Volcanic activity in the South Pacific near Tonga on August 12, 2006 caused the emergence of a new island. The crew of the Maiken, a yacht that had left the northern Tongan islands group of Vava'u in August, reported that they had seen streaks of light, porous pumice stone floating in the water—and then had "sailed into a vast, many-miles-wide belt of densely packed pumice." They went on to witness the ephemeral island known as Home Reef breaching the surface.
Pumice rafts drifted to Fiji in 1979 and 1984 from eruptions around Tonga, and some were reportedly 30 kilometers (19 mi) wide. On 10 August 2012 a raft with an estimated area of 10,000 sq miles was observed near Raoul Island, north-east of New Zealand by the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Notable pumice rafts
- "Stone sea and volcano". Fredrik and Crew on Maiken. Blogger. 2006-08-17. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- New Island and Pumice Raft, Tonga, NASA Earth Observatory photo with commentary, November 2006
- "Vast volcanic 'raft' found in Pacific, near New Zealand". BBC News. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- New Island and Pumice Raft, Tonga, NASA Earth Observatory photo with commentary, August 2006
- Nunn, Patrick D. (2008). Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-8248-3219-3.
- Martin D. Brasier, Richard Matthewman, Sean McMahon and David Wacey. "Pumice as a Remarkable Substrate for the Origin of Life" Astrobiology. August 31, 2011
- Space.com, "Source of Mysterious Pumice 'Raft' in Pacific Found, NASA Says", Jeanna Bryner, 14 August 2012
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