The remote Japanese island of Nishinoshima continues to increase in size a year and a half after having registered a volcanic eruption and will surely continue to grow more, according to a study released today by the public radio station NHK.
According to the latest data, the island, which is uninhabited, has a surface area twelve times greater than before the volcanic eruption recorded on November 20, 2013 and its proportion will probably continue to increase in the short term thanks to the probable presence of underwater magma flows. .
That first volcanic explosion in 2013 generated a new land mass southeast of Nishinoshima that was provisionally christened Niijima or Shinto (two ways of saying “New Island” in Japanese).
The new island was finally given no name after the Japanese Coast Guard confirmed in December 2013 that it had expanded to the point of joining Nishinoshima, which since then and thanks to new eruptions and magma flows, has progressively expanded in size. .
Currently, a first Coast Guard expedition led by the professor of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kenji Nogami, is conducting a study on the island, located in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, and the seabed in its environment.
Until now the volcanic activity of the island had only been studied by the Japanese coast guard through images taken by airplanes or satellites.
The research team has sent an unmanned boat to the coast of Nishinoshima to collect samples of seawater at different points.
According to the data obtained by Nogami, the samples show a pH of between 7.9 and 8, slightly lower than that of ordinary seawater, which indicates that there are probably volcanic gases dissolving in the water and magma flows emerging from the seabed.
Both elements would be the product of new eruptions, which indicates that the volcanic activity persists and that the island will surely continue to grow even more in the coming months.
Still, Nogami insisted on statements to NHK, that even more data is required to determine why this volcano is spewing such a large amount of magma, something unusual.