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.
On this day 60 years ago, an eruption started in the ocean southwest of the Westman Islands. The eruption lasted almost four years and eventually formed the island of Surtsey. 📷Arctic Images. pic.twitter.com/lDYepkb5rA— Lava Centre (@LavaCentre) November 14, 2023
Today marks the 60th anniversary since the famous Surtsey #Eruption. With the current tectonic activity bubbling away in #Iceland, you can use our NEW classroom resource to compare with the current events of the #icelandvolcano and #IcelandEarthquakes https://t.co/HEJwNckVFs— Discover the World Education (@DTW_Education) November 14, 2023
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: