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Kaitoku. An underwater volcano has erupted in the Japanese archipelago. NASA satellite photos

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Underwater volcanic eruptions account for 80 percent of all on the planet. Such an eruption has been taking place in one of the Japanese archipelagos in recent months. Satellite images from early January have just been released showing signs of increased activity on the underwater volcanic island of Kaitoku. It has been quiet since the 1980s.

Kaitoku is an underwater island in the Pacific Ocean in the area of ​​the Japanese Ogasawara archipelago, north of the famous Iwo Jima. It is located 100 meters below the surface of the water. Of the three volcanic peaks that make up it, the easternmost one remains active. Starting in August last year, satellite images showed signs of the volcano awakening after several decades of quiescence, the US space agency’s website reported. NASA Earth Observatory.

“Kaitoku says hello,” the announcement read.

The latest eruption was confirmed by the Japanese Coast Guard.

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Kaitoku last erupted nearly 40 years ago

The last confirmed eruption of this underwater volcano occurred in March 1984. The Global Volcanism Program, which studies the world’s volcanoes and collects data on their eruptions over the past 10,000 years, also reported possible eruptions in December of that year and June 1986, but these events have not been confirmed.

Activity was observed in the following months, also at the beginning of this year. On January 3, the Landsat 8 satellite device took the following pictures. It shows plumes of colored water emerging from a volcanic vent northwest of the underwater peak.

An underwater volcano erupts in the Japanese archipelagoNASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin

Studies of submarine volcanoes in the area suggest that the discolored area seen in the photographs may contain superheated seawater with particles, volcanic rock fragments and sulfur.

An underwater volcano erupts in the Japanese archipelagoNASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin

Underwater eruptions

According to estimates, there are 25 million seamounts of volcanic origin on our planet. Most of them are “sleeping” in our time, but the eruptions of the remaining ones account for a large part of all volcanic activity on Earth. Geologists say up to 80 percent.

As NASA points out, “one of the most significant underwater eruptions in recent history” occurred a year ago in the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai archipelago in the Pacific. In mid-January, the Tonga volcano erupted. According to analyzes published a few months later, it was the strongest volcanic eruption of the century.

The eruption caused a tsunami and released large amounts of volcanic gas into the stratosphere. According to satellite observations, material from this eruption is still circulating in this second layer of the atmosphere from the Earth’s surface.

Earth’s atmospherePAP/Maria Samczuk

In September in the area of ​​this archipelago after the eruption of an undersea volcano, a new island emerged from the water.

earthobservatory.nasa.gov, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin



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