All SUSTAIN team members are co-authors on this article.  We describe the 2017 drilling project and the three new cored boreholes through the still-hot deposits of Surtsey volcano. The time-lapse drill cores in 1979 and 2017 record the changing geochemical, mineralogical, microbiological, and material properties of the basalt 50 years after eruptions terminated. They provide fresh insights into processes of explosive submarine volcanism and the earliest alteration of basaltic deposits proceed in a pristine oceanic environment.

Maps showing drilling at Surtsey volcano, Iceland. (a) The Vestmannaeyjar volcanic archipelago at the southern off-shore extension of the eastern Iceland rift zone (bathymetry: Ice-landic Coast Guard, Hydrographic Department). The red elongated patches on the Iceland map show individual volcanic systems. (b) A simplified geological map of Surtsey (following Jakobsson, 2000) and temporary installations of the 2017 SUSTAIN drilling operation. The red dashed tick lines indicate crater rims. (c) Horizontal projection of the SE-03 (5059-1-D) cored borehole. (d) Wellhead locations: SE-01 (1979) and SE-02b, SE-02b, and SE-03 (or 5059-1-B, 5059-1-C, and 5059-1-D) in 2017.

These are all the members of the SUSTAIN team that contributed to this article and their professional affiliations.

Marie D. Jackson1, Magnús T. Gudmundsson2, Tobias B. Weisenberger3, J. Michael Rhodes4, Andri Stefánsson2, Barbara I. Kleine2, Peter C. Lippert1, Joshua M. Marquardt1, Hannah I. Reynolds2, Jochem Kück5, Viggó T. Marteinsson6,7, Pauline Vannier6, Wolfgang Bach8, Amel Barich3,9, Pauline Bergsten6,10, Julia G. Bryce11, Piergiulio Cappelletti12, Samantha Couper1, M. Florencia Fahnestock11, Carolyn F. Gorny2, Carla Grimaldi12, Marco Groh5, Ágúst Gudmundsson13, Ágúst T. Gunnlaugsson2, Cédric Hamlin14, Thórdís Högnadóttir2, Kristján Jónasson15, Sigurdur S. Jónsson3, Steffen L. Jørgensen14, Alexandra M. Klonowski7, Beau Marshall16, Erica Massey2, Jocelyn McPhie17, James G. Moore18, Einar S. Ólafsson2, Solveig L. Onstad14, Velveth Perez2,15, Simon Prause3, Snorri P. Snorrason19, Andreas Türke6, James D. L. White20, and Bernd Zimanowski21

1Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

2Nordvulk, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland

3ÍSOR, Iceland GeoSurvey, Reykjavík, Iceland

4Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

5Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany

6Matís, Exploration & Utilization of Genetic Resources, Reykjavík, Iceland

7Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland

8Department of Geosciences and MARUM, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

9Geothermal Research Cluster (GEORG), Reykjavik, Iceland

10Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland

11University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA

12Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e delle Risorse (DiSTAR), University FEDERICO II, Naples, Italy

13Jarðtaeknistofan, (GEOICE Geological Services Ltd), Hafnarfjörður, Iceland

14K.G. Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research, Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

15Collections and Systematics Department, Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Gardabaer, Iceland

16DOSECC Exploration Services, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

17School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

18U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California, USA

19Verkís Consulting Engineers, Reykjavík, Iceland

20Geology Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

21Institut für Geographie und Geologie, Universität Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

Correspondence: Marie D. Jackson (


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