List of new islands

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Below is a list of new islands created since the beginning of the 20th century whether by means of volcanism, erosion, glacial retreat, or other mechanisms. One of the most famous new volcanic islands is the small island of Surtsey, located in the Atlantic Ocean south of Iceland. It first emerged from the ocean surface in 1963. In 1965, it was declared a nature reserve for the study of ecological succession; plants, insects, birds, seals, and other forms of life have since established themselves on the island.

Another noted new island is Anak Krakatau (the so-called "child of Krakatoa", which formed in the flooded caldera of that notorious volcano in Indonesia), which emerged only in 1930. Ample rainforests have grown there, but they are often destroyed by frequent eruptions. A population of many wild animals, including insects, birds, humanborne rats, and even monitor lizards, have also settled there.

Uunartoq Qeqertoq is an island off the east coast of Greenland that appeared to have split from the mainland because of glacial retreat between 2002 and 2005; however, it is believed to have been a true island, with or without glacial covering, for many thousands of years.

In February and March 2009, a vigorous eruption created a new island[1] near Hunga Ha'apai in the Tongan Islands of the southwest Pacific. By the end of the activity, however, the new land mass was connected to Hunga Ha'apai.[2] Similar activity occurred again in December 2014 and January 2015.

On September 24, 2013 a new island emerged off the coast of Gwadar, as a result of a strong earthquake that hit south and southwest Pakistan measuring 7.8 on the Richter magnitude scale.[3]

On November 21, 2013 an unnamed islet emerged off the coast of Nishinoshima, a small, uninhabited island in the Ogasawara chain, which is also known as the Bonin Islands. Less than four days after the new islet's emergence, it was about 200 metres (660 ft) in diameter.[4]

List of recently created islands[edit]

This is a list mostly of submarine volcanoes that later became new volcanic islands during the 20th and the 21st centuries. Aside from Anak Krakatau, only Surtsey, Nishinoshima and Home Reef are currently islands, and Surtsey is the only one that is expected to survive. Ilha Nova is now connected to Faial Island. Newly created landmass adjacent to Nishinoshima is now connected to Nishinoshima.

Name of the island Country Land formation year(s)
Hunga Ha'apai  Tonga 2014–15, 2009[5]
Jadid Island  Yemen 2013[6]
Nishinoshima  Japan 2013–15, 1973–74[7]
Yaya Island  Russia 2013
Zalzala Koh  Pakistan 2013[8]
Sholan Island  Yemen 2011[6]
Peer Ghaib, Balochistan  Pakistan 2010, 2004[9]
Home Reef  Tonga 2006, 1984[10]
Norderoogsand  Germany 1999[11]
Kavachi  Solomon Islands 1999–2003, 1991, 1986, 1978, 1976, 1969–70, 1965, 1963–64, 1961, 1958, 1952–53[12]
Metis Shoal  Tonga 1995, 1979, 1967–68[13]
Fukutoku-Okanoba  Japan 1986, 1974–75, 1914, 1904–05[14]
Kuwae  Vanuatu 1974, 1971, 1959, 1949, 1948, 1923–25[15]
Surtsey  Iceland 1963–67[16]
Ilha Nova (Capelinhos)  Portugal 1957–58[17]
Myōjin-shō  Japan 1952–53, 1946[18]
Anak Krakatau  Indonesia 1927–30[19]
Fonuafo'ou  Tonga 1927–28[20]
Banua Wuhu  Indonesia 1918–19, 1904[21]


  1. ^ Percival, Jenny (21 March 2009). "Underwater volcano creates new island off Tonga". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  3. ^ "Island emerges near Gwadar coast after earthquake". Geo TV Network. September 24, 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Kurtenbach, Elaine (22 November 2013). "Volcano raises new island far south of Japan". Seattle Times. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Volcanic eruption ends, leaving tiny ash island". Matangi Tonga Online. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Oskin, Becky; (May 30, 2015). "Red Sea Parts for 2 New Islands". Scientific American. Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  7. ^ Japan Coast Guard Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department. "Nishonoshima". Volcano database (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Experts say Gwadar island spewing methane". September 25, 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Baloch, Shahzad (27 November 2010). "Mud volcano surfaces along Balochistan coast". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Home Reef". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  11. ^ "New island appears off coast of Germany". The Telegraph. January 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Kavachi". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  13. ^ "Metis Shoal". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  14. ^ "Fukutoku-Okanoba". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  15. ^ "Kuwae". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  16. ^ "Vestmannaeyjar". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Bayonnaise Rocks". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  19. ^ "Krakatau". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  20. ^ "Falcon Island". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. 
  21. ^ "Banua Wuhu". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.