Flying from Reykjavik to Heimaey in September 1973, we passed near Surtsey, the “type locality” for what are now called “Surtseyan eruptions” (eruptions in shallow waters producing new islands). Ten years earlier a submarine volcano began erupting off the southwest end of the Westman Islands. The eruption continued for nearly 4 years, by which time a substantial new island had been born. It became a magnet for geologists, biologists, and National Geographic filmmakers. I had seen the films on TV and had written a report about it in high school. And now I was seeing it with my own eyes! Pretty exciting stuff for a budding young naturalist!
Surtsey will be 50 years old in 2013. Here’s what it looked like at age 10.
Arrival and departure at Heimaey by air provided some nice views over this island as well.
Looking east across the town of Vestmannaeyjar toward Eldfell (the black cone
with a bit of steam on top).
Looking south at Eldfell, with the steaming new land it produced in the foreground.
Surtsey in Google Maps:
Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
Copyright © 2013 Tim Messick. All rights reserved.