Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Dec 31, 2011 - 9:55:30 PM
NASA announced on Friday that a new island has appeared off the west coast of Yemen following a volcanic eruption.
The U.S. space agency's Earth Observatory posted satellite photos showing a plume of white smoke rising from the ocean near the Zubair archipelago located 30 nautical miles off Yemen coast in the Red Sea on December 23.
"The image from December 2011 shows an apparent island where there had previously been an unbroken water surface," it said.
"A thick plume ascends from the island, dark near the bottom and light near the top, perhaps a mixture of volcanic ash and water vapor."
A volcanic activity erupted in Saba Island one of Zubair Group, a collection of small islands off the west coast of Yemen on December 23, 2011.
The volcanic activity created what looked like a new island appeared in the region. Running in a roughly northwest-southeast line, the islands poke above the sea surface, rising from a shield volcano. This region is part of the Red Sea Rift where the African and Arabian tectonic plates pull apart and new ocean crust regularly forms.
New islands are created by undersea volcanoes every few years, but many are not strong enough to withstand the wind and waves of the open sea, volcanologist Rick Wunderman told CNN on Thursday.
He added, however, that the volcanic material in the Red Sea tends to be more durable.
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