A new island forms in the South Pacific • Earth.com

A new island forms in the South Pacific


A new island forms in the South Pacific Today’s Video of the Day comes from NASA Goddard and features a look at how a new island formed in the South Pacific Ocean.

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai was formed in late December 2014, after a submarine volcano erupted, shooting rock, steam, and ash into the air.

Once the debris settled, the new island was created, with a 400-foot summit and a life expectancy of about 30 years. In terms of cultural identity, the South Pacific Islands are split into three regions: Polynesia, lying in the west and including Samoa, Cook Islands and Tahiti but also extending north to Hawaii and south to New Zealand; Melanesia, in the east and including Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands; and Micronesia in the north-west.

A mysterious island that formed four years ago in thesouthern Pacific Ocean appears to be here to stay, according to NASA scientists. The largest island nation is Papua New Guinea (PNG) followed by New Zealand which are both quite considerable land-masses, Plants have begun to grow in the flat plain surrounding the volcano of a new island in the South Pacific island nation of Tonga.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/LK Ward

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