A new island has emerged in the southwest Pacific Ocean

An eruption off Tonga has created a tiny island in the Pacific.
An eruption off Tonga has created a tiny island in the Pacific.(NASA Earth Observatory)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:42 AM AKDT
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(HawaiiNewsNow/Gray News) – A tiny new island cropped up earlier this month in the Pacific Ocean.

Scientists said it’s not expected to be around for very long but has quickly grown in size.

The island sits on the Home Reef seamount in the Central Tonga Islands.

NASA Earth Observatory said a submerged volcano created the island as it spewed lava, steam and ash.

The land emerged just 11 hours after the volcano began erupting, but officials said the island quickly grew in size.

The land mass was around 1 acre on Sept. 14. Nearly a week later, it grew to stretch around 6 acres. Now, it has reached a little over 8.5 acres.

NASA’s Earth Observatory said the new island is located northeast of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, an active undersea volcano whose explosive eruption in January was so big it could be seen from space.

Scientists said islands formed by submarine volcanoes are typically short-lived, but some do stick around for a while longer.

A 12-day eruption of Late’iki Volcano in 2020 created an island that washed away in two months, KHNL reported. Other eruptions have created islands with cliffs up to 70 meters high.