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"come to the surface," 1898, from surface (n.). Earlier it meant "bring to the surface" (1885), and "to give something a polished surface" (1778). Related: Surfaced; surfacing.
surface sur·face (sûr'fəs)
The outer or topmost part of a solid structure.
A certainty, esp a bet that one cannot lose: His election is a sure thing, right? (1836+)