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Surtsey volcano of the south coast of Iceland (7 November 1963 to 5 June 1967), best known for its ‘Surtseyan’ eruptions, also featured prolonged episodes of effusive activity producing two partly overlapping pahoehoe lava shields. Here this effusive activity is examined to assess the overall volcanic architecture of the Surtsey lava shields and the mechanisms involved in their construction. The lava cone and apron are the principal structures of the shields. The cone is constructed during periods of relatively high magma discharge and vigorous fountain activity, producing surface flows of shelly pahoehoe and fast moving (up to 20 m...

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