November 14th 1963 - Sixty years ago today

A cross posting from my GCSE Natural History blog.

What did the crew of the Icelandic trawler Ísleifur II see for the first time?

Sixty years ago, the sea south of Iceland boiled and a new island was born. The trawler was on the spot when a phreatomagmatic eruption began...

I have been working on some new resources on the island of Surtsey. This is for the new GCSE Natural History - which may or may not be delayed by recent Cabinet reshuffles. There is a focus on topics such as Plant Succession.

Surtsey is just over a month older than me.

It turns out that I didn't really need to do this after all as Discover the World have released a new resource on the island which is really rather good. I'll finish mine anyway as it has a different focus.

You can go here to download the resource.

The island is a perfect example of a blank slate on which plant succession can then begin as birds and other processes bring seeds to what is otherwise virgin territory. The island has been off limits to the public for the last sixty years, with monitoring of the species that are arriving.

Here's a video on the eruption: