New Islands Formed in the Past 20 Years
No, it's not an island just yet. But this active underwater volcano called Loihi could become Hawaii's next chunk of terra firma in a few millennia. Loihi Seamount is located near the Big Island of Hawaii and rises some 10,000 feet from the sea floor (taller than Mount St. Helens before it erupted in 1980). Like all the Hawaiian islands, Loihi is a "hot spot" volcano, meaning it's formed by an area of high heat under the earth’s crust rather than along tectonic plate boundaries like other volcanoes. While still 3,000 below the ocean's surface, regular volcanic activity and new lava flows are slowly building up Loihi's height at a rate of about a tenth of a foot per year.