Salt Lake City, Utah (PRWEB) March 16, 2017
DOSECC, a global core drilling company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, today announced that they have been selected for a scientific drilling project on the newborn island of Surtsey, off the coast of Iceland. The project will gather data for a wide range of scientific inquiries, including volcanology, hydrothermal alteration, subsurface thermal ecosystems, and even further understanding of anthropological geology. For example, the rare mineral aluminum tobermorite in the young island was a primary cement ingredient in early Roman cements made with saltwater which still stand to this day. The Principal Investigators on this project are Dr. Marie Jackson from the University of Utah and Dr. Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson from the University of Iceland.
“A similar hole was drilled 35 years ago by USGS, and we are going to drill an identical hole next to it to see what’s happened since the island erupted in 1963,” explained DOSECC President and geoscientist Dennis Nielson, Ph.D. “We want to see how much it has cooled off, how much additional rock alteration has taken place, and also do something that hasn’t been done there before: set up an observatory for life in the subsurface.”
The project is funded by the International Continental Drilling Program in cooperation with a cooperative of scientific groups across Iceland and Europe. Environmental protection efforts are included in the project to ensure the protection of the World Heritage Site and its nesting birds. Once environmental clearance of the project is given, shipping and logistics will begin to prepare for a target drill date of mid-August before the weather turns at the end of September.
“DOSECC has drilled in Iceland before, and is particularly excited about being involved in the Surtsey exploration,” continued Dr. Nielson. “This is a unique environment, as it is boiling right at sea level, then falls off the boiling point curve. The microbiologists like that rare combination, as the heat potentially prevents biocontamination of the subsurface from rain or outside environments, so the existing thermal life can be studied in this unique environment. And that is just one component--there is a lot of scientific inquiry on this one drill.”
For more information about Surtsey and other DOSECC core drilling projects around the world, please visit DOSECC.com.