MOSCOW, January 21 (Sputnik) – A new island emerged in Tonga, an archipelago of 176 islands located in Polynesia, after a volcanic eruption, AP reported on Wednesday.
"It's quite an exciting site, you get to see the birth of an island," said volcanologist Nico Fournier. "Visually it was quite spectacular, but there was no big sound coming with it, no boom. It was a bit eerie," he added.
The size of the island is 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) by 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles). Its height is 100 meters (109 yards) above the sea. As the island is made of loose scoria and its size is quite small, scientists assume that the island can be easily worn away by the ocean when the eruption stops.
New islands can emerge as result of various natural mechanisms such as erosion, volcano eruption or glacial retreat. One of the most prominent volcanic islands is the island of Surtsey, located off the southern coast of Iceland. Surtsey emerged in 1963 as a result of undersea volcanic eruption.