Dinner Table Conversation: What can happen when an angry volcano erupts?

July 20, 2018

A tiny island has formed off the northeast region of the Big Island of Hawaii. That’s right! Although Kilauea has been spewing lava and causing havoc on the Big Island since May, it has also done something else: It formed a small island. How did an angry volcano form an island, you wonder? According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), lava from Kilauea has been flowing to the coastline and even underwater. The underwater pressure has then pushed the lava to the surface, forming a small island. It might seem like an uncommon occurrence, but it’s quite the opposite, and there’s even a term for it: tumulus. Will the island be a permanent part of the Hawaiian Islands? It’s highly unlikely given the continuous lava flow coming from Kilauea and its small size (it’s only about twenty to thirty feet in diameter). Experts predict that the island will most likely connect to the coastline of the Big Island as more lava continues to push to the surface, or it’ll just erode away. Whatever happens to this new island, the USGS says it will leave the naming of it to the people of Hawaii.

If you could name an island, what would it be and why?