Birth of an Island

By Deane Barker on November 9, 2006

Mariners report new island in South Pacific: A new island has apparently been born. I’m in awe of the geological power it takes to make a 1-mile circle of Earth rise out of the ocean.

The crew of the Maiken, a yacht that left the northern Tongan islands group of Vava’u in August, reported on their Web log on August 12 that they saw streaks of light, porous pumice stone floating in the water — then “sailed into a vast, many-miles-wide belt of densely packed pumice.” […]

The next day they spotted an active volcanic island, Haken wrote. He said they could see the volcanic island clearly. “One mile in diameter and with four peaks and a central crater smoking with steam and once in a while an outburst high in the sky with lava and ashes. I think we’re the first ones out here,” he reported.

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