Skip to main content

Volcanic island eats another off Japan

By Brad Lendon, CNN
updated 12:29 PM EDT, Mon April 7, 2014
Niijima island spews jets of steam and ash near Nishinoshima island on November 21. Niijima emerged about 500 meters (550 yards) from the older Nishinoshima in November, and now they are one, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. Click through the gallery to see the change over time. Niijima island spews jets of steam and ash near Nishinoshima island on November 21. Niijima emerged about 500 meters (550 yards) from the older Nishinoshima in November, and now they are one, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. Click through the gallery to see the change over time.
HIDE CAPTION
2 islands merge near Japan
2 islands merge near Japan
2 islands merge near Japan
2 islands merge near Japan
2 islands merge near Japan
2 islands merge near Japan
2 islands merge near Japan
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Island emerged from sea in November
  • Newly merged island now measures a kilometer across
  • Continuing eruption means island could have long life

(CNN) -- One Japanese island has swallowed another.

NASA's Earth Observatory reports that Niijima island, a volcano which broke through the ocean's surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last erupted 40 years ago.

Niijima emerged about 500 meters (550 yards) from the older Nishinoshima in November. Now, according to observations taken at the end of March, they are one, measuring about a kilometer (six-tenths of a mile) across. And at its highest point, the new island is 60 meters (almost 200 feet) above sea level. That's triple the highest point observed in December, according to the NASA report.

Japanese volcano creates new island

At its size in December, the new island was expected to last several years, according to Japanese scientists. Because it has continued to grow, it could last much longer.

"A lot of it depends on how fast it erodes," Ken Rubin, a University of Hawaii at Manoa professor and expert in deep submarine volcanism, told CNN after the island broke the surface last year. "Until it shuts off, it's too soon to tell."

The island sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," which stretches from the coast of Chile north to Alaska and Siberia and then south to New Zealand.

The newly merged island is about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands.

READ: Erupting volcano spawns island off Japan

The world's coolest volcanoes

Most dangerous and remote islands

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:39 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Sean Connery says "yes," whilst David Beckham says "no." See what the famous are saying about Scotland's referendum.
updated 10:51 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
On September 18, Scots go to the polls to vote on the future of their country. Here's what you should know.
updated 11:01 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
This is "Flames of War," a slick and ominous new video from the ISIS media center.
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
updated 11:08 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
updated 9:42 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
updated 6:04 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT