Continued lava flows have more than doubled the size of Japan’s newest volcanic island, and it is being closely monitored by the government.

The island about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo has more than doubled in area since it was created by a volcanic eruption last month.

According to the Japan Coast Guard, the islet was about 200 meters in diameter but consistent volcanic activity has helped expand its area by 400 meters from east to west and 300 meters from north to south as of December 13.

The outcrop has not been named, as there is a possibility that it could unite with neighboring Nishinoshima, an uninhabited island in the Ogasawara chain.

If recognized as Japanese territory, the country’s territorial waters would expand by several hundred meters to include the new island and surrounding seas.

The island, birthed by surtseyan activity, is not expected to sink below sea level at least in the near term since lava has hardened on it. The government said it is closely watching the island’s development.

Image: Universe Today