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Baby volcanic island continues to grow as it joins with neighboring land mass

Image shows Niijima and Nishino-shima as one island, on March 30, 2014.
Image shows Niijima and Nishino-shima as one island, on March 30, 2014.
Landsat 8

While news of the massive 8.2 earthquake and ensuing tremors along the Chilean coast, and the major eruption of the of Fire volcano’s eruption 90 miles south of Quito, Ecuador continue to rock South America, volcanic activity across the Pacific proves that that new life often emerges from similar disasters, changing the face of our dear old planet in unexpected ways.

Born November 20, 2013, following an eruption in the Bonin Islands (approximately 620 miles of Tokyo, Japan) the volcanic island, called Niijima, is continuing to grow. In fact a March 30, 2014 satellite image captured by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 shows that Niijima has connected itself to another island, Nishino-shima. The new land mass has tripled in size since it first rose out of the ocean and now measures nearly 3,289 feet wide, and 196 feet above sea level, above its “mother,” a huge underwater volcano that had not erupted for 40 years.

"The intermittent, pulsing shape of the cloud stream might be a reflection of the volcanic eruption itself," officials with NASA's Earth Observatory wrote. "Strombolian explosions are essentially bubbles of lava and gas rising from Earth's interior in pulses. Underwater, sediment appears to be stirred up in a green plume that stretches eastward from the island."

In the meantime, the Japanese Coast Guard reports that “lava flows are now most active in the southern portion of the new landmass, with ash continuing to spout into the sky.”