Happening now: number of scientist are on the recently formed island (geological terms) of Surtsey, south of the island cluster of Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland. Matís, under the guidance of the the microbiologist dr. Viggo Th. Marteinsson, is a participant in the SUSTAIN project but overall project management and principal investigation is in the hands of dr. Marie Jackson, a geologist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and dr. Magnús Guðmundsson, a volcanologist at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.
Geologists and biologists are currently on one of the world’s youngest islands: tiny Surtsey, which was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions off Iceland’s southwestern coast between 1963 and 1967. For 11 days, the team plans to drill two holes into Surtsey’s heart, to explore how warm volcanic rock, cold seawater and subterranean microbes interact. It will be the most detailed look ever at the guts of a newly born oceanic island.