DAVID HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration depicting the formation of a new island, Surtsey, off the coast of Iceland. The first eruptions of Surtsey were noticed on 14 November 1963, although the volcano had been erupting underwater for weeks before that. In November, however, the volcano appeared above the surface of the sea, and began to build a new island. Over the next four years, Surtsey grew to a diameter of about 1.3 kilometres before eruptions ceased. The island was quickly designated a conservation area, prohibiting human habitation, so that the natural establishment of its ecosystem could be studied. The island is situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
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