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Surtsey Island, Iceland, forms million-year features in 10 years

Of the brand new island that formed off the coast of Iceland in 1963, New Scientist reported in 2007 about Surtsey that "geographers... marvel that canyons, gullies and other land features that typically [i.e., allegedly] take tens of thousands or millions of years to form were created in less than a decade." 

Iceland's official geologist wrote in the early months of the volcanic island of Surtsey, "that the time scale", he had been trained, "to attach to geological developments is misleading." For what is said to "take thousands of years... the same development may take a few weeks or even days here," including to form "a landscape... so varied and mature that it was almost beyond belief" with "wide sandy beaches and precipitous crags... gravel banks and lagoons, impressive cliffs… hollows, glens and soft undulating land... fractures and fault scarps, channels and screes… confounded by what met your eye... boulders worn by the surf, some of which were almost round..."

Similar to the rapid-formation lessons of Surtsey, the entire life cycle of one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the volcano Parícutin, took only nine years from it's birth, witnessed by a farmer's family in Mexico, to its going "extinct" after reaching a height of nearly 1,400 feet!)


Here's the Point: Of course most islands are much older than the recently formed Surtsey, but the rapidly grown formations on this island undermine the old-earth, knee-jerk assumption presented to hundreds of millions of students that the kinds of geologic features seen on Surtsey require million-year timeframes to form.

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