The young island Surtsey
July 17, 2008 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Surtsey was first observed on November 14, 1963, as a pillar of smoke on the water some ways south of Iceland. The very next day lava and tephra broke the surface of the Atlantic and by May, 1964 the formation had grown to 2.4 km². Over the next three years lava eruptions continued, coating the loose debris in a hard shell and protecting it from erosion. An island born. Naturally, Surtsey has been under close scientific observation since its emergence, and courtesy The Surtsey Research Society you can read published reports on the geology and biological colonization of this new earth.
posted by carsonb (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, this is fabulous. Great find.
posted by dejah420 at 10:01 PM on July 17, 2008

Nice one carsonb. It's doing better than Home Reef.
posted by tellurian at 10:15 PM on July 17, 2008

Wikipedia's List of recently born islands; only Surtsey and Home Reef are currently islands, and Surtsey is the only one that is expected to survive.
posted by carsonb at 10:17 PM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, also, I learned of Surtsey while perusing the recent additions to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
posted by carsonb at 10:20 PM on July 17, 2008

I first read about this about fifteen years ago, and it's stuck in my head as a life-long dream to make sure I go there one day.

Pretty sure it's still super-closed to the public, though. You know, for obvious and good reason.

Still, maybe one day.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:30 PM on July 17, 2008

wow, this made my day. really. probably the coolest thing i've seen all year.

yeah i have no life.
posted by dawdle at 11:41 PM on July 17, 2008

Fabulous. There are some remarkablephotos on the SRS website. Thanks.
posted by googly at 11:51 PM on July 17, 2008

posted by mattoxic at 2:25 AM on July 18, 2008

That's funny, I just woke up from a dream about my friend who's a geologist in Iceland.

Confidential to Navelgazer: It's possible to get there, if you ask the right people.
posted by Kattullus at 4:28 AM on July 18, 2008

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