The island of Surtsey was formed in a volcanic eruption which began 130 meters below sea level, and reached the surface on 14 November 1963. The eruption lasted until 5 June 1967, when the island reached its maximum size of 2.7 km. Wind and wave erosion has diminished the island in size to about 1.4 km today. Like as for the Capelinhos, eruptions created more islands from the vents, Jlnir and Syrtlingur but as in the case for Capelinhos those two islands disappeared soon.
Wind and waves are the main factors eroding these two volcanic features. They are now approximately half a century old, resting in two similar locations but within two rather different climatological systems as to their wave and wind climate. One intriguing question is then of course if the environment may have had any major differentiating effect on the present shape of the islands. This is under investigation in this project, based on satellite imagery and aerial photos and climatological data.