Archive for March, 2009

A New Island in Tonga?

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Tonga's flagThis week an undersea volcano began erupting in Tonga, six miles off the main island of Tongatapu, near the small volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai.

It has formed new land, but its status is unclear:

  • Some sources report a new island. That would mean that it was the world’s newest volcanic island.
  • Pictures and this account suggest that it may have started as two vents, one in the sea and the other on Hunga Ha’apai, and that any new land created was soon joined to this pre-existing island. This account says Hunga Ha’apai has grown by thousands of square feet.

National Geographic has video, as does Scientific American.