The February 3 submarine-volcano eruption took place about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) north-northeast of volcanic South Iwo Jima (pictured). The island is part of Japan's Bonin Islands, which also include famous World War II battle site of Iwo Jima, some 37 miles (60 kilometers) north of South Iwo Jima.
During previous Fukutoku-Okanoba eruptions, lava has broken the sea surface, creating islands—the same basic process that created the Hawaiian Islands. But waves have always quickly washed away any Fukutoku-Okanoba islands, preventing them from becoming anything more than short-lived lava mounds.
As for the February eruption, said Doi, of the Japan Meteorological Agency, "We have seen no evidence of an island being created yet, but it is possible, and we will continue to monitor the situation."
(Also see: "Photos: Chile Volcano Erupts With Ash and Lightning.")