Rose Island South PacificSouth Pacific Island of Roses
According to a Nasa survey, a new Tongan island that emerged from the ashes of a volcano eruption in the South Pacific in 2014 could have existed for many years. Ashes Island, inofficially known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, was created during an undersea volcano eruption from the end of December 2014 to the beginning of January 2015.
Instead, Nasa now thinks that Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai will last for six to 30 years, making it the first island of its kind in the contemporary orbit. The Nasa has watched the island since its foundation and performed high-quality satelite observation with visual probes and radars on a regular basis. The observation of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai has enabled Nasa to get an idea of how new isles are created and moulded over the years.
"Vulcan islets are some of the easiest land forms," said Jim Garvin, lead researcher of the Nasa Astronautics Center Goddard and lead investigator of the survey. It has also given the explorers insight into similar characteristics in other parts of the sun system, as well as Mars. These images were also used to create three-dimensional topographic mapping of the island, enabling explorers to explore its shifting coastline and volumes aboveseas.
By May 2016, the explorers thought Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai would dissolve when the sea streamed over the southeastern edge of the inner craters and opened the craters. In June, however, a sandbank emerged and the island stabilised throughout the year. Scholars are not sure why Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai took so long, but a similarly shaped island off Iceland, named Surtsey, could give evidence.
Heated sea water interact with the ashes that Surtsey created after the outbreak, changing the island's vulnerable and readily erodible rocks to a harder one. Scientists believe that something similar may have occurred to its South Pacific equivalent. How long Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai lasts depends, according to Nasa, on ecological causes such as water discharge.