Satellite image shows rare phenomenon
That’s why the Pacific turns green here
Japan has three volcanic seamounts. One of them is active again after a long time. Because it transports sulfur and other materials, the otherwise deep blue surface of the water changes color.
Published: 6 minutes ago
Seen from space: The eruption of the underwater volcano Kaitoku turns parts of the Pacific green. The reason for this is the rising sulphur.
The deep blue suddenly glows green. When the volcano Kaitoku awakens, a spectacular spectacle can be observed in the Pacific.
North of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, three of its peaks are about 100 meters below the surface of the water. While two of them have died out, the easternmost is still active: acidic and overheated seawater, which contains sulfur and volcanic rock debris, rises – and colors the sea surface green, as the “Spiegel” writes.
Last big eruption 40 years ago
The spectacle was last recorded by the Earth observation satellite Landsat 8 in early January. It orbits the earth once in 99 minutes at an altitude of 700 kilometers. The last major eruption of Kaitoku was almost 40 years ago, and according to historical records, the volcano is said to have erupted in 1543.
Kaitoku is not the only volcanic seamount. According to estimates by geologists, there are a good 25 million pieces. Although most of them are extinct, the active ones account for the majority of volcanic eruptions worldwide – around 80 percent take place under water.
Compared to other underwater volcanoes, Kaitoku is considered less dangerous. The eruptions are rather weak.
This volcano has obliterated parts of islands
The last strong eruption of an underwater volcano happened over a year ago. On January 15, 2022, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai ejected gas and ash clouds off the Pacific island kingdom of Tonga – so violently that it obliterated parts of nearby islands. With the British helper Angela G. (50 †) there was also at least one death.
The mega eruption was felt thousands of kilometers away. It triggered large tidal waves and put many Pacific countries on alert. Various tsunami waves were recorded not only in Tonga, but also in New Zealand, Japan, Alaska and South America. (twa)