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Getting to the bottom of the youngest islands' formation

CanonS2 / Wikipedia

At the end of this week, scientists will start looking into the heart of an island called Surtsey, which was created between 1963 and 1967 by a volcanic eruption, to better understand how islands form as part of a $1.4 million project, per Nature. The UNESCO World Heritage site off the coast of Iceland is one of the world's youngest islands.

Why it matters: Based on the results from the study regarding how hydrothermal minerals have strengthened Surtsey's rock, engineers might be able to create stronger concrete that could be used for nuclear-waste containers. Scientists also hope to understand how microbes munch on rock, which will reveal how microbial populations help shape our environment.