Submarine Volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba Erupts

Submarine Volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba Erupts
  • Credit:

    NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Michon Scott.

Fukutoku-Okanoba is a submarine volcano, but its summit is just 14 meters (46 feet) below sea level. When the volcano erupted in early February 2010, Japan’s coast guard captured the event on video. The volcano released ash and steam plumes, and evidence of the volcano’s activity lingered days later when the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this true-color image on February 11, 2010.

The clearest evidence of activity at Fukutoku-Okanoba is the discolored water west of the summit. Vapor released by Fukutoku-Okanoba might account for the clouds floating overhead, but they might be unrelated to the volcano.

Roughly 5 kilometers (3 miles) northeast of the island of Minami-Iwo-jima and about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of the main Japanese archipelago, Fukutoku-Okanoba occurs in an area where several short-lived volcanoes formed in the twentieth century.

  1. References

  2. Global Volcanism Program. Fukutoku-Okanoba. Accessed February 11, 2010.
  3. The Volcanism Blog. (2010, February 4). Undersea eruption south of Japan caught on video. Accessed February 11, 2010.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    February 11, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    February 11, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    EO-1 - ALI
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration