Surtsey volcano, now 50 years old, represents a world-class example of island formation through rift zone volcanism. The 181 m hole drilled in 1979 (Jakobsson & Moore 1986) provides a comprehensive petrological, mineralogical, and thermal framework to understand the structure of the volcano, and early eruptive and hydrothermal processes in the parent tephra and feeder dikes.
The drilling project used the natural laboratory of the Surtsey tephra above and below sealevel and the thermal profile of a basalt dike swarm below sea level to describe how the hydrothermal alteration of tephra drilled 40 years ago at ~25–140 °C has evolved. It refined our understanding of seawater-rock interactions that influence diagenetic and microbial alteration of tephra to produce lithified tuff; it described how rift zone volcanic islands form, lithify, and are ultimately destroyed; and explored how explosive magma interactions with seawater send tephra into the jet stream, leading to health risks and airplane encounters with airborne ash.
Keywords: Europe, Iceland, Basalt, Hydrothermal Alteration, Microbial Life, Rift Zone Volcanism, Surtsey, Tuff
These cap the 1979 hole, the two vertical 2017 holes, and the 2017 inclined hole. All materials brought to Surtsey by the SUSTAIN operation (apart from casing in drill holes) have been now been safely taken off the island, leaving Surtsey again pristine and at peace.
A film crew led by Jon Örn Gudbjartsson from Haskoli Islands (University of Iceland) spent the morning in the core laboratory, photographing scanning operations and preparation of core trays as well as interviewing the science team. This will be part of a documentary film describing the SUSTAIN drilling project on Surtsey.
Picture showing the IINH core processing team members (Amel, Alex, Velveth and Kristján) during the core processing (picture source TBW).
- 4 well heads on Surtsey
- Film crew spent the morning in the core laboratory
- IINH core processing
Ended 31 December 2019
1 - 4 May 2018 in Natturufraedistofnun Island, Iceland
15 July - 15 September 2017
Full Proposal Approved
30 September - 4 October 2014 in Heimaey Island, Iceland