About three years ago, a new island emerged in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga. When experts from NASA went to study it, they found that it came to be after the eruption of a submarine volcano. Back in January 2015, it finally settled and the scientists were finally able to analyze it more thoroughly. And if they initially believed the island would float for only a few months, it seems like they were wrong. According to NASA, it could remain in place for about 30 years.
However, this interesting island could help experts finally uncover a decades-old mystery. It could provide an insight into Mars’ history of volcanic activity. According to Jim Garvin of NASA, the same think could have happened on Mars. Strong eruptions took place when there was still surface water on the Red Planet. This is why the Pacific Island and its history could help with unveiling the history of Mars too.
A look at Mars’ volcanic past
It’s interesting that satellites first detected the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai island back in 2015. According to NASA, it is also the first modern satellite era island to emerge and survive this way. As for what is next for the unusual island, experts think that there are two things that could happen.
The Pacific island might be destroyed by accelerated erosion because of the wave abrasion. So, in about six to seven years, only a small land portion could remain to link the two neighboring islands that are currently near this one. However, erosion could happen much slower, making it possible for the island to remain intact for about 30 years.
Whatever the case, this island remains a mystery simply because experts do not have enough information about it. As for the Mars research, experts base their ideas on what is happening on Earth. Now we have an environment that is similar to the one on the Red Planet.
Image source: freegreatpicture