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GIS offers the following two documentary films about Surtsey volcano, Iceland, to the educational community and to scientists in the Earth Sciences. Each DVD costs $20 postpaid in the United States.

Volcano Surtsey: Award-winning (Winner of the Golden Eagle of CINE in Earth Sciences and several other awards) documentary movie of the early geomorphic evolution of Surtsey (named for the Norse god of fire, Surtur), a volcanic island that began to form off the southern coast of Iceland at the southwestern end of the Vestmannaejar (Vestmann Islands) archipelago in November 1963. The movie captures the extraordinary beauty and drama of the explosive and initial effusive phases, including development of a lava shield. The DVD introduces high school and university students to volcanic activity in Iceland. Iceland is one of the most geologically active regions on Planet Earth; it is situated on the boundary of two tectonic plates, the North American and Eurasian Plates, along the spreading axis of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the North Atlantic Ocean. The movie is equally fine for general audiences as well. Volcanologists consider it one of the best volcano documentaries ever made. [27 minutes]

An Active Volcano in Evolution: A more technical sequel to Volcano Surtsey, this documentary movie is directed at earth-science students at the high school and university levels. The various phases of discontinuous explosive and effusive volcanic actitity on Surtsey are recorded during its active period of formation from November 1963 until June 1967. Students and volcanologists will be particularly interested in the documentation of a wide range of volcanic phenomena, including lava fountaining, lava-lake evolution, tephra formation and deposition, different forms of lava such as pahoehoe (Icelandic: helluhraun) and aa (Icelandic: apalhraun), lavafalls, lava flows into the sea, and volcanologically-induced meteorological events such as lightning and tornadoes. [27 minutes]

Note: Distribution of Volcano Surtsey and An Active Volcano in Evolution DVDs by GIS are restricted to the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, and México. For orders from and/or deliveries to other countries, please contact VOK Film, hf., Hellusundi 6a, IS-101, Reykjavík, Iceland; Tel: 354-845-9548; e-mail:

Payment for purchase of the two Surtsey DVDs from GIS can be made by sending a check to:

Geoscience Information Services
368 Shepherds Ridge Circle
Charlottesville, VA 22901-0665 U.S.A.

Geoscience Information Services, PO Box 911, West Falmouth, MA 02574-0911 USA, 508-344-6840,