Underwater volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba erupts off the coast of Japan

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported that an underwater eruption has occurred at the Fukutoku-Okanoba volcano. The eruption is still underway…

Satellite images of Himawari confirmed the presence of a vapor-gas plume moving in a west-southwest direction.

As shown in the photo above, the eruptive plume of white vapor is being struck by lightning caused by the friction of pyroclasts erupting at high velocity.

The height of the plume is unknown and has not yet been reported, but from the available images, it appears to be tens to hundreds of meters above sea level.

The Sentinel-5P / Tropomi satellite recorded a strong plume of sulfur dioxide 35 km from the volcano at an altitude of 3 km (18.53 DU SO2).

Fukutoku-Okanoba is an underwater volcano 5 km northeast of the small pyramidal island of Minami-Iwo-jima in the chain of Japanese volcanic islands.

Its summit is only 14 meters (46 feet) below sea level. Its last major eruption was in early February 2010.

About 5 kilometers (3 miles) northeast of Minami-Iwo-jima and about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of the main Japanese archipelago, Fukutoku-Okanoba is in an area where several short-lived volcanoes formed in the twentieth century.

The eruptions and underwater hydrothermal activity often cause the water in the area to discolor, and the volcano has formed several temporary new islands during eruptions.

The first observation of a new island was made in 1904-05, when Shin-Iwo-jima (“New Sulfur Island”) formed. Small new islands also formed during eruptions in 1914 and 1986.

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