Prof. Maeno warns Nishino-shima collapse may generate a tsunami

Prof. Maeno warns Nishino-shima collapse may generate a tsunami

According to media reports, Fukashi Maeno, assistant professor of the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, warned that if lava continues to mount on growing volcanic island Nishino-shima, Japan's Ogasawara archipelago, parts of the island's slopes could collapse and generate a dangerous tsunami.

Craters on the island are currently spewing out 200 000 m3 (7 million ft3) of lava every day.

A rockfall of 12 million m3 of lava would generate 1 meter (3 feet) tsunami which would reach the island of Chichijima, located some 130 km away, in around 18 minutes, he warned.

During an underwater volcano eruption on November 21, 2013, a new island - Niijima - was born in Ogasawara archipelago and started merging with nearby Nishino-shima island. The two islands soon became one and although it is still just slightly over 1 km, Nishino-shima continues to grow and the eruption is still in progress.

Nishino-shima, location 27.247°N 140.874°E.

According to Japan Coast Guard, and based on observations conducted on March 24, 2014, the island was about 1 150 m from East to West and about 850 m from North to South.

Acquired on March 24, 2014. Image courtesy of Japan Coast Guard.

A new island is born

This is how it looked like when Niijima was born and started merging with Nishino-shima.

Acquired on December 24, 2013. Image credit: NASA / Earth Observatory (ALI - EO-1). 

Acquired on December 8, 2013. Image credit: NASA / Earth Observatory (ALI - EO-1). 

Images of an eruption taken on November 21, 2013. Image courtesy of Japan Coast Guard.

The following image is from July 23, 2014, less than a month ago. The island is still growing and the volcanic eruption is still underway.

Nishino-shima on July 23, 2014. Image credit: Japan Coast Guard

Featured image: Japan Coast Guard


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