Temporary Geography of a New Island

SCIENCE

There’s a new island in the Pacific Ocean, thanks to the eruption of an underwater volcano. (Popular Science)

Use our resources to learn more about submarine volcanoes.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, including a link to today’s MapMaker Interactive map.

This spectacular photo of the ephemeral island created by the Hunga Tonga volcano was made possible by les bonnes gens at the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, and the aeronautics company Airbus. Zoom in even closer here. Photograph by CNES 2015, Distribution Airbus DS/Spot Image

Click for a great before-and-after interactive photo of the islands of Hunga Ha’apai (left) and Hunga Tonga. This spectacular photo of the ephemeral island created by the Hunga Tonga volcano was made possible by les bonnes gens at the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, and the aeronautics company Airbus. Zoom in even closer here.
Photograph by CNES 2015, Distribution Airbus DS/Spot Image

Discussion Ideas

  • Read through “Geology of the Deep,” our terrific 2013 article on submarine volcanoes—or just skip to the article’s “World’s Youngest Island” section. According to the article, one of the world’s newest volcanic islands was created by the eruption of Hunga Tonga in 2009. But the Popular Science article says that Hunga Tonga just created the new island in 2015. How does this make sense?

 

 

Illustration by José F. Vigil from This Dynamic Planet—a wall map produced jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Illustration by José F. Vigil from This Dynamic Planet—a wall map produced jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

Popular Science: An Underwater Volcano Just Created a New Island

Nat Geo: Hunga Tonga interactive photo

Nat Geo: Geology of the Deep

Nat Geo: Hunga Tonga map series

Airbus: Eruption of a volcano in the Tonga archipelago

Smithsonian Institution: Global Volcanism Program: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai

Nat Geo: What is a volcano?

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