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Submarine Volcano Erupts Near Japan

Posted by feww on February 6, 2010

Fukutokuokanoba submarine volcano erupts

White smoke was observed rising from the sea about five kilometers north-northeast of the Minami-Iwoto island in Ogasawara Islands, a Japanese coast guard patrol vessel reported, Yomiuri Shimbun said.

Smoke believed to be emanating from an underwater volcano was previously detected in the area, about 1,200 kilometers south of central Tokyo, in July 2005.

Tokyo Institute of Technology geoscience Professor, Kenji Nogami, reportedly said: “In the 1986 eruption, a new island appeared after lava accumulated. The island was washed away by waves, but seabed upheaval reduced the water depth to 22 meters in 1999. It’s possible that this [recent] volcanic activity could form a permanent island.”


Location Map, Volcano Islands, Ogasawara Islands, Japan. Image credit: Lim Tor


Bonin Islands (aka, Ogasawara Group, in Japan).  Click Image to Enlarge.

The volcano reportedly ejected  smoke and ash to a height of about about 100 meters above the sea level. The surrounding sea area was reported as changing to a greenish yellow color with other nearby areas turning cloudy.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the volcano, called Fukutokuokanoba, has erupted seven times since 1904, forming ephemeral islands (temporary land masses) on three occasions, all of which later sank below the ocean surface.

The first known ephemeral island called Shin-Iwo-jima (New Sulfur Island) was formed in 1904, and the most recent in 1986.

What the Volcano Islands Look Like


North Iwo Jima Island (Official Japanese name Kita-iōtō, but commonly known as Kita-iōjima, meaning “north sulfur island”) is the northernmost island of the Volcano Islands cluster of the Ogasawara Islands, about 1175 km south of Tokyo. Image Credit: Chisatos

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