundations are often not massive and strong enough to keep them afloat. Because of this reason, the Japanese authorities say it’s too early to name the new island.

Tectonic plates of the world. Credit: USGS

But for now, the authorities have issued a warning for not visiting the surrounding area, where ash and rocks fall into the water and with a column of smoke that reaches nearly 600 meters up in the air.

Ring of Fire

The newborn island is located about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Tokyo and joins a group of approximately 30 islands in the same area. These islands along with the rest of Japan are all a part of the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

This “Ring of Fire” is an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur, with a total of 452 known volcanoes. It is home to over 75 percent of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes. This is a direct result of plate tectonics and the movement and collisions of lithospheric plates.